A Field Guide to Learning at u.school

Mini Lessons

The following mini lessons will introduce you to a new way to think about learning and "doing school."  Each lesson should take less than 30 minutes. 

0. Introduction

A quick overview of what we are trying to accomplish with our mini lessons.

1. A New Way to Think About Learning

Let's toss out everything you know about school and start over again. This lesson will introduce some new language and a new approach to planning as you start your Learning Journey. 

2. What is a Self-Directed Learner?

Our mission at u.school is to Grow Self-Directed Learners. This lesson will explain what we mean by Self-Directed and explore ways that you can approach your Learning Journey to become a more Self-Directed Learner.

3. What is a Learning Opportunity?

We use the term Learning Opportunity to describe any situation where you intentionally put yourself in a position to learn something. In this lesson we explore how that simple change of language can open up a giant world of ways to learn.

4. Planning a Learning Journey

The term Learning Journey is meant to capture a wider, more adventurous, and inclusive approach to learning. In this lesson we explore ways to think about putting together and implementing a plan for your Learning Journey.

5. Capturing and Recording Evidence of Learning

How do you demonstrate to yourself and others all that you have accomplished on your Learning Journey? This lesson will explore a method that goes way beyond traditional credits and grades. 

6. Reflecting

The ability to self-reflect on your Learning Opportunities and your Learning Journey is a great way to make your learning meaningful and long lasting. We will explore the How and Why of self-reflection in this lesson.

7. Telling Your Story

At some point you will need to share your Learning Journey with the world. How do you pull such a wide-range of Learning Opportunities into a coherent Story? This lesson will explore what we mean by Telling Your Story.

8. Finding a Learning Opportunity

There are hundreds of Learning Opportunities out there just waiting for you. We will explore classes, workshops, field trips, travel, internships, projects, and more.

9. Creating a Unique Learning Opportunity

Maybe the Learning Opportunity you want to do doesn't exist out there, yet. Learn how to brainstorm and create new Learning Opportunities that are just right for you. 

10. Authentic Learning Opportunities

Sometimes the best learning happens in the "real world". We will explore different ways to learn where there are real audiences or real outcomes to your work. 


Record and Reflect

Use these tools to capture your Learning Opportunity including Evidence of Learning and Self-Reflections. This goes along with Mini Lessons 5 and 6.

u.school Classes

Here is a list of current u.school classes. This goes along with Mini Lesson 8.


Find a Learning Opportunity

We are keeping a running list of places to find a Learning Opportunity. This goes along with Mini Lesson 8 and 10.


Design Your Own Learning Opportunity

We have built a simple tool to help you brainstorm a unique Learning Opportunity. This goes along with Mini Lesson 9.




Look at some example Learning Opportunity Records that were submitted using the Record Tool.



Look at some example Reflections that were submitted using the Reflection Tool.


Evidence of Learning

Look at different types of Evidence of Learning and see how they are connected to a variety of Learning Opportunties.


Learning Journey Plans

See some sample Learning  Journey Plans that were created by Learners to match their personal goals.


Self-Designed Learning Opportunities

See some sample Learning Opportunities that were created by Learners to fit into their Learning Journey Plan.


Transcripts (telling Your Story)

Look at some sample Final Transcripts that tell a Learner's Story and are sent as part of the college admissions process.