Flex Courses

What is a flex course?

To redefine the limits of online and blended learning, GOA is creating a series of “flex courses” that teachers can embed in their curricula, bringing to schools the globally networked learning that is our hallmark. These courses will focus on timely and important topics that lay outside the frameworks of traditional disciplines. Previous flex courses include “U.S. Elections in the World” and “The Truth about Fake News.”


Do monuments matter- (2)


Statues and memorials and buildings and flags have become flashpoints for confrontations about race, politics, and constitutional rights, especially recently in the United States. But, why do monuments and other memorial sites spark such emotional reactions in us? What are the beliefs and values that underlie these symbols (and people’s desire to preserve or remove them)? Why do we memorialize certain people, places, and events and not others? How do we make these decisions? This two-week course will ask students to investigate monuments in their own communities as a way to understand some of the history, politics, processes, and emotions that fuel debates about monuments. Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours a week engaging with playlists of resources, discussing their work with students and educators from many different schools, and exploring their local communities as a way to analyze the important, and often invisible or forgotten, contexts in which monuments are created. With its focus on student-driven inquiry, this course hopes to gather broad and diverse information, images, and insights about the ways we do and do not record our culture and history.

Registration closes October 16, 2017!

Flex courses are free for GOA member school students and educators.

Non-members are welcome to join (25.00USD/participant).

I am an educator interested in enrolling a group of students.

I am a student interested in registering on my own.

Lead Facilitators

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Dion Crushshon has been a member of the faculty and administration at The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, for the past twenty years. For fourteen years he has served as a Grade Dean, Social Studies teacher, as the Director of Global Programs. Dion has taught, Logic, Social Psychology, Gender Studies, Economics, and a student-centered course he created focusing on current events and global issues, entitled Global Theories, Local Realities. He also taught Introduction to Psychology for GOA.




William Tolley teaches IB & MYP History and Social Studies at the International School of Estonia with a focus on project-based learning, blended learning, and social justice education. Formerly at the International School of Beijing, Bill also taught Gender Studies for GOA.

Guest Speakers

A key element of a flex course is the opportunity for students to engage synchronously and asynchronously with experts deeply invested in course topics.

Feliks-Banel-125x1751Feliks Banel’s work in communications reflects his lifelong interest in the people, media, arts, history, culture, climate, and regional mythology of the Pacific Northwest, as well as a deep belief in the power of mass culture to create and strengthen communities, and to help forge local identity.

He’s an Emmy-nominated producer of features and programs for the Seattle Channel and KCTS 9, and host of the media history series “This NOT Just In” for KUOW. Feliks also works for KIRO Radio, where he produces and reports features, serves as a news analyst, hosts news programs and writes and directs live radio dramas. Feliks was deputy director of Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) from 1999 to 2006, and is project director of a MOHAI initiative to document the history of the cable TV industry in the Pacific Northwest. He’s also curator and creative director of The Northwest Hall of Radio History, a museum and archive being developed at The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.


jennifer wood

Jennifer Wood is a Germany-based educator who has been involved in remembrance culture, public history and compassionate action for over twenty years. She teaches 20th century European history through authentic historical sites, memorials, and museums. Eyewitness testimony and service are included wherever possible. Creative expression and mindfulness are also essential to her approach. Jennifer has 10+ years of classroom experience in Africa, Europe and the United States. She holds a M.Ed. in International Education.


Discussion Facilitators

GOA has brought together a group of experienced educators from its network to facilitate synchronous and asynchronous conversation on this important topic. These facilitators will be present in all interactive elements of the course, fielding questions, guiding conversation, and helping students acclimate to online conversation with peers from many different places. Learn more about our discussion facilitators. 

Key Details

  • This two-week online mini-course is designed for students in grades 9-12. Middle school students are welcome but should be led by an adult from their home school.
  • Students will spend about two hours per week exploring content, engaging in discussions with guest speakers and each other, and completing coursework.
  • Most of the work of the course is asynchronous, with weekly opportunities to join synchronous events with guest speakers and/or discussion facilitators. You can tour through our recent flex course “The Truth About Fake News” to learn more about the format of these courses.
  • Students will be from many different schools and locations, and will participate in mixed discussion groups.
  • Flex courses are ideally suited for groups of students led by a teacher who wants to embed the online class into on-campus coursework, though individual students are welcome to enroll.
  • Unlike semester and yearlong GOA courses, flex courses are not offered for credit. While facilitators will be active in discussions and responsive to questions, they do not grade work nor do they offer personalized feedback on student work.

Flex courses are free for GOA member school students and educators.

Non-members are welcome to join (25.00USD/participant).

I am an educator interested in enrolling a group of students.

I am a student interested in registering on my own.

COMING IN FEBRUARY: A Flex Course on Influence and Decision-making! Join our mailing list to stay updated!