General/Getting Started

Who can take a HieroEducation course?

Anyone in the UK! All you need is a computer or laptop, an internet connection, and a desire to learn! It's simple to get started - have a look at our How it Works video tutorial. 

I live outside the UK. Can I take one of your courses?

Sadly not. At least, not yet. 

Getting our business off the ground required a lot of technical and legal research, just to make sure we were operating in compliance with UK laws. To operate outside the UK, we will need to do more research! If you are resident outside the UK and would like us to offer courses in your part of the world, please get in touch and let us know. We hope we'll be able to go global in the future!

What kind of computer software/hardware will I need?

You will need a browser to access the Internet. The course is delivered using a piece of software called Moodle - which runs in your browser. That means you don't need to download software in order to access the course. You can access the course using Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Opera internet browsers, but for your enjoyment of the course we recommend that you use the most recent versions of either Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

You can use any desktop, laptop or tablet computer for most of the materials - but the Live Classes require Adobe Flash Player, so are not accessible on tablets. Our courses will work on an internet-enabled mobile phone, but you will need a larger screen to properly enjoy the course.

For some Intermediate and Further language courses, you may need to install a simple transliteration font onto your computer. You will be provided with the font, and clear instructions on how to install it. Any fonts we provide are fully virus-checked. 

What courses do you offer?

All the courses we offer are listed on our Courses page. We run various different courses throughout the year.

I want to take a course, but you don't offer it - what do I do?

Tell us! We are constantly developing new courses, and finding the right expert tutors to teach them, and we'd love to hear from you with your suggestions. 

How do I register for a Course?

Once you've found the Course you want to take, click 'Purchase this Course'. Once you've paid for your course, you'll receive a welcome email from HieroEducation which will give you all the details you need to log into the classroom site and start your journey of learning. 

I don't understand why the Checkout page asks for my address - are you sending me things by post?

No! Our website is hosted by a company called SquareSpace Inc., and the payment process is handled by a company called Stripe (if you'd like to know more about these two organisations, please see our Privacy Policy). The checkout page is designed by Stripe, and we cannot change it, to ensure that it remains secure and that your payment details are safe. We don't need to know your address, but Stripe does, to verify your payment card, which is why you'll need to fill in that part of the checkout form. We apologise that the country defaults to the United States, despite not being able to offer services in the US (yet!), but we are unable to alter this setting at present. Please select 'United Kingdom' from the drop-down menu when you are checking out. 

What will I need during the course?

Mostly, you'll need an appetite for learning. You may want to take notes as you watch the lectures, so a pen and paper might come in handy. Some courses may recommend a textbook or two to enhance your learning - the full details of these can be found in the Course Descriptions. Our courses do not require you to purchase any books - they are an optional way to learn more about what you're studying. 

During your course, you'll be provided with a variety of downloadable resources, which you can access online, store on your computer, or print out. These resources will support your learning, and will build up through each course to form your own reference guide, which is yours to keep. 

Can I take more than one course at once?

Of course! You're welcome to take as many courses as you like at any time. A few of our Intermediate and Higher level courses have minimum entry requirements, so be aware that, for example, it would not be recommended to take Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs at the same time as Intermediate Egyptian Hieroglyphs. 

I want to join a course which has already started - is this possible?

Yes, if you would like to and there are spaces available. The course materials (lectures, resources, quizzes, assessments) are all available (retrospectively) throughout the course, so you can join a course which has already started, and catch up at your own pace. Please be aware that the weekly Live Class will be available to watch again, but obviously, you would be unable to participate in Live Classes which have already finished. 

What time will the lessons be?

Each course will have a weekly Live Class, which will be hosted at a set time; if you are unable to join in at this time, you are welcome to watch the class afterwards, or submit a question in advance and watch the answer later on, when you have time. 

Each week, a new package of lectures, resources and quizzes are released, but it's entirely up to you when you want to access these activities. You'll get the most out of the course if you work through the materials before the live class!

Courses/Learning

How do I log into my course?

You'll need to access our classroom site, which can be found here. Your username and password can be found in your welcome email. 

What does the Course consist of?

The Course is divided into Weeks, and in each Week, you'll have access to a series of short, informational video lectures. These are supported by downloadable resources, and short quizzes to enhance your understanding. You can start and stop the lectures, quizzes and resources within each Week as you please. At the end of each Week, you'll be invited to take a short assessment to demonstrate your progress. During each Week, a Live Class will be held at a scheduled time, for you to ask further questions, receive feedback on your progress, and discuss anything you are struggling with. 

