This document is designed to help transitioning customers prepare their Stars Suite accounts and student data as they begin using Plato Courseware.
Frequently Asked Questions about Plato Courseware
Q: What are the most important things I need to know about Plato Courseware?
A: See the list of links below for the top getting started resources.
Click the links below to jump to the section or scroll down the page to browse the answers.
Q: Are there different access levels for guidance counselors and parents?
A: No there is no different access for guidance counselors and parents. Parents can view their child’s account though. See the link below for more information about roles.
Q: If you give a guidance counselor administrator access, will they be able to edit grades and grading templates?
A: Yes, administrator access includes all system functionality. See the link below for more information about Grade Tracker.
Q: Will you still have to log on separately for Administration functions and Instructor functions?
A: No, administrators will have all functions, so if they are also a teacher they can work from one login. Instructor user types can be given administrative permissions for specific programs, giving them administrative functionality within those programs only. Instructors without administrative permissions will not have administrative functions (this includes customization and student enrollments). See the link below for more information about creating Instructors with Program Admin Rights.
Q: Are student transcripts a part of the administrator capabilities?
A: Student reports are available within Plato Courseware, but not official transcripts. Credits can be assigned using Grade Tracker. See the link below for more information about assigning credits in Grade Tracker.
Q: Can administrators still reset or return tests?
A: Yes. Teachers and administrators can reset any activity including tests. See the link below for more information about resetting, locking, or exempting activities.
Q: Will the Admin continue to assign courses to students as well as the teachers?
A: In Plato Courseware, only administrators and instructors with admin rights can create classes and assign courses. Instructors without admin rights can only create supplementary assignments through Edmentum Sensei. See the link below for more information about creating classes and assigning courses.
Courses and Customization
Q: Can we amend questions in submissions?
A: You can create and add customized content, including new submissions. Existing submissions may not be amended. See the link below for more information about creating custom courses.
Q: Just to verify, you can attach a video from YouTube and embed it in a lesson if students are having difficulty mastering it.
A: Yes, you can customize courses and add websites into individual units.
Data Retention, Transition and Account Closeout
Q: Does all of our student/ teacher data migrate to the new platform?
A: No it does not. Data will be available within the Stars Suite platform until 12/31/2014. Save your data from within Stars Suite.
Q: When will this change take place?
A: This new platform is available immediately for your implementation. We recommend transitioning before the fall semester so that you have time to become familiar with Plato Courseware and its functionality.
Q: Can you use both platforms at the same time for learners who are in progress?
A: Yes, the Stars Suite platform will be available until 12/31/2014 allowing learners enough time to complete work that is in progress. On that date, Stars Suite will no longer be available for use.
Q: Will we have access to both systems at the same time?
A: Yes, you will have access to Stars through 12/31/2014 when it is officially retired. You are strongly encouraged to transition to Plato Courseware. However, to allow students to complete their work and to provide access to historical data, Stars Suite can be made available to you until 12/31/2014. On that date it will no longer be available for use.
Q: Will there be additional software required?
A: No additional software is required. See the link below for more information about the technical requirements for operating Plato Courseware.
Q: How would we access historical information or would there be a way to archive it?
A: You will have access to Stars through 12/31/2014 when it is officially retired. On that date it will no longer be available for use. You should run reports to archive your data.
Q: Will you provide on-site trainings if needed.
A: Your account may have onsite or virtual Professional Development services available to help you with this transition. Contact us by calling 1-800-447-5286. Choose option 9 for Customer Support or option 2 for Sales.
Virtual Workshops are available to provide you with valuable information about the Plato Courseware platform. You can sign up for live workshops or view one of our on-demand workshops at the link below.
Q: Does Edmentum interface with other programs such as Infinite Campus?
A: We do interface with many programs, but we will have to look at each program specifically. Contact your local sales representative to check about specific programs. See the link below for more information about Single Sign-On options.
Q: Is there an iPad app or would you enter through the Safari browser?
