SRSD Online Course K-5


Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) is an effective, extensively researched evidence-based model to teach struggling writers, developed by Dr. Karen R. Harris. It empowers students to own their writing through a set of tools and gradual release methods.


This online course overviews the evidence-based writing model: Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) developed by Dr. Karen R. Harris at Arizona State University. Learn to use methods that have been extensively validated as effective in teaching struggling writers, such as formative assessment, rubrics, modeling, goal setting and graphic organizers. You will also learn to cultivate the necessary self-regulation in students that expert writers possess, and gradual release methods to empower students to own their writing. The methods learned in this course will strengthen your existing writing instruction.

What is SRSD?

SRSD is a research-validated program for writing (including sentence construction, planning and revising, and genre element knowledge) and self-regulation strategies for writing (including goal setting, self-instructions, self-assessment and self-monitoring, and self-reinforcement). Developed by Dr. Karen R. Harris and designated by What Works Clearing House at the Institute of Education Sciences as a highly successful research and evidence-based strategy. It is appropriate for use in kindergarten through high school, and designed for students in both general education, and special education.

Course Details

This course is aligned with evidence-based professional development to teach you how to use SRSD strategies with your students. Course designers have merged strategies and tools developed by Dr. Karen R. Harris, her colleagues and others into an explicitly delivered systematic sequence of instruction. We have included only the most salient information, videos, and activities so you can obtain the information you need as efficiently as possible. Information is delivered through narrative text, interviews with SRSD experts, and through videotaped presentations presented by course instructors. Materials needed for classroom instruction are organized by student ability and downloadable so they can be used immediately. Once downloaded, you can also adapt materials to fit the needs of your own unique students.

The ultimate goal of SRSD is to produce competent writers who can self-regulate the complex cognitive processes involved in writing. The modules in this course are designed to lead you through the steps necessary to help students accomplish that goal. We encourage you to engage in the activities and to practice modeling delivery of instruction using the scripts provided so you can get the maximum benefits from the instructional information provided.

Importantly, the SRSD Course Modules include strategies, materials, and methodology for students at various levels of proficiency and age. In the course sequence, we typically begin with elementary and then move to middle and high school level materials in each of the modules and tasks. If you are interested in one level over another, you can engage in the activities and download materials just for the level that interests you or for several levels if you have a diverse population of students.

When you have completed the course, our expectation is that you will be ready to begin teaching a writing genre in your classroom using SRSD. At the end of each stage, we have designed unit plans for that stage and for different skill levels. We recommend that you review and adapt these unit plans and develop the additional lesson plans needed to actually teach the strategies.

The sample unit plan identifies the tasks and materials that you will use with your class. At the end of the course, you will have a full unit plan that will take you through the six SRSD stages for a particular genre that you can implement immediately. You will notice in the column on the right side of the unit plan, the approximate number of lessons it might take to accomplish the tasks of the stage. You will need to formulate lesson plans for the actual teaching of SRSD. If you wish to begin with a genre other than opinion or argument, you will need to adapt the unit plan to fit either informative or narrative genres and develop lesson plans for these genres.

Additional information

Grade Level



Dr. Sandra Jones, Julie Rigo

Time Requirements

This course was originally a 2-Day, 14 hour, in-person course. Expect to spend 8-12 hours completing this online course, and a few hours preparing lesson plans. The course can be taken in small steps, one module or example at a time. Expect to spend approximately 15 lessons to help them master these strategies.