Starpath Online Course General Instructions that Apply to all Courses
|General procedure for working through the course...|
Read the lesson assignments from the first topic of each lesson. This will have a lesson title in all capital letters (i.e., 1.1 — INTRODUCTION or 3.1 — GLOBAL WINDS). Then do the reading from the texts and software as called for on each lesson. All of the online materials can be printed for reading offline. There might also be practice exercises to carry out. If at any point in your study you have a question about what was assigned or what you have read, then you can either search the Student Discussion group for your answer, or post your own question in the Discussion Group. At the end of the lesson there is at least one practice quiz that you can use to confirm that the recommended materials are understood. The quizzes are discussed below.
There are additional links in the classroom to other references and related articles. These extra links are all optional materials to look at. All of the syllabus and quizzes are based on our own textbooks and workbooks. See samples of pages from inside the course including more notes on procedures.
One efficient way to organize your study is to print out the Practice Quiz at the beginning of a lesson, and use it as a study guide marking the items we want to be sure are covered in that lesson. Then as you read through the assignments you will spot the answers we are focusing on and can mark them on the print out. When you have all of the questions answered, you are ready to return to the quiz online, post your answers, print or save a copy for your records, and submit it to be graded by the instructor.
Ask questions as needed
Remember the ebooks
We also have optional ebooks in all other formats (Kindle, iBooks, pdf, epub). All of these optional formats will work on a Mac or iPad, or any other computer or tablet that supports the readers. See starpath.com/ebooks. They are available at a modest extra cost, and there is an extra student special on all of our pdf or epub versions. Students of any course can obtain an extra 30% discount on the pdf or epub versions at ebooks.starpath.com, not just the ones used in your particular course. Using this discount, you can get a whole library of navigation and weather ebooks for the price of one or two printed books. The promo code is available once registered into any course.
Lesson Terminology (Glossary)
Each lesson includes at least one practice quiz at the end. There are multiple choice as well as numerical solutions, and some that ask for a short written explanation. The purpose of the quizzes are to double check that the key features of the lesson have been mastered.
The quizzes, however, are part of the training. These are not like tests in school! If a question is not clear to you, or you are not confident about your solution, you can post a question about the question before you submit the quiz. Our goal is that the subject matter be understood on a practical level that will ultimately help with your decision making and more discussion always helps with that. Likewise when you get your graded quiz back and then have access to the solutions we provide, you are encouraged to ask about them as needed.
One hint to all quizzes is the multiple choice questions are almost always directly tied to terminology, and the answers to these will be found in the Glossary. In short, there is generally one such multiple choice for each of the assigned new terms for that lesson.
Note too that since we want the quizzes to be part of the training, they are sometimes not simply asking for rote repeat of some stated fact, but involve thinking about the question or how it might relate to other things that have been treated specifically. On the other hand, if any of these seem to wander too far off the content as directly presented, just post a question for more discussion of what is intended by the question.
In some multiple choice, we might benefit from ruling out the answers that are definitely not right, and then choosing from the better or more general of what is left. This is very good training for USCG exams, in particular those that deal with the Nav Rules. More generally, though, the very process of ruling out some answers reflects understanding of the topics at hand.
Please read all quiz solutions
Print the Practice Quizzes
Important note on "Printer Friendly" options
Hence, when making a copy for your records of your quiz answers, use the special Printer Friendly option that we have made. This one is not on the bottom left, but on the left side in the yellow band further up the page, just at the end of the other links there. It is always valuable to print a copy of your quiz answers before submitting.
Print or save quizzes as pdf before submitting
An option to paper printing your quizzes before submitting is to print them as a pdf file saved on your computer. Chrome has a built in pdf printer. Mozilla firefox has a free Add-on called "pdfit" that will do the job. Mac users have a native print to pdf option, as do latest Win 10 on the PC. Another option if needed for an older computer is to use a free, third-party pdf virtual printer. One popular one is called Doro Writer. Once installed it shows up an an optional printer on your computer.
Print a degree sign ( º )
|Student Discussion Forums...|
The Starpath online courses include some 15 years of archived student discussions. These are grouped according to the course topic, but students do have access to more than what is just in their course. The main resource in each course is called the Student Discussion Forum. This archive is a key resource to your training as it is effectively equivalent to having attended hundreds of courses on the same topic as you can search the discussion from all of them.
Ask for help by posting a question
When you post a question
Use a separate post for separate topics or subjects
How to post a picture or graphic in the student discussion
One easy way to make the picture is just take a cell phone pic of the plot or drawing and then mail it to yourself, choosing a size less than 300k. Many phones tell you the size before sending. The smallest will usually do fine, i.e. on an iPhone a typical email might offer these options: small 40 kb, medium 107 kb, large 546 kb, or actual 2.1 MB. New phones often offer the option to crop pictures even before this stage, which helps limit the size. Then check your mail in your computer, and save the image to a place you can find, then when posting the pic just navigate to that location and select it.
If you get a notice that the picture you are trying to post is too big or too wide, you can adjust the picture size with MS Paint in a PC or with Preview in a Mac.... or other graphics programs. These are the ones included in the two operating systems, so everyone has them. If anyone has trouble with this, let us know, and we will post a video on the process.
How long to wait for an answer
When answering or following up on discussion
Student answers to posted questions
|Other Discussion Options...|
Please read the discussions
Check yellow light bulbs for new posts
Public Discussion forums
More than one page of topics
Summary of Search Options
If you do not find your answer with the above searches, then just post a new topic and an instructor will help you.
End of Course Gift Offer
Certification of Course Completion
Course Time Extension
Your course registration does not time out, but you must have an active webcard to access the online course and other Starpath Resources and discussion forums. The course registration includes a webcard that lasts for one year. If for any reason you wish to have access to the course and other resources beyond that period, you can purchase a webcard extension then register the extension at the bottom of the page, using your same username and password.