OpenMind FAQ

General Questions

1. What exactly is covered in the program?
Please click here to see a summary of the material covered in the program.
2. Who can use OpenMind?

We have versions available for many types of users! To learn more, click below based on the description that best fits your audience:

Academic: OpenMind can be assigned to students in college or high school classes. It can also be incorporated campus-wide, for example, as part of First-Year Experience or Orientation programs.

CorporateOpenMind is available for use in companies.

Organization/Non-profitA version of OpenMind is available for use in organizations and non-profits.

Religious Community: A version of OpenMind is available for use in religious communities.

Individuals: The program is also available to individuals who are interested in using it, even if they’re not affiliated with a group.

3. Is OpenMind free?

The OpenMind online course is free for educators to use in their classrooms. For organizations interested in bringing OpenMind to their workplace, please contact us for pricing at info@openmindplatform.org.

4. Can OpenMind be customized?
Yes! Please contact us if you are interested in having the program customized for your specific cohort.
5. Can OpenMind be used outside of the U.S.?
Absolutely! OpenMind is already being used in 10 countries. Please contact us if you are interested in helping us translate the program into different languages.

Using OpenMind

6. How do I get started?
If you’d like to use the program with a group that you manage (a group of students, employees, congregants, etc.) you can get started by creating a unique access code for your cohort by clicking this link. The link will guide you through a few easy steps to generate an access code for you and your group members. It will also provide you with detailed instructions that you can share with your group.
7. Is there a way to check my group's progress?
Yes! Once you create an access code for your group, you will be able to access your dashboard. From the dashboard, you can see your group members’ progress and their scores on the graded quizzes. You can also use the dashboard to create additional access codes for new cohorts. If you have multiple groups, you can see the results of your groups separately.
8. Can I create multiple access codes?
Yes! You can create different access for the many groups that you run. This can help you stay organized and keep track of the progress of the individuals in each of your groups.
9. Can group leaders view users' results?

The individuals who create an access code for their group become “administrators.” Administrators can log into their dashboard and see the steps that each member of the group has completed, and their corresponding scores on the graded quizzes. However, in order to protect users’ privacy, administrators will never be able to see users’ actual responses to questions in the program. To learn more, please see our privacy policy.

10. What happens with users’ data?
We will analyze the anonymized data on an ongoing basis in order to improve the program and its pedagogical efficacy.

Transitioning to OpenMind 2.0

11. 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. 
12. 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:

13. 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.

14. How should I pair up participants for Peer-to-Peer Conversations?

If you opt into our Peer-to-Peer Conversations feature, you’ll need to pair up members of your group to practice their conversation skills together.

Here are two ways to assign partners:

  1. Create random pairings. We’ve prepared some quick tutorials you can follow to assign pairs randomly using Random Team Generator or Google Sheets.

  2. Pair up group members with different views or backgrounds. If you already know your participants fairly well, you can use this information to pair up group members who are likely to hold different viewpoints.

Administrators can find more advice and troubleshooting tips for Peer-to-Peer Conversations among the Resources linked from the dashboard.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. Why did the program change?

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 this redesign of our program. 

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 were happy with OpenMind as it was previously, we invite you to explore the new version to see for yourself what a difference these new enhancements make. And of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can make OpenMind 2.0 even better. You can provide feedback through the dashboard or at the end of each lesson of the course. You can also share feedback at any time by emailing info@openmindplatform.org.

Need more help?

If your question isn’t addressed here, no problem! You can contact us and we’d be happy to assist you.

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