General Information Enrollment/Payment Information Graduate Credit Information General Questions Why should I take a WITF PBS TeacherLine course? We realize how busy your schedule is and have designed these courses to fit into an educator's lifestyle. The classes have flexible hours and can be fit into your personal schedule. You can work on courses during your lunch break, in the evening or at 2 in the morning. The TeacherLine program helps you fulfill PA state’s mandate for professional development requirements. You also have the option of receiving graduate credit for the classes at an affordable price. "> General Information Enrollment/Payment Information Graduate Credit Information General Questions Why should I take a WITF PBS TeacherLine course? We realize how busy your schedule is and have designed these courses to fit into an educator's lifestyle. The classes have flexible hours and can be fit into your personal schedule. You can work on courses during your lunch break, in the evening or at 2 in the morning. The TeacherLine program helps you fulfill PA state’s mandate for professional development requirements. You also have the option of receiving graduate credit for the classes at an affordable price. "> General Information Enrollment/Payment Information Graduate Credit Information General Questions Why should I take a WITF PBS TeacherLine course? We realize how busy your schedule is and have designed these courses to fit into an educator's lifestyle. The classes have flexible hours and can be fit into your personal schedule. You can work on courses during your lunch break, in the evening or at 2 in the morning. The TeacherLine program helps you fulfill PA state’s mandate for professional development requirements. You also have the option of receiving graduate credit for the classes at an affordable price. "> TeacherLine: Frequently Asked Questions | Education | witf.org
Education

TeacherLine: Frequently Asked Questions

Written by Debbie Riek, Education Coordinator | Oct 6, 2009 6:02 PM

What is a WITF PBS TeacherLine course like? What will I have to do?
Most PBS TeacherLine courses run over a six-week period of time and take between 15-30 hours to complete. Some courses require 45 hours for completion. The courses take place online with a facilitator in charge of the material and discussions. The class consists of 10 to 25 fellow educators from around your area, the state or even the nation.

At the beginning of each week, the facilitator posts an announcement detailing the assignments for the next seven days. You are asked to visit the site at the beginning, middle and end of each week to participate in assignments and group discussions.

The assignments may include reading an article, working on a unit plan or project, implementing a lesson in class or reflecting on your teaching and students learning. Your course may also include a reflective journal or a final project that is e-mailed at the end of the course.

What courses will be offered and when?
Please visit the Course Catalog page to see the currently scheduled courses and links for a listing of the full courses offered.

When/how will I be able to access my course? Do I need to attend any meetings? Are there extra textbooks or articles that I will need to buy?
Courses are taught entirely online via the PBS TeacherLine Web site. There’s no need to buy any books or tapes or attend in-person meetings. You simply logon to the TeacherLine website to access your course and complete your coursework.

You will have access to your course two days before the official start date. This will give you time to log in, look around and introduce yourself in the discussions area. To enter your course, go to the PBS TeacherLine website and login with your Email and Password. The title of the course you enrolled in should then appear; click the link for it and it will take you to your course environment where you will do your coursework. If the course name doesn’t appear, select “My Courses” from the top menu bar and this will prompt the display of your course.

You may access the “Free Orientation Course” at any time to get familiar with the TeacherLine course environment; you do not need to be enrolled in an actual course to take the free orientation course, however you do need to 'join' PBS TeacherLine (joining is free - see below).

I read there are videos in my course. Does PBS send them through the mail?
No, the videos are accessed through your course; you will view them through your computer monitor.

How do I know if my computer will be compatible with the courses?
To check your computer to see if it has all the necessary software and settings for TeacherLine courses, go to the PBS TeacherLine "Help" area and click on the “Check Your Computer” link on the left side of the screen. This will check your computer for all the necessary components and give you a status report along with links for downloads of any needed applications.

TeacherLine supports many versions of both Windows and Macintosh operating systems and also a variety of browsers (programs that serve as your entry to the World Wide Web).

Can we print the readings or do we have to read everything “online”?
You will be able to print out any information within your course.

