CEA Tutorial Section 10: Registering Courses That Are Individual Learning Experiences: Self-Study and Independent Study

Previous sections discussed general procedures for registering and reporting on courses offered for ASHA CEUs. Here, we briefly review two types of courses that are categorized as "individual learning experiences": self-study and independent study. These courses have some special requirements that are detailed either in the text below or in the resources and URLs provided. In addition, there are some closing comments with some important reminders and an opportunity to rate the tutorial.

What is a peer reviewed self-study?

A peer reviewed self-study is a course designed by the Provider that allows participants to learn at their own pace. The content is the same for all learners. The self-study delivery method can take many forms (i.e., CD-ROM, written material, online course, DVD, audiotape, journal). Participants work individually and usually do not interact with an instructor or with other participants. Please note that the following additional information is required for peer-reviewed self-study courses:

  • Peer Reviews: Two peer reviews from content experts are required. In the case of a journal, you can use the journal editorial board review as your peer review.
  • Pilot Study: Conduct a pilot study to determine the ASHA CEU amount for a course, or a portion of a course, that is offered outside the traditional instructor-led classroom when the completion time varies from one learner to another. In other words, conduct a pilot study if ASHA CEUs are not based on seat time, viewing time, or listening time.
  • Self-Study Product Information Form: This form describes the technology used to present the self-study content, activities involved, and how participants can access the content.

Registered peer-reviewed self-studies are valid for a 3-year period. After 3 years, the course needs to be re-registered under a different course number but referencing the previous course on the registration form. Re-registration requires submittal of full registration materials with all required attachments, including two new peer reviews by reviewers who are different experts than those who reviewed the course 3 years earlier.

How do I conduct a pilot study?

  • Choose at least 10 participants from the course's target audience; do not include the peer reviewers in the pilot study pool.
  • Design a participant time log for pilot participants to track, in minutes, how long they spend on each component of the course.
  • Provide each of these 10 pilot participants with a complete copy of any pertinent materials, including the course product, instructions, participant time log, learning assessment, and program evaluation.
  • Explain the purpose of the pilot study to the participants: to establish the typical time it takes a learner to complete the course.
  • Establish a date by which participants must submit their time logs to you.

Are there special instructions if the self-study is a periodical?

Yes; please note the following:

  • Pilot a typical issue of the newsletter or journal you are registering for ASHA CEUs. It must be similar in content, format, and instructional level to the issues you will register in the future. It can be the upcoming issue or one that is up to 12 months old.
  • Choose at least 10 participants from the newsletter's or journal's target audience who are reading the publication for the first time.
  • Create and distribute a participant time log, as described above. Newsletter and journal pilot studies usually track reading time, learning assessment, and program evaluation.

How do I register a peer-reviewed self-study course?

Individual course registrations differ from group course registrations; please note the following:

  • Different deadline for submission. Peer-reviewed self-study registrations must be received at ASHA CE at least 30 days prior to your planned start date.
  • Additional forms are required. Use the Online Course Registration System to submit all of the usual registration forms and attachments as well as two Peer Reviewer's Credentials and Comments Form [DOC], and the Pilot Study Report Form [DOC] (if needed).
  • Course valid dates are determined by the peer review dates. However, for reporting purposes, you still need to provide offering start and end dates. You can report monthly or quarterly, but you cannot wait until the end of the year to do all of your reporting. Offering dates may not overlap calendar years—for example, end one set of offerings on December 31, 2015, and start your next set of offerings on January 1, 2016.

A self-study is a course designed by the Provider that allows participants to learn at their own pace. The content is the same for all learners. The self-study delivery method can take many forms (i.e., CD-ROM, written material, online course, videotape, audiotape, journal). Participants work individually and do not usually interact with an instructor or other participants. Please note the following about self-study courses:

  • Peer Reviews: Two peer reviews are required (see Resource box above for Peer Review orientation and forms)
  • Pilot Study: If the ASHA CEU amount is not based on the actual run time of the self-study product, then a pilot study of at least 10 participants is required to determine the ASHA CEU amount (see Resource box above for Pilot Study orientation, forms and instructions).
  • Course Registration: Self-study registrations must be received at ASHA CE at least 30 days prior to your planned start date. Include all the usual registration forms and attachments, as well as the peer review forms and the pilot study report (if needed). Also include the Self-Study Product Information form or a copy of the self-study product. Note: Self-study registrations received after July 1, 2007, must use the form in lieu of submitting the product.

