Online Professional Development Book Study

Each fall and spring semester, All Belong, in partnership with Calvin University, offers an online book study on a best practice topic in education. Each course is completely asynchronous, allowing you to participate at times most convenient for you while interacting weekly with your classmates and the facilitator. Through readings, course discussions, and feedback from the facilitator, you will be challenged to apply the content to your work.

Please see below for this semester’s offering.

Registration is currently open. To register, simply click the “Sign up” tab above and follow the prompts. Space is limited, so register today!

Questions? We encourage you to reach out directly to the book study facilitator, Megan Cooke by email. Otherwise, give us a call at (616) 245 8388.

Fall 2020 Online Professional Development Book Study

Self-Assessing Learners: A Response to Disrupted Schooling and a Rallying Call for Education


The All Belong fall 2020 book study will focus on the book Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners: Maximizing Skill, Will, and Thrill.  This book is on empowering learners toward authentic engagement within the learning process through equipping each learner with a sense of ownership over their own learning journey as well as the ability to select the tools that will guide their learning.  Specifically, Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners delves into the critical component of self-assessment.

John Hattie, researcher and professor, continues to oversee the largest meta-analysis regarding influences on educational outcomes; 800 studies informed his first books on Visible Learning, and updated effect sizes are now based on nearly 1200.  Hattie employs evidence based quantitative research methodologies to support teachers’ quest to understand what “really works” in education and is known for encouraging educators to “know thy impact”.  Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher are professors of educational leadership and are both well-known authors who come from backgrounds in Special Education and English respectively, and have joined with John Hattie and his research as together the three authors provide a well-rounded presentation of how to leverage some of the most high-yield influences on learning.  The research and effect sizes provided in Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners are sometimes surprising and always applicable, offering a clear and encouraging summary of practices that are guaranteed to improve learners’ engagement and achievement.

Various educational stakeholders will benefit from understanding what contemporary research is telling us to pay attention to as a field and as a profession.  We all have unique questions and concerns as we return to school Fall 2020.  Whether we are teaching in person or remotely, or possibly engaging with some combination of the two, this Fall all stakeholders will be working hard to ensure learning for our students.

In recent months John Hattie has reflected on effective teaching that occurs during and after a disruption in school attendance and found that teachers become better equipped to teach what needs to be learned instead of getting through a lot of curriculum.[1]  We will tend to these concerns and others as we work to understand – and build off of – last semester’s remote teaching and learning experiences.  How might we indulge our intensified desire to make certain that learners’ efforts are focused?  How might we systematize our response, so that we are confident in our plan?

The primary goal suggested by Fry, Fisher, and Hattie (2018) is to develop students who are internally motivated toward higher levels of achievement.  This is presented as relevant no matter the age or grade level of the learners with which you work.  Each chapter is rich with strategies having high proven effect sizes, and by the end of the book readers will have a richer understanding of the daily and year-long cadences of effective teaching and learning.

Whether or not you’ve been reading All Belong’s spring blog series, for which this book was a highlighted source, or have read any of the other books in the Visible Learning series, we will come to new understanding through adding new tools to our practice and exploring a renewed understanding of assessment as an integrative component in effective teaching and learning.  Our reading will also prompt discussion on ways assessment might be a well-used component in responding to the disruption in school attendance and to equity challenges in learning continuity.  As always, we will intentionally process our new learning through a commitment to building belonging for each and every learner.

Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners will become a well-worn resource that you will want to keep on your top shelf.  An insightful book for school leaders, principals, teachers, educational services professionals, school counselors, and support staff, the ever-relevant contents will be especially enlightening as we continue to navigate expert teaching and learning throughout this season of Covid-19.  

Some of the issues and concepts addressed in this book study include:

  • The most effective types of assessment and how each can motivate students to higher levels of achievement
  • How to introduce students to the tools they will use to support their own learning, along with the know-how they need to choose the right tool for any learning challenge
  • How to create a classroom culture where errors are viewed as opportunities to learn
  • The learning strategies, including cognitive, metacognitive, and motivational strategies, that fuel student progress, and how to give students opportunities to use them
  • Real-world examples of the strategies and tools at work, through classroom scenarios contained in the book and online videos (videos will be posted as optional resources for participants)


May we together prioritize learning, empower learners, and build our toolkits of mind-frames and strategies that further ensure our teaching – and therefore students’ learning – is even more focused and fruitful!

Course Dates:  September 14, 2020 – December 11, 2020

Registration is currently open! To register, use the “sign up” tab above. If you have any questions about the course/book study, please email facilitator Megan Cooke at

Required Material (participants are responsible for purchasing):

Frey, N., Hattie, J., Fisher, D. (2018). Developing Assessment-Capable Visible Learners, Grades K-12: Maximizing Skill, Will, and Thrill. United States: SAGE Publications.

ISBN: 978-1506390611

Registration and Credit Options (paid directly to All Belong):

  • All Belong registration: $190
  • All Belong registration + 25 State of MI SCECHs: $230
  • All Belong registration + 1 Calvin University Grad Credit*: $340

Meet Your Instructor:

Image of Megan Cooke








Megan Cooke
Teacher Consultant, All Belong

  • B.A. Calvin College, 2003: Education, Cognitive Impairment
  • M.A. Calvin College, 2010: Learning Disabilities

*This option is still pending approval from Calvin University. We anticipate this will receive approval, but if you choose this option and approval is not granted, we will work with you change your order. 

We’re glad you’re interested in our online book study!

Use the form below to sign up. After registration and prior to the start of the course, we will reach out with information on the book study.

  • Please use use the address associated with your credit card.
  • Please indicate your enrollment preference and the type of credit you would like to receive.
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