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The Course Area
May 31, 2016 (published) | May 31, 2016 (revised)
Peggy Hall; Charlotte Waack; Debbie Friedler

This document describes the generic layout of the VIN/VSPN CE Course Area and some basic navigation pointers.  If there is more than one way to navigate to a course area, it will be documented.

The course area has 3 basic sections shown in this image -
the side panel (highlighted in purple),
the header (highlighted in green)
and the content (highlighted in orange).
Each section will be described later in this document.

Please note:
Clicking on the VIN logo at the top of the course area will take you to the VIN front page (http://www.vin.com).
Clicking on the VSPN logo will take you to the VSPN front page (http://www.vspn.org).


Contents

  • Side Panel Section
    • Hide/Display Side Panel
    • User Profile
    • Participation Statistics
    • Search
    • Course Main Page (Navigation Bar - View Course Main Page)
    • View full Table of Contents
    • Browse by Category menu
      • General CE Resources
      • Library (Navigation Bar - Library)
      • Message Board (Navigation Bar - Message Board)
  • Header Section
    • Task Bar
      • Back
      • Print
      • Save
      • Favorite
      • Feedback
      • Help
    • Navigation Bar
      • Library (Browse by Category - Library)
      • Classroom (Course Main Page - Enter Classroom)
      • Message Board (Browse by Category - Message Board)
      • View Course Main Page (Side Panel - Course Main Page)
      • Main CE
      • MyCE
  • Content Section


Side Panel Section

Hide/Display Side Panel - To hide the Side Panel, click on the side panel tab (see red arrow). To display the Side Panel, click on the side panel tab again.


User Profile - Displays your profile picture (as provided in MyVIN/MyVSPN), your name, the start of your VIN/VSPN membership (or the date you first enrolled in a CE course), and  a link to log out of VIN/VSPN. 

If your name is not showing, then please logout and enter the course area again. If you are not logged in as yourself, you will not receive participation credit.

Clicking on the profile icon will open your MyVIN/MyVSPN profile and you can make changes to your user profile there. 

 

Participation Statistics - Your participation statistics will be displayed in the grey box (with the exception of any quizzes and the end-of-course test score).

These include the number of message board discussions read (in the example provided, there have been 0 out of 1 discussion read). You get a point every time you read a message board discussion. So if you read the same message board discussion a second time, you will get an additional point. In this way it is possible to accumulate more discussions read points than there are actual discussions. You must read 50% of the total number of message board discussions before the Course End Date. The number of discussions will increase while the course is open so be sure to keep up with your message board reading.

Also displayed is the number of participation points earned (in the example provided, there are 0 participation points earned out of a required 3 participation points). You get 1 participation point for every poll answered during the real time session, every question asked during the real time session, every question posted to the course message board discussions, and for completing the course evaluation at the end of the course.

These statistics are updated at midnight daily.

 

Search - Enter a search term in the text box provided and select the GO button. The search function will search for the specified text within the course library documents and message board posts. Please note that the search function will not examine links.

 

Course Main Page - Selecting Course Main page from the side panel is equivalent to selecting View Course Main Page from the navigation bar.  This page contains the course description, session times, course outline, and announcements (if there are any). 

 

View full Table of Contents - Selecting this will display the entire contents of the Browse by Category menu (aka Course Area) as an outline in the content section.


Browse by Category menu - Your course area contains a Library, General CE Resources, and a Message Board.  The Browse by Category menu lets you look at each of these areas in a menu format.

The Library is where you will find the course materials provided by the instructor, the quizzes, end-of-course test, course evaluation, and real time session materials (transcript, audio recording, replay recording, slideshow).  To learn more about how the library is organized, please see Library Content.

General CE Resources is where you will find CE documentation to help you prepare for your VIN/VSPN CE course.

The Message Board is where you will post your questions for the instructor and read the posts provided by the other course participants and the course instructors outside of the course real time sessions.  Activity on the course message board is a requirement for earning CE credit.

See Message Board Content.
For information on earning CE credit, see Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

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Header Section

The header section is comprised of the Task Bar and Navigation Bar.

Task Bar

Going through the icons on the task bar from left to right -

  • Back Arrow - takes you to the previously displayed page.
  • Print - prints the content currently displayed.
  • Save - generates a popup that instructs you to use the Save As function in the browser File menu.
  • Favorite - saves a link to the page in your VIN/VSPN MyStuff.
    To learn more about MyStuff, see: http://www.vin.com/doc/?id=4778472&pid=489
  • Feedback - provides a page where you can provide feedback to VIN/VSPN CE.
  • Help - takes you to the VIN Help Resource Center.

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Navigation Bar

  • Library (Browse by Category - Library)
    The Library is where you will find the course materials provided by the instructor, the quizzes, end-of-course test, course evaluation, and real time session materials (transcript, audio recording, replay recording, slideshow).  To learn more about how the library is organized, please see Library Content.

  • Classroom (Course Main Page - Enter Classroom)
    The Classroom is where the Real Time (interactive) Sessions are held. 

  • Message Board (Browse by Category - Message Board)
    Selecting Message Board will display the list of currently active course message board folders in the content section and in the Browse by Category menu. The course message board provides a place for course participants to post questions/comments for each other and the course instructors outside of the real time sessions. See Message Board Content.

