FAQs: How do Onsite/Blended Workshops Work?

Overview: Onsite/Blended Workshops

Perkins provides numerous onsite workshops for vision professionals and special education teachers serving children with visual impairments. Topics are determined via annual surveys and ongoing feedback and requests. Many of our workshops have an online or “blended” component to enhance and extend the learning. Our workshops are designed to be a collaborative learning experience with a cohort of professionals with similar needs and interests.

Who participates in the workshops?

Classes cover a range of topics and are appropriate for teachers, administrators, parents, service providers, and graduate students.

Who are the instructors?

Perkins eLearning workshops are facilitated by leaders in the field of education for students who are blind, visually impaired, or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities.

Previous Instructors have included Sharon Sacks, Author and Superintendent of the California School for the Blind; Christine Roman, CVI Resources, Mildred Smith, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Karen Wolffe, author, career counselor and consultant.

What are the costs to participate?

Costs will vary by the length of the class, and based on the type of credits offered. You can expect to pay between $50.00 and $200.00 depending on the length of the workshop. Graduate credits may be offered at a higher price. You will choose your credit type at the time of registration. Watch for early bird and combination pricing when classes are announced!

Some topics include required online readings and/or book or materials purchase. Read the registration materials carefully for additional information.

How long do classes last?

Lengths will vary by class and on the type of credits offered. You can expect to commit to 1 or 2 days onsite and approximately 3-5 hours of online assignments. It is important for workshop participants to participate in the online component of the workshop as well as the onsite session(s).

How does online learning work?

Participants are provided with log in information two weeks prior to the workshop. Once logged in, participants will see the pre and post workshop requirements. Generally, in the pre workshop component, instructors will ask the participants to introduce themselves and watch a video or read an article. The post workshop component often consists of submission of a final assignment.

Is college credit available?

Since June 2013, graduate credits have been offered through Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg, MA) for selected workshops which is noted in the registration materials. Undergraduate credits are not currently available; however, undergraduate students are welcome to supplement their learning by participating in Perkins eLearning coursework.

How do I access my college credit grades?

Students earning credit through Fitchburg State University access their grades through the Registrar’s Office website .

Is certification credit available?

Perkins has been approved as a Professional Development Provider by the following organizations/agencies:

  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE)
  • The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP)
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

What kind of computer set-up do I need?

You must have reliable Internet service and processing speed. Perkins cannot guarantee support of a dial-up connection, which is typically too slow to accommodate the tools and materials we provide. For best results, a high-speed Internet connection (cable or modem) is recommended.

Personal computers, Apple products, and mobile devices are also supported. If you are reading this message, your system is sufficient.

Due to the private nature of materials and information shared during Perkins eLearning courses, we do not recommend that participants use public computers in libraries and community centers for your coursework. In additional, institutional networks may not provide full access to our course content. We recommend that you find out from your school or business network whether firewalls or other site restrictions may interfere with your accessing all of the material included, such as YouTube videos and downloadable files.

Is the learning platform accessible?

Perkins is committed to Universal Accessibility and insures access to its online workshops.

Our learning platform has been built and tested for accessibility. Individual online learning activities are formatted to allow individual accessibility settings, such as font size and contrast, and are screen reader compatible. To read more about the accessibility of our learning platform, click this link https://docs.moodle.org/28/en/Accessibility

Course materials are presented in accessible formats, or alternate formats made available for students who request them, according to the Perkins School "Guidelines for Outside Presenters/Consultants," including:

  1. Captioning and audio description of audio/visual aids
  2. Large print and braille-ready formats
  3. Convertible and plain text electronic formats

If you are using a screenreader, be advised that this learning platform, called Moodle, works best when using JAWS 15 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, or NVDA with Firefox 27.0

Moodle does not officially support VoiceOver and Safari, though you may find you are able to move fairly well through the materials and commands.

It is our goal to serve all students; let us work with you to assure that materials are accessible to your system and your specific needs.

To explore the types of resources used, take our Practice Course.

How many workshops can I take?

There is no limit to the number of classes you can take! For your best work, we recommend attending only one class at a time. Many of our topics are repeated throughout the year, so there will be opportunities to attend if you find a conflict.

What is your withdrawal/refund policy?

Perkins reserves the right to cancel a class or other offering due to insufficient enrollment or scheduling difficulty. In the event that a class is canceled, registered participants will be notified within 14 days of the scheduled start date. All fees paid by the participants will be refunded in full. Once a class has begun, it is the facilitator’s responsibility to notify participants of any changes to the established schedule.

In the event that a participant elects to withdraw from a class for any reason, fees may be refundable according to the following schedule:

  • Payment must be received and confirmed in order to secure your participation.
  • Refunds will not be given without a 48 hour notice of cancellation.

Participants must notify the facilitator in writing (print or electronic mail) that they are withdrawing from a class upon a stated effective date. Discontinuing participation is not considered a formal withdrawal from the workshop, and no fees with be refunded.

A participant who requests a refund due to dissatisfaction with the course must submit their request to the Educational Resources Manager of the Perkins Training and Educational Resources Program.

What is your privacy policy?

Within each course, Instructors and participants will set expectations for confidentiality, “netiquette,” and the use of personal information. As a participant, you are bound by the confidentiality agreements of your institution or practice, and Perkins waives any responsibility for the privacy of client/student information which you disclose.

Perkins will maintain for 7 years records for all participants in professional development activities (online and in person training) by keeping a file of sign in sheets (for in person training) and maintaining a database of participants for each training.

Perkins will maintain the electronic records securely by ensuring that password protection is in place. Paper records will be stored in a locked area. Only the staff involved in the production of professional development activities will be able to access these records. Persons interested in obtaining information related to his/her training records will need to contact the designated administrator.

Persons interested in seeking information related to his/her training records must contact the designated administrator and provide specific information regarding what information is being sought (training, date, presenter, etc.)

How can I provide feedback to Perkins Onsite/Blended Workshops?

Perkins will utilize learner feedback and evaluations to assess participants’ perceived satisfaction with, and value of, professional development activities provided. As a record of the activity, Perkins will secure records by ensuring that file storage is secured. Only the staff involved in the production of professional development activities will be able to access these records.

  1. Participant feedback will be surveyed at the close of a activity via evaluation forms handed out at the beginning of the workshop.
  2. Participants will be asked to rank their satisfaction with the activity and enter comments.
  3. Feedback may be anonymous.
  4. Surveys will be available in accessible formats upon advance request.
  5. Compiled feedback will be shared with activity presenters.

For feedback on our website, course listings, or these FAQs, please contact us through email at perkins.elearning@perkins.org