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For those of us who work to make the Hub an engaging, high-quality professional learning experience--each course and interaction with the more than 12,000 educators who use the Hub--builds our commitment and enthusiasm for sharing what the Hub is and how it can help individual educators, schools, and districts grow their professional practice.
Since its beginning in 2013, the primary purpose of the Teacher Learning Hub has been to address the challenges of distance, time, and equity of access to high quality professional development for Montana educators. Our commitment to you is to provide active learning, high quality content, and relevant topics on an accessible, free online learning system.
We maintain a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you make informed decisions about your professional learning. Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Renewal Units and Licensure
- Grading and Monitoring of Course Activities
- Evaluating Courses
- Technology Considerations
Read the Frequently Asked Questions
The Hub maintains a self-help knowledgebase and a technical support center to assist you with your technology needs. The Hub helpdesk is staffed M-F from 8 am – 5 pm (excluding state holidays). Look for the red “Help” button on the right hand side of every Hub page to access the knowledgebase and ticket system.
We are excited that you are considering using courses on the Hub to supplement your post-secondary curriculum and would like to provide you with some brief 'best practice' protocols that we have established to ensure that your experience, and that of your students, will be an enriching and positive one! Please take a moment to review these in the table below and feel free to reach out to us at OPILearningHub@mt.gov if you should have any additional questions. We look forward to working with you and your students!
What Works Best?
Best Practices for Post-Secondary Utilization of the Teacher Learning Hub
|Some courses require the participant to teach a lesson to a child or children, either virtually or face to face and obtain a work sample. The expectation for assignment completion would still be the same (a nephew, niece, neighbor, etc. sample would be acceptable vs. ‘I’m not a teacher yet’)
|Non-licensed (pre-service) participants can receive a virtual completion badge but the actual renewal units are only valid if you are currently a licensed educator.
|Courses are best used as supplementary to post-secondary content, not for substitution of the course or as extra credit.
|If an entire class is going to be assigned a course, it would be very helpful for us to have advanced knowledge of that so we can prepare accordingly and make the course facilitator(s) aware. The individual assigning the course could let us know via email at OPILearningHub@mt.gov.
|It is important that the person assigning their class to the Hub course take the course to ensure that it meets their learning objectives.
|It is key that instructors utilizing the Hub courses share pertinent information and expectations for Hub usage with all students participating prior to them starting the assigned course(s).
Teacher Learning Hub
|Due to confidentiality stipulations, we are unable to share participant data with professors.
|Tech support, maintenance, course grading, troubleshooting is the responsibility of the Hub.
Getting Your Students Started:
The best first step is to inform your students why you, as their instructor, would like them to take a Teacher Learning Hub course and make sure they understand your objectives as well as their accountability for quality coursework on the Hub.
The next step is to get your students acquainted with the Hub and to have them create individual accounts and then enroll in the course you are requiring. Use the Starter Guide , how to enroll in a course, and Hub video tour to assist with this. If the student has used the Hub previously, we request that they continue using the same account, even if information related to the account needs to be updated.
There are two types of courses on the Hub. (Self-paced will likely work best for your purposes as an instructor.)
- Self-paced courses: These courses can be completed on an individual's own timeline or by the deadline set by you, the instructor.
- Facilitated courses: These courses start and end on specific dates. Educators can only enroll in these courses when they are scheduled. Be aware of how these courses fit into your own course parameters.
- The Teacher Learning Hub has a 2-3 day business day timeline turnaround for all graded assignments or forums.
Sharing Points to Relay to Your Students:
- The Teacher Learning Hub (or Hub) is operated by the Montana Office of Public Instruction. The Hub is meant to serve all educators from pre-service educators to retired educators and any roles in between.
- Instructor provides objectives/rationale for assigning the Hub course: "I am assigning this Teacher Learning Hub course to you because...".
- Make sure all of the Best Practices from the table above have been shared.
- Course evaluations are at the end of every course. Please ask students to respectfully complete them as if they were professional educators (which they soon will be!) and not "as someone who had to take it." We take these very seriously and depend on, and appreciate the honest feedback. The feedback helps us to improve the course for future participants.
We hope you find these best practice suggestions of benefit as you share the Hub with future educators!
- Confirmation emails: When users create a new account, a confirmation email is sent. This confirmation email is sometimes blocked by spam blockers. If these emails are being blocked, reach out using the 'Help' button. We can help users confirm their accounts.
- YouTube: Many of our courses include YouTube videos. If your internet filters block YouTube, your pre-service educators will likely struggle to complete certain courses. We recommend testing this out in advance. While this is less of a concern in universities and colleges, YouTube may be filtered by a specific school or district.
- Tracking Course Completions: It is the responsibility of the individual pre-service educator to report course completions to the instructor. The Hub staff cannot directly release course completion information to anyone other than the individual account holder. There is a printable 'Renewal Unit Certificate' available at the completion of each course. Though not valid for non-licensed educators, the document can serve as proof of completion to you, the instructor.
Please see our FAQ page for other common questions your pre-service educators may have. Please keep in mind that the references related to licenses, renewals, and renewal units may not apply to the individuals you are working with, and we are available if you need any clarification.
Planning Professional Development
Don't forget to include Hub courses in your District's required annual professional development plan (see ARM 10.55.714). This is especially important if you plan to accept alternatives to the annual October professional development days.
If your District's professional development plan required all staff to takes specific courses on the Learning Hub, every educator will need to individually create an account and enroll in those courses. Use our Teacher Learning Hub Starter Guide to help streamline the process for your staff. The exception is Group Courses, see below for more information.
View our course list, catalog, and calendar to help you and your staff identify courses.
Getting Your Staff Involved in the Hub
The best first step is to get your staff acquainted with the Hub and to have them create accounts. Use the Starter Guide , how to enroll in a course, and Hub video tour to aid in this.
- Self-paced courses: These courses can be completed on an individual's own time or during scheduled PIR days.
- Facilitated courses: These courses start and end on specific dates. Educators can only enroll in these courses when they are scheduled. Be aware of how these courses fit into your professional development plan and school calendar.
Things to Consider
- Confirmation emails: When users create a new account, a confirmation email is sent. This is sometimes blocked by Spam blockers. We recommend that you test this out before having an entire staff create accounts. If these emails are being blocked, reach out using the 'Help' button or give us a call. We can help users confirm their accounts.
- YouTube: Many of our courses include YouTube videos. If your internet filters block YouTube, your teachers will likely struggle to complete certain courses. We recommend testing this out in advance.
- Tracking Course Completions: It is the responsibility of the individual educator to report course completions to you, as represented by an OPI renewal unit certificate. The Hub staff cannot directly release course completion information to anyone other than the individual account holder.
- Grading: All facilitated courses will have grades, but some of our self-paced courses do as well. If you assign all your staff to complete a self-paced course in a short time period, you may want to check first to see if there is a graded component. If so, then allow for an extra 2-3 business days for the course facilitator to do the grading.
- Pay scale advancement: If your district intends to recognize Hub courses for salary advancement we recommend that you communicate this well in advance with your staff. You may need to address this in your local contract and in your district's professional development plan.
- All staff: We have courses suitable for all educators. including paraprofessionals, substitutes, trustees, and anyone who works in and around schools.
- CSIP: Include your staff's usage of the Hub in your annual Continuous School Improvement Plan.
- See our FAQ page for other common questions your staff may have.