Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Q: How much time will I need to complete the course?
A: 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.
Q: I have signed up for a Lifetime to Learn course. Now what?
A: You will be enroll in your course
after you have registered and paid. About a week before class starts
your instructor will contact you by email. In this email you receive
instructions on how to access the classroom, an enrollment code and course
name for access to your class.
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 an exercise for you to complete and turn in. 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.
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.
Q: How is the course graded?
A: Lifetime to Learn 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 5 out of
7 weeks of 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.
Q: Do I have to have the book to pass the course?
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
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.