Thursday, November 15, 2012

Places to Get Free ASHA CEUs Online: Part 1

ASHA requires 3.0 Continuing Education Units every three years. That is the equivalent of 30 contact hours. The state of Missouri requires 30 hours of continuing education every two years. (Check your state's SLP continuing education requirements.) If I get 15 hours every year (or one every 3.5 weeks) I should be covered. Of course, last year I only got 10. That means I need 20 more by December 31st. Next year, I'm setting a reminder on my calendar. Every three weeks I'm going to spend an hour working on continuing education. That will put me a little ahead by the end of the year so I can take the holidays off. Or, alternately, being slightly ahead will make up for the occasional time I can't actually keep my self-imposed CEU appointment. However, next year's responsible plan does not save me from this year's last-minute mess. I went searching online for sources of free SLP CEUs. Here's the first place I found and tried.

Places to Earn Free Speech-Pathology CEUs Online: LinguiSystems

LinguiSystems
First, you have to sign up for a free LinguiList account in order to take their free courses (sign up). The plus side is that if you provide them with your ASHA account number, they'll report your continuing credits to the ASHA registry for you as you earn them. Their FAQ states that it can take up to six weeks for the courses to show up in your ASHA CEU registry. If you're not participating in the ASHA CEU Registry and keeping track of your CEUs yourself, you can also print a certificate to keep for your records to send to ASHA or your state if you get randomly audited. (As a complete aside, getting chosen for a random audit one month after the birth of your first, constantly screaming, child and four months after moving into a new home was soooo much fun.)
  1. LinguiSystems has three ways to earn credits. You can take one of 19 short courses that range from .15 to .3 CEUs each. You read the contents of the course presented in slideshow format and then take a written exam. You can keep the course up in another window while you take the exam so that you can refer back to the content when choosing your answers. One small tip. Use the search function (ctrl-F) to search for a key phrase in the course quickly when taking the exam. Some exams are simple multiple choice (the two I took were 20 questions) and you get your results (and your CEUs) immediately. You need 80% to pass.

    Some exams are a mix of multiple choice and paragraph-style responses to open-ended questions and you have to wait up to 24 hours to find out if you passed and earned your CEU. They say you may re-take a course you fail. Unfortunately, you can't tell which style exam a course will have until you click on that exam to take it. However, you can save a half-finished exam and come back to it later. I have taken three of their short courses and I thought they were all nicely presented with good information.

    The courses cover a wide variety of topics including attention disorders, AAC, typical development, counseling skills, dysarthria, evidence-based practice, and more. I took the Developing Communication Skills in Young Children and Communication Milestones courses (multiple choice exam) and the Changing Behavior to Change the Child's Voice course (multiple choice and short-answer exam).

    I particularly liked the Communication Milestones course and intend to print it out and keep it handy for easy reference. I also thought the voice course was well-done and well worth reading if you have a voice client. However, the short-answer exam took me a long time and if you're looking to get a lot of CEUs done quickly, save the voice one for later.

    I intend to take several more of these courses and will update in the comments if there are any I thought were particularly well done or particularly poor.
  2. If you own any of LinguiSystems "Source" books (I have the Source for Apraxia Therapy, for example.) you might be able to take a free online assessment about the contents of the book and earn anywhere from 0.4-0.8 CEUs if you pass. (Not all of the Source books have an online test available.) The test for the Source for Apraxia was a 20 question multiple choice exam. I was already intimately familiar with the contents of the book so it didn't take me long to complete. I earned 0.4 ASHA CEUs for taking the exam. I know this post is about earning free CEUs, but purchasing a source book (some of which can be purchased on CD and therefore would be a searchable PDF), is a pretty price efficient way of getting CEUs and you are left with a well-written reference book on a topic that interests you.
  3. The third way to earn free CEU's from Linguisystems requires that you have 5 SLPs in the same place and must be registered 30 days ahead of time. If so, you can request a DVD course. There are currently 14 to choose from although two are being discontinued at the end of the year.
I took three short courses and one test on a LinguiSystems Source book I already owned and earned 1.0 CEUs in one (admittedly long) morning. That is half of the total number of CEUs I needed to earn between now and the end of the year. And that was my experience earning free CEUs with LinguiSystems. In the next installment of this blog series on earning free ASHA CEUs online I'll talk about the next place I found to earn free ASHA CEUs online. If anyone has tried any of the other LinguiSystems short courses and wants to share their favorites or mention which ones had which types of exams, please share with us in the comments. I'll be taking some more shortly and I'd love to know which ones you liked. Also, if anyone has seen one of the LinguiSystems DVD courses, I'd be interested to know what you thought of that method of earning free CEUs.

5 comments:

  1. What a great idea for a post! I really appreciate the helpful review and will definitely be looking at Linguisystems for future CEU needs. Thanks!

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  2. I've also felt that speechpathology.com was a bargain. You pay $99 for a year (a year from when you sign up) subscription, and you can do as many CEUs as you like in that time. If you time it just right, your year can straddle two CEU audit cycles, meaning you're paying $50 for each cycle. The downside is that you only have 6 months in which to do each set of CEUs. They have short read-&-quiz courses like Linguisystems, and webinars (both live and recorded, if I recall correctly). I think they have some audio-only-plus-quiz as well. I've done them, and was at least as happy with them as I was with Linguisystems, with which I've done several of the short courses.
    I've also taken short courses from Bilinguistics.com. $15 per hour, discounts if you take lots at a time. They have some good research info, but they're a little sketchy on the use-this-in-the-classroom-now info (for the courses I've taken so far). When I took a couple courses last year, I got my certificate promptly. This year, I'm not sure what's going on, whether they got my money or not. I'm still trying to follow up with them. You can also take the course and get the info without paying - you just don't get the certificate. Not bad if you're looking for ELL info and don't need the CEUs.

    You can also do a certain amount of read-a-journal-article, take-a-quiz straight from ASHA. You can order a copy of an article, read it, and take the quiz. It's been long enough that I don't remember how much it was, but still a bargain if I can work on it between IEPs and during the longer, boring-er staff meetings!

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  3. Ok, here is a dumb question.....with the linguasystems courses I am seeing they are .15 , etc....so does that compute as 1.50 hours toward our 30 hour total?

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  4. Doxie78 - the 3.0 Continuing Ed units equals 30 clock hours. When you see CEUs expressed in decimals, like "0.15 CEUs", move the decimal point to the right one space for the number of clock hours - 1.5 clock hours. That's the way most places note the number of hours - as a fraction of Continuing Education Units. One CEU = 10 clock hours. It's kind of silly (why not just say "you need 30 hours of continuing education"?), but that's the way it is.

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