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How OPDI Courses Work

Course Offerings:

A woman with long brown hair and wearing a face mask sits in a dance studio engaging with her tablet device.NDEO's OPDI has created over 55 courses since 2012 featuring an array of dance education topics and subject areas. On average we offer 8 to 10 courses a semester. We offer 3 semesters a year - Spring, Summer, and Fall. On average our most popular courses are offered once a year and we do try to offer them during different times of the year. Other courses may be offered every other year. 

Registration Options:

Anyone can register and pay for one or more of our dance education courses. We have member and non-member pricing. Simply click on the Register Now button when viewing the course information pages or when viewing the Upcoming Courses webpage. You can register as a for Credit student or as an Audit student, however, please note that the tuition is the same. If you register as an Audit student, you will have full access to all materials and can do as much or as little work as you want but you will not receive a final grade or earn PDCs. You can also switch to the Audit status during the course if you get behind and cannot catch up. 


Our online dance education courses are guided by a professor and include a cohort of students (typically other dance teachers) with whom you will collaborate. They also include graded assignments, feedback, final grades, and Professional Development Credits (PDCs). Our OPDI online courses require on average between 6 to 8 hours of work each week, but it all depends on the student's learning style. It could be less or could be more.

Online and Asynchronous:

Our courses are all online (virtual) and are generally asynchronous, so there are no required meeting dates or times. There is a course Start date on a Monday and a course End date on a Sunday. Courses are offered in one of our three semesters (Spring, Summer, or Fall). We do not offer classes or courses inside of a physical dance studio or classroom. Every week of the course there are assignments that you will need to complete. Typically the due date is weekly on Saturday, but can vary. Some courses do offer synchronous virtual video meetings between professor and students but these are optional and do not count for a grade. Always consult the course outline and syllabus at the start of the course to familiarize yourself with the details.

Assignments:A woman with long brown hair sits on the floor with a laptop in her lap. She is wearing glasses and a green tank and smiling.

Assignments can be done at any time during the week (which runs Monday to Sunday) and may include reading, watching videos, posting answers to prompts on a discussion board, writing an essay, reading and responding to other students' posts on the discussion board, taking a cell phone video of yourself completing a particular movement, taking a quiz, or completing a final project. The professor generally provides written feedback and grades and you get to connect with other students (who are usually other dance teachers) via discussion boards and optional synchronous virtual video meetings. Please note: In some newer courses, the professor does not provide individual written feedback but instead offers a live virtual Q&A session with the students to receive verbal group feedback. If this is the case, it will be noted in marketing materials.


Once a student finishes a course they can receive a course completion certificate as well as an NDEO transcript upon request for a small additional fee as long as they took the course(s) for Credit. Students earn NDEO-endorsed Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for all successfully completed courses. Students who take courses as an Audit status do not earn PDCs. For a student who successfully completes 33 PDCs worth of OPDI coursework, they will earn the Certificate in Dance Education (CIDE). All OPDI courses count towards the CIDE.


All courses have assignments that will be graded on a point system. At the end of the course, the student will have a final numeric grade as well as a letter grade. Students will also receive a status of Pass with Distinction for any courses where they receive an A.  Students receive a status of Pass for any courses where they receive a B, C, or D.  NDEO's OPDI does not give a failing grade and instead changes them to an Audit student.  

Numeric Grade Letter Grade Status
90 - 100 A Pass with Distinction
80 - 89 B Pass
70 - 79 C Pass
60 - 69 D Pass
59 and below N/A Audit - You do not earn any PDCs

Accessing the Course(s):

Students will receive an email on the Friday before a course begins with instructions on how to access the course. We utilize the Sakai online learning platform to deliver the course materials and instruction. In most of our courses, the first week of the course is all about learning how to use our online platform, then you begin the dance education content in week 2. Students will have access to OPDI course materials for which they are enrolled students (registered and paid) for a period of two weeks immediately following the end date of the course. Students should make sure to save offline any personal work they wish to access after the completion of the course.

Completing the Course(s):

Professors will have final course grades no later than 2 weeks after the course end date. Any student that anticipates they will need additional time to complete a course after the informal 2 weeks should contact the professor, not the NDEO home office, to discuss their situation. Formal time extensions to complete a course are extremely rare and are at the discretion of the professor. The student must be passing the course at the time the extension is requested in order to have their request considered. If the request is denied the student will given an Audit status for the course so as to not incur a failing grade.

Have a question that wasn't answered?

Send it to or call the office at 301-585-2880.


Top Photo Credit: Zack Berlat and Gonzaga University