School & Professional Programs

Crafting Online Learning Experiences

Enrollment is now open for our next cohort. This five-session professional development course meets on Tuesdays from 7–9 PM starting November 10 and ending December 15 (there is no class on the week of Thanksgiving).


Cultivating a virtual community is challenging work. Whether you’re a teacher, facilitator, administrator, or executive, Hale can help you develop the skills and strategies necessary to select activities, engage participants, debrief experiences, and make the most of your team’s time together.

Crafting Online Learning Experiences will teach you to digitally:

  • apply experiential learning models
  • facilitate using culturally competent techniques
  • empower people to share their identities and perspectives
  • promote social-emotional learning
  • establish positive classroom and workplace norms

Don’t navigate this new virtual world on your own when you can expand your network, collaborate with other professionals, and be inspired to use tools and platforms in ways you never thought possible.

To learn more, request a syllabus.


  • Participants who complete this course earn a Certificate of Completion they may feature on their resumés, LinkedIn profiles, and personal websites.
  • This course is offered in collaboration with the Center for Artistry and Scholarship’s Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership, an approved professional development provider of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Teachers who complete it will receive a certificate for 15 Professional Developments Points (PDPs).
  • Successful completion of this course is one of several requirements to become a Hale Certified Facilitator™ of Virtual Programs (HCF-V).


Nov. 10—Building Community through Experiential Learning

Instructors will provide an overview of the course and facilitate the establishment of norms and community agreements. We’ll get to know one another as we explore, engage with, and reflect upon Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model, which is central to experiential education.

Nov. 17—Using Tools and Technology to Engage Participants

We often hear facilitators refer to their “toolbags” or “bags of tricks,” which is shorthand for props, activities, and approaches. But what do those look like in a digital environment? We’ll learn about Zoom’s breakout rooms, polls, chat features, and more. We’ll also explore Google’s Jamboard, Padlet, and other platforms.

Dec. 1—Facilitating Culturally Competent Experiences

The right facilitation techniques spark discussion, inspire reflection, and ultimately build communication, empathy, trust, and perseverance—all of which are required for social-emotional learning. We’ll cover those. We’ll also explore how personal identities influence facilitation goals and techniques, and learn to identify and manage biases.

Dec. 8—Make a Plan, Take the Lead

During this session the experiential learning cycle will come sharply into focus: You’ll select and sequence activities, facilitate them, receive feedback on your facilitation, and apply that feedback as you refine your approach. After class, you’ll externally design and deliver a 60–90-minute program with participants who might be students or coworkers.

Dec. 15—Real World Round Table

During our final session together, we’ll debrief the external programs we facilitated as we exchange ideas and troubleshoot challenges. We’ll also help each other brainstorm how we can apply course concepts to our professional lives.


Sue Crumbaker is the Program Design Coordinator of Hale’s School & Professional Programs. Lovingly known as “Super Sue” to tens of thousands of participants, she is a master facilitator with 25 years of experience in challenge course design, operations, and administration. A former teacher, she specializes in behavior modification and teambuilding and is certified by Project Adventure and High 5 Adventure Learning Center. Sue earned her bachelor’s degree in Geology with a minor in Psychology from Acadia University.

Dylan Gschwind is the Director of Intrepid Academy at Hale. During the academic year he collaborates with Boston Public Schools to help teachers reimagine learning beyond the walls of traditional classrooms. During the summer he leads a team that delivers Hale Day Camp’s backpacking and mountain biking programs. A public school alumnus, Dylan discovered his passion for outdoor education after earning his B.A. in Mathematics from Pomona College. He is also a fellow at the Perrone-Sizer Institute.

About Our Co-Developer

The Center for Artistry and Scholarship’s Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership builds the skills, capacity, and confidence required to lead innovative, equitable, anti-racist, democratic schools and organizations that prioritize student agency and community partnership.


Who should take this course?

This course is for leaders who seek to cultivate a sense of community and trust through virtual platforms. This may include teachers, student affairs administrators, business team leaders, and nonprofit managers, among others.

What technology is required to participate?

A computer, webcam, microphone, and internet access are required. Registrants will receive information regarding any accounts they may need to set up before the course begins.

Why do virtual programs require different facilitation techniques?

While much of the philosophy of facilitation remains the same, traditional activities don’t always align with online platforms and technology. Trust falls? Not happening! But as facilitators, we still need to establish trust…and this course explores new ways to do that.

What if I can’t afford the program tuition?

If tuition presents a significant barrier please email Sydney Howland to discuss your circumstances.

Will completing this course lead to employment with Hale?

A talented pool of experienced contract facilitators deliver many of Hale’s traditional and online programs, and this course is an excellent way to prepare for that work—but it is by no means a direct route to employment with Hale. However, it is the first step toward becoming a Hale Certified Facilitator™ of Virtual Programs (HCF-V), and we do take credentials such as that into account when hiring staff members.

I’m a teacher. How do I earn Professional Development Points?

Simply complete the course! Afterward, you will automatically receive a certificate for 15 PDPs issued by the Center for Artistry and Scholarship, an approved professional development provider of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Why is an application required for this program? Can't I just sign up?

We’re actually waiving the application requirement for our first cohort! Future cohorts may be required to apply, though—as interest increases, we are committed to maintaining high quality via low participant-to-facilitator ratios.