About This Course

This program equips teachers to create robust talk environments where students talk more than teachers and at a high level of thinking. When skillfully applied, these skills build students’ social skills, classroom climate, and high levels of engagement in meaningful ways across grade levels and content areas.

In this self-paced online course participants learn skills used to Make Students' Thinking Visible (MSTV). Participants hear from Jon Saphier, Founder and CEO of Research for Better Teaching, Inc, and Lucy West, Founder of Metamorphosis TLC about the concepts, embedded values, and operating principles of MSTV. The units will explore in depth these principles and invite participants to practice building a robust talk environment that builds student confidence and extends their capacity to manage discussions - shifting the majority of classroom discussion from teacher to student. Along the way participants learn about the teaching habits that have to change and about the preparation and planning needed to fully integrate MSTV into the classroom.


The purpose of the course is to enable classroom teachers to create a classroom environment where all students are challenged and enabled to think deeply, critically, and frequently and interact out loud with each other when doing so.

The course covers the following five major themes:

  • A constellation of teaching skills
  • Student effects
  • Embedded values
  • Key Concepts
  • Connections

Outcomes include:

  • Mastery of the MSTV skills
  • Deeper student understanding
  • Higher student participation
  • Creation of a safe classroom climate
  • More student learning more content more of the time

I truly felt that this was one of the best online classes I have taken. I could take what I learned in this course and apply it directly to my teaching. This was true from the very first session of the course to the last session.

MSTV Participant

Course Format

This is a self-paced online course comprised of 8 units which include video examples, readings, reflections, and checks for understanding.

There are two options for taking the course: With Coaching and Without Coaching.

  • The version With Coaching is 45 hours and is eligible for 3 graduate credits, includes a mid-course and end of course project. Participants receive feedback on assignments from our MSTV coach, RBT Consultant Renee DeWald.
  • The version Without Coaching is 20 hours and is eligible for continuing education units (CEUs) or 20 Professional Development Points (PDPs) (in MA only). 


Introduction to the online MSTV course


The reception from my students was amazing! I could really see in their interactions that they were finally going deep into critical thinking and not just accepting the answers that I or a few students in the class were giving them.

MSTV Participant