HELP DESK: Advisory Support

The Learning Center provides two types of advisory support to science educators.

1. Learning Center Online Advisors

Online Advisors are experienced educators who help Learning Center users identify resources and tools in support of their professional learning. Users of the Learning Center may interact with Online Advisors in the (a) asynchronous Community Forums and (b) via one-on-one chat by clicking the yellow button labeled: "Online Advisors."

a. Online Advisors

Educators may tap the expertise of the Online Advisors by clicking the yellow button labeled: "Online Advisors." This action gives the user access to a one-on-one live chat communication tool. Online Advisors help identify appropriate resources to improve teachers content and pedagogical knowledge. Online Advisors provide tips for searching resources in the Learning Center, share information regarding upcoming opportunities, and assemble collections that all teachers can use.

Online Advisors Schedule

Online Advisors work in two-hour shifts. The current schedule of 38 hours per week is described in the table below (All times Eastern).

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thr Fri Sat
9-11 pm 9-11 am 3-11 pm 11 am-3 pm   11 am-1 pm Leave a message
  5-11 pm   5-11 5-11 pm 3-5 pm  

If no Online Advisors are available, users may click Online Advisors to leave a message. Messages are answered by the Learning Center Help Desk team within 48 hours.

b. Community Forums

The Learning Center Community Forums (12 public forums including Science Disciplines and Pedagogy and Research) are open to ALL Learning Center users. The forums are the venue where like-minded individuals share information, ideas, resources, and ask questions of other Learning Center users. Online Advisors monitor and respond to Learning Center users' questions when appropriate. Online Advisors also seed questions and share information regarding Learning Center updates.

SciPacks logo

2. SciPack Content Mentors

SciPack Content Mentors are content experts assigned to specific SciPacks. These content mentors are tasked with responding to teachers’ questions submitted via e-mail within the SciPacks. The SciPack Content Mentors respond to all questions within 48 hours and are available to respond to an unlimited number of questions.


About SciPacks

SciPacks are 10 hour online learning experiences that you can use to help you better understand the content you teach. Each SciPack contains:

  • Up to five self-directed interactive online learning experiences called Science Objects that use an inquiry-based approach with engaging simulations and embedded questions.
  • An email content Mentor to address your individual questions; these knowledgeable content experts respond via email within 48 hours.
  • A pedagogical implications component to assist you in translating the content for your classroom.
  • The opportunity to pass a final assessment and print a certificate from NSTA demonstrating your understanding of the content addressed within the SciPack. The certificate can be found in the "My PD Record and Certificates" tool page.