Professional Learning Online - Admin Guide

Document created by Community User on Jul 8, 2017Last modified by Greg Close on Oct 5, 2017
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Professional Learning Online is the professional development learning platform for NWEA™. It is a place where you can find learning activities and materials that will help deepen your knowledge about Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) and other NWEA products.

Professional Learning Online contains the following:

  • My Learning lists: Learning is available based on the products that your district has purchased. The lists show courses you are enrolled in.

  • Courses Catalogs: A catalog of all learning activities available to you. Click on a course in the catalog to enroll in it. Filter the list by clicking the categories folder to show the learning paths. Learning Paths are courses that are grouped by roles.

  • Navigation Menu: Links to the pages in the system.

  • Help: Links to the user guides, help pages, and FAQs.

  • Profile: Sign out and user account information.

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About This Guide

This guide is written for Professional Learning Online District Administrators. Your district will assign an administrator to perform the following activities:

  • Provide Professional Learning Online access to teachers and staff in your district

  • Maintain the association of users with their schools (optional)

  • Run reports to show which users have accessed Professional Learning Online and the progress they’ve made in the learning activities

  • Remove users from Professional Learning Online as required

This guide provides instructions on how to perform the essential responsibilities of the Professional Learning Online Admin role.


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Account Activation

Create an Account

The Professional Learning Online Administrator provides members access to Professional Learning Online. If you are unsure who the Professional Learning Online Administrator is for your district or school, please contact your NWEA Coordinator or Assessment Coordinator.

Set Up Your Credentials

Before accessing Professional Learning Online, you will need to create your account..

-Go to
-Enter your email, first and last name.
-Submit the form and see a message to check your email to verify your email account.
-Find the verify email, and click the verify / activate link. Please check your spam folders if you do not receive the verification email within a few minutes. 
-Return to the NWEA Services site, select a password and click 'Complete Registration' to create your account.

  • You will need to supply a password and confirm your password. Passwords must meet minimum requirements.
    • At least 8 and not more than 20 characters
    • At least one lowercase character
    • At least one uppercase character
    • At least one digit or special character
    • No spaces
    • Cannot be the same as your email address

For example: Bl@nk3t$

Once logged in, courses you are pre-enrolled in appear in your 'Courses' list on the 'Course' homepage. Most courses are not pre-enrolled. All courses available to your district or school are found in the 'Course Catalogs'. If you have more than one NWEA licensed product, you may see multiple Catalogs. Click a course in the Courses Catalog to enroll in it and start the course. Click the 'Categories' folder in the Catalog area to show Learning Paths that display courses recommended for your role / current position. Click a Learning path to filter the catalog list and only display courses relevant to that Path.

If you are noted as the Professional Learning Online Administrator for your school or district, you will see the Administration link in the NWEA Services site when you access the Administration site.

If you want to be the Administrator, check with your NWEA Coordinator. A Professional Learning Online Administrator is likely already assigned for your district.

If you would like to be given Administrator rights in your Professional Learning Online account, you can contact your NWEA Account Manager, or use the self-nomination form linked on the Help page in Professional Learning Online.

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      District Administrator Responsibilities

      All of the Professional Learning Online District Administrator activities are accessed from the Administration page in the NWEA Services site. Click on the Administration link in the main Navigation Menu to get started.


      Granting Access to Members of Your District

      Users rostered in MAP are automatically loaded into the Professional Learning Online system, saving Professional Learning Online Administrators from having to add members to both systems. Professional Learning Online users will still need to use a separate login to access Professional Learning Online, but they will no longer need to rely on being added by their Professional Learning Online Admin to gain access to the Professional Learning Online system.

      Admins just need to send notifications to un-registered users to inform them that they have access to the Professional Learning Online system.  The Professional Learning Online Admin can notify their users en masse via the “Notify Unregistered Users” button, or they can select individual users to notify.

      Your school’s or district’s course access is based on your implemented NWEA assessment products and services so your users will see current, dynamic, and relevant professional learning materials in their course area when they login.

      If you need to add additional members who were not automatically loaded from the MAP system, or if the District users are accessing Professional Learning Online before they have been added to the MAP system, Admins can add users via the ‘Add Members’ tool. Before you begin the Add Members process, Admins will first need email addresses for the teachers and/or staff. This is explained more below.




      To begin the invitation process, click Add Members.



      The Add Member functionality is a two-step process. 
      1) Add the member's / user's email addresses
      2) Decide if you want to send the default notification to the users when you add them.

      The notification system is pre-populated with a standard invitation message. You can preview the message being sent by clicking the 'Send me a sample email' button. If you do not want to send notifications at the time you add your members, or you want to write your own welcome email, unchecked the Send Notifications box before submitting the email addresses you entered or batch uploaded in the 'Enter email addresses' box. You can then send your own message to your users via you own email system notifying them how to login and create their account so they too can access Professional Learning Online.

    • You have multiple options how you upload user email addresses to add to your Professional Learning Online account.

      • First option (.csv file upload)

        You may upload a .csv file that includes one (column A) being the member's / user’s email address. Please note that you should not include headers at the top of the column. If you need additional help on creating, saving or uploading a .csv file, please see the Additional Helpful Hints section at the end of this document.

        First option for uploading 

      • Second option (.txt file upload)

        A text file is also an acceptable file to upload.

        batch txt file screen shot

        Open a new text file and type or paste in the user’s email address, one record per line. Save your text file as a .txt file format.

      • Third option (direct input)

        You should always copy and paste the address/es to prevent bad user information from entering the system, and to prevent confusion for users who were expecting a notification, but never received it due to a typo in their email address during the add step.

