The Course

The Science of Reading Short Course is comprised of five, self-paced modules that can be completed in approximately ten hours. Each module has clearly stated objectives, explicitly written background information, useful video demonstrations, numerous graphic illustrations, and a variety of downloadable resources and links. Based on adult learning theory, each module includes activities to reinforce concepts, intermittent feedback through the use of checks for understanding, and a final knowledge check to support mastery of concepts. The modules are based on more than forty years of research, including several foundational conceptual modules that explain how reading works:

  1. How Students Learn to Read: An Introduction to the Science of Reading
  2. Structured Literacy
  3. Word Recognition: An Encounter with Phonics
  4. The Language Comprehension Domain
  5. The Reading Comprehension Domain
Course Login

Who benefits most from this course?

This course is designed primarily for teachers (new and veteran) and teacher candidates seeking to learn more about the Science of Reading and its application, including and as well as:

  • General classroom teachers, especially K-5 but relevant to all classrooms and content
  • Literacy coaches and interventionists
  • Teaching assistants and para-professionals
  • School and district leaders
  • Educator preparation faculty
  • Parents of striving readers

“This professional learning course offers just enough information to support educators who are just beginning to develop an understanding of the science of reading and there are also opportunities with links, articles and additional resources to support those who are ready for deeper learning. There are a variety of instructional methods that keep participants engaged and the frequent checks for understanding and “activities” are helpful. What a dream it would be if the knowledge from The Big Dippers was shared and understood by district leaders, building administrators, classroom teachers, interventionists, and other support staff. The power of this shared knowledge and common vision could truly change the trajectory of learning for so many students.”

– Amy Mesick, Vancouver Public Schools

Free Course Facilitation Guides

Self-Study Guide

The Self-Study Guide is designed to assist individual participants in reflection and application of knowledge alongside information and activities included in the five, self-paced modules.

Please email  to receive your copy.

Facilitator’s Guide

Two different facilitators guides for teachers and administrators completing the course on the same timeline can be requested by emailing with your name, title, and proposed use for facilitation.

Guide for Education Leaders provides a roadmap of activities and plans for PLCs to support collaborative reflection and extended learning as participating teachers read, share, discuss, and apply the key ideas included in the course. Intended to be used by a facilitator with deeper knowledge and understanding of the Science of Reading.

Guide for Administrators helps administrators work with school and district-level teams to build an understanding of the link between teaching practices and students learning to read. By facilitating conversations with team members enrolled in the course, administrators can lead efforts to support a system that promotes a culture where all educators are focused on implementation of evidence-based practices.

Continuing Education Credits

The Science of Reading Short Course is designed to include 10 hours of instruction and activities, which is the equivalent of 1.0 CEUs. Upon completion of all five modules and the post-assessment, a personalized, signed certificate of completion will be awarded. Teachers and other education professionals across the United States and in several countries use courses offered by The Big Dipper partners to meet state and local licensing, relicensing, and professional development requirements. Please review your local policies for specific credit request and relicensure processes and policies. Continuing education credit is the final decision of your school district, continuing education committee, or other relevant authority.


The Science of Reading Short Course, including a robust set of downloadable, printable, and reusable classroom and teacher resources, costs $100 for six months of full access. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for a 25% per person discount.