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» Online Classroom   » Inland and Coastal Navigation   » Public Discussion of Inland and Coastal Navigation   » Course Completed

Author Topic: Course Completed

 - posted May 14, 2007 10:32 AM      Profile for Lee           Edit/Delete Post 
I finished the Inland/coastal Nav program,and thought I would offer a comment. The material was great. The only disappointment I had was that no one ever contacted me to ask "how are you doing?" or anything like that. I felt as though no one cared whether I was getting along or not. Even the emails I sent to "info" were never responded to. Oh well...maybe I expected too much from a distance learning program.
From: Cocoa FL
David Burch

 - posted May 15, 2007 04:08 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
I am glad you found the materials useful, but i am sorry we did not make it more clear on how the course works.

You can see from this forum you posted in here that anyone in the course can post questions and get a prompt and thorough response. All emails at the time of purchase include those instructions on how to contact us. They also have our recent email address.

I note that you did take part in this process several times and got your answers. In one case the answers were late, but we tried to explain why in the notes that followed, then gave specific answers. The problem was you had many questions in one topic. Our instructions ask that you put separate subjects in separate topics. Otherwise it is difficult to keep track of who answered what when.

So i think it is not so much a matter of "expecting too much," but expecting that it can be done without following the procedures in place. The online learning can be an exceptionally efficient and effective way to learn, but it is essentially a database format, so one has to follow the guidelines or it does not work as well as it could.

As for the email you used: the address [email protected] returns immediately a mail to you telling you the right address to write to. This one is out of date. Apparently your spam filters have blocked these return mails from you. Had you received those mails and then responded to the proper address you would have received an answer the same weekday it was received. Our Helpdesk email is answered throughout the day.

About checking in to see how you are doing... as a matter of policy, we do not contact anyone of our students or customers unless they contact us first. We consider all such contacts spam. We announce—i would hope very clearly—how we answer questions in numerous places in the materials and in the initial emails at purchase and on our website where we sell the materials.

Nevertheless, with those matters explained, i am very sorry that you missed these matters of procedure and we are standing by at this forum to answer any questions that might arise in any area of marine navigation and weather.

thanks for taking part in the program.

We do offer a certification test for those who would like the extra documentation of their work. The fee for this exam, grading, and certificates plus stickers for logbooks is $30. See certification notes. Further notes on the certification process in general are in overview of certification in navigation
--david burch

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA
David Burch

 - posted May 17, 2007 01:18 AM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
In reading through this again, i can see that it would be a disappointment if one were expecting to be contacted periodically and did not get it.

Hence we will add to the Course Instructions a specific explanation emphasizing our policy about not contacting unless contacted first along with the reasons why we do this.

That might encourage people to check in on their own to report how things are going and if they have any questions.

Thanks again for taking the time to point out your thoughts on this.

Needless to say, we do indeed care about our students, which is reflected in the fact that we have had more than 25,000 classroom students and thousands more in home study, onboard, and online courses as well.

Aanother related point is, until now, this inland and coastal nav course did not have any online quizzes with each lesson. That will change shorlty and then the instructors are in contact with students at least once each lesson when they turn in their quizzes. right now we have quizzes in cel nav, radar, and weather, and will shortly open up that section of this course as well.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA
M. C. Rowley

 - posted May 19, 2007 02:36 PM      Profile for M. C. Rowley           Edit/Delete Post 
I would feel negligent if I did not put my two cents in here.

First of all, these are probably the best online courses I have ever taken in any discipline because of their well thought out and organized format and ease of navigation (no pun intended here).

Secondly, I have always received prompt responses, in detail, to my questions no matter how trival they might seem to other people.

Thirdly, there is no pressure from the Starpath staff to complete the courses in a 5 to 6 week timeframe. I have been working on both the Marine Weather and Inland & Coastal Navigation courses for almost 2 years now at my own pace. I am not taking these courses to receive a "grade" but to better my understanding and working knowledge of these subjects. In other words, you get out of these courses what effort you put into them. They are not simply a course you take one time and forget about. They are a resource that you can continue to reference 365 day per year, 24 hours per day. The reference materials and links to other resources are outstanding which is why I intend to keep my webcard up to date for years to come.

Kudos to Starpath and their instructors for providing such a tremendous service to us.

Thank you!

Mark Rowley
Santa Fe, NM

David Burch

 - posted May 21, 2007 10:26 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks very much Mark for those kind words. And again, thanks also to Lee. We do appreciate all feedback and benefit from it.
From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

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