In addition, you can interact with your fellow students in the Course Forum, access a Glossary (see below), test your knowledge with our Pyramid game - and unlock the pyramid by getting enough correct answers. 

I don't have time to take all the quizzes, is this a problem?

No, of course not! Our courses work around you, not the other way around. Quizzes are for your benefit. To get the full benefit of the course, we recommend completing all the elements though.

What is a resource?

A resource is a document that supports your learning. It might be a map, a list of king's names, a chronology, a set of instructions, or a grammar handout (e.g. a list of pronouns, or common verbs). All resources are available for you to view online, download and/or print - it's up to you how you access them.  

Can I download resources before/after that week's lectures?

Yes - in the classroom site you'll see a button marked 'Resources' which is updated weekly to provide ongoing access to all the resources to date. You won't be able to download resources from upcoming weeks, to keep the classroom streamlined. 

What is the Pyramid Game?

Flashcards are a traditional way to learn languages - particularly vocabulary. In HieroEducation language courses, we have a 'pyramid' of flashcards, which are a series of very short picture questions, which you can complete at any time. If you get enough answers right, you'll unlock further blocks in the pyramid, leading to a mysterious discovery...

I didn't understand some of the terms used in the lecture - help!

In the classroom site, you'll find a handy button marked 'Glossary' which contains definitions of terms used in your course. If you're still unsure, you can always contact your Tutor for more information. 

How do I join in with the live class?

In the classroom site, you'll find a button marked 'Live Classes'. Clicking on this will take you to the homepage for the Live Classes, where you can join in with an available class, or watch previous Live Classes. You can participate using a chat window to ask your questions - we do not currently support voice participation, as our classes are recorded. 

What is the Live Class for?

It's an opportunity for you to ask questions of the Tutor, raise any problems or concerns you have, or give and receive feedback on what you're working on. It's a central part of the learning experience, and we strongly encourage you to log in to the class each week. 

What if I am not available at the right time for the Live Class?

When you register for a course, the time for the Live Class will be advertised - we consider it a vital part of the course. However, if you cannot make it online at the right time occasionally, and you'd like to ask a question, you can submit your question in advance, and watch the recorded class back later to find out the answer. 

Where can I find the Sign List and Dictionary for my Language Course?

In the classroom site, the homepage for your course has a number of buttons at the top - one of which is called 'Resources'. In here, you'll find the 'Sign List' and 'Dictionary' once they become available. Simply click on whichever one you need. 

Once I've finished the Course, will I still be able to access materials?

Yes - for a short period. Once the formal teaching element of your course has ended, there will be an 'Assessment Period' which will last approximately three weeks, during which time you will be able to work on your final assessment, and still access all the course materials. After this period has ended, and you have received feedback on your final assessment, your registration will expire, and you will no longer be able to access the course materials. 

Contacts/Forum/Interacting

What is the Course Forum?

Each Course has its own dedicated Forum, in which you can chat to your course-mates, ask questions about what you're learning, and discuss anything about the course. The Tutor also has access to the Forum, and will contribute from time to time. Contributing to the Forum earns you a badge, which can help you unlock the pyramid, too!

How do I get in touch with my Course Tutor?

It's easy. Once you're logged into the classroom site, click on the 'Contact Tutor' button and follow the onscreen prompts. 

How do I interact with other students on my Course? 

The easiest and best way is to post in the Course Forum. That way, you can pool your collective knowledge and learn from one another. We ask that you abide by our Code of Conduct when posting in the Forum and in all your online interactions with HieroEducation. 

Technical Issues/Questions

I have forgotten my log in - what do I do?

Go to the classroom site as usual, and click the 'Forgotten your username or password?' link on the log-in page. You'll be emailed a new password, which you will be prompted to change when you next log in. Please note that we are unable to reset your password for you. 

I have paid for my course, but I have not yet received my welcome email - what do I do?

You should receive your welcome email shortly after your payment is processed. It's possible that there has been a delay in processing your payment, or that we are receiving a high volume of registrations. If you still have not received your welcome email within 3 working days of making payment, please contact us for further assistance. 

I'm using Internet Explorer, and the videos won't play properly - what should I do?

