The first unit in each course offers helpful tips on how the courses work and how to get the most out of your training. We encourage all students to pay close attention to those introductory units.
Before You Begin Training
To ensure the online training experience works for you, please double-check these two items before you begin training.
1. Make Sure You’re Receiving Our Emails
We send all important communications via email—notifications when we answer your Forum questions, quiz and exam grades, course updates, and responses to other inquiries through our contact form—so it’s important to check your email regularly. It’s also important to double-check that you are set up to receive emails from us:
Double-check that the email address attached to your student account is correct.
- Log in or click “My Courses” if you’re already logged in.
- Scroll down past your courses to see your student profile.
- If the email address is not correct, change it and click the “Save All Changes” button below.
Double-check that our emails are not ending up in your spam folder.
- Log in to your email account.
- Click on the spam folder and search for Master Samurai Tech.
- If you see our emails in your spam folder, search for how to whitelist an email sender in your email client (e.g. “how to whitelist an email in gmail”) and follow the steps.
2. Make Sure You're Using a Supported Browser
A “browser” is the software that you use to surf around on the web. Windows computers come loaded with Edge, Mac computers come with Safari. For the best results while training, we recommend our students use the latest version of either Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Microsoft Edge will work as well, but Internet Explorer does not play nicely with our courseware.
Use this link if you need help knowing which browser you use and to download a different browser if you need to.
How to Get the Most Out of Training
Some of our students haven't been in a classroom in decades, others only recently finished school, and not everyone has good feelings about studying and taking tests. Relax!
This is training, not high school—no judgment, no pressure. Think of Team Samurai as your partners in achieving your work goals of higher income and job satisfaction. Yes, you will need to work hard, but we will support you all the way.
You’ll find these tips in the orientation for your courses, but they’re worth repeating because they make the online training experience so much easier.
- Some units will be easy and quick, some will be long and challenging. Be prepared and willing to repeat readings or videos as necessary.
- Do not skip any of the assigned readings or videos. Some videos you will need to watch more than once.
- Read instructions carefully.
- Get a notebook and make plenty of handwritten notes as you go along, especially when watching the videos (pause the video to take notes). Skipping this practice is a common reason that students struggle!
- Don’t rush through the course, but don’t take long breaks either.
- Make use of the Ask the Teacher Forums. Team Samurai will answer your questions there and step you through anything you are struggling with. This is a powerful feature of the Academy; be sure to use it!
We’re serious about the Forums. It may seem like there’s a lot of distance between us and you, this being an online course, but our job is to help you become a better tech. If you need something explained in a different way, or broken down a bit more than how we present it in a lesson, we are more than happy to help.
Getting the Most Out of Quizzes and Exams
Yes, our courses have quizzes and exams, which are required to move forward in the course. Don't let them psych you out. They’re just a learning tool, there to tell you how much you've learned, and what concepts and skills you need to still work on to become a better tech. And don't let a bad score discourage you—have a fighting spirit and a determination to do what it takes to succeed (both of which are essential skills for a master samurai tech)!
With every quiz and exam, you get two attempts to achieve the best grade you can. Your goal should be to score 100% as often as possible by your second attempt. Why not? Everything we teach here will make you a better tech. And this is a self-paced, on-demand course, putting you in control of your training.
These are the steps we recommend when it comes to taking quizzes and exams.
- After you’ve studied the lesson, take the test.
- If you miss any questions, DO NOT retake it right away UNLESS your mistakes are obvious to you.
- Take the time to re-study for the question(s) you missed, and if you still aren’t comfortable with a skill or concept, ask us for help in the Ask the Teacher Forums.
- Once you feel like you have a strong handle on the material, retake the quiz.
“But what if I “fail” the quiz on my second attempt?”
Again, don’t panic. We offer quiz and exam resets. You can read our policy and request a reset here. If you plan to request a reset, DO NOT keep moving forward in the course. A reset will erase any progress you made after that point.
You’ll want to limit the number of resets you request, because when you take a quiz multiple times, you run the risk of getting questions correct by process of elimination, rather than by actually learning the skills that will help you on the job.
Remember These Two Items about Training on a Mobile Device
Our website and courses are mobile friendly, partly because we know it can be helpful to pop into the courses for a refresher when on the job. There are two things to know if you’re using your mobile device to train.
- The main menu that is normally at the top of the website is instead a small little “hamburger” menu in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. It is three white lines on a black background. Tap to reveal the menu.
- When taking quizzes on a mobile device, be aware that students have been known to accidentally tap a different answer than they meant. Certain quizzes that refer to schematic diagrams may also prove challenging on a small device. If you can find a laptop or desktop computer to take your quizzes and exams on, we’d recommend it.
Know These Troubleshooting Tips
As a protection against fraudulent logins, our software will block you for 30 minutes if you try to log in unsuccessfully 10 times in a row. If you fail at your first few login attempts, we recommend using the "Lost your password?" link to reset your password before getting yourself locked out. If you do, be sure to enter the email address that you used to create your student account! If you do trigger the 30-minute lock-out, please know that we cannot clear it for you on our end.
If you get a "503 error" about too many IP addresses, this is also a security feature against fraudulent logins. Our software has a safety feature that limits the number of IP addresses that a student can log in from. This limitation occasionally gets triggered when a student uses a mobile device to log in to the site from various locations.
If this "503 error" happens to you, just contact us and let us know that you’ve been using your device to access the courses, and we can clear you to log in again. This restriction does NOT clear on its own. Do what you can to avoid this situation from happening, but don't be alarmed if it does. We will usually get you reset pretty quickly after receiving your email (assuming it's during waking hours!), so it usually just means a short delay in your training.
There are a lot of videos in our courses, and we use the services Vimeo and YouTube to host them. These services are very reliable.
If you encounter any problems playing the videos, this is usually due to circumstances on your end, not with the service itself. If you are having problems with the videos playing correctly, please try the following:
- Are you using a supported browser? The main reason people have issues with videos is that they are not using the latest version of one of our recommended browsers (see above).
- Are you having internet connectivity issues? This is the second-most common issue. DSL connections in particular can be flakey. You can check your internet speeds here.
- Have you cleared your cache recently? Your cache is a browser folder in which files are stored to speed up the process of loading pages again in the future. Over time, your cache can get overfull and cause problems. It's good computer hygiene to clear this folder periodically, which can help you overcome slow web surfing speeds and other site glitches. How you do this depends on your browser and what type of computer you have. Learn how here.
- If all else fails, try rebooting your computer or device.
If the playback problems persist, contact us and let us know you are having a problem, being sure to tell us if you are watching on a computer or a device, which browser you are using, and what kind of internet connection you have.