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Frequently Asked Questions

Course Overview

Q. Which topics are covered in this course?

A. The course begins with an introduction to Humanitarian Principles and International Humanitarian Law. The lessons will then be applied to four cases - Goma, Somalia, the Balkans, and Afghanistan/Pakistan.

Q. What is expected of me?

A. Learners in this course will be expected to complete readings, watch videos, answer multiple choice questions, and participate on discussion boards.

Q. Where will important news and updates be posted?,
A. Be sure to check Course Info. Important news, updates, and corrections will be posted here.

Course Deadlines

Q. I just enrolled but I see that the course began earlier. Am I too late?

A. New participants are welcome at any time!

Q. When is work due? Are there deadlines?
A. The course schedule is flexible for participants. Simply work at your own pace to complete the materials. The last day to complete work for the certificate is stated clearly on the "Course" landing page.

Course Certificates

 Q. How do I earn a certificate?

A. This course is freely accessible to all. Learners can choose to audit the course for free or earn a Verified Certificate. (Learn more about edX Verified Certificates.) The price for the Verified Certificate is $99. You must get a grade of 80% or higher by completing the course materials and assignments to earn a certificate. This might include, but is not limited to, watching video lectures, reading texts, completing the quizzes, and participating in discussion forums. The Progress page shows progress toward passing the course. Students who cannot complete all of the course materials and assignments are welcome and encouraged to audit this class by engaging with the course materials to the extent that they can.

Q. Can I get a certificate without paying?

A. If you are interested in a Verified Certificate, but cannot afford the fee, there is financial assistance available. You can learn more here.

Q. I have signed up for a Verified Certificate. When will I receive my certificate?

A. Two days after the course closes, you can generate your own certificate (with a passing grade and on the IDV track). To find out if you are eligible for a certificate, click on the "Progress" tab. Once you have earned a certificate, you can get a copy of the certificate by going to your edX dashboard  and click on the blue button “View Certificate.” You can then share and print the certificate. For more information, please read the edX Learner’s Guide here. We are exploring making these certificates available immediately after reaching a passing grade for the course.

Discussion Board

Q. How can I follow a thread in the Discussion Board?
A. Click on the grey star icon in the top right hand corner of the post.

Q. I only want to view the threads I'm following. Is that possible?
A. In the Discussion Board, click on “Show all Discussions” at the top of the list of threads. From the drop-down menu select “Posts I'm Following”. When you are ready to see all posts again, click on “Posts I'm Following”. From the drop-down menu select “Show All Discussions”.

Q. How can I follow a particular person in the Discussion Board?
A. The edX platform does not currently offer this function. But there is a way for you to see threads with contributions by a specific participant. Just click on that person's username near the top of a post or reply. That link opens a page where you can view recent activity by the participant. You can use your browser to bookmark this page.

Q. I posted a question in the Discussion Board. How will I know if someone responds?
A. When you start a new thread, it will automatically be marked as a discussion to follow. You can get updates about all the threads you follow by going to the Discussion Board Home and clicking on the check box for “receive update”. You only need to do this once. After that, you will receive a daily email digest about activity from posts you are following.

Q. I found a post that I think is inappropriate. What should I do?
A. You can “flag” the post. Report it and a Course Staff member will review these flagged posts periodically.

Multiple Choice Questions

Q. How do I submit an answer?

A. Click on your selected answer. Then press "check." If it's correct, a green check will appear. If it's incorrect, a red X will appear.

Q. How can I learn why an answer is correct or incorrect?

A. After you are done submitting your response, you can click on "Show Answer" to get an explanation of the possible answers.

edX Platform

Q. Who can I contact if I have a question or problem?

A. For questions regarding the edX platform, you can contact them through the help tab on the left side of the page. For questions about the course, go to the Logistics Discussion Forum.

Q. How do I watch the videos?,

A. You can access all the videos for each Unit in the Course section.

Q. For technical reasons, I can't watch the videos in Course. Can I download them?
A. If you look directly below the video frame, you will see a link for downloading the file.

Q. I'm experiencing technical problems that appear to be related to the platform (new posts won't appear in the Discussion Board, I'm getting 404 errors, etc.). What should I do?
A. Please use the Help tab on the left hand side of the screen to report this problem directly to the edX team.

Q. I'm experiencing a problem related to content in the project (I found an error in the transcript, I'm having a problem with a self-assessment, video, text, etc.) What should I do?
A. Please take a screen shot and notify the Course Staff by posting in the Course Logistics Board.

Q. How do I know how well I'm performing in the course?

A. Then you can click on 'Progress' and you will see how much of the course you have completed. Completing 80% of the course content will earn you a certificate of completion.

Q. What is UTC? And can I specify my preferred time zone?

A. The edX platform uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as a default. However, you can change this by going to Account Settings and selecting your time zone.

Case Surveys

We understand that some of you have been receiving error messages while attempting to answer the survey questions in the cases. This is due to your internet browser settings. The software for the polls uses cookies to determine if someone has answered the survey. Please see below for how to correct this:

Google Chrome: go into Settings —> Show Advanced Settings —> Content Settings —> “Allow local data to be set (recommended)”

Firefox: go into Preferences —> Privacy —>History —> either “Remember history” or in custom settings for history accept third party cookies: “always”

Safari: go into Preferences —> Privacy —> Always Allow