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Frequently asked questions

Using the forum



Tech support

Using the forum

How do I ask for help?

In this course, we strongly encourage constructive conversation! Interacting with other students is an intended part of the course. If you are stuck on a problem, you should:

  1. Write down the problem (or take a screenshot, if you can) in the Discussion forum
  2. Show us how you attempted to solve the problem

It is very important that you show us your attempt! Some problems are difficult and require multiple steps, and if we know what steps you took, we'll be able to give you the best possible advice for solving your problem.

Remember -- if your post doesn't actually have a question, and doesn't show us what your attempt was, we won't be able to help you effectively!

What are the rules for posting on the forum?

The forum is there for students who want to learn. Trolling, spamming, harassing, or insulting other students or course staff is unacceptable, and the course staff reserves the right to remove students from the course at their discretion.

If you are having trouble with a lesson or a problem, please read the How do I ask for help? entry above this one.


How do I pass this course?

In order to receive a passing grade, you will need to complete 85% of the reviews. By "complete" we mean that the mastery bar must turn green. Once it turns green, you receive full credit for the review and can move on!

How much time do I have? Is there a deadline?

This course has no deadline. You can complete all of the lessons and reviews at your own pace! Certificates are distributed in batches on a rolling basis.

I've achieved a passing grade. When am I getting my certificate?

You can download your certificate as soon as you get a passing grade! Go to your Progress Tab and click on the "Request Certificate" button at the top of the screen. For more information on requesting and downloading certificates, please see edX's documentation on how to generate your certificate.

Will I lose points if I get a question wrong?

In this course, grading works very differently from what you might be used to: even if you get answers wrong, you can still get 100% in this course! Your mastery bar may shrink when getting a question wrong, but it never prevents you from being able to raise it back up to 100%. Wrong answers are totally OK -- that's how anyone learns -- and whether it takes you 1 try or 10 tries, you will still get full credit if you demonstrate that you understand the material.

Why is my mastery bar stuck? Is this a bug?

Rest assured, it is not! The mastery bar reflects your current understanding of the topic --not necessarily the number of questions you've answered. It's possible that it will move forward, backward, or stay in the same place depending on the difficulty of the question and how you answered it. Sometimes, the bar will appear to stay in the same place after a couple of questions, and that's totally normal -- the system is trying to gauge the appropriate difficulty of questions to ask. As long as you keep getting the questions correct, the bar will eventually move up.

Each review will continue until you demonstrate mastery of the concepts. There's no time limit, so the quickest way to complete a review is to think carefully about each question and answer once you're confident.

Course material

What are "challenge questions"?

When you show that you are able to consistently answer certain questions, we may start throwing some challenge questions into the mix. These questions require you to apply what you've learned to a new situation that may not have been explicitly covered in the lesson.

Why doesn't the lesson tell me exactly how to do every single question?

In this class, as well as in the real world, you will often be asked to take everything you've learned and solve a new problem with it. With these questions, we are challenging you to think deeply about the concepts from the lesson and use your cumulative knowledge from all of the lessons so far. We don't want you to just memorize a handful of formulas and patterns -- you've reached the challenge questions because you are ready to see something new!

What should I do if I can't figure out how to solve a challenge question?

If you have even gotten to this point, congratulations! You are well on your way to completing the review. The best way to get help for this is to ask on the forum -- we encourage collaboration and discussion! Staff members as well as fellow students will be happy to help you.

The best way to ask for help is to either write down or take a screenshot of the question you have having difficulty with, and explain what steps you took in your attempt to solve the problem. This way, staff members or fellow learners will be able to see where you might have gone wrong and give you specific advice that will help you!

How do challenge questions affect my grade?

You don't have to perfectly answer every challenge question in order to complete a review, but we do show them to you occasionally to see whether you're ready for something more difficult. Think of it as a bonus, and don't feel bad about answering incorrectly -- a wrong answer will never prevent you from getting back to 100%!

Don't think of these reviews as being like exams from school. Here and there you might make a mistake, or you might realize that there's a small concept you forgot about, or that there is something in a previous lesson you might need to review. These reviews are here to help us -- and yourself -- assess your mastery of the material, and once you've shown that you understand it, you receive full credit.

I think i found an error in a problem. What do I do?

The best way to get help is to post in the Discussion forum, with a screenshot of the problem you are having difficulty with. If possible, post an explanation of how you tried to solve the problem -- in many cases, we've found that the "error" was actually just a simple mental mistake, or a misreading of the problem!

Tech support

What are the recommended browsers for desktops?

We highly recommend the latest versions of the following browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox

All of the lessons and reviews will also work on Internet Explorer 10+, but we have found that it is sometimes less reliable.

Why is my video is a blank green screen?

You are probabaly using Internet Explorer 10. This is a known bug with Internet Explorer 10 -- sorry, but there's nothing that we can do about it. We highly recommend you upgrade to one of the recommended browsers, or perhaps try Internet Explorer 11+.

My videos won't play!

While the video downloads, the seek bar on the bottom of the screen indicates, in a brighter color, how much of the video has been loaded so far. Usually, videos won't start playing until enough of the video has loaded -- if you have persistent playback issues, you may want to check your internet connection and try again.

If the problem is not the internet connection, there are a few more reasons why things could go wrong:

  • Try updating your Web browser to the latest version, or using one of the supported ones listed above (if not already doing so).
  • You may need to update your computer's graphics drivers to the latest version.
  • Check to make sure Javascript and cookies are enabled.
  • If you have any browser extensions that do heavy processing or modify pages, try disabling them.
  • If you are at a school or an office, your internet connection may be filtering/blocking School Yourself. If this is the case, you can ask your IT administrator for help.

Are tablets supported?

Yes, the lessons will work on tablets. However, many of the older-generation tablets may not have enough processing power, or may not have enough memory. Typically on iOS and Android (and especially on iPads), this will cause Safari to simply exit with no warning message.

If this happens, try closing all background apps, and then reopening Safari.

I'm sure I got a question right, but it keeps telling me I'm wrong!

The best way to bring these to our attention is to post a screenshot in the forum! Please see the How do I ask for help? question at the top of this FAQ. Sometimes, there might be an important detail you forgot, and the course staff will be happy to help :)