Frequently Asked Questions If we have not answered yours, get in touch by clicking the “Ask Us” tab or visiting our contact page.

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General

Yes! All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. Saylor courses also contain a free final exam with the opportunity to earn a free course completion certificate.

There is no cost to access and enroll in any Saylor course. Some Saylor courses contain an optional final exam that will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit. Those courses, and a more thorough description of our student credit programs may be foundhere. Access to the exam itself is free, though it does require the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring is $25 per session. More information about our proctoring protocol can be found here“.

Some courses have suggested mobile apps to enrich students’ learning, many of which are free, but some have a cost. Both free and pay subscription mobile apps are optional within Saylor courses.

All activities or opportunities that have associated costs are entirely optional and will not influence the students final grade or the quality of their experience on Saylor, and choosing to forego optional activies will not interfere with students’ mastery of course Learning Outcomes.

There is no application process; all are welcome! You can start by creating a free account at the ePortfolio.

With our student ePortfolio system, you can manage your account, enroll in courses, and share your progress with your peers. When you are logged into ePortfolio a big “Enroll” button will be to the right of every course description in the Course Catalog. Click to add that course to the In Progress tab in your ePortfolio. Note: You will also have enroll in the same course on learn.saylor.org. Log in, find the same course, and click the text “Enroll me in this course” on the right sidebar. On the next page, click the green button, Enroll Me.

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We’re working on eliminating this extra step, so bear with us for the time being!

Everything you need is linked from within the course page. There are no books to buy and no other websites to sign in to. Read the Course Information section and the Course Syllabus. Scroll down or page over to Unit 1. Open up the Unit 1 Activies link, find the first resource link (below the Learning Outcomes and Time Advisory), open it up, and start learning. Most students work through the units in sequential order.

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Our courses are self-paced, so you can start on any day – and take as much time as you need. There are no set start or end dates, and you may complete activities and assignments as you come to them (no deadlines!).

Our courses were designed and built by credentialed professors, teachers, and industry professionals who have previously taught the specific subjects they work on. These highly-qualified consultants research, design, and outfit our courses from start to finish; many assist in our peer review process.

Currently, we do not have plans to translate our courses into additional languages; however, we welcome opportunities to work with other organizations who wish to do so.

Yes, absolutely! Close to half of our students live outside of the United States.

Our Student Handbook is a good introduction to the what and how of learning at the Saylor Academy. You can find a copy of the Student Handbook here.

You can find the majors here.

The courses are all still available. We encourage you to use the ePortfolio catalog and to “enroll” in courses to save them to your ePortfolio. You can also see the full list of courses here.

We do not have specific plans right now to add new courses. Plans do change!

Course Information

You can take as many or as few courses as you would like. You might even choose to do just one unit in a course, and that’s perfectly fine, too! Some courses, however, do have suggested prerequisites. Be sure to check the course syllabus to find out what prior knowledge might be useful to you.

Students who take our courses will not be able to interact directly with a professor or TA. Some assignments are automatically graded and many others are self-graded. You can also seek feedback from other students in ourDiscourse forums.

(1) You may be able to find the missing resource by [a] using the “WayBack Machine” at http://www.archive.org/web — just paste in the link that is broken, or [b] searching the Web. (2) Let us know with this form what you found — thank you ahead of time! — or drop us a line via our contact page.

We are sorry! This is one of our toughest problems. We rely on what is freely available on the Web as well as what passes muster with our course designers. Replacing broken and missing resources is sometimes a quick fix and sometimes takes much longer; we ask you to bear with us and will be happy to suggest possible solutions so that you can continue with your course.

You have two hours to take the final exam. There is a clock onscreen to help you keep track of your time as you go through the exam. Please note that the two hour limit means that you cannot save your answers and return later to finish your test — you will need to submit your test for grading within two hours of beginning.

You need to receive a score of at least 70% on the final exam in order to pass.

Yes, although there is a 14 day waiting period between attempts. You can retake the exam as many times as you wish; only your highest score is considered.

Technology

Beyond a computer or web-enabled mobile device and a sturdy Internet connection, not much. If you want to take one of our credit exams, your computer will need to have a working webcam to comply with our proctoring protocol. You may use the browser of your choice, but please update it regularly. However, Windows XP users should avoid using Internet Explorer, and all students using older versions of Internet Explorer (IE8 and older) may experience glitches, diminished visual experience, etc.

