Frequently asked questions

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Our aim in this FAQ document is to provide you with a great self-service tool that ensures your success. Still need help after reading these? Please submit a question through 'Contact Us'.

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General Questions

Who can take the GEDS course?

The GEDS course is open to everyone! No prerequisites. All you need is access to a computer with a current browser, an Internet connection, and a commitment to learn.

How do I sign up?

To sign up, go to the E-learning page and register for the course by entering all the information fields. Once you have submitted your payment your place is confirmed.

How do I pay for the course?

As you register for the course, you will be asked to submit the payment to secure your space. You can pay via PayPal, credit/debit card, and bank transfer. If you choose to pay via bank transfer, please notify us to send you a manual application form.

What browsers are supported for use with GEDS courses?

Our courses will work with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

What if I have technical trouble with registration, login, or course access?

Some problems with registration, login, or access to the GEDS courses are caused by browser issues. Try:

  • Switching to a current version of Chrome or Firefox.
  • Check your browser settings to ensure both JavaScript and cookies are enabled
  • Clear your browser's cache.
  • Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance. We will do our best to help.

What are the requirements to receive a certificate of completion?

  • Register and pay for the full, at once or per dimension.
  • Read and demonstrate to a facilitator that you understand all materials for all four dimensions of the curriculum
  • Complete two required activities per module within each dimension
  • Engage in the peer forum at least once each module of each dimension
  • Submit an immersion report after having spent at least 40 hours in an ecovillage or sustainability center
  • Complete a group design project in a Design Studio with facilitator’s review of final design

Are courses accessible to students with disabilities?

We aim to create an innovative online-learning platform that is easily accessible for everyone, including students with disabilities. We want to improve the accessibility of the platform where possible, and welcome your comments or questions.

Do GEDS courses offer university credit?

Gaia Education does not issue university credits. We issue a certificate of completion indicating a minimum of 400 hours of study for the online GEDS course. The certificate is honored by some colleges, universities, or other degree programs when students enroll in them, depending on the institution’s policies and partnership agreement between Gaia Education and the particular institution. You are advised to check with the degree programme before enrolling.

Are Gaia Education courses only offered in English?

GEDS certificate courses are currently offered in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Spanish programme is also offered as a Masters degree programme through the Open University of Cataluña.

Can I access GEDS courses on my smart phone or tablet computer?

At this time, Gaia Education does not fully support access with mobile devices. While many components of your courses will function in a mobile browser, some may not. We will soon launched our GEDS mobile apps for Android and iOS phones which allow you to read the course contents and watch course videos on the go! We plan to make the app available on Android tablets and iPads in the future.

What happens if I have to quit a course? Will I be able to take the same course in the future?

Once you register for the full course or a single dimension you have two years to complete the Design Studio portion for a certificate. If you wish to extend the course beyond the two year limit, you need to pay an additional 20% of the regular price of the full course or dimensions. Following Gaia Education’s policy, Gaia Education will not refund in any case the full amount paid for registration of either full course or single dimension. Cancellations up to one week after course starts will incur a 25% retention fee for administrative process. There are no refunds after the first week.

I love the GEDS! How can I donate to the organisation?

Your donation is a sign that you share our values for making the GEDS accessible to as many people around the globe as possible. You can donate to our general fund to help the continuous development of Gaia Education online courses, or to a special bursary fund to give scholarships to people living in difficult economic conditions who can most benefit from the courses. To donate go to our donations form through this link.

Do you have an GEDS guide? Where can I find more in depth information?

You can find more in-depth information by downloading the GEDS course handbook here.

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About the Course

When does the course start and/or finish?

You can find the start date and course duration on the course description page. For the 2016 - 2017 GEDS the dates are the following:

Social Dimension: 17 October to 16 December 2016

Ecological Dimension: 2 January to 24 February 2017

Economic Dimension: 6 March to 28 April 2017

Worldview Dimension: 8 May to 30 June 2017

Design Studio: 10 July to 1 September 2017

Certificates issued: 15 September 2017

How much work will I have to do to receive a certificate?

This is largely up to you, since the course is designed to be at your own pace and to fit your schedule in a asynchronous way. However, it is expected that you will dedicate approximately 10 hours a week, or 80 hours to each of four dimensions, plus the design studio, for a total of 400 hours of online study. You are also required to spend at least 48 hours in a sustainability center or ecovillage and hand in a report of your experience.

How can I find my course discussion forum posts?

The discussion forum is active inside the course platform once you login to the course. You have to be registered and have the login information to access it.

Can I download the book for my course?

Yes, you will be able to download textbooks in pdf format for each of the four dimensions and the Design Studio once you login to the course platform.

Can I take more than one dimension at a time?

At the moment you can only follow one dimension at a time, since they run at different times. If you want to join the learning community, or receive feedback from tutors, etc., you have to follow the pre-arranged schedule.

What if I have a question or concern regarding the course?

You can get answers to questions on any course issues by simply sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How can I meet/find other students?

Once you enroll in the full online course and are able to login to the virtual campus, you will see the email address of other students and correspond with them about the course.

How can I get technical help or support with my course?

You can get help with technical issues by simply sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How do I unenroll from a course?

There are no refunds after the first week of classes, but you can unenroll from the course by simply sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Can I re-take the course?

Your registration is valid for two years starting October 17th. However, there will be a 20% additional fee if you wish to postpone part of, or the full course after the second year.

Will the same courses be offered again in the future?

Yes. The same cycle of course dimensions will be offered again the following year. You have two years to complete the course for a certificate, but you can only take the Design Studio portion once you have completed all requirements for the four dimensions (Social, Ecological, Economic, and Worldview).

I am interested but it has already started. Can I still enroll?

You can join a dimension once it has started, but you should be aware that you will be expected to complete all assignments and catch up to the course schedule in a reasonable time to be arranged with your dimension’s facilitators.

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Certificates & Credits

What types of certificates does GEDS offer?

GEDS offers certificates of achievement stating completion of 400 hours of study and of meeting all course requirements for a certificate. Certificates are earned by successfully completing a series of requirements in each dimension and submitting a final group design project.

How do I audit a course?

You have the option to audit the course without receiving a certificate. This option is offered at a reduced fee and has the same access to all areas, but you are not expected to contribute to the course unfolding, and will not receive feedback from the facilitator.

I originally signed up to audit a course. How can I upgrade to the certificate track?

You can upgrade to the certificate track by paying the difference in cost and committing to complete all requirements for certificate.

Will my certificate include a grade and/or number of credit hours?

Gaia Education does not issue grades for its GEDS courses. The GEDS is only offered on a pass/fail basis.

What if something (like illness or computer problems) prevents me from passing my course?

Special cases will be reviewed on a case by case base.

Can I get a paper copy of my certificate?

You will be sent a digital certificate that you can print if desired.

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Online Account Questions

Can I change my username and password?

You cannot change your username and password on your own. In justified cases we may change these for you, but this practice is not encouraged, as Gaia Education needs to have access to your registration and account in order to manage enrollment.

What if I forget my password?

We can send you the information to your email address upon request.

Can I delete my account?

If you wish to delete your account please let us know it and we will take care of it. Send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Other

My question isn’t answered here!

Do not worry, just get in touch by contacting us and we will try our best to answer all your questions.