A: There is currently only an app for educators. all users can access Plato Courseware through Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. For Flash based applications we recommend the use of Puffin. See the links below for more information about the Plato Educator App as well as the Puffin browser.
Q: Are the courses IOS compatible?
A: We are making steady progress on everything mobile. See the link below for more information about mobile compatibility.
Q: Which browsers are recommended?
A: We recommend using Internet Explorer for PLATO Courseware. See the link below for more information about supported browsers.
Q: Is there still a Control+Find option like in Stars Suite?
A: No, but Plato Courseware incorporates fraud protection as a security feature. See the link below for more information about fraud protection.
Q: Is there a CC (carbon copy) field in the creation or messages to users?
A: No, there is not a cc option, but as many addresses as needed can go into the “To” field when sending messages.
Q: Can learners/proctor attach files to messages?
A: No, that is a Digital Dropbox feature accessible within the course.
Q: I saw where students can email students, can we block that?
A: Students are not able to email students. The only time students can see other student communications is during a threaded discussion. Students may only see responses from other students in these threaded discussion assignments.
Q: Will we be able to set up an automatic message to go to students if they score too low on an item so they know they need to redo it?
A: There are no automatic messages that can be sent to students. However, data reports can be pulled and emailed at any time. Students can also generate progress reports within the learner interface. See the links below for more information about learner progress reports and the new learner interface.
Q: Is there a parent email radio button or way to quickly send emails to parents?
A: We don’t use a radio button to invoke emails but teachers certainly can email parents quickly. Teachers can use this feature to email reports to parents.
Q: Is there a way to turn the email option off?
A: No. Messaging is always available for teacher to student interaction, but not student to student.
Assignments, Grading, and Scoring
Q: Can we set the score they have to achieve for the mastery tests to be considered a "pass"?
A: The 80% scoring requirement for mastery may not be altered in the system. However, instructors/account administrators may edit a student’s activity status at any time to reflect specific passing requirements. See the link below for more information about editing learners' status.
Q: Is there still an option for the pre-assessment mode?
A: Most courses include unit pretests that exempt students from lessons in the unit, however, these concepts are tested again in the unit post tests and end of semester assessment. See the link below for more information about exemptions generated from pretests.
Q: Are there Introduction and Syllabus printouts that can be hard copy mailed to parents?
A: This information can be found in the Teacher Guides for each course. The Teacher Guides may be found on the support page and printed out. The support page link is at the bottom right of the PLATO Courseware home page.
Q: Some of the Stars Suite classes required additional hard copy books. Will there be any classes that require books?
A: The only course that requires an additional textbook is the Plato World Literature Course.See the link below for more information about the World Literature textbook requirement.
Q: When a student fails a final exam, does the student take it over again until he or she passes it based on the number of attempts that we allow?
A: You have the option to reset unit pre and post tests and end of semester tests. You can set mastery test attempts from unlimited to 10 for automatic unlocking. See the links below for more information about resetting exams and managing assignments.
Q: What about resetting or redoing lessons and quizzes?
A: Quizzes may be reset by an educator and lessons may be reworked at any time. See the link below for more information about resetting quizzes.
Q: The grades that showed in Stars Suite were not weighted, and felt a little misleading for the students. They had to log into Grad to see their weighted grades. Will this be more streamlined, so the students and parents can just go to one place to see their correct, weighted grades?
A: Learners will see their grade reflected in the learner interface based on the weightings set by educators for each course in Grade Tracker. The learner will see their weighted score at all times in order to know how they are performing in the course. See the link below for more information about Grade Tracker.
Q: Will any of the courses work, act or feel like Stars Suite courses? Or are they ALL converted to Plato's style?
A: There is a mix of both. Some of the Stars Suite courses were transferred into PLATO Courseware and still have the same feel. See the link below for a list of Stars Suite courses that remain in use within PLATO Courseware.
Q: Will the format of the formal assessments be in multiple choice or free response?
A: The course level assessments are multiple choice, mastery test assessments may include written responses but are still automatically graded. There are some offline versions of course level assessments that include short answers and essays.
