Suggested Schedule: Motivational Interviewing Foundations Learning Pathway

Suggested Schedule: Motivational Interviewing (MI) Foundations Learning Pathway

This learning pathway contains three courses, and takes approximately 16-18 hours to complete:

  1. Course 1: MI Foundations Intro (2 hours)
  2. Course 2: MI Foundations Skills (5-6 hours)
  3. Course 3: MI Foundations Strategies and Application (9-10 Hours)

Learners have 90 days to complete all three courses in the learning pathway. The majority of the learning content and activities are self-paced and can be completed individually online with some scheduled virtual interactions with the course trainer and other learners. The learning pathway builds up, with each course containing more content and complexity than the one before, so we recommend leaving more time to complete the second and third courses. 

It is important to set aside up to 18 hours for course completion, working through the course at a steady pace. Below is a suggested schedule to help you complete on time. Please note that this is just a suggestion, and you are free to work at your own pace, as long as you finish the self-paced portion within 90 days.

Module 1 – Overview and Instructions

Module 2 – Introduction Assignments

  • Update user profile.
  • Introductions in the class forum.
  • Submit a Helpful Responses Questionnaire.

Module 3 – Motivational Interviewing: Introduction and Attitude

  • Definition of MI
  • Intro to change and sustain talk
  • Spirit of MI
  • A range of styles for interacting
  • Listening with an uncluttered mind
  • Practice activities
  • Application activities

Module 4 – Learning Check

Module 1 – Overview and Instructions

Module 2 – Core Skills for Motivational Interviewing

  • MI Core Skills
    • Open-Ended Questions
    • Affirmations
    • Reflections
    • Summaries
    • Ask-Tell-Ask
  • Practice Activities
  • Application Activities

Module 3 – Learning Check

Module 4 – Written Assignment

  • Review the Helpful Responses Questionnaire and make a journal entry
  • Submit Reflections Worksheet

Module 5 – Practice and Feedback Session and Assignment

  • Document learning goals for the practice session
  • Attend practice session
  • Document and submit reflections

Module 1 – Overview and Instructions

Module 2 – Strategies and Application

  • Responding to change and sustain talk
  • The four processes of MI
  • Difficult situations
  • Common concerns
  • Practice activities
  • Application activities

Module 3 – Learning Check

Module 4 – Written Assignment

  • Submit 2nd Helpful Responses Questionnaire

Modules 5 and 6 – Practice and Feedback Session and Assignment

  • Document learning goals for the practice sessions
  • Attend 2 practice sessions
  • Document and submit reflections

For 12 weeks after the course, learners receive a series of weekly emails with resources and examples, prompting them to practice a specific skill in their interactions that week and then check in with a study partner or team.


Sponsors will receive updates on participant progress.

  • Define motivational interviewing (MI).
  • Describe the spirit of MI and ways to express it.
  • Recognize the difference between three styles of helping interactions.
  • Contrast MI consistent and inconsistent practices.
  • Discuss listening with an uncluttered mind.
  • Describe and demonstrate the core skills for MI (open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summaries).
  • Identify ways to provide information and advice consistent with the spirit of MI.
  • Demonstrate ask-tell-ask.
  • Recognize change talk and contrast with sustain talk.
  • Strategically respond to sustain and change talk.
  • Respond to change talk using the core skills for MI.
  • Describe the four processes of MI.
  • Demonstrate focusing.
  • Demonstrate Brief Action Planning.
  • Identify contributors to “resistance” and demonstrate MI consistent responses to “resistant patients or complex situations.
  • Consider ways to apply skills to practice.

This is an interactive course that is designed for participants who want to consider practical applications to their work. CCMI uses learner-centred, performance-based approaches to adult education. The MI Foundations online course includes:

  • Pre and Post skill level comparison via written exercise.
  • Learning activities that evoke understanding and build skills. These include interactive online activities, journal assignments, class forum discussions, and short quizzes to reflect learning and encourage application to practice.
  • Practice activities that increases practical understanding and allow trainers to provide constructive feedback.

An important part of the online course is the motivational interviewing practice and feedback practice sessions. These sessions give learners an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that they are learning. MI foundations practice and feedback sessions are one-on-one conference sessions with an instructor. They are 30 minutes in length and focus on communication skills (OARS and Ask-Tell-Ask), strategies, and application to practice. Learners schedule their own sessions, based on a selection of available times. All of the information to schedule these sessions is contained within the course.

We use the Zoom platform for practice and feedback for several reasons. Zoom with video allows us to see each other’s body language, which can be important in interpreting what people are saying. Many professionals interact with the people they serve on the phone or via video, so this also provides an opportunity to be comfortable with virtual interactions.

During practice and feedback sessions, learners can decide how they want to spend their time. Here are some common options:

  1. Clarification of a topic: Learn more about information covered in the online course. Learners will receive a short description or demonstration, have an opportunity to briefly discuss the topic, practice and get feedback on skills as needed.
  2. Case study: Learners can bring a situation with a patient or client that they would like to discuss. This would be a situation where someone might be “stuck” or would benefit from a new perspective and how to apply what they are learning in the online course. The learner and instructor will discuss the situation and the principles, skills, and strategies that might apply. Then they can role play the situation and get feedback on skills as needed.
  3. Role play: The CCMI trainer will play a patient or client and the learner will have an opportunity to practice your skills and then receive feedback.
  4. The learner’s idea: The Learner may have an additional way that they would like to spend their time working with a knowledgeable instructor.

Learners who complete the course and would like additional practice and feedback time, are encouraged to attend drop-in group practice and feedback sessions. Up to 4 people can book a spot in a 1-hour group session.

A certificate of completion is provided to learners who complete all units, learning checks, assignments, practice and feedback sessions, and participate in class forum discussions.

See our CCMI Services page for an overview of all of our offerings and details like prerequisites, duration, and capacity.