Frequently Asked Questions
When does the course begin and end?
The course will begin on October 1, 2014 and end on November 24, 2014.
How much does the course cost?
The course is offered free of charge.
When does registration begin?
Registration opened on August 29, 2014. You may register until October 1, 2014.
Are any materials or textbooks needed for this course?
You will be asked to complete readings as part of the course, but all required readings will be available for free via the course website. Several of the optional readings will also be free to participants and available online. To access additional optional readings online, participants may need to pay a small fee for copyright royalties to authors and publishers. Details about how to access these optional readings will be available via the course website.
How do I show my school that I completed this course?
Every participant who completes the course requirements will receive a free statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors. As to whether this free statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development units in your specific context, you would need to check with your employer. For teachers in Oregon, the statement of accomplishment can be redeemed for 30 PDU credits by providing a PDF copy to the Education Equity Unit at the Oregon Department of Education. Specific requirements for receiving a statement of accomplishment will be available on the course website.
Do I have to be a teacher to take this course? Who else might be participating in this course?
You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to ELL coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. In order to fully participate in the course, however, you do need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons). This is because several of the course assignments require submitting language samples - either samples of student writing or brief transcriptions of students’ oral language - and reflecting on lessons.
Are there any tests or assignments?
The course will be organized into four sessions. Within each session, you will have one assignment to complete. In general, the course follows a cycle of inquiry approach in which you gather data about student language (specifically, samples of language students used when constructing a claim supported by evidence) implement a lesson based on your insights about student language, reflect on that lesson, and repeat the cycle again. In addition, you will provide feedback to your peers about their work. The final assignment will be to collaborate with your team to create a lesson plan inspired by the insights you have gained about supporting students in constructing evidence-based claims. There are no tests in this course.
If I complete all eight weeks of the course, how long should I plan on spending in the course and on course work each week?
We anticipate that the course will take approximately 30 hours of time to complete. The course will be organized into four sessions, each spanning approximately two weeks. We anticipate that each session will take approximately 7-8 hours to complete, spread out over the approximately two week time span.
It sounds like the course has teams participating. How are teams set up?
You choose which team you would like to join. The course platform makes establishing and joining teams simple. You can set up a team with colleagues you already know. You can browse teams that others have set up, based on grade level, geographic area, and other features, and join a team that you find. Finally, you can establish a new team and make that team open for others, including people you don’t know, to join. Full details about the process of establishing teams will be available on the course website.
Is the course self-paced? Can I work ahead?
Some aspects of the course, such as readings, you can complete at your own pace. Within each of the four course sessions you can largely work at your own pace, but you cannot work ahead on future sessions. Because several assignments center around providing feedback to peers and collaboratively creating a lesson plan with your team, you will need to coordinate some aspects of your work with your teammates.