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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I need to take a class?
Q: How much time will I need to complete the course?
Q: I have signed up for a course. Now what?
Q: How is the course graded?
Q: Do I have to have the book to pass the course?
Q: What if I will be on vacation or a business trip during part of the class?
Q: Are all supplies and fees included in the cost of the class?
Q: Is this a self-paced course?
Q: How often do the classes start?
Q: I've got a 56k dial-up modem. Do I need a fast connection to participate in the class?
Q: Does the class meet on specific days and at specific times?
Q: How does a student interact with the instructor?
Q: How are questions requesting clarification of material asked and answered?


Q: What do I need to take a class?

A: The course is web-based. To access the course, you will need a computer with access to the internet, a relatively current version of your favorite browser, an email account that allows you to send and receive files. For each class you will need a copy of the book for that class. You can find out which book you need by viewing the syllabus for your class.

If the class is a computer programming class you will need a compiler for the language you are studying. If the class is an applications class, you will need the software that you are learning for that class. Some courses will have books that come with trial versions of the software or you may be able to download the software from the internet. For trial versions of the software there may be a time limit of 30 days that the software will work. Be aware of that so you can complete the class materials before your trial expires. Some trial versions of the software will not allow you to save files. If you will need to turn in files to your instructor, this may be a problem. [top]

Q: How much time will I need to complete the course?

A: Most of our on-line classes are 32, 16 or 8 hour courses. This represents the amount of time you will probably spend working on the course. Some people may be able to complete the course in less, others may require more. The course will be divided into 10 lessons for a 32-hour course, 6 lessons for a 16-hour course and 4 lessons for an 8-hour course. You will spend an average of 2- 3 hours per lesson reading the assignment in the book, reading notes or examples that the instructor has posted in the course, and completing the assignment. Since there are no set hours for a class, you can complete the assignments at a time that is convenient for you.

Lessons will post typically on Mondays and Wednesdays. There is usually two weeks after the last lessons posts until the end of the class. Assignments can be turned in any time after they are posted and up to the last day of class.[top]

Q: I have signed up for a course. Now what?

A: You will appear on our course rosters after you have registered and paid for your course. As soon as you create your account and your course is created on the system you will be automatically enrolled as long as your email address for your classroom account matches the email address you used when you registered. If not, your instructor will be contacting you by email to confirm your enrollment.

You should be able to sign on to the course any time after you receive the email. Your instructor will post an announcement giving you instructions on where to find the information you will need to get started. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the layout of the class interface. Typically the instructor will have you post an introduction to the discussion board. The instructor may also have you complete some other tasks that will ensure that you have the necessary skills and equipment to participate in the course. You will find a course syllabus and other information about the course or tools that are available to you.

On the first day of the course the instructor will post the first assignment. Each assignment will consist of a reading assignment in your book, some notes or examples on the class site, a discussion question and a practice for you to complete and turn in and an assigment that allows you to apply what you have learned on your own.. Exercises for all lessons will be accepted until the last day of class, but it is a good idea to stay current with the posted exercises so you can complete the course on time.

You can ask questions about the course material or the assignment to the instructor through the discussion board. By posting on the discussion board any other students will similar questions will be able to view your question and answer. Before posting you may want to check the discussion boards to see if another student has already asked the question. Other students may respond to your questions from their own experiences. The instructor typically checks the on-line course several times a day, but you should have a response to a question no more than 24 hours after you post it during the week. and 48 hours on the weekend.

If you are having problems completing an assignment, don't hesitate to ask for help. If you post what you have completed so far, the instructor can make comments and suggestions to help you along. If you are having problems understanding something, explain what you do understand or ask specific questions about what you don't understand. Just saying that you don't understand leaves the instructor with little to go on to begin helping you. If you are having problems, give the instructor as much information as possible. Copy error messages and document procedures you are following step by step. The more information you give your instructor the better he or she will be able to respond. If he or she has to ask for more information from you to begin solving your problems, the longer it will take. Responses are not as immediate as if you were in the classroom with the instructor, but you should be able to get the help you need if you work with your instructor.[top]

Q: How is the course graded?

