Q. What resources are required to run the online courses?
A. You can run the online courses using the following resources:
· Windows PC or laptop, or android tablet, fast internet access,* e-mail, and the Google Chrome (recommended browser)**, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser OR
· Macintosh computer, fast internet access,* e-mail, and the Safari web browser OR
· IPad, fast internet access,* email and the Puffin web browser available from the App store. You can download the free version of the Puffin web browser which contains the full functionality of the professional version for the first 14 days so that you can evaluate its suitability. If you then wish upgrade to the Professional version of Puffin the cost is around $4.
Some courses use Adobe reader X or later, and it can be downloaded for free here.
Some courses have complimentary takeaway Excel templates for your personal use. Excel 2007 or later is required to open these templates. All courses can be completed without requiring Excel software.
*Fast internet access: Download speed should be at least 10 Mbps so that the modules load and run smoothly. You can check your internet speed here: http://beta.speedtest.net/
**To ensure full functionality for the online courses we recommend the Google Chrome browser which is generally the most compliant with internet industry standards.
Q. I can log-in to the course page, but why I can’t open or view the lessons?
A. The most likely answer is that you need to enable cookies and/or pop-up windows in your browser.
You can usually enable cookies in your browser’s privacy settings. For example, in Firefox, click on Options > Privacy, and you can set your cookie options.
If pop-ups are blocked you usually see a note at the top right corner of your screen saying, ‘Pop-ups blocked’ when you try to open the course lessons. You can click on this to allow pop-ups. If this doesn’t appear, in Firefox, you can click on Options-> Content and then allow pop-ups.
It might also be browser related. When new browser versions are released on the market they are sometimes incompatible with the Learning Management System. **To ensure full functionality for the online courses we recommend Google Chrome which is generally the most compliant with internet industry standards.
Q. When I select a course module or lesson, I get a blank page with the words "If you have finished viewing this resource, click here to return to the course page." Can you tell me how I access the course content?
A. First check that you have allowed pop-ups and cookies (see answer above)
If you have allowed pop-ups and cookies and clicking on the module link still doesn’t work, try clicking on the “Enter” button instead.
If the module still won’t open, then it is likely to be browser related – we recommend using Google Chrome (see answer above.)
Sometimes the lesson or module is open, but in a new tab or window. So, check your tabs, and if it's not there, check for other open windows. You can do this by hovering over your web browser icon, usually displayed in your menu bar at the bottom of the screen, and it will show all the separate windows that are open. The lesson is likely to be there. Depending on your internet speed, lessons can take up to 30 seconds to load, so make sure you leave enough time.
Q. Why are the modules taking a long time to load?
A. This will be related to internet speed and bandwidth. Download speed should be at least 10 Mbps so that the modules load and run smoothly. You can check your internet speed here: http://beta.speedtest.net/
Q. Why can’t I access the course and the audio and visual files?
A. To create a full learning experience our courses often include audio and video files, plus adobe flash. If you are having difficulty opening or viewing the course files, this is usually because of:
- Slow Internet speed (see answer above) or
- Firewall or security settings on your computer or network. To get full functionality from your course the firewall and security settings must allow the following files through:
· all audio files (.mp3, .wav etc.)
· all visual and video files (.mp4, MPEG, .mov, .QT etc.)
· Adobe flash.
If the computer networks at your workplace have strict security settings that don’t allow you to access the videos or audio files, an alternative is to do the course on another computer with different firewall settings, such as your home computer.
Another possibility for multimedia files failing to open is that the required plugins are not installed on your computer. Ensure that your web browser can play .mp3. .wav, .mp4, .mpeg, .mov, .Qt and .swf file types.
Q. I have participated in all the discussion forums by posting my initial thoughts and then providing comments on posts from two other participants. Why doesn't this show in the grades?
A. Because the discussion forums are ungraded they do show in your grades. The Course Facilitator monitors your contributions to the discussion forums and a Completion Certificate is issued only after you have participated in all the discussion forums.
