CAST University - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Courses and online learning
What is CAST University?
In short CAST-U is a new "e-Training" learning solution and consists of courses you can take via the web, using any networked computer at any time. Online training courses, such as those offered by CAST University allow you to learn at your convenience.
Who will benefit most from online learning?
- Those who wish to learn at their own pace
- Those who learn through visually-presented information
- Those whose schedules don't permit them to attend scheduled training sessions
- Those who are new to CAST's structural quality analysis and need to acquire CAST AIP skills quickly and efficiently
What types of courses are available?
CAST-U offers both self-paced courses and instructor-led courses. Self-paced courses can be taken at any time and you can decide whether to complete all or part of a course.
Instructor-led courses are offered over a specific period of weeks and may not be available at the moment you wish to learn. These courses are led by an instructor and can be delivered entirely online or in mixed mode online and face-to-face.
Both course types contain assigned readings and exercises that you must complete and interaction with the instructor and other students in a threaded discussion environment. Expect to spend 8-10 hours per week completing the coursework in an instructor-led online course.
What other resources are available on the CAST University website?
CAST-U also features a searchable library of online references and how-to solutions to common questions. This feature is only available to Clients who elect to subscribe to the eTraining portal services. If you sign up on a single-course basis, this option is not available to you.
To search for material on CAST-U How-to directory:
- Go to http://university.castsoftware.com and login with the user credentials that were provided to you as part of the student registration
- Type your search term in the box labelled Search or browse reference articles by category
- After you find an article containing the information that you want, you can browse the results of your search and bookmark specific pages for later reference
How do I get an account or learn more about CAST-U?
Please contact us by email at CASTU@castsoftware.com. In the email include your name, company, phone number and which courses you wish to enrol in.
Once you submit your account request, we'll respond quickly. If you are an existing CAST University subscriber with existing credits, we will provide simple instruction on how to join the class. If you are a new customer we will assist you in selecting the best option to get you started with in the CAST-U portal.
What software do I need?
You can participate in web-based learning on your Mac, your PC or any mobile device IOS or Android. To visit the CAST University and participate in any of our web-based learning, you only need a web browser.
CASTU courses are offered on Canvas which is the Learning Management platform. For more information on supported browsers, refer to this page
What do CAST University courses consist of?
CAST University courses include lecture videos, quizzes and homework assignments. Videos, PDF attachments, wiki pages and links to content make up each course module. Quizzes are embedded in each course and are meant to assess how you are following and assimilating the course information. Once you take a quiz, (which could be multiple choice, fill in the blank, or programming) you will receive immediate feedback. Quizzes may or may not count towards your grade (depending on each specific course). You are allowed to revise answers to the questions more than once and only the final answer you submit counts towards your grade.
How do I know which course to take?
CAST University courses are categorized as "Beginning" and "Advanced". Select a class based on your knowledge of the subject. Beginning classes are suited for everyone and no prior knowledge of the subject is needed to succeed. Advanced classes require prior knowledge and, in some cases, significant familiarity of the subject matter. Please check the "What do I need to know?" section included in every course page, which will tell you if you should have prior experience or other knowledge to succeed in the course. If you need help or assistance, please contact us at CASTU@castsoftware.com
How do I get the most out of CAST-U online courses?
Online learning, for many people, represents a substantial departure from traditional instructor-led learning. Here are some tips to help you have a good first experience with online learning.
- Spend time. Web-based learning can be convenient, easily accessible, and effective. However, you'll still need to spend time to learn new skills and gain new knowledge. Plan enough time for reading course materials, working on practice exercises, or interacting with other students. Choose regular times each day for learning, and make sure that they are times when you'll be fresh and engaged
- Minimize distractions. You may find that phone calls, incoming e-mails, and questions from co-workers make it difficult to learn. Choose a place and time to learn so that you'll have a minimal number of distractions and interruptions
- Set goals. Before you begin, spend a few minutes considering what skills and knowledge you'd like to take away from your online learning experience. As you proceed through an online learning course, occasionally evaluate your progress. Setting clear goals (and occasionally thinking about whether you're meeting them) will help you evaluate your approach to online learning and make changes as necessary
Is there a fee to take a course?
CAST University courses are available under the CAST Premium Support package. If your company subscribes to this service, please complete the online registration form by following the register now link and/or contact your CAST support administrator to register. Nothing more is due. All courses are also available under a pay-as-you-go model. If you are not eligible to register under the CAST Premium Support package you will be contacted by CAST via email with detailed instruction on how to complete the registration. For some courses, you will have an opportunity to take a certification exam, which will have some incremental cost.
Can I enrol in more than one class?
Yes! Enrol in as many classes as you like, but know that each course requires work beyond simple browsing the training content to thoroughly assimilate and master the various subjects presented.
How long does a CAST University course last?
All CAST University courses are made up of distinct modules. As a rule of thumb, each module is designed to provide about one day's worth of instruction and exercises. However, since CAST University enrolment is open for four months and you are expected to complete the CAST University courses within the stipulated time.
Are there course textbooks?
There are no required textbooks for CAST University courses, and the course content does not follow any textbooks. Product documentation, CAST University step-by-step instructions and other articles or materials are referenced from time to time and are accessible within the course pages.
Are there homework assignments?
Yes. To learn any subject, it is important to solve progressively challenging problems on your own, so there will be various homework assignments embedded in each course. There are no due dates for the homework. The assignments cover materials from the module in which they are embedded.
Can I get extra attempts on the course quizzes?
Please contact your Instructor using the Help button at the top of each page next to your name and select the "Ask your Instructor a Question" link.
How do I get help?
We encourage you to post your questions in the course forum, allowing your peers to assist with the answer in an open discussion. If you do not find an adequate response, one of our course managers will chime in. If you need further help, please send an email to CASTU mail box.
I think one of the quizzes or homework assignments is judging my answer incorrectly, who do I contact?
The quizzes and homework are graded by our automatic grader. Sometimes mistakes are made in the grading scripts, which may cause the automatic grader to incorrectly evaluate your work. If you think your homework has been graded incorrectly please post your concern on the forum with a "spoiler" tag. If we realize an error in grading, we will re-grade your homework.
However, please avoid posting answers as other students may still be working on the questions. You may also contact the course instructor or assistant instructor via the Help button at the top of each page next to your name and select "Ask your Instructor a Question".
Is there a final exam?
Yes. You may submit your answers as many times as you like.
How will my final grade be determined?
Your final grade will be determined by your exam grade and by the score achieved in the various quiz and assignments. The course itself will provide detailed information about the grading scheme and criteria used.
Still have questions?
Please ask your question, help make our learning community better! Use the Help button at the top of each page next to your name or send an email to CASTU Mailbox.
Something on the site isn't working, who do I contact?
The Help button at the top of each page next to your name or an email to CASTU Mailbox is the best way to reach us.