Tips for Transitioning to OpenMind 2.0

by Jan 14, 2021Classroom

Tips for Transitioning to OpenMind 2.0

by Jan 14, 2021Classroom

Tips for Transitioning to OpenMind 2.0

by Jan 14, 2021Classroom

As a research-driven organization, our team at OpenMind is continuously working to improve our products to make them as effective as possible. Over the past year, we synthesized feedback from hundreds of educators, research results from 30,000+ students, and insights from experts in the field to inform a redesign of our program.

Our new and improved program — OpenMind 2.0 — builds upon the 1.0 version educators know and love, offering new content and features designed to help students form lasting habits for constructive dialogue. Our preliminary research indicates that OpenMind 2.0 is even more effective than 1.0 at achieving our key outcomes, including reducing polarization, increasing intellectual humility, and increasing feelings of belonging.

If you’ve used OpenMind 1.0 in the past, we invite you to explore OpenMind 2.0 to see for yourself what a difference these new enhancements make. To get started with creating a new access code for your classroom, click below.  

Still have questions? We’ve provided detailed guidance below to address any questions you may have about implementing OpenMind 2.0 in your classroom or community.


1. What's changed in this new version?
Our new and improved version of OpenMind builds upon the program you know and love by offering new content and features designed to help students form lasting habits for constructive dialogue. Here are the major updates in OpenMind 2.0:

  • Updated lessons: We’ve updated our original lessons to make the concepts more sticky and actionable for learners. We’ve included more memorable language, clearer action items, new examples, and even more opportunities for interactivity!
  • More lessons: We’ve broadened the curriculum from 5 “Steps” to 8 Lessons, to expand the skill-building elements of our program. In this version of the program, we delve more deeply into particular topics and introduce additional skills and concepts.
    • New and expanded topics include: Exploring how and when to “draw the line” on difficult conversations, challenging a culture of contempt, navigating online conversations, managing emotions in difficult conversations, skills to navigate and troubleshoot difficult conversations
  • New Peer-to-Peer Conversations: These (optional) guided weekly conversations provide students with the opportunity to foster connection during distance learning, put their new skills into practice, and build accountability for completing the program.
  • New resources to support leaders: We’ve created a suite of additional resources to help you plan lessons, workshops, or other activities to complement our program. You can access these resources by signing up for OpenMind 2.0. Resources include:
    • Lesson Manuals: Searchable guides for each OpenMind 2.0 lesson
    • Instructor Guide: Tips for using OpenMind
    • Peer-to-Peer Conversation Guidance: Best practice for pairing learners and managing pairs
    • Glossary: Definitions of key terms introduced in each lesson
    • References: A complete list of sources for each lesson
    • OpenMind Blog: A growing repository of insights on the science behind our divisions and how we can overcome them
  • New graphics: Our lessons now feature custom illustrations designed to support learning by helping students visualize OpenMind concepts and principles. 
2. Can I see a side-by-side comparison of the versions of OpenMind?

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two versions of OpenMind, showing which 2.0 Lessons correspond with which 1.0 Steps:

For more insight into the content of OpenMind 2.0, you can check out these resources:

3. Are the new Peer-to-Peer Conversations required?

No! We highly recommend Peer-to-Peer Conversations, but they’re entirely optional.

When you create a new access code, you’ll have the option to either include Peer-to-Peer Conversations for your group of learners or opt-out of this feature. If you change your mind, you can update this setting in your dashboard in the “Manage access codes” section up until your first group member begins the program. 

If you opt-in to Peer-to-Peer Conversations, we’ll provide guidance on pairing and communicating pairs to your learners. You can find this information on the “Peer-to-Peer Conversation Guidance” page under “Additional Resources” in your dashboard.

4. Do I need to follow a specific schedule to administer OpenMind 2.0?

No! OpenMind 2.0 is a flexible program that gives you control over how it’s administered. Our research suggests that the program is most effective when completed over multiple weeks (more information below). However, as the administrator, when you create an access code you will have the opportunity to determine your learners’ schedule for completing the program. 

We recommend the following 4-week schedule, where each week, learners complete:

  • 2 online lessons (30 min each)
  • 1 Peer-to-Peer Conversation (45 min) [if Peer-to-Peer Conversations are enabled]

If this schedule doesn’t work for your group, no problem! You can ask your learners to follow a different schedule that meets your needs.

One way you can help your learners stick to the schedule you’ve chosen is to specify release dates for each lesson. You can set up those dates when you create a new access code, or adjust them at any time under “Manage access codes.”

The program’s default setting allows learners to progress through the lessons as quickly or slowly as they like. However, we strongly recommend specifying a schedule for learners to follow. Spacing out the lessons gives learners time to practice their new skills  and helps them retain the material.

5. Can the Lessons be completed out of order?

Lessons 1-8 must be completed in order because each lesson builds upon concepts introduced in previous lessons.