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Facilitators' Guidebook: Using OLAC Tools and Resources



The OLAC Learning Modules support implementation of essential practices outlined in Ohio's Leadership Development Framework and the distributed leadership structure of nested, collaborative teams (DLTs, BLTs, TBTs) specified in the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP). The modules include research and content from national experts, videos, descriptions and exemplars of evidence-based practices, and opportunities for self-assessment. Modules can be used individually or by members of teams or study groups. After completion of module work, participants can apply for OLAC credit and certificates from the OLAC Credit Corner.

Modules contain:

  • pre- and post-assessments;
  • evidence-based practices;
  • links to Foundational Concepts, resources, and tools;
  • videos;
  • links to the OLAC glossary, downloadable documents, discussion questions, and activities; and
  • opportunities to obtain PD credit and certificates.

How to Use

OLAC modules and all supporting materials are available to any user registered on the OLAC website. Facilitators can use several methods for finding modules and module-related resources appropriate to their needs.

  1. From the Dashboard or Educator Resources dropdown menu, click on OLAC modules. Clicking on the name of any module leads to the module’s launch page, which includes a preview of the module, a link to an introductory video, and information on alignment with other modules and with Ohio’s Leadership Development Framework.

  2. On OLAC’s home page or Dashboard, use the search feature to find modules, media, and materials related to the specified topic.

  3. The left-hand margin of the landing page and all other pages within a module contain a table of contents for the module and a list of supporting resources (e.g., videos, webinars, activities). Facilitators can click on these menu items to find relevant sections of the module and applicable supporting resources.

Some ways to use OLAC modules:

Facilitators can select module texts, videos, activities, and other resources for use before, during, and after PD sessions. By familiarizing teachers, administrators, and consultants with OLAC’s offerings, facilitators encourage educators’ continued engagement with the OLAC materials.

Facilitators wishing to learn more about ways to incorporate OLAC resources can take a look at the video, Using the OLAC Crosswalk and Resources in Higher Education Field Experience and the module, Higher Education: Instructional Guide to Using OLAC and Moving Your Numbers Resources in Educator Preparation Courses. Syllabi and related materials are also available to guide facilitated workshops. The workshops pull together relevant OLAC materials to explore various themes (e.g., diversity, teacher-based teams, and the instructional process).

OLAC modules are especially useful when a facilitator wants to:

  • organize and deliver professional development sessions that include text, videos, activities, and other materials that support the use of OIP structures and promote the effectiveness of teams;

  • provide advance preparation for a training program, team meeting, or coaching session;

  • encourage comparison of local practices (e.g., of a team, school, or district) with the highly effective practices presented in the modules; and

  • identify resources to serve as part of an educator’s individual improvement plan.

Examples: The module Shared Accountability describes distributed leadership, shared accountability, and decision-making processes that support continuous improvement of instructional practices.

  • Use the section, “Accountability from the Perspective of Educators” on page 4 with new DLTs, BLTs, and TBTs to explore differences between external accountability and internal accountability.

  • In a session with administrators or future administrators, read “Getting Shared Leadership Right: An Illustration” on page 6 and discuss approaches and supports to shared leadership.

  • In a session to improve the focus of a BLT, read and discuss “Building Leadership Teams” (p.10). Then, using the “BLT 5-Step Process Meeting Agenda and Minutes Template” available through the “Deeper Dive” link, compare the way the team uses this document with the approaches used by teams in other schools.

  • Working with district leaders, explore question 2 of the “Discussion Questions” (accessed by a link under “Resources” in the module page’s left-hand column) and develop a survey to be given to all district teams to assess current challenges and identify proposed strategies to improve shared professional learning and internal accountability.