First, expect to exercise some self-discipline. Develop a course-taking routine that fits your schedule and needs, if possible, and stick to it. We strongly suggest you open only one course at a time (even if you bought a package of two or more), and work at it regularly. Some students start with just an hour a day, every day … maybe before breakfast (if you’re an early riser) or after dinner (rather than watch TV). Unless you’re disciplined about working on your course, time flies by quickly. You can forget vital knowledge.
Second, recognize there are no shortcuts. Each course is approved for a specific number of hours. In most cases, these are “seat time” hours. So if the course you choose is approved for “X” hours, it usually means you’ll spend “X” hours in a seat in front of your computer screen (or with tablet or smartphone in hand).
Third, take advantage of the ability to “hop in” and “hop out.” You can stop and start in your online courses at any time. The course software remembers where you were last. You can take your courses from wherever you can get Internet service. Everything needed is online. There is NO accompanying textbook or study guide.
Finally, remember that you’re not finished until you pass the course final exam. There’s a tiny catch, by the way: many exams cannot be taken online. Some states require exams be taken under the watchful supervision of a proctor, a neutral observer who has no ties or obligations to you. Once you complete an online course for which an exam is required, call Polley Associates to discuss scheduling your test. Polley can tell you how to arrange for a proctor and a suitable test location.
Does it matter what web browser or computer I use?
A little. For browsers, the Big Three – Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome – all work well for the purpose. AOL’s version of Internet Explorer has its ups and downs; we don’t recommend it. Avoid Apple Safari. As far as computers go, you’ll need a desktop, laptop or netbook. Mobile device support for smartphones and tablets is available for some, but not all courses; it depends on the supplier.
What if I start an online course and find I don’t like it?
Generally, we do not provide any refunds or credits for online courses.
I’ve got a dial-up Internet connection over a phone line. Will that work?
Nope. You MUST have a broadband Internet connection (DSL, cable or faster). If you access the Web using dial-up service over standard telephone lines, you cannot take our courses online.