Users of Internet Explorer 9 and above may encounter playback issues. This is usually due to a feature called 'hardware acceleration'. To resolve this issue, when you have your IE browser window open, click on 'Tools' (in the upper right corner of the screen), then select 'Internet Options'. Then click the 'Advanced' tab in the box which has opened. You should see a heading which says 'Accelerated Graphics' at the top of the 'Settings' box. Tick the 'use software rendering instead of GPU rendering' check box, then press 'Apply'. Close your browser, then re-open it to make these changes take effect. 

You may prefer to switch to using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers instead - both are free software. 

I'm using Internet Explorer 9 and the layout of the classroom site looks strange. What should I do?

Users of Internet Explorer 9 may encounter layout issues on some pages of our classroom site, unless the browser is operating in 'Compatibility Mode'. If you need to switch this mode on, look for an icon in your address bar (URL bar) at the top of the page which resembles a piece of paper torn across the middle. Clicking on this icon will enable 'Compatibility Mode'. 

I can't enter the Live Class which is in session - help!

Please ensure you are using a compatible device - a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date Adobe Flash Player installed. 

I’m using Google Chrome and I sometimes get disconnected from the live class session.

If you have multiple internet connections open (e.g. a wired internet connection and a wireless internet connection), and one of them loses signal, this will trigger a disconnect from our live class server.  Please ensure you are using a single, consistent internet connection (or use Mozilla Firefox browser with an up-to-date version of Adobe Flash Player to circumvent this issue).

I’m experiencing audio quality issues during the Live Class.

If you are experiencing an audio quality issue, it is important for us to diagnose whether the problem is occurring at “our end” or “your end” of the line.  Please press the “raise hand” button and notify the Tutor of the issue, and they will check whether other users are experiencing a similar problem.

If the problem is occurring at “your end” of the line, there are a number of steps you can take to improve audio quality.  You can test the speed of your internet connection, for instance by using a service such as speedtest.net.  We recommend at least a 0.5Mbits/sec upload speed and 1.0Mbits/sec download speed to participate in the classes.  You can also turn off “competing” applications that are taking up bandwidth on your connection – services such as video streaming or file sharing on your connection will take up considerable bandwidth.  If you are using a wireless connection, you should also check your signal quality – poor router reception will influence your connection quality.  If you are not using the most recent version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you may benefit from logging into the Live Class using one of these browsers (they are more compatible with the ‘conference call’ technology we use and generally produce superior quality audio).  Please also check that your speakers are set to an appropriate volume and not on mute (we apologise for that suggestion but it did happen to us during testing!).

The webcam image of the Tutor in the Live Class appears to be out-of-sync with the audio.  Can this be fixed?

Please press the “raise hand” button and notify the Tutor of this issue, and they will check whether other users are experiencing a similar problem.

If the problem is occurring at “your end” of the line, please see the question above for tips on improving the quality of your connection.

If the problem is occurring at “our end” and the delay is detracting from the users’ experience of the class, but the audio quality is acceptable, we will switch to audio conferencing (with slides and chat window) for the duration of the class and seek to diagnose and fix the problem prior to the next class.  This is to ensure that students who have given up their time to attend the lesson do not have their time wasted.

I’m using Internet Explorer / Safari and I can’t view the playback recording of the Live Class I missed.

Our playback recordings are optimised for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.  We will host recordings viewable in Internet Explorer / Safari on user request – please note that these may not include a synchronised stream showing the class’ chat window.  For best results, please use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Complaints

I would like to make a complaint. How may I do so?

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about the problem. We're sorry to hear you aren't satisfied. Please get in touch to tell us about it so that we can try to resolve things. 

Please include as much detail of your complaint as you can - and please provide us with means to contact you in response to your complaint. Ideally, please provide us with a 'preferred' mode of contact, and an 'alternative' mode as well. Please note that we will not respond to complaints where the only mode of contact provided is a premium rate telephone number. 

If you choose to provide a telephone number on which to contact you, do please let us know when is a good time for you - between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday - and we will endeavour to get in touch at a time of day that suits you. 

I've started my course and I want to cancel

We're sorry to hear that, but we also don't want unsatisfied customers. It's our policy to refund any customer who so requests within 14 days of receiving their log in credentials, no questions asked. Please note that we will also cancel your log in rights at this point!

If you have chosen to proceed with your course after this 14 day period has elapsed, we will consider each case on its merits. 

I appear to be barred from my course. What's going on?

We politely request that all students adhere to our Code of Conduct while participating in the course. This is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all the users on the course. 

We reserve the right to bar (temporarily or permanently) any student who breaches the Code of Conduct from participating in the course.