1. Register before Class Begins
If at all possible, register well before the start date of an Esri massive open online course (MOOC). If you register after the course begins (registration remains open during the first two weeks of the course), you will need to wait about two business days for your course credentials (the username and password for software access) to be created.
2. Be sure your Esri Profile has an Up-to-Date E-mail Address
Visit http://my.esri.com and log in with your Esri credentials. Click the My Profile tab and review your information. Use the pencil icon next to your primary e-mail address to edit it if needed.
If your Esri access is provided via an Esri enabled ArcGIS Online that’s part of an existing ArcGIS Online organization from work or school, it’s likely your e-mail address is up-to-date. If it’s not, you may need to contact your organization’s administrator to change it.
3. Mark the Course Dates on Your Calendar
Once you register for a MOOC, mark the start date and end date on your personal calendar. We try to send reminders on the course start date, and perhaps one a few weeks later if you have not yet started the course. These e-mails can get lost (see #2 above!), so we encourage you to set your own reminder.
4. Confirm That Your Hardware and Operating System Meet Course Requirements
Different MOOCs have different hardware and software requirements. The details are in the Software tab toward the bottom of each course description page.
5. Start during the First Week
In the first section of each course, there is some basic housekeeping related to learning about, managing, and documenting your course credentials. Take the time to complete this section during the first week of the course. You will need the credentials throughout the rest of the course.
It's our experience that students who start the course and complete the assignments week by week get more out of the course and are more likely to complete it than those who try to complete all the assignments in just a week or two.
6. Understand How Esri MOOCs Work
Esri MOOCs are different than Esri e-Learning courses. (Read a blog post about the differences.)
Here are some key difference. Esri MOOCs:
- Take more than one week, with defined start and end dates
- Allow you to work at your own pace, whenever fits your schedule while the course is open
- Are free and available to (just about) anyone
- Include temporary free access to all the software and licenses needed to complete the exercises for the duration of the course
- Include a certificate of completion for those who finish
- Include a series of sections, with most courses offering new content each week
- Encourage students to learn from each other
- Are led by an instructor (or team of instructors) and supported by the Esri MOOC team
- Include videos, hands-on exercises, discussions, quizzes, and other learning opportunities
7. Prepare to Read Exercise PDFs and Use the Software at the Same Time
Hands-on exercises are provided in PDF format. There are a few ways to follow the instructions while working with software:
If you have two monitors, it's possible to read the PDF on one monitor and work with the GIS software on the other.
If you don't have two monitors, you can read the PDF from your phone (or another device such as a tablet) and work with the GIS software on the computer.
If you have only one monitor but don't have a phone or tablet, you can print out the PDF file and read along as you work with the GIS software on the computer.
7. Read the Forum Posts and Instructor Announcements
Your fellow students will communicate with you in the course Forums. This is a great place to ask questions and to help out others. The instructor and MOOC team participate, too.
Instructors also communicate with you via in-platform announcements during the course. These announcements may provide you with guidance about a specific exercise or warn you of a deadline. Or you may learn you've received a prize for being one of the most helpful students!
9. Know How to Get Help
For help with general questions before the course begins:
- Visit the Common Questions page for MOOCs.
- Use the form at the bottom of that page for other questions. Please include the name of the course of interest in the message body.
For help with course exercises after the course begins, you can read, search, and contribute to the course forums and use the Help tab to access both course specific Common Questions and a form for further assistance.
10. Prepare for the End of Class
Esri MOOCs run for four or six weeks. We provide a two week finish up period after the course end date. At the end of that time, your course ArcGIS Online account, any software licenses, and the course content (videos, quizzes, etc.) will no longer be accessible. Also, all of your content stored in your course ArcGIS Online will be deleted.
Two topics come up towards the end of every MOOC: (1) certificates and (2) saving course maps and projects.
You will receive a certificate of completion if you have completed each lesson in each section of the course by the end of the two week finish up period. If you are seeking a certificate we encourage you to confirm its availability before the course ends.
You will know you have completed each and every lesson and have access to your certificate when:
- each lesson has a green check mark beside it
- each green bar (representing a section) is filled in, indicating each section is complete
- a message appears at the top of the course page like this:
After the course is closed, you can access the certificate via your My Learning Activity page.
(2) Saving Course Maps and Projects
You may want to continue working on your projects or save your work for a portfolio. To do so, you'll need to move the work to an existing ArcGIS Online organizational account before your course accounts are deleted. The tools below can help you move content from one ArcGIS Online organizational account to another.
A "Swiss Army Knife" for your ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS accounts
GEO Jobe GIS Consulting