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The How-to's of Online CE


It is easy to register online for VIN CE courses. Enroll using our online registration form on the mani CE page: Click the "Enroll Now" link beneath the course you want to take and fill out your registration form.
Or call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email, and list the course title, your full name, and your preferred method of payment (credit card or check).

We encourage early registration to ensure a place in class and to make sure you receive any off-line learning materials should there be any associated with the course.

It is possible for non-VIN-members to participate in VIN CE courses. Non-VIN-Members are given a trial or temporary membership to VIN in order to participate in CE courses.

After you have registered for your course(s) we will send a course confirmation email within 48 hours. For all courses except the free events, we will send you a credit card receipt or invoice for check payment via regular U.S. mail. Just prior to the course, you should receive email indicating that you now have access to the course area and with directions on how to reach it.

Minimal Technical REquirements for CE Courses
Is your computer and internet connection adequate to take a VIN CE online course?
Go to this page for the minimum requirements we recommend for an optimal CE experience: Minimum requirements
Please contact email if you are not sure if your system meets the minimum requirements.

Course Libraries

The required and recommended reading materials for the course are located in the CE library. These materials will be available for you to use throughout the course. VIN members and Non-VIN Members will have access to their course areas indefinitely. The course material will be archived online, accessible to the registered course participants only through the main CE page, The link will be located under "Recent Classes" or "Archived Courses" depending on how recently the course was completed.

To get the greatest benefit from the interactive sessions, please review the materials appropriate to that session in advance. As questions arise from your review of the course materials, they can be posted at any time on the course message boards. For some courses, supplemental information is also available in the course libraries including links to relevant websites.

Live, interactive sessions

Live sessions are held each week in the course classroom. They are structured like a class discussion session rather than a lecture. Although the instructor will direct the session, active participation by the class participants is encouraged.

All real time sessions take place in our new VIN Unity Classroom. Your computer must be capable of using Macromedia Flash software in order to view the Unity Classroom properly. We do hold practice sessions at two dates prior to the first real time session, so if you are new to VIN CE, have not taken a course recently, or are unfamiliar with the new Classroom format, please plan to come for 10-20 minutes during any of the scheduled practice sessions.

Once you click on the Classroom link on the course main page, the software will recognize if your computer needs the most current version of FLASH. If you get a warning that your computer is trying to download something, please click YES or OK. If you are having trouble loading new Unity, you can download the latest Flash player here:

If you experience problems during the real time sessions, click on the Live Support button on the CE page or call 800-700-4636 (toll free). Tech support will be standing by to help with any problems.


We use "PROTOCOL" during real time sessions. It is easy to comply with Protocol.

PROTOCOL is meant to help keep order NOT to inhibit participation -- we love participation!

ONLINE protocol for a class/rounds situation is the same as in offline lectures/rounds/large group discussions:

Easy rules to follow:

1. To avoid everyone speaking at the same time, the leader is the only one who should speak without being recognized.

2. To "raise your hand," enter a "?" to ask a question or enter a "!" to signify that you have a comment.

3. After you raise your hand with a "!" or a "?" type your question or comment into the text entry line at the bottom of the VIN Unity conferencing room window in front of you -- this way you are ready to hit the SEND KEY and send the text when recognized by the leader. This really helps to keep the session moving along quickly.

You know it is your turn when the leader says GA (go ahead) followed by your name.

5. During some sessions, the instructor may wish to take a poll of all participants or otherwise encourage participation without adherence to protocol. If the instructor says �GA everyone� of �GA all� you may enter your comment or question directly into the room without first raising your hand.

It is that simple. It is also a good idea NOT to send a Private Message to the instructors unless absolutely necessary because it can be very distracting to what they are trying to do.

One other comment -- if you don't get to say what you want, don't get an answer, or want to expand upon a topic -- bring it up on the message boards :) We love BOARD MESSAGES and can go into much greater depth there :)

Note: If have not yet used our classrooms or rounds rooms, you will need to download the Unity Conferencing System in order to enter the classroom. It is highly recommended that you practice getting into the classroom a few days in advance of your first interactive session.

Course Message Boards

The course message boards are open throughout the duration of the course and for one-week beyond the last interactive session (for some courses slightly longer). Questions and discussions arising from the course materials, interactive sessions, or clinical case material relevant to the course should be posted on the course message boards. Message board discussions are an essential element of a successful online class. This is where topics can be explored in depth and applied to clinical cases and real practice situations.

Receiving your CE Credit

It is very important that VIN course coordinators can account for a course participant's "attendance." In order to allow accountability like this, we encourage that all those attending an interactive session be prepared to contribute a comment or respond to a question during that session. More importantly, those not able to attend a session are expected to download the transcript of the session and register a comment or question on the material in the course message boards, and be prepared to interact on this material. Active participation on the course message boards or in the real-time sessions is mandatory for the issuance of CE Credits. Without this evidence, VIN cannot give the accrediting agency an assurance of a participant's attendance.

Attendance Policy for Course Credit:
Demonstrating that you are following along with the class
You must read at least 50% of the discussions (i.e. threads) in the course message board folders.

Demonstrating that you are actively focusing on the class
On average, the participant must actively participate in the course 3 or more times each week. Postings on the message board and/or participation in the real time session can count toward your participation total. If the participant posts an average of 3 times each week on the boards, speaks up 3 times during the real-time session (including responding to poll questions), completes an assignment the instructor provides as homework, or any combination of these, the participant will meet the active participation requirement.

If you miss any given real-time session or can't visit the boards in any given week, you can still receive credit provided the requirement for total participation is met by the completion of the course.

How do we keep track of attendance online? Several ways.
Our software can track when you attend a real time session and how many times you participate. In addition, our software can log how many times you view the course message board threads and how many times you post on the course message boards. We also monitor homework submissions, if any, and answers to the end of course questions.

VIN will provide any or all of the following material to an accrediting state board:

  1. A complete transcript of the realtime class sessions is kept for possible auditing by a state board.
  2. A complete transcript of the course message boards is kept for 5 years for possible auditing by a state board.

At the end of a course, the VIN CE office will confirm your actual participation, by tabulating all course statistics. Certificates are sent uot after final statistics are tabulated and all payments have been resolved, which is 4-6 weeks following completion of the course. We offer CE certificates in printed format, which is mailed out to the participant, and PDF format, which is emailed out. Be sure to make your choice of CE Certificate when you register for a course- the default format is a PDF certificate.

If you have special requirements for a certificate, need further documentation, or need your certificate early for your relicensing paperwork, email, or call 800-700-4636.

Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdrawal retroactively. Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.

Debbie Friedler
Coordinator of Continual Education


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

Copyright 2002, Veterinary Information Network, Inc.