This list of FAQs is updated based on questions students ask via email, the discussion forum, the Facebook group, and other channels. It is intended to help you better understand the course structure, material, and objectives.
1) How much does it cost to take the course? The course is free, and all necessary materials will be provided. If you would like to earn a Verified Certificate of completion, the cost is $50.00.
2) How do I get CE credit? Our course is approved for 16 CE credit hours for psychologists, therapists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and members of NIRSA. You can also earn 6 CE credit hours for completing a shorter section of the course. Here are more details about the accrediting bodies from which you can receive CE hours.
Once you have registered for The Science of Happiness, in order to earn CE credit hours for participating in this course you must:
1. Register for CE credit through the course's continuing education co-sponsor, R. Cassidy Seminars (RCS), paying for either 16 CE credit hours or 6 CE credit hours. When you register for CE credit, you will create a login through the RCS website.
2. Complete a self-test measuring your understanding of the course material. You can access the self-test through the R. Cassidy Seminars website any time after the course material has been posted, though you won't be able to complete the full self-test until after all of the course's content has been posted--i.e., after Week 8 for the 16 credit version and after Week 3 for the 6 credit version.
You can answer test questions while you're still taking the course or after you've completed the entire course, and you can stop the test at any time--you'll just need to click the Submit Answers button before leaving the page. When you next log in, you will return to the page that follows your last submitted answers. A score of 75 percent is required to pass the test. Should you score less than 75 percent, you will have the opportunity to view your incorrect responses and retake the test immediately.
3. Once you pass the test, an evaluation form will come up on your screen. Please fill this out completely, as it is a requirement of each licensing board.
4. A continuing education certificate of completion will appear on your screen after you've passed the self-test and filled out the evaluation. We recommend that you print it for your records, though R. Cassidy Seminars does maintain a record of your course completion and your certificate in case you need it in the future.
3) When will the course content first become available? Course content will be made available beginning Tuesday September 6, 2016 with the first week of material. Thereafter, each new week's material will be made available each subsequent Tuesday in sequence. The course is built to be completed over a 10 week period, with 8 weeks of material and 2 weeks for studying and taking exams.
The syllabus has a more detailed outline of the course material.
4) Will this course be available at a later date? Typically, we run GG101x: The Science of Happiness in September, then again in January, refreshing and updating the course with each new launch. We cannot, however, guarantee that this will be the case going forward, so we recommend making time for it now!
5) I am unable to dedicate as much time as I thought; how long will this information be available for? The course material will be available to registered students indefinitely on edX after the course end date of November 28, 2016. Although you won't be able to earn a certificate after this date, you can still work through course readings and videos and see problem set and exam questions.
6) What type of computing environment do I need for this course? You need to have a computer running one of the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows, version XP or greater (XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7); Apple OSX, version 10.2 or greater; Linux, most distributions that have been released within the past two years should work.
7) The course videos won't play. What do I do? First off, you can try viewing the course in a different browser--Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc. If that doesn't work, try clicking on the YouTube icon in the bottom right corner of the video, which will open it on YouTube.
8) What is the format of the class? The class will consist of lecture videos, broken into small chunks, that feature the two co-instructors, along with "guest lecture" videos featuring outside experts on the science of happiness. Its other main components will include readings, discussion forums, and weekly "happiness practices"--research-tested activities for boosting happiness that you can try on your own. Throughout the class you'll also find graded questions that test your comprehension, along with weekly, ungraded "emotion check-ins" that help you track your emotional state over the 10 weeks of the class. Individual videos, readings, and other material are presented as “units” within the course; each week contains several “sub-sections” made up of a series of units. When a new week’s worth of material is posted on edX, you can proceed through it at your own pace. The course is not “live”--you can view the material whenever you’d like, not only at certain times.
9) Are exams open or closed book? Exams are open book meaning you can use whatever material from the course you need to respond to exam questions, but we strongly encourage you to really learn the material to reap the most benefits for your own happiness.
10) How can I learn more about the course content? Download the class syllabus for a more detailed outline of the course's content and components, including some key readings (and suggested supplemental readings). You can learn even more about the science of happiness by checking out the website of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, which is producing the course.
11) Will certificates be awarded? Yes. Online learners who achieve a passing grade, a minimum of 60% earned on Problem Sets and Exams, and who pay for a Verified Certificate on edX, will receive a certificate of mastery. These certificates will indicate you have successfully completed the course, but will not include a specific grade. Certificates will be issued by edX under the name of BERKELEYx, designating the institution from which the course originated.
12) How do I earn a Verified Certificate? When registering for the course, you have the option of auditing the course or taking the course through a verified track. Auditing the course is a free option which does not allow students to earn a certificate, while the verified track requires a payment and results in a certificate of completion from edX.
13) Why would I want to pay for a Verified Certificate? Verified certificates offer more proof that you have completed The Science of Happiness, in case you want to use it on your resume, job applications, or school applications. Verified certificates include the signatures of the instructors.
14) Can I switch from auditing the course to the Verified Certificate track? Yes, you have until the end of the course, November 28, 2016 to switch to the Verified track. We recommend that you should plan to dedicate approximately 4-5 hours per week to the course beginning September 6, 2016.
15) I can no longer take this course. What do I do? If you can no longer take the course, you can unregister from the course by going to your dashboard and unregister yourself. You can stay registered in the course to have access to the materials later.
16) Will the text of the lectures be available? Yes, transcripts of the course are made available alongside each video.
17) Will the videos have accessibility related accommodations? Yes, all the videos are transcribed are available for download and will have closed captioning.
18) How can I find out where other students are at in the world? We have created a map for you to add your location, see others around the world, and gain a better understanding of who is in this 35,000+ student course!
19) Can I meet other students in the course? You are welcome to connect with other students through our discussion forum or a Facebook group to organize meet ups or connect virtually. You can also join a Happiness Team. The Science of Happiness Instructional Team itself will not specifically organize any events or ask you to participate with others in the course.
20) I registered for this course with friends. Can people watch it together on one computer or does everyone have to be logged in and on their own computer to participate? You can all watch the videos together, but your individual progress will be tracked through you own accounts. So you can watch the videos together and then do the work on your own.
21) I won't be available during the Live Q&A. Will it be available for me to see after? Yes! The Live Q&A will be recorded and posted onto YouTube after.
22) Where can I reach you for questions or help? All questions, inquiries, and comments can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.