Professional Development Online
Course Creation Options
last revised: February 1, 2007
PDO courses include general information about a training offering – title, description, participant compensation, credit, and demographic/site restrictions. In order for there to be consistency in terms of how courses are created by all PDO office administrators, we need to be clear about what the options mean in this section of the application.
Creating a Course
Courses are created under the Administration tab and by clicking on the Course & Section Entry/Edit/Roster Management link. The Create New Course link on the left menu will take you to the course edit page.
Note: New courses should only be created when there is distinctly new training being offered with completion tracking independently of other training. For example, if you have existing training for Science Grade 3 and you want to add new opportunities for teachers to complete that training, you should create additional sections and not a new course. Taking this approach will allow you to easily track all teachers who have taken the training.Course # / This is auto-generated once a course has been saved. This number/letter combination is unique to this course and can be used when communicating to users as a way to search for a course.
MSDE ID / The MSDE ID is only used for CPD courses. If you are offering a CPD course, enter the correct course number from MSDE. If you are not offering a CPD course, leave this area blank
Course Title / This should be meaningful and succinct. Some groups offering training have used titles that start with a common word(s), such as “SDT”, “Supporting Services”, or “Pinnacle” to make it easy to find training for that group or topic. This is an approach that might be useful for other groups.
Course Description / The first part of this description will be visible to staff when they see results from a search. The complete description is available when they click on a section of a course.
Disclaimer / The disclaimer text entered here will be displayed to the end users during the registration process. The text will be red and bold and stands out to the user. If you have crucial information about a course, enter it in this disclaimer field.
Office / You should only have the option for associating a training with the office for which you work.
For Certification /
- Unknown: Should choose this option.
- Yes: unsupported – do not use
- No: unsupported – do not use
Credit Type /
- None: Most trainings will use this default setting.
- CPD: This is used for Continuing Professional Development offerings. This type of training is entered by the Office of Organizational Development.
- Clock Hours: This is only used by offices whose staff belongs to professional organizations that track the number of hours participants spend on certain approved activities. This is used infrequently for staff such as school psychologists and PPW workers. Only office administrators who are responsible for entering training for staff that they know need to track these clock hours should select this option.
- College Credit: This is used if participants will get college credit for successful completion of the course.
- College Credit Optional: This is used in special circumstances, such as Skillful Teaching training, when participants have the option of getting college training for successful completion of the course.
CPD Credit /
- No: Most courses will use this default option. Only selected OOD staff should use any other option in this section.
- One: Use for One credit courses.
- Two: Use for Two credit courses.
- Three: Use for Three credit courses.
- Optional CPD: This is used in special circumstances, when participants have the option of getting CPD credit for successful completion of the course.
College Credit /
- No: This is the default and used for most courses.
- Three: Use for Three Credit college courses.
- Optional: Used in special circumstances when participants have the option of getting credit for successful completion of course.
- No: Use this default for training when participants are not receiving any extra pay for attending.
- Tier – 1 Hourly Rate of Pay: Use for training when participants are paid their hourly rate of pay for required training. This is used most often for required summer training.
- Flat Stipend: Use for training in which each participant receives the same rate of pay, regardless of their hourly rate of pay. Typically, this option is used for Tier Two rate of pay.
- Optional: This is used in special circumstances where participants can choose to receive a stipend or not. This is used in Skillful Teacher training where participants can choose to receive credit, CPD, or stipend.
Activity Code / Empty field with no available choices - This is currently not used.
Clock Hours / Text box (numbers only): Enter the number of hours that participants will be in training – deduct time for lunch. For example, if a training runs for 7 hours with a 1 hour lunch break, you should put 6 hours in this field. For courses that span multiple days, put in the total number of hours that participants will in training. For example, if participants will attend 3 days with 6 hours of training each day, put 18 in this field (3x6=18).
Online Course / Checkbox – only check this if you are offering an On Demand online course.
Prerequisites / Text area: Enter any previous training or skills that participants should have prior registering for the training. Note: PDO will not automatically prevent users from registering if they do not meet the prerequisite requirements
Notes / Text area: Enter any additional information that participants should know prior to registering.
Check if allowing participant to enroll in multiple sections of same course / Check box: The default option (no check in box) will prevent users from registering for multiple sections of the same course. This prevents users from holding slots in sections and preventing other users for registering for training.
If you check the box, participants may attend multiple sections of the same course. This is used in training such as FileMaker Worksessions and Webmaster Worksessions where participants are encouraged to register for multiple sections when working on projects.
Archived / Checkbox: Do not check this box. This option will be used at a later time.
Required Demographics, Recommended Demographics, and Restricted Demographics / These areas are not edited from this screen. They can be accessed and edited from the “Manage” button associated with this course. The manage button will appear after a new course is created. Once the required, recommended, or restricted demographics are set on the manage screen, the settings will be displayed on the “Edit” screen for that course.
“Manage” Course Options
Manage Sections / Sections: This button enables you to create, edit, and manage sections for the course
Course Availability / Set Locations: This button allows you to limit availability of the course by staff work location. By default, participants from any MCPS work location can view course sections. Location restrictions can be set at the cluster, school, or non-school based location level. If a specific location or locations are set, only users at that/those location(s) can see the course and sections for registration
Limitations based on demographics are not overridden. For example, if a training is restricted to Algebra I teachers and there are no location restrictions, all staff can see that the training is being offered, but only Algebra I teachers can register.
Required Demographics / Set Demographics: This button allows you to push course information into the required channel of staff members who match the demographics target you set. This option does not prevent users who do not match the demographics from registering for the training.
Recommended Demographics / Set Demographics: This button allows you to push course information into the recommended channel of staff members who match the demographics target you set. This option does not prevent users who do not match the demographics from registering for the training. Do not overuse this option – limit its use to courses that have particular value for a certain demographics.
Restricted / Set Demographics: This button prevents users from registering for the training who do not match the demographics you set. Participant demographics are based, in part, on data from the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and student schedules and, in some cases, are not entirely accurate or up to date. By restricting registration based on demographics you may prevent some users from registering who are the target audience. Office administrators can override this restriction and register any users by selecting Add User in the roster are of the administration area.
Email Messages / Manage Email Messages: There are default email messages that are automatically sent by PDO when users register, withdraw, move off the wait list, and other events. This option allows you to modify the standard messages.
Manage Rubrics / Align Rubrics: This option is not currently used by MCPS and should not set.