        You may also directly type email addresses into the box labeled ‘Enter email addresses’. Please type one email address per line. This is not recommended since typos are easy to make when hand entering email addresses.

        NOTE: No special characters are allowed.  If you are copying in email addresses from 
        MS Outlook in this format <>; you will need to clean the data and remove the < > and ; before pasting in the records to the Email Addresses field.

        Resending Notification to users who have not created their accounts or accessed Professional Learning Online

      • You can copy the unregistered email addresses out of the Members list and paste them into your preferred email tool and remind users to create their account.


      If you upload a file that is not formatted correctly or is not a .txt or .csv file type, you will receive an error. The error message is explained below.

      Error:There was a problem uploading the file: No valid email addresses could be found in this file. File is either in an incorrect format or does not contain any email addresses.
      Explanation:You have tried to upload and process a file that was either not a .csv or .txt file or there were no valid email addresses in the file.
      Solution:A valid email address must contain an @ symbol and end with a valid domain suffix, for example, .com, .net, .org, etc.

      Once you enter appropriate data in all of these fields, click Continue.

      The success box will display the added Members and is also the list of notifications emails that were sent if you left the send notifications box checked.

      Assign Courses to Members

    • Professional Learning Online Administrators cannot assign a specific course to an individual or Member/User.
    • Administrators can only associate users to their Professional Learning Online account by adding user email addresses using the Add Member tool at the My NWEA Administration page.
    • Associated users then login and they can see all the courses available to them in the 'Course Catalog'. Members then enroll in courses in the Catalog that are pertinent to their role.
      (see Categories and Roles in the FAQ or User Guide for more information on Courses by Role.
    • When an Administrator adds users to their account, they can also email their users and ask them to create their accounts and direct them to complete courses recommended for their role.
      Note: This functionality is planned to be introduced in a future release. You will be able to pre-enroll your users to specific courses at that time.

      Updating Schools (optional)

      Note: This functionality has been temporarily removed. It is planned to be reintroduced in a future release. You will be able to update your users and add a school association at that time.


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Report Manager

The Report Manager is a custom role available in Professional Learning Online and must be requested as needed. Report Managers see only the reports tab in their Administration page. The Report Manager is able to view reports across multiple districts. The Report Manager is needed in situations where one user needs to be able to view reports across multiple disparate districts/accounts in Professional Learning Online. It is typically associated with a Fiscal Agent relationship where a parent account is purchasing MAP licenses or workshops for a number of allianced districts. Report Managers are not able to Add Members to the different districts, they can only view the reports.  Due to the lack on user management ability in the Report Manager permissions, only the reporting tools are available.  The Add tool is blocked on the Report Manager screen. 

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Accessing Reports

As the Professional Learning Online District Administrator, you will have access to reports that may be helpful to you and others in your district. These reports are accessed via links on the Administration page. You can download reports in multiple formats once they display. Use the Export dropdown to select the type of file to generate based on the report results. You may export to CSV formats.

Download CSV of Members
LMS Report by Course
LMS Report by User

Members tab

The Members tab is a quick view that shows all the added and registered users with accounts in the system.

Click on the report tab to see the course completion and user status report links. Click a link to run the report and download the results to manage in excel.


Removing Members / Users

Over time, you may need to remove a user from accessing your district’s Professional Learning Online content. When you remove a user, he/she will no longer be able to access your district’s Professional Learning Online content. To perform this function, add a check mark next to their name and use the drop down list to trigger the remove user function. 


Course Completion Status Report - by Course and by User (LMS Report by User and LMS Report by Course)

The Course Completion Status reports shows users and the courses they have started and tracks completed. Run both to see the different reporting layouts offered. Custom reports can be designed. Talk to your NWEA Account Manager about your specific request.

Members List (Download CSV of Members)

The Members List shows you what users have been invited to the Professional Learning Online environment versus those who have actually created an account. This allows you to follow up to encourage users to create their accounts so that they have access to these important online resources.

Working with Reports

Download the results and open them in a spreadsheet to group and reorder the results if necessary.


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Additional Helpful Hints

Creating, Saving, and Loading a .csv File

New users can be entered directly into the manage or invite users boxes. However, you may want to upload a list of users in a batch process instead of entering users’ email addresses manually, which can lead to typos and missed accounts. The upload file containing all your users must contain the data in a specific format. The user information for the file can often be exported from your district’s human resources or student information systems.

A Comma Separated Value (CSV) File format is required for batch upload.

If you have your batch file saved in and Excel format (.xls or .xlsx), then you will need to save the file as a .csv file before uploading it.

Steps to save an Excel file as a csv.

  1. Open the Excel file.

  2. Click on File and Save as.

    Save Excel as csv 

  3. Select where you would like to save the file (like your desktop or your My Documents folder).

  4. In the File Name area, name your document.

  5. In the Save as Type area, select CSV (Comma Delimited) from the pull down menu.

    Select CSV 

  6. Click Save.

  7. You may receive one or two warnings about the formatting of .csv, click yes to continue.

Your CSV file should only contain a maximum of 1 columns - Email.

.First option for uploading

Please remove any column headers prior to uploading your .csv file.

Where Can I Get More Help?

Choosing the Help link in the Navigation menu corner of the Professional Learning Online page gives you access to contact information for both content and technical questions.

Additionally, you have access to Professional Learning Online FAQs, User Guide, and System Requirements from the Help page.

For questions, please contact NWEA Technical Support

Measures of Academic Progress, MAP, and DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning are registered trademarks of NWEA in the United States or other countries.

Lexile is a trademark of MetaMetrics, Inc. and is registered in the United States and abroad. The names of other companies and their products mentioned in this documentation are the trademarks of their respective owners.