Is there a teacher or is this independent study?
A specially trained facilitator, with at least a Master’s degree in a relevant field of study, will lead you through the course, setting due dates for coursework and assisting you with course content and assignments.

How much work is involved in taking TeacherLine courses?
TeacherLine courses generally run six weeks and assignments are due weekly, but you can choose the times in which you go online to do them. You need to log into your course at least three (3) times a week to read assignments and read and respond to discussion boards. Again, YOU pick the time during each given week, but plan on 3-9 hours (depending on whether you take a 15hr, 30hr or 45hr course) a week online to complete all course work. Failure to complete assignments and/or participate in weekly discussion board topics will result in a failing grade.

Are my assignments graded?
Yes, your course facilitator will grade your assignments, give you constructive and timely feedback on them, and post your grades.

Generally course elements are weighted equally (discussion board participation, assignments, online journal, and final project). Please ask your facilitator for a specific breakdown for the grading in a course.

Note: Expectations for TeacherLine courses are high. Deadlines for weekly course material are real and assignments are graded according to rubrics with point scales. Points will be deducted for work that is not turned in on time according to the weekly schedule. Please inform your facilitator beforehand if you will be away from your computer and s/he will advise you if the work can be made up or completed beforehand as an exception.

I am/am not nervous about online learning. Should I take the orientation "course"?
We encourage anyone new to online learning or to TeacherLine courses to get their feet wet with our “Free Orientation Course” before their actual course begins. This "course" does not offer any credit and serves only as a way for learners to familiarize themselves with the TeacherLine course environment; as such, please do not invest more than two or three hours total on it. As stated above, you do not need to be enrolled in an actual course to take the free orientation course, however you do need to be a PBS TeacherLine member (membership is free).

How do I become a TeacherLine member?
Go to the PBS TeacherLine registration page and fill out the form. There is no cost for joining and this enables you to take the free orientation course.

I am not a “techie” and can barely send an email, can I still complete a TeacherLine course?
Of course! Our learners have a wide range of skills. If you need extra help, just let your facilitator know and he/she will be happy to give you extra assistance.

Can I take more than one course at a time?
You can sign up for as many courses as you would like, but we do not recommend taking more than 2 at a time if you have not previously taken a TeacherLine course.

Where can I go for help?
TeacherLine courses offer several sources for assistance:

Contact

For

How to Reach

Course Facilitator

Course content concerns, general TeacherLine questions, and limited technical help.

Through your course environment or through the contact information provided to you.

Course Peers

Course content concerns and often for technical help.

Through your course’s internal Discussion Board forum.

PBS TeacherLine Staff

Most kinds of assistance needed, especially technical help.

Through their toll-free number 1-866-864-0828 (M-F, 9-5:30pm EST) or by submitting an online 'help' ticket (click the “Create a Help Ticket” link on the PBS TeacherLine Support page).

Can I attend class in my pajamas?
Yes!

Enrollment/Payment/Refund Questions:

How much do the courses cost?
The courses vary in price. Most courses are 30-hour instruction courses and cost $199. You can find the price for each course by clicking on its course title on the Course Offerings page.

When and how do I pay for the courses?
Payment is made online at the PBS TeacherLine Web site via credit card at the time of enrollment. Enrollment and payment must be submitted at the same time. The cost of the course does not include the cost of graduate credit, if applicable. (Graduate credit registration is handled after the course begins and the fees are paid separately to the institution offering the credit.)

If applicable, we encourage you to talk with your school principal or district office to see if they will pay for your course(s); many schools/districts will pay for your professional development and you won't know until you ask.

Important Course Dates:


• Enrollment opens:

As soon a course is listed

• Course open for orientation/review:

Two days prior to course start date

• Last date to enroll:

Two days after the course start date

• Course drop date with 100% refund:

Before the course start date

• Course drop date with 80% refund:

Within 7 days of the course start date (counting the course start date as day 1)

• No refunds will be given on the 8th day after the course start (counting the course start date as day 1) or thereafter.

How do I enroll?
Go to the Course Offerings page, find the course you want to enroll in and click on the course title. This will take you to the PBS TeacherLine site. Click the orange "Enroll" button. Note: Pay attention to the CourseID and start date given for each course to be sure you select the right course instance for your needs.

