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Course Components Overview

VLS courses are primarily divided into lessons but also include customized non-lesson components and tools to aid users with navigating, understanding, and completing the course. These can be accessed from each course's landing page. Please note, some tools are not applicable to all courses and are not displayed unless they are suitable for the course the user is working in, or the role a user has within the system (for example, some tools are only visible to training & curriculum specialists [coaches] and managers).

Course Guide

Each Virtual Lab School Course Guide highlights what users can expect to learn within each course and provides a complete navigable list of all its lessons, activities, and resources. Read more about this tool in the Course Guide support article.


Virtual Lab School courses are primarily divided into lessons. Each lesson covers one or more topics relevant to the overall competency area of the course. Lessons contain narrative, reference links, activities, resources, embedded video and other materials designed to build or strengthen professionals' knowledge and practical competency in the course topic.

Read more about how lessons are structured

Competency Reflection

VLS Competency Reflections allow users to document growth and facilitate goal planning. A Competency Reflection is a tool for self-reflection as well as a tool to assess and document observed competencies. These tools can be used with new staff members and family child care (FCC) providers as well as more seasoned staff members and FCC providers to document their professional growth or identify goals for continuous improvement. Competency Reflections are currently not available for the Training and Curriculum Specialist track, the Management track, or Focused Topics courses.

Read more about this tool in the Competency Reflections support article.

End of Course Assessment

End of course assessments (EOCA) are available to VLS registered users for each course within the direct care tracks (Infant & Toddler, Preschool, School-Age), as well as the Family Childcare track. These assessments are designed to be proctored by coaches, trainers, or administrators, to assess the mastery of course concepts by direct care staff or family child care providers. Successfully completing an EOCA is one of the required steps to receive credit and a VLS course certificate.

Read more about this tool in the End of Course Assessments support article.

Course Crosswalk

The Crosswalk is a guide to aid in transitioning center-based direct care staff who have completed VLS coursework in one track, when they move to work with another age-group. This tool helps a trainer, coach, or administrator identify content areas in the VLS where the direct care staff may need extra review and support to be knowledgeable about best practices for all children in their care.

The VLS Foundational Courses were designed to align across tracks which means a significant portion of each track's content is relevant for all direct care staff. However, the Crosswalk document for each course identifies unique age-specific content, activities, and resources by lesson and can be used as a guide for review material if a staff member moves to care for a new age-group.

Read more about this tool in the Crosswalks support article.