SolarK12 Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enroll in a course?

Thank you for your interest in SolarK12! To enroll in a course you need to register yourself on our web site. Below are 3 simple steps to create your membership account.

  1. Review our membership levels and decide if you would like to enroll for the free Solar Primer, as a Student, or as an Educator.
  2. Click one of the “Select” buttons and you will be taken to the “SolarK12 Member Registration” page. This page asks you to provide basic profile information, including your name, desired username, email address, and a password. It also gives you the option to subscribe to our online newsletter Solar Schoolhouse Class Notes.
  3. If you are registering as the Student or Educator level you will also be asked to enter payment information in order to complete your registration. Your access will not be confirmed until a successful payment has been received. You will receive a welcome email and payment receipt upon successful registration. You can now access the full course. From now on you will only need to log in by entering your username and password to access any course you have enrolled in.

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How do I enter a discount code I’ve been given to enroll in a course?

In order to use your discount code to enroll in a course, you need to register yourself on our web site. Please see the 3 steps to register in the question above, “How do I enroll in a course?“. After selecting your membership level you will be redirected to the “SolarK12 Member Registration” page. On this page, below the description of benefits, there is a line that reads “Do you have a discount code? Click here to enter your discount code.” Click on the link and a Discount Code text field and Apply button will appear:
Enter your discount code, in this example “learnsolar”, and click the Apply button. When a valid discount code is entered, the field and button disappear, replaced by a link that reads “Click here to change your discount code”. Near the top of the page this message will appear:
If the code entered is not valid, this error message will appear:
If the code is a valid code, but is meant to be applied to a different membership level, this error message will appear:

After your discount is applied, complete the rest of the form, and then click the “Submit and Check Out” button at the bottom of the page to submit your registration.

If you need assistance, please use our contact form, or call 707-829-3154. We check this email each day Monday through Friday; please allow 24 hours for a response during the week. The Administrator is not available on weekends.

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How do I progress through a course?

To progress through a course, start with the first unit of the first module, SSH100: Solar Primer or SSH101: Your Solar Home!. After completing the first unit, at the bottom of the page you will see a green box with the question “Have you completed this unit?”:
Click the “Mark as Completed” button at the right side of the box and the box will change to a white box that reads “You have now completed this unit”:
There are now two purple buttons below the box. Click “Next Unit” to continue to the next unit:

How can I view my current course progress?

course_progressWhile in a course, you can see your course progress in the right sidebar. In order to progress through the course you will need to complete each unit before continuing to the next.

Here’s an example of the sidebar showing course contents for a student who has completed Module 3, Unit 1.2.

The links to completed units show in dark blue, while the current unit to complete shows a lighter color blue link.

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How can I view or download quiz results?

Upon completion of a quiz, a red or green box link will appear at the top of the quiz page. If you got all of the questions correct you will see a green box that looks like this:
If one or more questions did not have the right answer, you will see a red box and will need to re-take the quiz. To download quiz results, click the “Download Results” button at the top right corner of the red or green box. Below the red or green box will be a large blue box showing the correct answers.

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How can I download my course certificate?

Upon completion of a course, a box will appear that says “You have now completed the whole course. Congratulations!”, showing at the top of all quiz pages, and also at the bottom of all course unit pages:
To download your course certificate, click the “Download Certificate” button at the right side of the box. This should download a file named “certificate.pdf” to your computer. Your certificate includes your name, the course name, and your date of completion, as in this example:

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How are the courses organized?

Each course is divided into modules; each module contains several units. At the end of each module, there’s a short quiz to review the units. Units often start with a short video clip introducing the basic concepts. You can watch the videos in full screen by clicking on the small icon with four little arrows at the bottom right side of the video player window. Following the videos are more detailed explanations of each subject.

Many modules end with one or more hands-on projects for you to build and experiment with. These projects demonstrate how the course principles work in the real world. On the project pages at the end of the units there are links to PDF files to download and print out. These serve as project guides so you can complete the projects away from the computer. Questions about the projects are included in the quizzes and the final.

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How are the courses graded?

The courses are all credit/no credit. They’re set up so that every student passes with a perfect score on all the quizzes. In fact, to pass the course you must get 100% on all exams, including the final. To do this, we let you take each test as often as you need to, until you answer each question correctly. In practice this is much easier than it sounds. All the tests use multiple choice and true or false questions, and the longest test is the final exam, which is 25 questions or less.

You can also take the tests with an “open book.” To do this, open two browser windows by clicking “File > New Window” in the top menu bar of your browser. Login on one window and you’ll be able to go to the course website on both open browser windows. This way you can be taking the test in one window and browsing the course information on the other.

Once you pass the final quiz you’ll see a box that says “You have now completed the whole course. Congratulations!”. Click the “Download Certificate” button link to download your Certificate of Completion. This link will only be available to you once you’ve passed all the course quizzes.

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How can I get college credit for taking an Academy course?

Academy courses are periodically offered for college credit. For more information, contact us.

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What materials are needed to complete the projects?

Most of the projects use simple materials like cardboard, paper, string and tape. The solar electricity projects are designed to use the Solar Schoolhouse Solar Cell Sets, available from our Solar Schoolhouse store . If you have access to single solar cells and small DC craft motors, these will work as well.

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How are course projects evaluated?

The projects are meant to give you hands-on experience with solar energy principles. Evaluation of your work is limited to simple questions on the quizzes and the final. These questions will test basic understanding of the principles; the real benefit of the projects is gained from the amount of time and effort you give them – factors that only you can gauge.

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How can I make a group purchase, or obtain a discount code for a group of students to enroll themselves in a course?

To obtain a discount code, or if you have questions about bulk purchase of memberships, please use our contact form, or call 707-829-3154.

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I have other questions. How can I contact Solar Schoolhouse?

Please use our contact form, or call 707-829-3154. We check this email each day Monday through Friday; please allow 24 hours for a response during the week. The Administrator is not available on weekends.

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