Educational Myths Debunked 101 (EMD101)
Self-learning course

Identifying, understanding and challenging questionable beliefs about teaching and learning


Language Date/ Time Format Subject area
English Available all year round Online self-learning course Design Evidence-based Teaching & Learning Processes

Course Description

You’re a visual learner. We only use 10% of our brains. Best teaching is value neutral. There are multiple intelligences. Educational myths often appear in the form of phrases and platitudes. Although many of these questionable beliefs about educational phenomena lack empirical evidence, they are sometimes widespread, persist, and have somehow managed to become everyday knowledge (De Bruyckere et al., 2020; Sinatra & Jacobson, 2019). Although these myths sometimes blossom from a seed of a fact, they can be problematic, especially when policymakers, educators, or researchers unconsciously act on them, or even spread them.

Accordingly, in this course we focus on identifying, understanding and challenging prevailing myths in higher education to foster our individual professionalization and to become a critically reflective teacher / reflective practitioner. As Pennycoock et al. 2015 would say: “One benefit of gaining a better understanding of how we reject other’s bullshit is that it may teach us to be more cognizant of our own bullshit” (Pennycook et al., 2015, p. 26).

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Learning Objectives

The participants...

  • reflect their own experiences with educational myths
  • understand why these questionable beliefs can be problematic for various stakeholders including themselves
  • know about prevailing educational myths in teaching and learning and can use a heuristic to identify and analyze questionable beliefs
  • learn about and develop strategies to deal with these seemingly never dying zombie concepts in a professional and evidence-based manner

Course Content

  • Overview of prevailing myths in higher education
  • Empirical evidence about the prevalence of these myths, their causes, their consequences and possibilities of prevention
  • How to recognize educational myths: Heuristics for identifying and understanding questionable beliefs about teaching and learning in higher education
  • Dealing with persisting myths in education


Additional Information

Flexible Learning:

  • Learn Anywhere
  • Start Anytime (To receive the password for the course, register here)
  • 8 Hours Total, Self-Paced
  • Customizable Learning Path

This self-paced multimedia web-based training offers you two modules:

  • Module 1 covers the theoretical basics of educational myths (i.e., their characteristics, causes, consequences and effective ways to deal with them.
  • Module 2 offers you a hands-on debunking challenge. In this module you jump right into action and debunk a chosen myth using a newly developed educational myth debunking tool.

How can I get a Certificate of Attendance?
Of course, you can simply just audit the course and have access to all course materials, but you will not receive any certificate of completion. If you want a verified certificate of achievement that shows that you have successfully completed EMD101, you have to send your materials (see below) in one email to:

After completing the online course, you have to…

  1. submit a PDF or screenshot of their final quiz result of module 1 (min. 16/20 questions answered correctly)
  2. hand in your completed educational design canvas
  3. write and submit a short reflection paper (approx. 1-2 pages) on the course (see guiding questions) and the next steps regarding the implementation of your developed course design, on which you will receive feedback from the CEDAR Team members and
  4. take part in the evaluation of EMD101 (section 5).

For the certified track, the University of St.Gallen covers the course fee for its employees. External participants will be charged CHF 300.

Remark: For participants in the CAS Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at the University of St.Gallen, this course corresponds to a compulsory elective course from the further education program (if a certificate is available). Crediting only in the advanced level and not in the basic level in CAS 2024.

Target Groups

This course was specifically designed for university instructors from various disciplines actively teaching in higher education, however it also benefits for instance administrators in charge of courses or programs or PhD students.

For employees of the University of St.Gallen, the course fee is covered by the University. External participants will be charged CHF 300.- for a full-day (8 hours) course.

This particular online course takes place individually.

If you have any questions, please contact the Centre of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (HDZ-HSG) at Dufourstrasse 40a, 9000 St.Gallen via or call +41 71 224 2630.

Further Links