Q: How is the need for new courses determined? How do you get the input for the new courses?
A: We always take into account customer feedback. The most efficient way to deliver feedback to Edmentum is through Seehive. The link for Seehive is in the top right corner any Plato Courseware page. For questions about content please contact Support. The link to Support can be found at the upper right hand corner of the home page. See the link below for more information about Seehive.
Q: A student is in the middle of a course in Star Suite now, can they finish the course seamlessly in the new transitioned classes?
A: No. We recommend that you try to transition at a typical transition time, such as before the Fall semester. Students currently in courses need to complete the course in Stars Suite.
Q: When a module is exempt, will it automatically be eliminated from midterms and finals?
A: No. Students will be responsible for the content if they are exempt. See the link below for more information about exemptions.
Q: Can a course be original credit or credit recovery?
A: All courses can be used as original or recovery credit depending upon the needs of the students/school.
Q: Is there an audio element for assessments?
A: Students may use the Reader Support tool to enable audio options while taking an assessment. See the link below for more information about Reader Support.
Q: Are the exams randomly generated or is it the same exam for every student?
A: The formative assessment questions are randomly generated for the mastery tests from a question bank.
Q: We have Special Education students that need the number of items reduced on a test and/or the amount of written response reduced.
A: Courses may be modified thereby reducing the number of items on a course level assessment. Additionally, teachers may use the Drop Box feature to create unique tests for this group of students. See the link below for more information about modifying courses.
Q: In Stars Suite for credit recovery, students can test out of some units. Will they be able to do this with Plato Courseware?
A: Students may test out of certain modules through the Unit Pretests that are available in most courses. See the link below for more information about exemptions.
Q: If I exempt a student from a module, will the class show as "complete" when he or she has finished all that was assigned?
A: Yes. See the link below for more information about exempting students from modules and activities.
Editing Learner Status in PLATO Courseware
Q: Are there any accommodations (besides Reader Support) for students with disabilities?
A: Teachers can also customize courses to meet individual student needs.
Q: Can student work be transferred from one teacher to another within a school or between districts for transfer students?
A: Teachers may be given visibility to students' work by being added to classes. Student data can not be transferred to other accounts. See the link below for more information about adding instructors to classes.
Q: Will there be a read aloud option included for students within modules?
A: There is a reader support tool that is built into every course that will read, define, and translate words. Audio is also built into many of the courses. See the link below for more information about Reader Support.
Q: Currently, many of the links in the language arts courses do not support the read aloud component.
A: With the reader support tool that is available within each course, students may type anything from an outside link into the tool to have it read, translated, or defined.See the link below for more information about Reader Support.
Q: Are courses available in different languages?
A: There is a reader support tool that students may use to help translate the reading into different languages. See the link below for more information about Reader Support.
Q: Will I still be able to print the lessons?
A: The instructional design is based on a self-paced, interactive presentation and includes many animations that cannot be printed. Lesson activities, unit activities, offline activities, and course level assessments are printable.
Pricing and Packaging
Q: How will the pricing structure change with the new system?
A: Please contact your sales rep to discuss pricing and licensing.
Q: Will there be electives added to the basic package?
A: There are a few electives available in the Essentials Library. Contact your local sales rep for a package and pricing that will fit your needs specifically. There will not be any additional electives added to the Essentials package however, we have a library of great electives that can be purchased.
Q: Will additional electives be developed in the near future, particularly courses to complement career & technical pathways?
A: With the Summer 2014 Release, Edmentum now has 32 Career Technical Education (CTE) courses available to Plato Courseware users. See the link below for more information about CTE courses.
Q: Will seat time be recorded accurately?
A: Yes. The Learner Progress Report details the amount of time students spend in each activity and provides cumulative data for time on task. Time on task for each activity will be recorded. Login/logout time in the system is not visible, however, cumulative time on task and total time on system are available. See the link below for more information about Learner Progress Reports.
Q: Can you print a report for all students at one time versus having to go in one by one to print individual reports?