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Online Learning FAQs

What are Open Center Online Learning courses?
What online courses do you currently offer?
How long is each course and how often will each be offered?
How do your run your online courses? What is the typical routine?
How long is each weekly module of a course?
What kind of interactivity is offered with the teacher?
Are students assessed in any way?
Is there required homework?
What computer equipment do I need to take your online courses?
How do students view the course materials?
During what days or hours may I access the course website?
How do I log into online courses or webinars? How and when do I get my password?
Can I use your site to keep in contact with students or the teacher after the course ends?
How much do your online courses cost?
Can I use course credits and gift certificates to register for an online course?
I’m enrolled, but how do I get started in my online course?
Why did the Open Center begin its Online Learning initiative?
What is the Open Center’s refund policy?
What if I have additional questions?


What are Open Center Online Learning courses?
Our online courses are multi-week programs complete with multimedia (video and/or audio), lecture notes, and interactivity with teachers and students, on a special website set up for each course. Some courses also have assignments, exercises and handouts to apply your knowledge and experience, hone your skills, or try out information gleaned in the lessons. The classes serve as portals to likeminded students as well as a community interested in learning.
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What online courses does you currently offer?
Please visit our course listings.
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How long is each course and how often will each be offered?
Our online courses vary in length, but typically range from 3-4 weeks or longer. Future classes may be shorter or longer. It depends on the teacher, the amount of material, and the subject matter. New sections of each course will be offered again periodically during the year; please check course listings regularly for what is current open for enrollment.
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How do your run your online courses? What is the typical routine?
All of the weekly modules of a course will be open through the period of the course. However, the teacher will guide students to work on one weekly module at a time. Each week will focus on one of the modules, and the students will view and read that material and then discuss it on the course website. The typical scenario for weekly modules is as follows:

  • Check for Module Announcements: Students log in to the site at the beginning of the week and check the Course Blog, which will contain an announcement of which course module is the focus of that week.
  • View the Week’s Module: Students view, listen to and/or read the course content on the module webpage for that week.
  • Do Exercises: Exercises or assignments are done. See the bottom of the webpage for each module, or check the Resources tab.
  • View the Handouts: Courses may also have handouts for each module, which are available under the Resources tab.
  • Post Comments and Discuss on the Course Blog: Students and teacher then discuss that week’s material on the Course Blog, which serves as the main interactive feature of the course website.

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How long is each weekly module of a course?
Each weekly module contains up to a hour worth of audio-visual material, but the length of the material varies according to the course topic. It will take students about an hour per week to go through the material for each module. Students may spend additional time interacting on the course website.
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What kind of interactivity is offered with the teacher through your online courses?
During the period of the course, students and teacher may engage in the online community features of the course website 24 hours a day, 7 days per week:

  • Course Blog: Post comments and hold discussion with the teacher and students through the blog.
  • Messages: Send a private message to a fellow student or the teacher. Like on Facebook, the course websites have a messaging system built into them, in which students get an alert by email and in the top bar of the site that they have a message.
  • Groups: Create a group on a theme related to the course subject.
  • Forums: Start a discussion forum topic (Forums are created within Groups), and engage in discussion.
  • Events: Post events of interest to other students or teacher.

Currently, all of these types of interaction are not in real-time, but allow students and teacher to log on to the course site and interact at any time.
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Are students assessed in any way?
Students are usually not graded. However, some courses may count toward professional certification: If your participation in a class does count toward a training certification, this will be mentioned and explained prominently on that course’s registration page under our course listings and on the course website.
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Is there required homework?
Some courses have assignments, exercises and handouts to apply your knowledge and experience, hone your skills, or try out information gleaned in the lessons, but doing these assignments is not required for most courses. If your participation in a class does count toward a training certification, this will be mentioned and explained prominently on that course’s registration page under our course listings and on the course website. Back to Top

What computer equipment do I need to take your online courses?
Students must have access to a computer with a web browser for our online courses, and may need to download free software to use some course features.
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How do students view the course materials?
Video and audio materials are streamed through the course website, at the time a student is viewing the website, and are not permitted to be downloaded to students’ computers. Some assignments, exercises and handouts can be downloaded as PDF files or Microsoft Word files; others are available as webpages on the course sites. The downloaded files and webpages of the site may be printed on a student’s desktop printer, provided they have the equipment.
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During what days or hours may I access the course website?
Access to the course website is permitted 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, during the dates that the course is being held. Students may log on at any time and view the course materials and interact with students and the teacher on the site. Password-protected access to the course website is permitted only during the dates that the course is being held, and students will be locked out of the site after the course ends.
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How do I log into online courses or webinars? How and when do I get my password?
Passwords for Open Center online courses and webinars are issued in the days prior to the start of the course or webinar; specifically, the online course passwords are issued the evening before, and the webinar passwords approximately two days before. These passwords are separate and unrelated to the student ID number you may have to log into our online registration system at www.opencenter.org. When you register for an online course, you will receive the course website address, a username and a password. When you register for a webinar, you will receive a web address for the event, plus password, and must use the email address you registered with in order to log into the webinar system.
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Can I use your site to keep in contact with students or the teacher after the course ends?
No. Currently, the course websites and their interactive features are only operating during the period of the course session that you are enrolled in, and usernames and passwords will no longer function and you will be locked out the site after your course ends. Therefore, be sure to get contact information from the teacher or fellow students if you wish to keep in communication with them.
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How much do your online courses cost?
Each course’s price is determined differently. Please visit our course listings to check on the prices under each listing.
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Can I use course credits and gift certificates to register for an online course?
Yes. Students who have Open Center gift certificates or course credits from inhouse programs at our New York City facilities may use those to register for online programs. Please call Registration at 212-219-2527 Ext 2 for more information.
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I’m enrolled, but how do I get started in my online course?
The online course homepage is very user-friendly with clear links guiding you through each week and what to do first. For example, the Announcements section in the upper left of each course website serves as a way for you to see what’s next and to see what the teacher would like to draw your attention to. As you make your way through each week, you will see that each class will prompt you about what next steps to take and where to click to take those. In addition, there is also a Help menu on the course site, with video tutorials, where you can learn (or refresh your memory on) how to create a profile, message your teacher, start a discussion board thread, and more. Also available is the Student Guide, which gives a general introduction to how our courses operate.
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Why did the Open Center begin its Online Learning initiative?
The audience for Open Center programs extends far beyond the greater New York City area. By bringing participants from across the country and beyond into the fold of what we do at the Open Center, we enlarge and strengthen the holistic community, extending the reach of our teachers and offering greater opportunity to students who cannot come to our center in the city.
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What is the Open Center’s refund policy?
Refunds are available minus a handling fee if you cancel up to two weeks prior to the first day of the program. Course Credits are available minus a handling fee if you cancel up to 48 hours prior to the first day of the program. Course Credit is valid for one year, and may be applied to courses or memberships only. Handling fee is $15 for programs costing up to $250 and $35 for programs costing $250 and up. No refunds or credits will be given if you cancel less than 48 hours prior to the first day of a program, or if you do not attend a program. For more details on our policies, please visit About Online Courses > Policies.
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What if I have additional questions?
Please ask us any questions that you might have. Open Center Online Learning is evolving, so your feedback is very important to us. E-mail us at learn@opencenter.org.
If you are already enrolled in an online course that is in session, you may also message your teacher through the course website’s message system, or post your question on the course blog.
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