Contact your provider manager for further assistance.

What is a live-to-self-study?

If a live course is offered for ASHA CEUs, a recording of the course can be made available as a self-study course without completing the peer-review requirement for a regular self-study. However, this recording can be offered for only 1 year after the original event's start date.

The registration deadline for live-to-self study courses is 15 days prior to the start date of the course. It is preferable that you submit both the live and the self-study courses at the same time for registration. If you are recording a live multiple-offering course, you should record the first offering of the course to create the self-study course. The recording should be an exact copy of the original live course. Registration of the live-to-self study course is much the same as a live course; see How to Register a Live-to-Self Study Course with ASHA for more information. Offerings may not overlap calendar years.

If you plan to offer the self-study course after the 1-year period, you will need to have the course peer reviewed and then submitted as a peer-reviewed self-study course with a new course number and all required attachments.

If the live course is offered again the following year, it can be recorded again and offered as a live-to-self study, adhering to the same requirements indicated above.

What is an independent study?

An independent study (IS) is an educational experience designed by the participating learner to enhance skills and knowledge in an area relevant to communication sciences and disorders. It provides an opportunity for the participant to design individualized learning experiences to meet specific learning needs. Participants may earn up to a maximum of 2.0 ASHA continuing education units (CEUs) for a single IS course. Multiple IS courses can be developed from the same learning activity, provided that the learning outcomes and the acquisition of new skills and knowledge are different for each IS course.

The IS activity is proposed by the participant and is reviewed, monitored, and approved by the Continuing Education Administrator (CEA). ASHA requires that the participant and CEA complete the Independent Study (IS) Participant Worksheet [PDF] prior to the start of the IS course. The participant keeps the worksheet as a study guide. The CEA should work closely with the individual to ensure that the experience will meet all Continuing Education Board (CEB) requirements.

After the IS course is completed, the CEA and participant should meet again so that the participant can provide proof of satisfactory course completion, as previously agreed upon in the IS Participant Worksheet.

Within 45 days of completion of the IS course, the CEA should submit the IS course to ASHA through the Online Course and Offering Registration System (until December 31, 2017, the CEA still has the option to submit an IS Activity paper form [DOC] via mail or fax). Remember to include the IS time log [PDF] or any other documentation that is required to complete the coursework.

There is a separate online orientation to answer questions about the IS process. Here are resource links for both the Independent Study Participant Worksheet [PDF] and the Independent Study Orientation.

Can all ASHA Approved CE Providers oversee independent studies?

ASHA Approved CE Providers must be approved by ASHA Continuing Education (ASHA CE) to offer independent study courses. When your organization initially applied to become a Provider, there was an option in that same application to apply for the "Independent Study" designation.  

To check on your IS status, go to Find ASHA Approved CE Providers on the main ASHA Continuing Education (CE) webpage. Independent Study Providers are listed separately in alphabetical order. Additionally, they are also identified by an orange "Independent Study" tag in the Providers By State listing. If your organization does not currently have this designation, and you would like to offer this option, contact your Provider Manager for application procedures. There is no additional fee.

Closing Comments

Thank you for participating in this tutorial. Feel free to review any section as needed. This tutorial does not cover every policy and procedure contained in the CEB Manual, so be sure to read all sections of the manual. For further assistance with any of the topics mentioned in the tutorial or the CEB Manual, please contact your provider manager.

We appreciate your commitment to provide quality continuing education for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. We look forward to working with you.


[ Provider Only Home Page | Previous Tutorial Section | Quizzes | ceprovider@asha.org ]

ASHA Corporate Partners