TEL creates highly engineered courses for the modern career path.

Every aspect of our courses, from the readings to the individual quiz questions, are intentionally designed to help students reach specific learning objectives.

What’s in a TEL Course?

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Assessments for Mastery

Each course has several assessments designed to push students to engage in the material at a fundamental level and connect information across several modules. Mastery Assignments appear periodically throughout the course as either an in-depth, scenario, and case-based quiz or as part of a research/writing assignment. Students will also take a proctored midterm and final exam.

Our Content Design Process

Step 1: Review Syllabi

Our Curriculum Development team, working in partnership with qualified Subject Matter Experts, begins the course building process by reviewing representative syllabi from two and four-year institutions, as well as leading textbooks.

Step 2: Develop the Course Outline

From this review, the team develops a course outline featuring the 60-70 core concepts taught at most institutions. We specify key topics and a measurable learning outcome for each concept. Once a first draft is completed, the course outline is reviewed by two additional subject matter experts. These SMEs provide feedback and assess the alignment of the course to other two and four-year institutions’ syllabi.

Step 3: Identify Key Topics

With the course outline finalized, the Curriculum Team and lead subject matter expert establish the skills and competencies that students should work on mastering. These are selected from TEL Education’s framework of key 21st-century skills and competencies—TEL Mastery Standards. These targeted skills and competencies, along with learning outcomes, guide the design of the mastery assignments included in each course.

Our Learning Progression Model

At TEL Education, we use a common learning progression model in each of our lessons. Our goal in doing this is to help students continue to build on information they learn throughout the course and in future courses.


Without a basic framework in which to place lesson information, learners are slow to absorb or understand the content. That’s why our goal in this stage is to establish a context for lesson concepts before we begin transmitting them with full detail.

We also refer to this as the first part of the “Why” question. In the contextualization stage, the question we want to help students answer is – “Why is this information important in the world?”


Once we create a clear context for the lesson information, we’re ready to share it fully with learners and elaborate our explanations with multiple forms of examples. Our goal in this stage is to answer: “What are the specific concepts students need to understand so they can begin applying them?” It is important at this stage to provide a broad range of perspectives, both from expert sources as well as community conversation.


Our next goal is to transition learners from a basic understanding of lesson concepts to a sense of personal relevance. This stage is about helping students find motivation for internalizing and applying information in a way that will lead to actual mastery. In this stage, we want to help students explore both deeper and broader implications of lesson concepts, answering: “Why does this information matter to me personally?”


At this point in the lesson, we want learners to take personal ownership of lesson concepts and to begin applying the information in ways that are relevant to them. This stage is all about the specific, contextual application that is the beginning of concept mastery. With agency, then, we move from questions of “Why” and “What” to “How.”


In the final stage of our model, we want learners to demonstrate an applied synthesis of what they have studied. Our goal is to give students a place to show, through project work or summative assessment, what they have learned. Where possible, we also want to include discussion from the larger learning community as part of this stage.

For additional questions about our courses and how they work, please fill out the form below, and someone will contact you.

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