The Training Courses within VEX Professional Development Plus (PD+) offer a unique solution to the challenges of traditional teacher PD, by giving teachers self-paced, hands-on, engaging training, with the opportunity for personalized learning and sustained support through the PD+ platform.
You will need to have an active subscription to PD+ to enroll in PD+ Training Courses. For more information on activating or obtaining a PD+ subscription, see this article.
What is in a PD+ Training Course?
Each Training Course is focused on a specific topic or VEX platform, to give targeted course content for all VEX platforms and STEM pedagogy. The courses consist of themed Chapters broken up into smaller Lessons. These video-based Lessons weave together concept knowledge, teacher modeling, and hands-on learning with your own VEX Robotics materials, so that you can have the experience of participating in the kinds of lessons that you will end up teaching to your own students.
The videos are intentionally designed to move slowly, and to build on one another, so that you can move through the course at a pace that best suits your needs and skill level. Training Courses designed for ‘Getting Started’ begin with things like charging a Battery and updating firmware, then progress to building and/or coding activities. For those who desire extra support and tips, the videos within the Get Started Training Courses offer high levels of scaffolding at the start, gradually removing it as the course progresses. Those who are more comfortable can move through the content at a faster pace, using the links to articles, videos, or build instructions included in each Lesson to guide or extend their learning.
Introductory Educator Certifications
Free Introductory Educator Certification Courses are also offered within the PD+ Training Courses. These courses are available to any PD+ member and provide training on each VEX platform. Each self-paced course contains formative assessment and tracks your progress, making it easy for you to check your understanding and complete the course at your own pace. Once you become certified in a VEX platform, you gain access to the VEX PD+ Professional Learning Community for that platform.
Features of a Training Course
Hands-on learning with your VEX materials
Training Courses allow you to use your own VEX Kits and materials to complete the activities within each Lesson. Like an in-person workshop, you will be able to build, code, and test your builds and projects to complete a variety of explorations.
Getting Started courses are a great place to start if you are new to a VEX platform, and will walk you through a step-by-step process to get you ready to teach with VEX.
Video-based lessons let you learn at your own pace
Each Lesson in a Training Course centers on an instructor-led video, that will walk you through what you need to know to complete the Lesson activity. The on-demand nature of Training Course content means that you can watch videos, and complete Lesson activities anywhere, at any time, based on your own schedule and needs.
Beside the video, Lesson descriptions offer a chapter and lesson level overview so you know what you will be learning about, as well as what materials you will need to complete the Lesson activity. Any resources that are mentioned in the video, or that can be used to extend your learning are also linked on the Lesson page.
Formative assessment helps you monitor your progress
Lessons also have built-in formative assessment, like Check Your Understanding questions or reflection prompts, so that you have a tool to monitor your own progress and learning. For instance, if an answer is unclear to you, you can go back and rewatch part of the video or use the additional resources linked on the page to learn more, before moving on to the next Lesson.
Earn a certificate for each course.
At the end of each Training Course, a certificate that includes the number of training hours completed is available once the Certification Exam at the end of the course has been passed.
Additional resources help you extend your professional learning
Make the most of your professional learning by using the Training Courses in conjunction with other PD+ and VEX resources. Within Lessons, PD+ videos, articles, or educational resources will be linked so you have easy access to next steps, and the tools that can help you take your learning further.
Additionally, each Training Course has an associated PD+ Community thread, enabling you to directly interact with other course participants and the PD+ experts leading the course at any time to ask questions, comment on course content, or spark a discussion based on your learning.
Participating in a PD+ Training Course
To begin a PD+ Training Course, select the course tile you wish to participate in. There is no 'enrollment' necessary, you can begin a course at any time by opening Chapter 1 Lesson 1 and completing the Lesson. You can then proceed to complete the course at your own pace. This flexibility enables you to engage with training when it is right for you, on your own schedule.
Your progress within a Training Course will be saved, so that you can pick it back up at any time as best meets your needs. From the course main page, you can see an overview of Chapter topics and the Lessons contained within each. It is recommended to move through Lessons sequentially, as each Chapter will build on what was learned previously.