  • View Course Main Page (Side Panel - Course Main Page)
    This page contains the course description, session times, course outline, and announcements (if there are any).

  • Main CE
    This is a link that will take you back to the CE Portal page (http://www.vin.com/CE).

  • MyCE
    The MyCE page contains a record of your CE history with VIN/VSPN CE. It can be used to:
    • Review the list of classes you have taken, classes you are currently taking, and upcoming classes to which you are enrolled.
    • Access the course area for any current or past courses.
    • Verify the credits earned for each class.
    • View, save, or print a course CE certificate.

    To learn more about MyCE, see Access Your Course Records and CE Certificates Using MyCE.

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Content Section

The Content Section is highlighted in peach in the above image.  This is where the selected content from the Library and the course Message Board folders are displayed.

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Library Content - Categories

The Library is organized into 6 categories (submenus).





  1. Class Resources
    This category contains general resources provided by the course instructor(s).

  2. Week #
    The library materials are organized by week, e.g. Week 1, Week 2, etc. These categories contain the documents and links provided by the instructor that are pertinent to the topic being covered during the specified week of the course. 

    • (VIN Community) - Any library materials that come from or are located in the regular VIN pages (not VIN CE) will be placed into a category whose name will include "VIN Community."  Once the course is closed, only VIN members will still have access to the VIN Community documents.  All other course material remains available to all the course participants - even after the course is archived.

  3. Real Time Session (RTS) Transcripts
    The transcript materials are organized under categories named "RTS # Transcript" (e.g. RTS 1 Transcript, RTS 2 Transcript, etc.). These categories are where the recordings of the real time session are posted.  These can include a text transcript of the real time session, an audio recording (if audio was used), a replay recording of the Unity classroom, and the session slideshow. The transcript materials are not available until after the real time session.  Participants will receive an email notification once all the transcript materials for a real time session have been posted to the course library.

  4. Tests, Quizzes, and Evaluations
    This category contains
    • the End of Course Test (for accredited courses only). The End of Course Test is posted to the course library the day after the last real time session and remains available in the course library until the day the course closes. Participants can take the test repeatedly until they achieve a passing score (80% or higher) or until the course closes.

    • the Course Evaluation. The course evaluation is posted to the course library the day after the last real time session and remains available in the course library until 5 days after the course closes.

    • quizzes. Quizzes will be included in the course materials at the instructors discretion.  Participants will be informed by the course facilitator when each quiz should be taken and what constitutes a passing score.
       
  5. CE certificate.  This category contains documentation which gives instructions on how to access and download your course certificate from MyCE.  Certificates are issued approximately 2 weeks after the course is closed.  Certificates are only issued for those courses that have been accredited and to those participants of the course who have met the requirements for earning a certificate.

  6. Related Courses
    This category will contain links to the (CE Catalog) course information pages for any courses that are related to this course - either on a similar topic or as part of a series.


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Types of Library Content

Any documents, PDFs, or slideshows that are stored on the VIN/VSPN website will display in the Content section of the course area when they are selected from the Library in the Browse by Category menu.

The exceptions to this are surveys, tests, quizzes, real time session replay recordings, and other libraries. These types of content, as well as all content external to VIN/VSPN, will be kept as links in the course library. So when the participant selects the item from the Library in the Browse by Category menu, the link will display in the content section of the course area. When that link is selected, the item is opened up in a new browser window or tab, depending on the participant's browser options.

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Library Navigation - Previous/Next

The "< previous" and "next >" links will, when selected, display the previous/next consecutive item in the course library (underlined in red in the next image).

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Message Board Content

The course message board contains a group of folders. When you select Message Board from either the navigation bar or the Browse by Category menu, the list of folders contained in that message board will display - both in the content area and in the Browse by Category menu.

Click on a folder to see the list of discussions within that folder. These will display in the content area. In the example provided below, the *Introduce Yourself folder was selected and the 2 discussions within that folder are displayed.

Click on a discussion to view the messages in that discussion. The messages will display in the content area to the right of the discussion list. In the following example, the *Introduce Yourself discussion was selected and the 2 messages from that discussion are displayed.

The course Message Board will typically contain the following folders:

  • *Technical Issues: for posting questions about technical issues related to your computer/access.

  • *Course Communications: for communications from the instructor and/or CE staff. The “About” page for this folder contains links to examples of the emails you should have received. If you did not receive these emails, and you were not a late enrollee, chances are your spam filter is catching our emails and you need to make changes to assure you receive all course communications. Please contact your course facilitator for help. Their contact information is provided on every email you receive.

  • *Introduce Yourself: for posting an introduction to the other participants in the course.

  • Weekly topic folders: for questions/comments regarding the topic covered during that week's real time session. Try to post in the week and topic area that best corresponds with your post for easier discussion by the class. For ease of identifying and searching for message board content, please use words in your discussion title that will help identify the content of your post.
     
  • [ optional ] Other Questions: for posting questions/comments that are not covered by one of the weekly topic folders.

  • [ optional ] Questions about the quizzes/tests: for questions about the homework quizzes or the end-of-course test.
     

If you need details or a refresher on using the course message boards, instructions can be found in the Participant Resource Center - How to use the Course Message Board

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