6.0 Standards for an Online Study Guide

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TCMS reserves the right to change, update, add or delete any information related to federal regulations or laws and/or any other changes related to boating safety. We will modify TP 15080E accordingly and communicate all changes to Course Providers.

6.1 Authentication of the Candidate's Identity

The online registration process will require candidates to supply at least the following personal data:

  • First name,
  • Last name,
  • Date of birth,
  • Gender,
  • Address (street number, street name, city, province, postal code),
  • Phone Number,
  • Email address.

The online registration process will validate the data fields to ensure data integrity and will verify that the candidate has supplied all required data.

Once the registration form has been completed and validated, candidates shall be provided with a username and password, which will allow them to access the Online Study Guide.

Course Providers must adhere to a strict privacy policy that ensures that they will not transfer candidate data to any party other than TCMS and Course Provider Card Producer and will not use the data for any purpose except to issue a PCOC.

Course Provider websites shall include a statement about identity fraud.

6.2 Organization of an Online Study Guide

Rationale: Simply put, a mandatory Online Study Guide is an electronic book that candidates will read without the presence or help of an instructor. That is why its content must be presented in such a way that allows candidates to learn.

Objective: Candidates must have the opportunity to locate the Online Study Guide’s key messages before taking the open-book online PCOC test.

The mandatory Online Study Guide will cover the basics of boating safety, regulations and accepted best practices. The Online Study Guide must be based on TP 14932E and reflect the entirety of its content, purpose, rationale and objectives.

The Course Provider must update the Online Study Guide to reflect changes in federal regulations or laws and make any other changes, updates or corrections to the Online Study Guide that are requested by the TCMS at any given time.

Mandatory instructions for developing an Online Study Guide:

When developing the Online Study Guide, the Course Provider must follow these four (4) basic instructions:

  1. The Online Study Guide must contain the 257 knowledge requirements in their entirety, however it is not necessary that it follow the organization of TP 14932E.
  2. The content of an Online Study Guide must adequately reflect the supporting rationale in sections 9.1 to 9.10 of TP 14932E to ensure that recreational boaters understand the importance of learning the required boating safety information.
  3. The content of an Online Study Guide must be designed to accomplish the specific learning objectives identified in each section of TP 14932E.
  4. The content of an Online Study Guide must satisfactorily explain or describe in appropriate detail each knowledge requirement presented in TP 14932E.

The importance of plain language

Plain language is a requirement of the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, and a priority at TCMS. Therefore, we highly recommend that you develop your Online Study Guide, making sure the words you use are easy for your audience to read, understand, remember and use. If you are writing to the general public, we encourage you to write at a Grade 4-6 reading level. If you have questions about plain language, email dlottaeplainlanguage@tc.gc.ca for a PDF version of our plain language guidelines.

The Online Study Guide must include the following features:

  1. It must contain the full contents of an approved course manual as set out in TP 15080E (completed Appendix C);
  2. The Online Study Guide must be organized into no less than five (5) chapters with a chapter review quiz at the end of each chapter;
  3. The total number of questions for the chapter review quizzes must be a minimum of fifty (50) and a minimum of ten (10) practice questions per chapter;
  4. Each chapter review quiz will require the candidate to successfully answer 80% of the questions correctly before proceeding to the next chapter;
  5. The total amount of time required to complete the Online Study Guide must be no less than three (3) hours and each chapter has a minimum set time limit;
  6. A candidate may complete the Online Study Guide one chapter at a time, at his or her own pace, over a period of up to one (1) year;
  7. The content will be presented in a narrative fashion using consistent headings, titles and labels, and font that is easy to read;
  8. The Online Study Guide shall present boating safety information in lesson format with in-depth coverage of the various topics listed in TP 14932E;
  9. Chapter review questions and discussion points shall follow each chapter of the Online Study Guide;
  10. The Online Study Guide will feature a table of contents or site map;
  11. Course Providers will develop chapter review quiz questions that reflect the content presented in each respective chapter;
  12. At the end of each chapter review quiz, the candidate will be graded automatically and given their score online. Course Providers shall not provide the correct answers for wrong responses;
  13. Course Providers shall demonstrate their services to the candidate (i.e. free 1st chapter) before the start of the Online Study Guide session. This is to ensure that the candidate understands what he or she is paying for and what kind of learning experience they will receive from a particular Course Provider;
  14. The Course Provider must post their refund policy on their website in clear, easy-to-understand language and be viewed by the candidate prior to the payment process.

6.3 Online Study Guide Design

  1. The Online Study Guide web page design will have an attractive, easy-to-read, and consistent look and feel;
  2. The content must be presented in such a way as to help users understand and remember the material. However, including elements like graphics, pictures, audio, video and/or animation will be at the discretion of the Course Provider;
  3. If Course Providers use graphic, pictures, audio or video clips within the Online Study Guide, they must also provide a written script of any narration that candidates may read. Candidate must also be able to re-play the instructional segments;
  4. The Online Study Guide web page design will support all common user environments (various operating systems, web browsers, and connection speeds);
  5. Boating terms used in the Online Study Guide will be hyperlinked to their definitions the first time they appear in the guide;
  6. The Online Study Guide must be designed so that it actively engages the candidate;
  7. The Online Study Guide must not advance automatically. It must be designed so that only the candidate can advance through the guide by clicking on “next” button;
  8. The Course Provider must develop a system to keep track of the candidates’ progress at every login and present this information in a written and/or visual fashion.

6.4 Graphics, Pictures, or Animation Quality

  1. The Online Study Guide will include graphics, pictures, animations, audio and/or video clips where appropriate to illustrate concepts;
  2. Animations will be developed using graphics adaptable for viewing on a variety of screen resolutions;
  3. Graphics, pictures, animations, audio and/or video clips will be of reasonable file size for quick download and delivery on a wide variety of user platforms and connection speeds;
  4. Animations, audio and/or video clips will allow candidate-paced instruction, where the candidate controls the pacing of the instructional segment and can re-play the instructional segment;
  5. Graphics, pictures, animations, audio and/or video clips will be created in a consistent design to engage all age groups of the boating education market;
  6. All graphics, pictures, animations, audio and/or video clips must be technically accurate as stated in TP 14932E.

6.5 The User Interface

  1. Candidates should clearly understand the services the Course Provider offers and have a good sense of the Online Study Guide; how it works and whether it is best suited to the candidate before committing to the Course Provider;
  2. Candidates must proceed through the guide content in each chapter before taking the chapter review quiz;
  3. Candidates will not be permitted to take the chapter review quiz without spending the minimum study time assigned to that chapter;
  4. Each timed chapter must conclude with a chapter review quiz that requires the candidate to successfully answer 80% of the questions correctly before proceeding to the next chapter;
  5. A candidate may stay in a particular section longer than the time allotted for that section;
  6. Course Providers must let candidates know that they have already viewed content by way of:
    • a change in link color; and
    • a check mark or a summary of their completed tasks.
  7. Once a candidate has successfully passed a chapter review quiz, he or she can return to the content page for that chapter at any time with no time requirements;
  8. The Online Study Guide will not automatically advance;
  9. Candidates who score below 80% will receive a message to study the material again. They may not retake the chapter review quiz until they have spent the minimum study time assigned to that chapter;
  10. The second quiz can not contain more than 50% of the same questions from the previous quiz;
  11. The databank of questions must contain a minimum of 200 quiz questions;
  12. The questions must be formulated to be of appropriate content along with plausible answers;
  13. Chapter review quiz questions and responses must not be copied or reproduced from the TCMS databank of questions;
  14. Candidates will not be able to access the final test without successfully completing the chapter review quiz for each chapter.

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