Online Learning with MCI

An International Community of Montessori Learners fit for the 21st century

In education we are now concerned with the interests of the human race which has only one nation: the world  – Montessori, 1989

Formal Qualifications

We offer a range of formal courses with flexible learning paths. You can study in-person with our experienced tutors at our London college, online through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or a blended mix of both to suit you and your lifestyle. The courses we currently offer include:

Community Learning and Professional Development

Our Open Learning platform offers informal and community learning. These courses are available to study online at any time and are available via a mobile device, meaning you can learn on the go. Our course series includes:

  • Education for Peace – is a free 6 hour course and the starting point for those who are interested in Maria Montessori’s belief in, and approach to social change. It will explore how she came to form her viewpoint of peace being not simply a counterpoint to war, but rather an all-encompassing way of viewing and living your life as a member of a global society.
  • How to choose a Montessori nursery for my child – is a free 6 hour course designed to help you identify what makes a Montessori nursery different, how it can help your child and family in making this big step, and how you can be confident in your choice.
  • Welcoming a new-born into the family the Montessori way – is a free 6 hour course for parents and extended family, designed to cover all aspects of bringing home a new-born and explores how we can all contribute the Montessori way to welcome a new family member.

We will soon be launching a series of practitioner focused professional development courses, alongside a package of webinars and podcasts – keep an eye on our site and social media for more details. 

How does it work online?

People choose to study online for a variety of reasons; family, distance from the college or work commitments. We offer high-quality teaching and resources for all students, whether online or in-person.

Formal courses on the VLE:

As an online learner on a formal course, you will have your own tutor who will remain with you throughout. They will be available via both email and Skype, and will offer tutorials and personalised support to you.

You will be following the same timetable as the college based students, and studying the same sessions as they do. Whilst there is flexibility in when and where you study, students on the Diploma EYE course follow an assessment timetable with set submission windows. Students on the Integrating Montessori Practice (IMP) and Introducing the Montessori Approach (IMA) courses can submit assignments when they are ready, allowing even greater freedom of learning pace and journey.

The course materials and resources are accessed through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Once registered you will receive your login details for your course. The courses are divided into units of work, and each unit is further split in ‘sessions’. The sessions contain information delivered through text and images, links to further reading, slideshows, videos, quizzes and other interactive activities that bring the content to life. As you work through the sessions you will be invited to join conversations and discussions with other students on the forums, allowing you to share ideas with MCI students across the world and develop your thinking as part of a global community.

The best way to experience formal learning on our VLE is to try our guest course for yourself.

Or contact for further information. 

Informal Learning on the Open Learning platform:

Open Learning is a different platform to our VLE. You can study our Open Learning courses anytime anywhere as they are designed to be used on both laptops and mobile devices and they have continuous enrolment, meaning you can join straight away.

Our tutors and community teaching assistants are online through each month to respond to questions and comments but the courses are largely self-access. Most courses will generate a certificate of participation once you have completed them. The platform offers free MOOC courses, professional development packages and webinars. Browse the course catalogue and sign up for a course today.

What if I need technical help?

Both formal learning on the VLE and informal learning on our Open Learning platform have dedicated support sites which offer step-by-step guides and videos on how to use the systems:

Our Formal Learning qualifications have a short online training course on our VLE which will take you through all the key things you need to know to study comfortably online, whether you are new to online learning or a returning student.

Informal Learning has a support site which is designed for those who have not studied via informal mobile learning before. It offers videos and a printable guide to support your learning.

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And because we understand that sometimes you just need a person to speak to, we also have a full-time eLearning Support Officer who is available via email and through bookable Skype appointments.


What computer requirements do I need?

Formal Learning

Formal learning on our VLE can be accessed through a web browser on your PC, tablet or smartphone. Although smartphones and tablets enable you to browse the VLE platform, be aware that you cannot submit assignments or access all the interactive content through a mobile device. Therefore, you need a personal computer (Windows PC or Mac), a solid, reliable Internet connection, a modern web browser.

You will need:

  • Basic computer browsing skills (i.e. are  you  comfortable with using the internet to shop online?)

  • Basic word processing skills

  • Microsoft Word or another word processing program, compatible with Microsoft Word

  • An email account

  • A reasonably recent computer (either PC or Mac)

  • A PDF reader (e.g. Adobe Acrobat or Preview)

  • A media player (e.g. Adobe Flash Player or QuickTime)

  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentation software or another program compatible with it (Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac or Keynote)

  • A web browser with JavaScript enabled and Flash (the Google Chrome browser includes Adobe FlashPlayer by default), and also able to accept cookies – current recommended browsers include: Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari – to find out which browser you are using, click here

  • A reliable internet connection, preferably broadband (DSL speeds) – a  minimum bandwidth of  4MB download speed is recommended

  • To  test your internet speed, click here

Informal Learning

Informal learning through Open Learning uses the OpenedX platform. Most current browsers will work on OpenedX but for best performance, we recommend, and fully support, only the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.

The platform will also work on mobile browsers, although some advanced functions are better viewed on a PC or laptop.

  • Make sure your browser is the most current version.
  • Check your browser settings to make sure both JavaScript and cookies are enabled.
  • If you encounter issues, clear your browser’s cache. Here are instructions on clearing your cache in Chrome or Firefox.

What do our students say about the VLE?

I am 56 years old and was apprehensive about blended learning as I have not grown up with IT.  In actual fact, the VLE has been a very positive experience for me. Introductory videos have provided extra guidance ensuring that we are all met at the point of our experience and capability.

I’m a distance learner and never before have had this experience of online learning. I’m amazed, so far, by the way this all works. It definitely makes sense to think about this way of learning along with the Montessori method – the fact that we control our learning process right from the beginning (managing our own schedule; being active in our research and having to commit to our own expectations), and also the fact that we can get this sense of globalization. Nothing better than knowing people that have the same interests (spread all over the world) and learn through each other experiences, enriching them with a sense of culture and context that should never be set apart from any educational system.

 It is so interesting to be able to read so many interesting perspectives on the Forum, I wasn’t sure if Distance Learning would feel too ‘distant’ but instead I find that the world seems to have shrunk and we are all on this journey of learning together, sharing our thoughts and ideas.

 As a dyslexic I have struggled in the past with conventional education systems, in turn feeling very frustrated. The blended learning system here offers a great array of opportunities to learn  in different ways. As I struggle to comprehend information purely from a book, the video clips, interactive forums are a great aid.

I have done a lot of work on the VLE before but I have found that the quality of this course
has been excellent. It has range of different ways of accessing a topic or theme.
I think [the VLE] is absolutely brilliant.

Only one week into the course and it is already far more than I could ever have imagined, I feel buoyed by a sense of community and both inspired and motivated by tutor and fellow student feedback and interaction. I feel privileged to be a part of the online learning community and also, even if it s just a teeny tiny part, to be at the forefront of technological advancement.