In general, you should feel empowered to use this course to meet your learning needs. Use the resources, materials, and strategies in a way that support your own learning goals. Remember that this OPL is self-directed. You do not have to go through the course in order or follow along at a particular place. Once open, each unit will remain open for you for the duration of the course. Throughout the OPL you will have opportunities to engage in discussions with your colleagues from around the globe. The discussion forums and other unit activities can be accessed by using the left navigation bar when you're on a course unit page or by clicking the links under each unit heading on the main course page.
In most units, we will begin with an introductory video, followed by an activity or a core set of digital resources. These activities and core resources were purposefully selected to provide some common background, frameworks and language to inform our discussions and peer feedback. You can self-select to review the recommended additional resources and learning pathways based on your personal learning needs and interests. In each unit's discussion forum, you are invited to share your thoughts, reactions and new learning from the core resources and other activities you have selected to engage in.
There is no cost for participating in OPLs.
The OPL is a self-directed learning experience. Therefore, the amount of benefit will reflect the amount of time and effort you spend on the course. On average, past participants found that they benefited from spending 3 to 4 hours per unit on the course, but some spent less and some more.
Throughout this OPL, we invite you to contribute to discussion forums by adding comments to existing discussions or starting new discussion topics. Simply click "Add a new discussion topic" or "Reply" to get started! For additional help on how to use the discussion forums, watch the video tutorial.
an OPL builds on models of effective professional development, professional learning communities, and online communities of practice. It focuses on professional practices, collaboration and peer-supported learning, and does not include things like tests and grades that are needed in other types of courses.
You can access the course via a computer, tablet or smartphone that has any up-to-date browser and an Internet connection.
Participation is open to all interested educators and other community members. We recommend, when possible, participation with local colleagues, but if that is not feasible, individuals are welcome to participate on their own.
If we are participating in the course as a school team, does everyone on the team need to register for the course or can we just use one account?
We suggest that each person in your team registers, so that the members of your team will be able to participate in different activities and discussions, and then synthesize the information when you meet together. It is also important to register if you plan to request a certificate of completion.
Yes, interested educators from any type of school, college, or university are welcome.
Yes! We invite participation by educators worldwide.
I am not employed by a school but work with schools (as a consultant, university faculty, museum staff, or other ways). Can I take an OPL course?
Definitely. It is open to anyone who is involved in K-12 education in any way.
You don't need to do anything unless you'd like to be removed from the course. You're more than welcome to stay in a course to explore, even if you can't participate (it does not affect your ability to re-enroll in a future run). If you'd like to be removed, all you need to do is submit your withdrawal request via the Support Request form. Be sure to include your name, as it appears on your user account, and the name of the course.