Beacon Educator Policies and Expectations

Beacon Educator strives to provide quality professional development through a positive, welcoming experience. To facilitate this atmosphere, Beacon Educator expects honesty, integrity, and professionalism from all parties involved in our online community of learners. Beacon Educator embraces the following policies and expectations to promote a positive learning environment:

Copyright

Beacon Educator course content and materials are protected by United States copyright laws. Learners may access, download, and print materials with the Beacon Educator copyright notice from the site solely for your personal and non-commercial use. Learners may not copy, modify, distribute, transmit, display, reproduce, publish, or license any part of this site, including course content and summative assessments. Learners may not create derivative works from the Beacon Educator site, link to ,frame in, or use on another website, or transfer or sell any information obtained from the Beacon Educator site. Any learner who violates the copyright policy is subject to legal action. Beacon will notify the learner’s district of any infraction and penalty. Beacon reserves the right to block accounts, thereby denying future registrations.

Professional Conduct

Beacon Educator expects learners to follow the professional and ethical principles in the Florida Code of Ethics for Educators (Rule 6A-10.081). These principles also apply when taking online professional development coursework. Beacon Educator encourages peer collaboration to engage learners and deepen their learning. However, summative assessments are the sole responsibility of the learner and should be written independently in the learner’s own words. All submissions and communications should use standard English (proper grammar and conventions).

Plagiarism

Submitting information from the Beacon course, other websites, other texts, or another learner in a summative assessment response is plagiarism. Paraphrasing by changing the words of a sentence, while maintaining the sentence structure and ideas of another’s work, is also plagiarism. A minimal amount of text written by someone other than the learner may be included as part of a summative response, however, the original author should be cited.

Submitting plagiarized work violates the Florida Code of Ethics for Educators, which is a serious (academic) offense that can result in serious consequences. If a learner plagiarizes in a Beacon Educator course, the facilitator may require the learner to resubmit a response. For flagrant plagiarism, Beacon reports the learner to his/her school district for unethical conduct. In those cases, Beacon Educator may deny course credit for the course without a refund. Beacon Educator reserves the right to block accounts, thereby denying future registrations.

Learner Expectations - Courses

Beacon provides two formats for online learning: courses and modules. Trained content-area specialists, called facilitators, guide learners through courses and provide individualized feedback on chapter summatives. Modules are short courses that are non-facilitated and require the learner to pass an Exit Exam to receive course credit.

Beacon Educator courses provide professional learning that is equivalent to college level coursework. The courses are not meant to provide a quick, easy solution that “checks a box” for inservice credit or earning at. These courses are rigorous and designed to provide research-based content for application in the classroom. Beacon Educator expects learners to take notes and interact with the course content, resources, readings, quizzes, and formative and summative assessments.

Upon registration, learners have access to all the course content (except the summatives). On the course start date, learners gain access to the end of chapter summatives. Facilitators expect learners to write thoughtful responses to the chapter summatives. Learners should submit summatives in a timely manner to allow adequate time for the facilitator to provide feedback and for the learner to resubmit, if needed.

Facilitators hold learners accountable for submitting summative responses showing mastery of the chapter content. This accountability is necessary so the facilitator can verify each learner has processed and synthesized the course material.

Learners should review the facilitator’s feedback and reread the chapter content before resubmitting a response. Beacon reserves the right to limit the number of rounds a learner may receive facilitator feedback on a summative task. The facilitator must approve all the chapter summatives for a learner to successfully complete the course.

In the last week of the course, learners should only have one or two new summatives to submit for course completion. Learners are to submit these summatives early in the week, to allow the facilitator time to provide feedback and to give the learner time to make any necessary revisions. Most courses offer a grace period after the course end date to allow learners to make revisions to previously submitted summatives. The grace period is not for submitting new summatives for facilitator review.

Late or missing submissions may result in non-completion of the course because there is not enough time to complete the submission review process during the last week of the course or during the grace period.

Learners not completing any summative assessments (excluding a chapter quiz) are automatically withdrawn from the course. For sixty hour courses, learners are withdrawn three weeks prior to the end date. For courses between one and thirty hours, withdrawal occurs one week prior to the end date.

Learner Expectations - Modules

Modules are short courses that require the learner to pass an exit exam for credit. Upon registering for a module, learners can access all the content (except the Exit Exam). Once the number of credit hours for the module has passed, the learner gains access to take the Exit Exam at the end of the module. For example, if the learner is taking a 6 hour module, the Exit Exam is available six hours after the registration time of the module. Learners can retake the Exit Exam multiple times to attain a passing score of 80% or higher. On the end date of a section, Beacon Educator aautomatically withdraws learners from modules if the Exit Exam is not complete.

Beacon Educator expects learners taking modules to read course content, complete the Check Your Understanding activities, and review all other resources (such as video clips, external Web links, and documents) prior to taking the Exit Exam at the end of the course.

Course Transfers

Beacon Educator offers learners a “one-time” option to transfer to another section of the same course or module due to extenuating circumstances, such as illness or major hardship. Transfers are not automatic and are at the discretion of Beacon Educator Administration or district’s learning manager. Learners who are enrolled through a district should contact the contract manager to request a transfer. Learner who have paid their own registration fee may request a one-time transfer by using the email form on the Support page.

Refund Policy

Payments by individual learners are made by credit card as part of the registration process. All payments are final. No refunds or discounts are available. Reasons such as registering in the wrong course or for a course no longer needed, having technical difficulties, or failure to complete the course requirements for any reason do not justify a refund. Disputed transactions will result in the user’s removal from the course until the disputed transaction is resolved. If the dispute is decided in Beacon’s favor, the user must pay any fees associated with the dispute prior to being enrolled again in any Beacon course or module.

Reporting Inservice Credit

Per Florida statute, only school districts can report inservice points for teacher certificate renewal. Courses and modules must be included in the district’s Professional Learning Catalog. Learners should check with their districts to verify course acceptance and registration requirements. Many districts pull their own reports of learner completions, however, learners may download a transcript of their Beacon completions from the Beacon website to submit to their district certification office.