BEAT logo

online training

The BEAT Institute offers two free online training courses related to the built environment:


Assessing The Built Environment for Physical Activity

This is an introductory course to learn how to assess streetscapes, parks and trails for physical activity. The course is geared towards researchers, practitioners and anyone else with an interest in learning how to conduct audits of the built environment. Participants will learn about the main variables found in most physical activity-focused built environment audit tools, with a more in-depth look at a few specific tools (IMI, ANC, PEDS, PARA, EAPRS & PEAT). The participants will also learn how to customize the tools and train others to conduct assessments.

To register for the course:


Q & A about the course

Is the course really free?

Yes the course is free. You will just need to register to access the course!

How long is the course?

It should take around four hours if completing all of the modules.

Can I complete the course using a smart device such as an Ipad?

Yes, you can use a smart device but you must have an app that runs Flash player such as Puffin for $2.

Do I have to complete all of the modules?

We hope that you will be interested in the content of all of the modules in the course, but you are not required to complete all of them, only those that are of interest to you.

Do I have to complete the course in a certain timeframe?

Once registered, you will always be able to access the course and resources.  Your log-in will never expire.

How do I make sure my name is properly written on my certificate of completion?

It is very important that when you are registering for the course, you put the name that you want printed on the certificate of completion in the Name Field on the registration page. The system pulls the name that is entered into this field so if you only write your first name, that is what will be printed on your certificate of completion. We are unable to go back and change this if you do not correctly enter the name you want printed.

What should I do if I have been trying to register and keep getting errors when I hit submit on the registration page?

Hundreds have been able to successfully register for the course. If you are having problems registering, please make sure that you have completed every field and answered every question. Usually a person who is having problems registering has skipped a required field or question.

Can I receive continuing education credits for the course?

At this time, we are not able to offer any credit for completing the course. However, you will be able to print out a certificate of completion listing all modules that you complete.

Are there any requirements to take the course?

There are no requirements related to taking the course or particular modules.  However, if you would like to print a certificate of completion, you will be required to complete at least 90% of a module and answer the evaluation questions.

Can I assign particular modules as homework for my class?

Yes. We hope that teachers and professors take advantage of this free resource and use it to help supplement their lectures on the built environment, audits, etc.  Your students will just need to register like anyone else and then can take the modules you require. You can have them print out their certificates of completion to show they have completed the assignment.

Dr. Michelle Congo of Long Island University-Brooklyn campus recently used some modules with her urban health issues class and also had them complete some fieldwork. If you'd like to view her assignment, please click here.

What should I do if the course is not working on my computer?

If you are having trouble getting the course to work on your computer, make sure that your computer meets the following requirements:

Can I take the course on an IPad or similar touchscreen computer?

Sorry. The course was not designed to be taken on an IPad or similar style computer.

What should I do if I can’t see all of the buttons on the course screen?

If you are not able to see the bottom of the course interface, you may need to reduce the screen size until you can see all of the buttons to advance the screens.

I have been going through different modules and noticed that my course progress stays at 0%. How can I get my progress to register?

If your course progress bar is indicating 0%, you will need to temporarily change your computers setting as they are not allowing our cookies to track your progress. Select Tools from internet explorer, then select Internet Options, then Privacy tag, then Advanced. It should prompt the windows with setting for cookies storing. Make sure they are all set to "Accept". Then try launching again.

I have some resources I would like to recommend to be added to the course resources. Whom should I contact?

We can continually update the course resources. If you have other items you think would be useful to add, please send an email to

Do I need permission to promote the website to others?

We spent all of our resources on designing the course so we would love your help in promoting the course to others on listservs, in classes, etc. Feel free to promote and share the website far and wide! We appreciate the help! If you would like to post our flyer, click here.

[back to top]

The Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) Course

This is an in-depth training on how to use the NEMS tools developed to assess the nutrition environments of stores and restaurants using NEMS-R and NEMS-S.

[back to top]