Sizzling Minerals
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Course Features and Benefits

Our courses offer unique benefits unavailable from other self-paced training vendors. Each course is developed using a rigorous set of criteria. Our criteria include quality content, interaction, graphics, a consistent course interface, and interspersed questions, making learning fun, interesting, and effective. Our courses provide the following features and benefits:

Course Topics and Master Topics:
• Provides a quick reference tool allowing each course to remain useful to you. Each item in the Course Topics list is an active hyperlink, permitting quick access to specific topics
• Permits quick access to the tables of content and indexes for the entire course library. This makes it easy to locate specific information to study or reference.
• Complements the course glossary, a great reference for definitions of unfamiliar terms.

• No downloading of course files is required before, during, or after you take a course. This keeps your local hard drive free of unnecessary files.
•Small page size (average of only 16k) ensures fast response time through the Internet.

Global Navigation:
• Provides you with the same easy-to-use and intuitive course presentation through a Web browser (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer).
• Provides ready access to key information, from a course glossary, to tips on using the courses, to technical support information. All of these are accessible using the Feature Tabs.
• Allows a student to navigate through a course, answer questions, and take the Skill Assessment using keyboard shortcuts.

Flexible Timing:
• Means our courses are ready when you are - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Allows you to control the pace. Learn quickly or take your time.
• Allows you to focus on what you need. Skip what you know or don’t need, or take courses repeatedly. It’s your choice.

• Tracks your progress in a course. The next time you access the course, you will return to the same location within the course. You don’t need to remember either where you stopped or how to return to where you stopped.

Testing Questions:
• Challenge you with a variety of question formats, including multi-step simulations, true/false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank.
• Provide constructive feedback for both correct and incorrect responses.

• Use the free Macromedia Authorware Web Player plug-in, enabling you to run the existing optional simulations found in our courses.
• Are multiple-step, with realistic screen representations, so you can see how the application really works.
• Include hints and step-by-step instructions to assist you through the simulation.
• May be replayed multiple times for a better understanding of the illustrated concepts.
• Animated procedural simulations created with Flash provide an interactive, structured walk-through of a series of steps.

• Give you valuable hands-on experience.
• Can be combined with the supplied sample files, allowing your new skills to be tested by completing an exercise within the actual application.
• Include pre-bundled sample applets to run in Visual Basic (for our Visual Basic courses).

Skill Assessment:
• Generates a customized learning path based on the results of a pre-test of your skills before taking a course. The pre-test identifies individual strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to take only the units you haven’t mastered.
• Allows testing at any time and is available from within each course.
• Tracks your scores by unit. Initial, current, and best scores are tracked. Scores are available to view on screen and print immediately.
• Provides a post-test. You'll know how well you've mastered the material once this test is completed.
• Allows any of our courses to be taken and your best score to be compared with the Mastery Level Score.

Progress Report Link:
• Allow all learners to view the course questions that remain unanswered. A new Progress Report link has been added to the Course Tools tab in the Course View for all platforms.

Supplied Sample Files:
• Include sample documents, application files, programs, and programming code.
• Can be copied into a document or compiler, enabling you to practice with these files and save time by using them in a document or program of your own.
• Allow code analysis and provide sample output, enhancing your learning experience.

Mastery Page:
• Allow learners to determine easily if they have mastered a course or not. A new mastery page is replacing the last page of all courses (except the Getting Started course). Learners who have mastered a course will receive a page with congratulatory text. Learners who have not mastered a course will receive a page with “You’ve Reached the End of the Course” text.

Multimedia Instructional Audio:
• Allows learners to hear instructional audio tracks for each course page consists of the text on the course page. Courses with instructional audio will have new speaker icon and replay buttons in the course navigation bar.

Show Me’s™:
• Allow learners to view a Flash video within our courses. In the right frame of the course, the video starts and is accompanied by instructional audio. In the left frame, text dialogue matching the instructional audio is displayed.

Flash and Audio:
• Provide animated, interactive Lesson Introductions, Activities, and Simulations.
• Supply an aural feedback mechanism when questions are answered correctly.
• Present new concepts in Lesson Introductions.

• Allows you to research a topic of interest in any or all of the courses you can access.
• Enables you to rapidly search all text, including text within coding examples, to easily retrieve the information you require.
• Allows you to expand your search to include looking for synonyms.
• Includes stemming technology that automatically includes related variations of your search term in the search tool.

• Allows a learner to select a word or phrase in the course content and perform one of four searches. (1) Search the Glossary; (2) Search this Course; (3) Search the Web; and (4) Dictionary.

• Allows vision-impaired students to use a text reader program to read the text-only version of a course.
• Enables students to access the various course features by using command keys to navigate, search the glossary, answer course questions, and more.
• Fully compatible with JAWS 3.7 and 4.5.
• Complies with all Federal 508 regulations and W3C’c WCAG guidelines.

My Preferences:
• Allow you to modify the course environment to your personal preferences, including permitting you to change text size or graphical themes, and turn certain multimedia lesson components on and off.

Smooth Page Transitions:
• Allows a learner to see course pages “fade in” when paging forward or backward through the course. The smooth page transitions eliminate the flash between pages, improving the learner experience. The default My Preferences setting for Smooth Page Transitions is OFF.

Course Completion Certificates:
• Allow a learner to choose and print a certificate when he or she has mastered a course. Completion certificates now indicate the estimated number of hours it takes to complete the course.

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