Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Head Start Coaching Companion.
Q. How do I access the Coaching Companion?
Q. Is there a fee to access the Coaching Companion if I am not affiliated with a Head Start program?
A. No, it is free for any early learning program.
Q. How does a coachee, trainee, or person being mentored access the Coaching Companion?
A. Individuals can request access through the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) or be added by an organization or group administrator for a program already using the Coaching Companion.
Q. Do coaches and coachees need to create separate accounts if they all work in the same organization?
A. Yes. Everyone who wants to use the Coaching Companion must have an individual account.
Q. Are non-Head Start sites able to use the Coaching Companion?
A. Yes, the Coaching Companion can be used by a variety of early childhood professionals seeking support for effective teaching and home visiting practices.
Q. Is the Coaching Companion helpful in coaching family child care providers?
A. Yes. It can be used to support education staff in any early learning setting, including family child care homes. Education staff can virtually connect with coaches and other peers via the Coaching Companion.
Q. Can the Coaching Companion be used for a Together Learning Collaborating (TLC) group?
A. Yes, the Coaching Companion can be used to support individual, self-, and group coaching.
Q. How do I add users?
A. All users must have an ECLKC account. The organization administrator for your program’s Coaching Companion group account can add users and groups, place users into groups, and assign group administrators, who can then also add users to their groups.
Q. How do I remove users?
A. Only the organization and group administrators can add and remove users.
Q. If a coach leaves, does the new coach need to start over with goals? Can they access the existing goals to continue where the previous coach left off?
A. A new coach can be added by another participant in the same cycle.
Q. Can there be multiple coachee cycles, all individually and simultaneously running?
A. Yes, Coaching Companion users can have multiple cycles active at the same time.
Q. Can a coaching team use the same account?
A. We recommend that each coach and coachee have their own account. This allows for coaches and coachees to track their past and current coaching cycles. After creating individual accounts, coaching groups can be created within an organization.
Q. Is the Coaching Companion available in Spanish?
A. Currently, there is no Spanish version of the Coaching Companion.
Q. Can I use HSCC on my mobile phone or tablet?
A. Yes. The Coaching Companion is viewable on mobile devices.
Q. What are the technical requirements?
A. Participants should have access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone with basic video editing software; a digital video camera, tablet, or smart phone with video capability; and reliable internet access.
- Computers with high-speed Internet access to upload and play videos
- A video camera to record teaching interactions
- OS 10.4 (or higher)
- Firefox 15 (or higher)
- Safari 6 (or higher)
- Windows 7 (or newer)
- Internet Explorer 9 (or higher)
- Firefox 15 (or higher)
Questions About Uploading Files and Videos
Q. Who can upload videos?
A. Anyone who is a part of a cycle, either as the originator or participant, can upload videos if they affirm that they have the necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to upload and share the file.
Q. Can I add photos from my phone?
A. Yes, you can upload media from smartphones as well as tablets, laptops, and desktops.
Q. Is there a size limit for media?
A. Yes. Media file sizes cannot exceed four gigabytes.
Q. Is there a limit to how many coaching cycles and videos can be stored on the Coaching Companion?
A. There is no limit on the number of coaching cycles that you can participate in or store. There is also no limit on how many videos and resources can be stored on the Coaching Companion.
Q. Which file types are allowable for storage?
A. Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, and images can be uploaded and stored. The most common video file types are permitted. To ensure that the video will perform as expected, refer to the Vimeo Help Center.
Q. What is the time limit for videos?
A. There is no time limit for videos, but files cannot exceed four gigabytes.
Q. It takes a very long time to upload a video. Any tips?
A. Before you begin recording, choose the lowest resolution on your video recording device and follow the tips below:
- The higher the video resolution, the longer it can take to upload to the Coaching Companion platform.
- Uploading video using a cellular connection can take longer. Upload the video using a hardwire connection or Wi-Fi.
- When uploading using a Wi-Fi connection, upload during the day when there are not as many people on the network.
Q. Which device is better to use for recordings that I plan to upload?
A. It is best to record on a smartphone, tablet, or other device that can connect directly to the Coaching Companion website for uploading.
Q. Can I time stamp video feedback?
A. Yes, you can “tag” a video that is used as a resource or uploaded as a focused observation. To tag a video, locate the video within the resource’s comments tab. Then, while in the focused observation, start playing the video. If you press pause, a box will pop up that allows you to enter a comment. After saving your comment, the time stamp will appear. To start playing the video again, select the play icon or the video itself.
Questions About the Cycle Components
Q. When a coaching cycle is complete, does the coachee lose access to the Coaching Companion platform?
A. No. Once coachees are granted access to the Coaching Companion, they can access past and present coaching cycles, as well as other resources.
Q. Can coachees see each other’s action plans?
A. Coaches and coachees can only see cycle information, such as action plans, for cycles that they are associated with.
Q. Can organization administrators see all information shared between coach and coachee?
A. No, you can only see the details of coaching cycles if you are a part of that coaching partnership.
Q. Will I be able to see my cycles once I have closed or completed a coaching cycle?
A. Yes. All cycles are still accessible when they have been marked as complete.
Q. How do I know if the coachee received the Action Plan step?
A. Cycle participants are notified via email and/or on the Coaching Companion website when they are added to a cycle, action step, or focused observation.
Q. How long can resources (e.g., video, images, audio) be stored?
A. There are currently no restrictions on how long resources are stored.
Q. Are the video resources only visible to the individual who uploads the video, or will all resources be accessible to all persons using the Coaching Companion?
A. Resources uploaded within specific coaching cycles by an individual can only be seen by the people you’ve shared them with. Items in the Resource Library can seen by all Coaching Companion users.
Q. How do I delete resources I uploaded?
A. You can add and delete resources individually from the cycles if you are the user who uploaded them.
Q. Can users upload multiple short videos under one action plan step?
A. Yes, you can upload multiple videos within an Coaching Companion cycle and action step.
Q. Can I add a personal resource to the Resource Library?
A. You can’t add personal resources to the Resource Library. The Resource Library is public for everyone on the Coaching Companion platform. Personal resources can be uploaded and saved to “My Library” on the Coaching Companion, where only the account holder can view and share them.
Q. Why is there no Reflection and Feedback section?
A. Reflection and feedback are embedded within the Action Plan Steps section.
Q. Are there specific resources to support home visiting (e.g., needs assessments, videos)?
A. Yes, there are a variety of resources to support home visiting in the resource library.
Q. Are the files stored securely and only viewable by our organization? Or can anyone view those files?
A. Any resources uploaded within a coaching cycle are secure and private and can only be viewed by the organization administrator and people you selected to be part of that coaching cycle.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
Last Updated: April 7, 2022