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NLI Online Short Courses

1. Which course should I take?
Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS) was designed to provide direction to teachers and administrators who want to offer high-quality outdoor programs and provide hands-on opportunities for children in preschool outdoor learning environments. The scale is intended to guide quality improvements of outdoor children’s environments and promote child development and learning. By using the instrument as a self-study, the items can serve as a menu of strategies to work toward higher-quality outdoor activities. The goal is to encourage childcare centers not only to measure up to an average level of outdoor quality, but to also discover how to excel.

Childcare Outdoor Learning Environments Quality Tool (COLEQT) is a portable tool aimed at assessing outdoor learning environments (OLE) quality across four levels of 13 built environment activity settings considered to be strongly supportive of healthy child development. This training is an introduction to the Childcare Outdoor Learning Environments Quality Tool (COLEQT). The objective of the instrument is to provide a valid, reliable tool for assessing the quality of outdoor environments and their use and at the same time provide guidance to childcare professionals and site administrators to assist them in making improvements.

2. What can I expect to get from the program?
Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS): After completing the Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS) training, participants will be able to:

  • Understand what makes higher quality environments for children’s outdoor play and learning.
  • Describe the settings and components found in a high quality outdoor learning environment using the proper terminology.
  • Demonstrate ability to assess outdoor learning environments using POEMS as a research instrument to study the implications of outdoor environmental quality on children’s development and learning.
  • Demonstrate ability to use POEMS as an improvement tool by interpreting results and creating action plans for enhancement.
  • Apply methods for creating and managing high quality environments to support outdoor experiential learning over time.
  • Earn 0.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from North Carolina State University.

 

Childcare Outdoor Learning Environments Quality Tool (COLEQT): After completing the Childcare Outdoor Learning Environments Quality Tool (COLEQT) training, participants will be able to:

  • Learn how to identify high quality settings and components for children’s outdoor play and learning.
  • Describe activity settings and components using an environment-behavior approach.
  • Assess outdoor learning environments using COLEQT’s four level rating system.
  • Use COLEQT as a tool to increase outdoor quality for children’s healthy development.
  • Discover how to use the rating items to guide improvement plans.
  • Earn 0.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from North Carolina State University.
3. Will I receive credit hours I can use toward a university degree program?
No, you will not receive credit hours you can use toward a degree program for completing either course. The courses are continuing education courses offered to professionals.
4. What software or equipment is required to take the courses?
Online access: An internet connection is needed to access course materials, take quizzes, submit assignments, and participate in forums and discussions for both courses.
5. What are the requirements for completing the courses?
Participation in Modules: Both courses are broken into modules. These modules include required lectures, videos, and readings. Students must engage with all required materials to complete the course. Instructors are able to review whether students engage with materials.

Exercises: Each of the first modules in each course have a short exercise that must be completed to pass the course. Students must earn at least 80% on each of these exercises by the end date of the course (announced the beginning of the course on the course website) to earn the certificate. Students are allowed to retake quizzes twice and only the highest grade on each quiz will count.

Final Knowledge Assessment: To pass the course, participants must earn at least an 80% on a final knowledge assessment by the end date of the course to earn the certificate. Students are allowed to retake the assessment twice and only the highest grade will count

 

6. What is the timeframe for completion of the course?
Students are expected to put in approximately 2 hours of effort over the course. The class is self-paced. Students have to complete all course requirements before the course end date.
7. What is the cost for participation?
Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS): The registration cost for the training course is $50.
Childcare Outdoor Learning Environments Quality Tool (COLEQT): The registration cost for the training course is $50.
8. How do I register for the course?
Go to the links to the right for more information on each course and the instructions to register. Links to register will be added when the next section of the course opens.
9. Will I be able to access the course website after the course end date?
Unfortunately, participants do not have access to the course website after the course end date.
10. Can course participants download handouts/videos/lectures from the course website?
You are welcome to download the course reading materials and handouts for your own future use.

The Program materials and contents are owned by NC State University and subject to the university’s copyright. They cannot be used or reproduced without NC State’s permission. At this time, NC State is not looking to license these materials or allow others to use them for training purposes. The university would prefer that interested individuals and organizations take the course to learn how to promote and engage in such efforts related to the Program.

You won’t be able to download videos/lectures from the course website. A small number of the videos are publicly available on YouTube, and can be shared as desired.

11. Is it possible to withdraw from the course after registering?
To drop the course and receive a refund, send a notification by email to both Laura Lloyd (ljlloyd@ncsu.edu) and Bria Sledge (bssledge@ncsu.edu) no later than 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) 10 business days prior to the start of the course. A $25.00 fee will be charged for cancellations less than 10 business days prior to the start of the course. No reimbursement will be made after the start of the course, but you may designate a substitute at any time to attend in your place.
12. If I am unable to complete the course, am I eligible to take the course in a later session/semester?
Participants who are unable to complete all requirements by the course end date and wish to receive a certificate must reach out to the Natural Learning Initiative at least 3 business days before the course end date by sending a message with a transfer request to Bria Sledge (bssledge@ncsu.edu) and Laura Lloyd (ljlloyd@ncsu.edu).

If a transfer is requested within the first 5 days of the course, participants can be transferred once to an upcoming section at no additional cost. If requested after the first 5 days of the course and at least 3 business days before the course end date, participants can be transferred once to an upcoming section for a transfer fee of $25.

Registration in the next upcoming section with a waived registration fee is for one time only. Subsequent registrations must be paid at the advertised rate.

Participants cannot be transferred to the upcoming section if a transfer is requested 2 business days or less before or after the course end date. Participants will be required to register again and pay the advertised registration rate.

If transferred to an upcoming section, participants will be required to meet all of the requirements in the new section to receive the course completion certificate and 0.2 CEUs.

13. Whom should I contact if I still have questions?
Please contact Laura Lloyd (ljlloyd@ncsu.edu) via email if you still have questions.
Select a Course

POEMS: Oct 17 – 26​, 2022

COLEQT: Oct 24 – Nov 2, 2022