About this Course
14,996 recent views

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 4-5 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks of study, 4-5 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
4 hours to complete

Introduction to Dynamics of Youth

After a general introduction to this MOOC, this week focuses on the developmental systems approach to understand development. We will illustrate how such an approach can be facilitated by introducing you to Dynamics of Youth, a strategic research theme of Utrecht University set up to foster interdisciplinary research on child and adolescent development.

...
3 videos (Total 23 min), 6 readings, 5 quizzes
3 videos
What it takes to study development from a developmental systems approach7m
Introduction to Dynamics of Youth and the cohort studies3m
6 readings
General introduction10m
Introduction10m
Applying the developmental systems approach to well-being1h
Optional readings on the developmental systems approach1h
Introduction10m
The YOUth cohort studies15m
4 practice exercises
What do you know already?4m
Test your knowledge on the developmental systems approach8m
How can you make it happen?2m
What do you think of Dynamics of Youth and the cohort studies?4m
Week
2
5 hours to complete

Brain and motor development

In the first week of this course, we explained the developmental systems approach and introduced you to Dynamics of Youth as an example of how this approach can be adopted in practice. Now it is time to dive into child development itself. This week, we will be focusing on two domains of development: the brain and motor control.

...
5 videos (Total 35 min), 6 readings, 3 quizzes
5 videos
Growing synapses - Interview with a brain researcher3m
Developing motor skills9m
Interview with a human movement scientist5m
WEIRD science6m
6 readings
Introduction10m
Brain plasticity and behaviour1h 30m
Optional reading on the developing brain1h 30m
Optional reading on brain plasticity15m
Introduction3m
The development of motor behavior1h
3 practice exercises
Test your knowledge on brain development10m
Test your knowledge on motor development8m
What did you learn about brain and motor development?2m
Week
3
4 hours to complete

Cognitive development

This week we will focus on cognitive development and how this affects how children think and act. You will see that information from the previous week, in which we discussed the development of the brain and motor skills, can be used to understand cognitive development.

...
6 videos (Total 35 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
6 videos
Playing (with) rats - Interview with a neurobiologist3m
Rats and synapses - Interview about interdisciplinary collaboration5m
Experimenting teenagers - Interview with a psychologist3m
Applied geography - Interview with a social geographer3m
Embodied cognition, culture and geography7m
2 readings
Introduction10m
More on cognitive development1h 30m
2 practice exercises
Test your knowledge on cognitive development10m
What did you learn about cognitive development?30m
Week
4
3 hours to complete

Communication

This week’s focus is on communication. As you will see, language development is tightly interwoven with cognitive development and as such is also closely related to brain and motor development.

...
5 videos (Total 27 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
5 videos
'Talking' Zebrafinches - Interview with a biologist3m
Talking to babies - Interview with a linguist3m
Language and machine learning - Interview with a brain imaging expert3m
Language, (embodied) cognition and culture6m
3 readings
Introduction10m
Cracking the code of language1h
Media literacy1h
3 practice exercises
What do you know already about language development?8m
Test your knowledge on speech and language development10m
What did you learn about speech and language development?30m
Week
5
4 hours to complete

Social-emotional development

In this fifth week of the course, we will pay attention to social-emotional development.

...
5 videos (Total 40 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Language and behavior problems - Interview with a linguist3m
Social-emotional problems - Interview with a developmental psychologist4m
Ethnic and socio-economical influences - Interview with an interdisciplinary social scientist5m
Integration11m
3 readings
Introduction10m
Culture and the development of emotions1h
More on social-emotional development1h 30m
2 practice exercises
Test your knowledge on social-emotional development10m
What did you learn about social-emotional development?2m
Week
6
3 hours to complete

The big picture

In this final week of this course, you will be challenged to fit it all together and see the big picture.

...
2 videos (Total 11 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
4 readings
Introduction10m
Final survey10m
Acknowledgements3m
There's more where that came from!10m
4.6
14 ReviewsChevron Right

33%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top reviews from Understanding child development: from synapse to society

By RMOct 14th 2018

I have absolutely loved this course. Challenging but accessible. Every week has been engaging. I enjoyed the variety of research papers, video lectures and interviews.

By NPMar 20th 2019

Amazing course, I learn a lot about child development in the past 6 weeks!

Instructor

Avatar

dr. Jorg Huijding

Associate Professor Clinical Child and Family Studies
Education and Pedagogy

About Utrecht University

Utrecht University is a research university comprising seven faculties which collectively span the entire academic spectrum in teaching and research. Founded in 1636, the University is now a modern, leading institute enjoying a growing international reputation. In the Shanghai Ranking, Utrecht University ranks 1st in the Netherlands, 17th in Europe and 56th worldwide. The research focuses on four main strategic themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Our motto is: Bright minds, better future....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.