You should have gotten an automated email with a link to confirm your account with Saylor. If not, check your spam folder, then email [email protected] and list the email associated with your account, the browser and OS you are using, and the approximate time that you attempted to create your account.

Try the following:

  • Make sure you are fully logged out of any Saylor accounts.
  • Close your browser.
  • Open https://learn.saylor.org/ and select “Log In” from the top right corner.
  • Log in using your credentials.
  • If you get an error saying that your credentials cannot be authorized or that the page does not exist, click your browser’s back arrow and click Log In again.
  • If you are still unable to login, try another browser; if you do not have another browser installed, ensure that your current browser is fully up to date.
  • Email us at [email protected] and list the email associated with your account, the browser and OS you are using, and the approximate time that the log in issue began, as well as the approximate month/year you first created your Saylor account.

If you are trying to log in via our Facebook integration and you are getting the “CAS is unavailable” error, email [email protected], and we will manually reset your password. You will be able to use the email address associated with your Facebook account with the provided password as standard username/password credentials. Be sure to change your password after you are logged in successfully

There are 4 levels of privacy that you can choose for your ePortfolio account:

  • Private: Only you and Saylor Academy Administrators will be able to view your portfolio. Sign-in required.
  • Link-only Access: Your portfolio can be viewed by only those to whom you have given a direct URL link. Those viewers will not be required to sign-in themselves or have an account.
  • ePortfolio User Access: Any registered ePortfolio User can find and access your portfolio. Those users must be signed-in.
  • Public: Anyone on the web can find and access your portfolio. No sign-in is required.

The old Testing Center and learn.saylor.org are both Moodle sites that we have set up to push data out to your ePortfolio. That’s your hub for storing and reviewing most of your activity on Saylor. We will be drawing down the use of the Testing Center throughout 2015, so if you would like to review the specific responses on previously-taken quizzes and/or final exams on that site or save a copy of your course completion certificate, please do so soon.

Certificates and Recognition

Saylor Academy is not an accredited institution and therefore cannot issue degrees. However, you will be able to download a free certificate of completion after you pass each course’s final exam (a passing score is 70% or higher). You may be able to obtain college credit using Saylor Academy materials. Learn about our college credit pathways here.

We are not an accredited institution. Some of our courses have been evaluated and recommended for college credit (upon completion of a proctored exam). Learn about our college credit pathways here.

Awarding college credit for studies completed at Saylor Academy is a decision that ultimately must be made by individual colleges. We have developed partnerships that connect students with inexpensive, portable credit. Learn about our college credit pathways here. If you would like your college to award credit for Saylor Academy coursework that is not currently aligned to defined credit pathways, we suggest that you speak with your institution’s administrative offices about a number of different options. Firstly, you should talk to a professor, department head, or registrar about the potential to take an existing challenge exam (common at many schools), to earn credit and/or place out of a course for which there is a Saylor Academy equivalent that you have taken. Typically, schools that do have these exams will let students take them anywhere from no cost, to $100 per test. Alternatively, you could ask to have a school official proctor your Saylor Academy exam attempt (thereby verifying that you are the one who passed the test, and should receive credit for it). This option may require the extra step of having your school review the Saylor course and exam, to determine whether it assesses the same topics as other college level courses on the subject. If you have already taken and passed a Saylor Academy course, try submitting your digital transcript, available in your ePortfolio, for review by your school. You should also look into whether your school has a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program, by which you may be able to write a narrative/create a learning portfolio, based on what you have learned in one of our courses. Often, a student will have to take a PLA writing class from the school first (for regular tuition), but they are then usually able to bundle courses into one portfolio assessment, thereby reducing the cost per credit earned. We would be happy to assist in any conversation you have with your school!

After you pass your final exam (scoring 70% or higher) you will receive an automated email from Accredible with a link to visit your certificate’s unique URL. You will see a button, “Claim this certificate,” click it; prove your are not a robot; and choose a password that you will remember for when you log into Accredible in the future. (The email you use for Saylor Academy will automatically become your username on Accredible, too!) Once inside your certificate dashboard, you will be able to customize your certificate with evidence of your learning, post to social media, reach out to professional contacts for recommendations, and save/print the certificate from a PDF file. If you would like to view your certificate from the Saylor Academy course page, find your course,and locate the Accredible module on the left sidebar or underneath the final exam module. Click the “View my certificate” button to launch the dashboard.

