Student Q&A
  1. Will the online training be through sessions on the web and will I be able to ask questions online or are they recorded sessions and the questions have to be emailed?
  2. What are the expenses of the CD's/online courses? and what is the duration of each?
  3. Where can I purchase the CD's?
  4. After how many sessions can I enroll for a certification exam?
  5. Where will I take the exam? I mean will it be an online exam taken from anywhere? and what are the fees for the exam?
  6. How would I receive my certification if I passed the exam?
  7. Is online training for everyone?
  8. How much time is required to complete a class on line?
  9. Some classes are offered by starting dates whereas others state continuous enrollment.  Can you explain the difference?
  10. What is the difference in your “certification” and “certificate” on line classes?
  11. What are some of the advantages to online learning?
  12. With online learning, what type of communication do you have with the instructor and other students?
  13. What advice would you offer a first timer for taking an online training course?
  14. Why today is it so important to have certification in your field of work?

 

 

Q1. Will the online training be through sessions on the web and will I be able to ask questions online or are they recorded sessions and the questions have to be emailed?

Each course is “asynchronous”, which means you interact with the extensive materials posted on the course page. You read lectures and cases, post your “solutions” to the Threaded Discussion, and comment on other student solutions. If you have questions, you email the instructor (usually Dr. Graw).

 

Q2. What are the expenses of the CD's/online courses? and what is the duration of each?

‘$100 for the CD (self study). An additional $50 if you want it Express Mail (recommended). Each online course is $200. This includes online testing. Certification is extra. You can see the prices on the credit card payment portion of our web (http:/www.amcertinst.org).

 

Q3. Where can I purchase the CD's?

By credit card at http://www.ipscmi.org/Pay.php.

 

Q4. After how many sessions can I enroll for a certification exam?

For self-study, you enroll when you are ready. Cost is $30 for self study. For online classes, you take the exam at the end of the 4th week.

 

Q5. Where will I take the exam? I mean will it be an online exam taken from anywhere? and what are the fees for the exam?

Online, taken from anywhere, You pay $30 for the exam if you self-study. The online course price includes the exam.

 

Q6. How would I receive my certification if I passed the exam?

By mail. $50 extra if you want express (recommended).

 

Q7. Is online training for everyone?

 Perhaps not.  I tend to agree with Mary Walker on this point.  She has personally participated in several of our online courses and has faithfully served as an assistant instructor for one of those online courses.

 Online instruction takes great discipline and motivation on the part of the student.  The instructor can provide some motivation through quizzes and exercises and cases, but the ultimate motivation has to come from within (the student). 

 Some students that I have had in my online classes were “pressured” to attend by their supervisors.  These students quite often fail to start or rapidly lose their way when they discover the amount of work required to satisfactorily complete the course.

 Another problem we have observed is with online “certification preparation classes”.  Some students enroll in them thinking they have found a “shortcut” to certification and can thus skip the content of purchasing (otherwise known as the “Purchasing Body of Knowledge”, which is found in courses in “Purchasing Fundamentals”, “Contract Administration”, “Cost and Price Analysis”, “Contract Negotiation”, “International Purchasing”, and “Contract Law”.    I call these a “basic portfolio” of purchasing classes, all of which are available ONLINE.  Certification prep classes are for those with the “content” of purchasing under their belts before they take the “prep course”.

 

Q8. How much time is required to complete a class on line?

 I suppose I get this question a dozen or more time every year.  My answer of course, is that it depends on the individual’s background, experience (varied and long works best), education (in a business related subject, preferably), and training (with substantial training in the “basic portfolio/Body of Knowledge”.  Many years ago, when I was a beginner in purchasing (I am still a student, even with more than 37 years of experience), I was told that 3 years outside of class are normally required for each hour of class.  Most of our online courses are 4 weeks in length and I advise my students to spend at least 3-5 hours per week downloading and reading lectures, textual material, and handouts

 It is important for online students to block out some time for training and development on their calendars.  They should pick a certain day and chunk of time and put it on their calendar. When that day and time rolls around, it's time for eLearning!  They should put everything else aside and concentrate on their downloaded course materials.

 Students should remember...with the availability of eLearning, they don't have to be available for an entire 8 hour day to do some training. eLearning can occur in chunks of time as short as 10 minutes.

 

Q9. Some classes are offered by starting dates whereas others state continuous enrollment.  Can you explain the difference?

 We formerly had start and completion dates for all courses and found that this was not flexible enough for most students.  We now do our certification prep courses on a fixed schedule but let students enroll at anytime in most other courses.  We tell them to finish in the four allotted weeks and prompt them to take their qualification exams at the end of the four weeks.

 Cost is a major factor in deciding on enrolling in a online class.  What are some of the rates for online learning.

 Universities I have taught for quite typically charge more for online education courses than conventional.   For training institutes, the cost goes up with the time required for the instructor to interact with students.  I have seen online institute training courses offered between $100 to $500.  Obviously the “breakeven price” will be negatively correlated with student enrollment.

 

Q10. What is the difference in your “certification” and “certificate” on line classes?