If you already have an account with PBS TeacherLine, simply enter your Email and Password in the boxes shown to log in. If you have not yet created an account with PBS TeacherLine, click the "Create an Account" link on the page. You will need to enter your name, email address, phone number and choose a password (write down your password as you will need it each time you enter your course).

After you have logged on or created your account, you will see the course enrollment form. If you have a promo code given to you from your district or TeacherLine, enter it in the green promo code box. Agree to the terms of service and click the "Checkout" button.

If you did not have a promo code to use or you have a remaining balance due, fill out the billing/credit card information and press the "Continue" button. Enrollment into a course is not made until sufficient payment is made. Note: PBS TeacherLine accepts credit cards and debit cards that do not require the use of a PIN; checks are not accepted for payment. With pre-arrangement, enrollment can be made through use of a school or district purchase order. Remember: The cost of the course does not include the cost of graduate credit if applicable. (Graduate credit registration is handled after the course begins and the fees are paid separately to the institution offering the credit.)

You will then have a chance to review the information and, if necessary, make any corrections. Once you complete your enrollment, you will receive an enrollment confirmation via email; we encourage you to print or otherwise save this email.

Graduate Credit Questions:

Do PBS TeacherLine courses qualify for graduate credits?
Graduate credit is generally available for all TeacherLine courses except for any courses offering fewer than 15 contact hours. Check the course detail page to verify the availability of graduate credit for any particular course.

Graduate credit fees are paid directly to the granting institution upon registration for the credit; these fees are separate from course enrollment fees and are NOT paid at the same time.

Note: Registration for graduate credit is available AFTER the course begins through the last day of the course; the information on how to register is provided by your course facilitator, usually around the second week of the course.

Your graduate credit opportunities may vary depending on your course. You may have the opportunity to earn graduate credit from either Adams State College in Colorado or Indiana University - Bloomington.

Most of the PBS TeacherLine New Jersey courses are eligible for graduate credit, but not all. Please check the information on this website through the course offerings, write your facilitator, or contact PBS TeacherLine New Jersey with any specific questions.

If you are eligible for credit through Adams State or Indiana University — Bloomington, check your course syllabus to see how many actual hours your PBS TeacherLine course will require of you. Then, use that number to determine how many graduate credits you can earn:

15-hour PBS TeacherLine course – 1 credit hour
30-hour PBS TeacherLine course – 2 credit hours
45-hour PBS TeacherLine course – 3 credit hours

How do I apply for graduate credits?
• Enroll in one or more PBS TeacherLine courses.
• Wait until you begin your course. Approximately two weeks into the course, your facilitator will notify you of your graduate credit opportunities and specific instructions on how to apply.
• If you are enrolled in a program of study, verify with your college or university that the credits are transferable.
• Only after you have received instructions from your facilitator may you apply for your graduate credits.
• You will have until the course end date (the last day of your course) to register and pay for your credits with either provider.

How do I pay for my graduate credits?
You must pay by credit card when you apply for your credits. This is a separate payment from your PBS TeacherLine New York cost and is NOT included with any promotions, discounts or state aide you may have received for your class. You are responsible for payment for all graduate credits.

Please check the following Web sites for pricing information:
Adams State College in Colorado
Indiana University - Bloomington

Tips for Online Learners

Here are some tips to help you have a positive learning experience in your TeacherLine course.

  • Log in to your course at least three times a week, the first time early in the week. Most discussion board assignments call for response. Responding early will give your peers ample time to give feedback.
  • Try to check your e-mail at least every two days while you are taking the course and always keep your TeacherLine profile updated.
  • Post your weekly assignments well before the last day of the weekly session.
  • Post thoughtful comments. Always ask yourself, "How can I move this discussion and everyone's understanding forward with my response?"
  • Be respectful of others, and be open to receiving constructive criticism of your work from peers or your facilitator.
  • Support your peers and the course facilitator. If you know the answer to a question, please provide it.
  • Notify the facilitator if you will be absent from the course for more than three days.

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