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Your transcript is a PDF document that you can save, share, or print. Click the image below for a sample from one of our staff members: Saylor Academy Sample Transcript

We are able to send print transcripts only for courses with proctored exams (presently some of those in our Pathways => Partner Programs” href=”http://www.saylor.org/pathways/partner-programs/” target=”_blank”>partner programs. All proctored exams are protected by password and are distinct from the standard course final exam. Students can download their own digital transcripts to use as they wish. Please note that Saylor Academy is not an accredited institution.

Click on the image below to see an example of the course certificate of achievement: Saylor Academy Sample Certificate

At present, we do not have the capacity to review outside work or transcripts and award a certificate for the matching Saylor Academy course. The best current option is to take and pass the final exams for Saylor Academy courses that match your prior knowledge and experience — there is no strict need to complete the coursework again, although you may find it helpful to do so.

Copyright and Re-use

While the goal of the Saylor Academy is to provide as much educational material as freely as possible, we also try to present our students with the best and most accurate information. Sometimes, this means using resources that are protected by a variety of licenses and copyright agreements. Below is an explanation of the various licensing you may encounter throughout our courses. Although we strive for accuracy, you should verify copyright and licensing for yourself before reusing any materials.

Creative Commons License Suite Founded in 2001, Creative Commons issued its first set of licenses the following year. These are intended to make it easier for copyright holders to extend specific usage rights to their audience. Six basic licenses are offered:

BY (Attribution) BY-SA (Attribution – Share Alike) BY-NC (Attribution – Non-Commercial) BY-ND (Attribution – No Derivatives) BY- NC-SA (Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share Alike) BY-NC-ND (Attribution – Non-Commercial – No Derivatives)

GNU License Suite GNU is an organization sponsored by the Free Software Foundation; GNU has produced a number of licenses relating to software. Some of our materials make use of the following:

GPL GNU’s General Public License is used for many software packages, as well as other items.

GFDL The GNU Free Documentation License is a form of copyleft intended for use on a manual, textbook or other document to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifications, either commercially or non-commercially.

DSL The Design Science License is a form of copyleft intended for use on source data to grant permission to distribute, publish or otherwise present verbatim copies of the entire work, in any medium, provided that full copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty, where applicable, is conspicuously published on all copies, and a copy of the license is distributed along with the work. The DSL license was written by Michael Stutz.

Academic Permission These are materials that can only be reproduced or distributed for academic or teaching purposes. The licensors often intend audience and distribution to be limited to a classroom or a private website.

Non-Commercial Permission These are materials that can only be reproduced or distributed for non-commercial purposes, as specified by the copyright holder.

Standard Permission These are materials that the Saylor Academy has received the right to host through the outreach of our Permissions Initiative. However, please note that these materials are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced or distributed in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

All Rights Reserved We do link to materials that we do not own and do not have permission to modify or host.

More information about Creative Commons and licensing can be found in the Open Licenses section of our

Open Course Resource Center.

For entire courses: Although we hold the copyright to our course outlines, we have made them available under a Creative Commons Attribution license (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0). As such, you are free to download, modify, and reproduce our course outlines for any purpose, as long as you provide credit (attribution) to the Saylor Academy for the source material. Please note, however, that the Saylor Academy hosts some resources on its servers by special arrangement with the copyright holder. This status is clearly indicated in each resource’s terms of use. Although you may link to the Saylor Academy copy of these resources, you may not repost or distribute them without obtaining permission from the owner. For individual materials: You must abide by the terms of use provided for each resource. About a third of our materials are openly-licensed, including all materials authored by the Saylor Academy. These are free to share under the conditions set by each license. The remainder of our materials cannot be reproduced or shared except under any conditions specifically set by the copyright holder. In particular, several hundred items are hosted on Saylor Academy servers by special arrangement with the copyright holder (clearly indicated). While you are free to use these items for personal learning, you may not distribute them further. Detailed information about adapting a Saylor course can be found in the Revising and Remixing section of our Open Course Resource Center.

Both Creative Commons and Open Washington maintain tools to help you easily attribute Creative Commons materials:


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