A: Our continuing education courses have no grades. You will receive mastery of the course if you show that you understand at least 70% of the course information and participate regularly in the course. Mastery will be determined by your complete assignments. Participation will be based on your contribution to the discussions for each lesson.

For each lesson there will be a reading assignment from the book, lecture notes on-line, a quiz, a discussion question and an exercise for you to complete. The quizzes are there for you to test your knowledge and understanding of the materials. Most instructors will allow you to take the quiz multiple times.

Assigned exercises will be the primary means the instructor has for testing your knowledge. You must complete the exercise to the instructor's satisfaction. Once you have posted an assignment, the instructor will respond with suggestions to correct or improve what you have done. If the course is a programming class, the program must compile and run as described. You may be asked to provide sample output from your program or a compiled executable. If is a software application class, the instructor will ask for a completed assignment. All completed assignments must be your own original work. Examples copied from other sources will not be accepted.[top]

Q: Do I have to have the book to pass the course?

A: Many of the courses contain notes for each lesson that summarize the materials for the lesson. Other may include samples of work or links to sites where you can get different explanations of basic concepts. In either case, most of the information that will be necessary to completing the assignments will come from the book.[top]

Q: What if I will be on vacation or a business trip during part of the class?

A: Part of the consideration in determining whether or not you have mastered a class is your participation in the course. Participation will come from two sources: your participation in the discussion boards and your review of classmates' work. You will need to either post a message to the discussion forum or post a review of your classmates' at least three days for at least five weeks of the seven weeks of the course. If you do not participate to that level you will not master the class.

Since this is an on-line class, it is up to you to manage your time in order to complete the course. We understand that there will be periods when work or personal business will interfere with your ability to stay up with the course. This is why we allow some extra time after all the lessons have posted in order for you to complete the assignments. If you stay current in the class up to the time of your vacation and get right back to it when you get back, you should have no problems. Discuss this with your instructor so he or she will be aware of your situation. If you maintain good communication with your instructor he or she will be able work with you. [top]

Q: Are all supplies and fees included in the cost of the class?

A: No, you will need to purchase the book for the class if one is needed. If your course is a programming course or a computer applications course you will need to have a copy of the software. Many of the applications have free or trial versions you can use. If you will be using a trial version be aware that you will only be able to use the software for 30 days and you will need to complete the course within that timeframe.[top]

Q: Is this a self-paced course?

A: Yes, but there is a limit to the time you will be able to work on the class. Lessons will post each Monday and Wednesday. The syllabus is available if you want to work ahead. As long as all coursework is completed by the end of class you may work at your own pace during the course. [top]

Q: How often do the classes start?

A: All of our courses start every 4 weeks starting the second Wednesday in January. We typically do not schedule classes to run during the December holiday season.[top]

Q: I've got a 56k dial-up modem. Do I need a fast connection to participate in the class?

A: No, most of our classes are designed to work well with slower connections.[top]

Q:Does the class meet on specific days and at specific times?

A: The class is asynchronous, meaning that you can work when it is convenient to you and your instructor and classmates will all work at a time that is convenient for them.[top]

Q:How does a student interact with the instructor?

A: You will typically post questions that you have to the discussion board within the class and the instructors will provide feedback to all projects that you turn in. Instructors typically access the course at least once a day during the week and at least once on the weekend. Some instructors may schedule chat times where you can converse with the instructor live. Others may provide other forms of contact with the students.[top]

Q:How are questions requesting clarification of material asked and answered?

A: Since email can be unreliable, we suggest you post any questions you have to the Questions and Comment board in your classroom. If you are having problems with an assignment, post what you have done with specific questions about what you need help with.[top]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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