 CERTIFICATES

  1. Are often issued by universities (which have NO AUTHORITY TO ISSUE CERTIFICATIONS).
  2. Are typically issued to motivate the student to take more than one training courses from the granting institution in order to “earn” the certificate.
  3. Typically do not require the student to complete an examination and meet other rigorous qualification criteria.
  4. Do not provide the authority for the person receiving the document to use initials (like CPP, C.P.M., SPSM, CPPM, CPCM, CISCM, CICCM, etc) after his/her name.
  5. Are usually low in cost because they are considered “Certificates of Training Completion”.
  6. Are similar to “Certificates” provided by universities in many Asian countries as a prelude to a “Degree”.

 CERTIFICATIONS

  1. Are never issued by universities.  They are issued by professional associations (like APS, ISM, NCMA, IPSCMI,  and ACI) which possess such authority.
  2. Have nothing to do with a number or length of training courses completed.  In fact, many candidates are certified WITHOUT ANY TRAINING, if they complete the comprehensive certification examination and meet other rigorous qualification criteria.  Training is often provided, but only as a convenience for those candidates who need to refresh their knowledge before the examination.
  3. DO PROVIDE the authority for the certified individual to use initials (like CPP, C.P.M., SPSM, CPPM, CPCM, CISCM, CICCM, etc) after his/her name.
  4. Are normally more expensive than certificates because of the requirement to undergo testing and meet other rigorous qualification criteria.
  5. Have rigorous security surrounding them, with control numbers assigned.
  6. Are similar to “Degrees” in education, provided by universities in many countries (particularly in Asia) after students have been issued “Certificates” and meet the examination and tuition requirements of the university.

 

Q11. What are some of the advantages to online learning:

  1. Reduced Time
    Studies indicate that e-learning can reduce learning time requirements by an average of 50% due to self-paced instruction, familiar media, immediate interaction, feedback and personalized instruction.
  2. Reduced Cost
    e-Learning can be delivered wherever an employee is located -- thereby eliminating the costs of travel & lost work time.  In addition, the cost of e-Learning incrementally decreases as more people use a course.  
  3. Instructional Consistency
    Technology-based training does not vary in quality from day to day, class to class, or environment to environment, because the information conveyed and presentation remains consistent.
  4. Privacy
    With e-Learning, students can review subject areas that they might be hesitant to approach.  This encourages persistence, motivation and curiosity, which in turn triggers mastery of the information being conveyed.
  5. Mastery
    Students have the freedom to move on to new material when they are ready.  At any time, a student may skip ahead or review previous coursework.  This builds a strong foundation for continued learning.
  6. Increased Retention
    When a student is given an opportunity to interact with the material being studied, a strong learning reinforcement is the result.  Incorporating multimedia into the learning process leads to increased content retention over time.
  7. Increased Safety
    With e-Learning, students can explore potentially dangerous subjects without the risks associated with actual learning environments or live applications. 
  8. Increased Motivation
    e-Learning provides motivation through responsive feedback & individual involvement.  Attention remains focused because the potential for distraction is reduced.
  9. Increased Access
    e-Learning provides greater and more equal access to quality education.  Training can be delivered to places where student populations aren’t significant enough to support an instructor, or where qualified teachers are unavailable.
  10. Increased Satisfaction
    Students are given greater control & responsibility for their own learning processes.  As they discover new areas of interest & accomplishment, they become seekers of knowledge, not just recipients of instruction..

 

Q12. With online learning, what type of communication do you have with the instructor and other students? 

Instructors typically comment on student exercises and cases (I try to let the e-learning system do that for me) and answer questions by email.  Students have been know to call with “burning” questions, either using Skype or conventional telephone.  Students are typically given their examinations online with specific completion instructions.  Completed student answer sheets are usually provided by either email or by fax

 

Q13 What advice would you offer a first timer for taking an online training course?

  1. Talk to those who have done it.
  2. Shop around for the content you need at the price you can afford.  Ask for a syllabus that will answer most of your questions.
  3. Ask for instructor online teaching experience.

 

Q14 Why today is it so important to have certification in your field of work? 

Professional certification offers individuals and the organizations they work for a wide range of important benefits.

  1. The certification designation demonstrates to current and potential employers that the employee possesses a solid foundation of experience and education in a field of endeavor that can have a positive impact on bottom-line results.
  2. Certification symbolizes knowledge and accomplishment and is highly regarded by colleagues and employers.  As a certified professional, the employee can proudly join a successful group of professionals who are enriching and advancing their careers and their chosen professions.
  3. Certification helps professionals improve their job skills.
  4. Certification can provide the basis for a continuing program of professional development.
  5. Certification can contribute to increased departmental performance.
  6. Certification can increase the credibility of the department.
  7. The time, money, and effort spent on a program of professional certification is a good use of the organization's resources.

 (Research data has shown that employers typically reward certified employees with salaries that are 25 to 40% higher than those who are not certified.  A high correlation between certification and salary exists for virtually all professions and all industries sampled. )

 

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