Q. Do you provide expert assistance if I have any questions or problems?
A. Yes, all our courses have well qualified Course Facilitators who are available to moderate discussion forums and help you with any queries. Everyone needs help at times and this one-to-one contact ensures that you are not left in a learning vacuum where you are unsure about any aspects. Our Course Facilitators are subject matter experts with technical as well as management, leadership and governance experience. They are on hand to monitor your progress through the course so that they can provide encouragement and feedback when required.
Q. How do I contact the Course facilitator?
A. You can contact your Course Facilitator via the Message block on the sidebar of your course page.
Q. How do I change the screen view when I am in a lesson?
A. Some modules have three screen views that you can choose from depending on your personal preference. Screen view can be changed easily by clicking on the icon at the bottom right of the screen. See ‘Navigating Courses’ in the ‘Getting Started’ block for more details. Due to software changes this feature is not available in more recent courses.
Q. Does every lesson have voice-over narration?
A. Voice-over narration is added to lessons or pages for the specific purposes of explaining visuals or charts, expanding on bullet points, or providing expert commentary. Voice-over is not used to read text out loud. We leave the reading to you as studies show that reading on-screen while listening to the same text being read aloud actually decreases retention. If a page has voice-over narration this is shown by the blue headphones icon in the bottom right corner, so that you know to turn on your volume and use your headset.
Q. Is a verified Course Completion Certificate provided?
A. Yes, our learning management system digitally records your progress and a unique certificate of completion can be printed out when lessons, quizzes and discussion forums have been completed. Each certificate has a unique digital ID code. The Course Facilitator also monitors progress and confirms the release of the Course Completion Certificate.
Q. Do I need to complete a course immediately after buying it?
A. No – you can do the course whenever you like! After you have purchased a course, you have access to it for as long as it is published on our Continuing Professional Development website. This includes any updates after it is published. This means you have complete flexibility – you can buy a course today and complete it in a time frame that fits around your other commitments. You can also review the course materials whenever you like and benefit from any updates at no extra cost. If you haven’t logged-in to the course in an extended period of time we will reach out to you to check that you want to stay enrolled.
Q. Do I have to complete the entire course in one sitting?
A. No. You can start, stop and resume where you left off as many times as you like at no extra charge.
Q. If I leave the course partway through, do I have to start from the beginning?
A. No. Our software will either automatically take you back to the point where you left off, or give you the option of resuming where you left off, or re-starting the course. If you choose to re-start the course your previous attempts at the quizzes and activities are deleted.
Q. Do you offer special pricing for returning participants?
A. We are always pleased to see old friends and offer a loyalty reward for those returning to update their skills with us. Please contact us for information.
Q. My Company likes what we see. Are you able to offer a company pricing? And can you brand a course for us?
A. Thanks for the feedback. Yes we do offer pricing for companies that are purchasing multiple course logons. Yes we can brand any of our courses for your Company. We are happy to use your logos and colors and make our courses look just like something that has come out of your training department.
Q. We need some online training for a specific task are you able to help?
A. Contact us and let’s talk. We are happy to help where we can. Our subject matter experts and course designers enjoy a new challenge. If we can’t do the job we may be able to help you find someone who can.
Q. What is continuing professional development (CPD)?
A. You can read more about continuing professional development here.
Q. Why is CPD important?
A. Well crafted and delivered continuing professional development is important because it ensures that you maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills you need to deliver a professional service to your customers, clients and the community. You can read more here.
Q. What are the benefits of online courses for continuing professional development? (I need to persuade my boss!)
A. Well constructed online cpd courses allow you to test your learning, carry out practical exercises, and share your thinking and analysis with your online community of peers and colleagues. You can find out more about these benefits here. Online training also delivers real benefits for staff and professional development. We’ve summed them up in a simple slideshow. Use it to convince your boss about the benefits of online training and share it with your colleagues!