Resources for Distance Learning: Grow Your Ability to Adapt

image: Slava Keyzman on Unsplash

Keep learning, wherever you are.

In ASLA’s 2017 Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) member survey, one question asked members to share one key piece of business advice on how to do well in landscape architecture. Among the top responses: cultivating a lifelong love of learning and adaptability. In times of disruption, those two characteristics may be more important than ever. Speculation is rampant, but no one knows how the next few weeks and months will unfold. Now is the time to expand your knowledge base and diversify what’s in your toolkit in order to make yourself more resilient when confronted with extreme uncertainty.

Sharpening existing skills and adding new ones can help make you a more valuable team member and give you the flexibility to best respond to whatever may come your way. Landscape architects are used to dealing with change—it is an integral part of practice. Given the disruptions currently taking place, now is the time to build on that existing versatility and grow your ability to adapt to whatever we may find going forward.

The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System

Landscape architects and other design professionals can access information on continuing education courses from more than 250 approved providers through the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™).

Check the “Search for Distance Education courses only” box under For Professionals: Find a Course for webinars and other online offerings you can do from home. You can also sign up to receive email alerts about new courses.

As a LA CES education provider, ASLA provides a number of ways to earn LA CES-approved professional development hours (PDH) online: by participating in a live webinar (all of the upcoming April webinars are FREE for ASLA members!), watching a recorded presentation, or reading a peer-reviewed technical paper, you can earn PDH online, wherever you are and whenever you can.

ASLA Online Learning

ASLA Online Learning offers both live online presentations throughout the year and more than 200 recordings for LA CES-approved PDH. Log in with your existing ASLA username and password for member discounts and access to free PDH, for ASLA members only.

And, new this year: all Online Learning content is available for free to Student ASLA members!

Upcoming live webinars—FREE for all ASLA members:

These free webinars are ASLA’s “Best of” webinar series from the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, highlighting three of the highest attended education sessions from San Diego. Join us for one or all of these webinars as we celebrate World Landscape Architecture Month this April. Each rebroadcast includes the 2019 session recording followed by a live Q&A with the speakers.

FREE PDH available on-demand, for ASLA members only:

ASLA now offers Online Learning bundle packages at a discounted rate of up to 50% off. Packages are organized by PDH quantity or topic area for 2019 conference recordings.

The Landscape Architecture Technical Information Series (LATIS)

LATIS papers provide landscape architects with technical information about new and evolving practices. A product of the ASLA Fund, and all LATIS papers are available for free to ASLA members. Each LATIS paper also allows you to earn PDH by completing and passing a self-study exam.

Other Resources

Looking beyond LA CES, there are many video resources available for finding information and inspiration. Land8 recently highlighted a number of these, including lecture recordings from landscape architecture programs, and some ASLA chapters, such as the New York Chapter, have event recordings available.

If you’re in need of a movie-length break, there is a number of relevant films out there, including Claiming Open Spaces, produced and directed by Austin Allen, ASLA, and City Dreamers, featuring Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, FASLA, available on Vimeo ($4.99).

For more general resources, don’t forget about your local library. Check your public library system’s website for free access to online resources like Kanopy for on-demand streaming, LinkedIn Learning, Libby or OverDrive apps for ebooks and audiobooks, and more.

There is also a vast array of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other opportunities to re-skill or skill up on almost any topic:

Coursera: free courses and paid professional certificates and degrees. Available courses include:

edX: some courses are free, plus paid verified certificates and degrees. Available courses include:

Kadenze: offer courses, micro-courses, and multi-course programs through either a free user account (includes access to many courses) or a paid premium membership to submit assignments, earn academic credit, and get certificates. Available courses include:

Udacity: program offerings focus on in-demand skills, including data visualization, business analytics, and programming. Monthly payment plans available.

Skillshare: an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative people, on topics including design, freelancing, photography, leadership and management, and more. Among the instructors: James Richards, FASLA.

TED Talks: founded in 1984, this nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short talks, remains a popular source of thought-provoking presentations. TED speakers and fellows include:

Khan Academy: free courses on navigating career paths and entrepreneurship.

A number of universities also have a few courses available for free or at a reduced cost, including:

See the COVID-19 resources ASLA has pulled together, including business tools, virtual learning tools, and important updates. Please contact ASLA’s Professional Practice team at if you have any questions, or additional tips or resources to share.

Leave a Reply