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FAQS ▼

Please read this FAQ page carefully before contacting the Co-op.
 
 General PLATO FAQs

The following FAQs are for general use of the PLATO software. For specific course related FAQs, please see PLATO Science FAQs, or PLATO Math FAQs below.

What are the computer system requirements for these programs?

PLATO Learning has also developed a new tool that can check your computer for compatibility. Please visit Plato System Requirements Checker and click on the PLE System Requirements file. Please be aware that the Sun JRE is typically NOT required and an older plug in. If your computer does not pass that in the checker, please skip it and consider it a non-issue for what we offer.

For "How to turn off pop-up blockers to run Plato activities": click here.

For a list of all current requirements, including supported browsers, click here

What is included in the Plato Courses?

Each course is divided into units and then further sub-divided into modules. Modules can be online lessons/activities or offline printables. For course descriptions that shows how many are online lessons ( called exemptible modules in this document) and offline activities, click here.

What is the pre-test?

Some Plato courses/content offer pre-tests. If applicable, once the student takes a pre-test, the program will mark sections as exempt if the student passes. Pre-tests are optional per student/parent decision. Even if the student is exempted, the material is still accessible if the parent deems practice necessary. The pre-test does not count against the student.

If you do not see a pre/post test option, it means this feature was unavailable for access in our custom-built courses. However, the program does have a built-in mastery feature to insure the student is learning the content.

Is there a guide for any of these courses?

Yes, many of these courses do have a guide! Here are instructions for accessing the instructor resources: click here

How is the Plato Co-op member's subscription different from what a student in a school setting has access to?

Our set-up is a bit different than the typical school student set up. Since this is a student subscription only (we give you a link to the instructor resource materials but you do not have a teacher subscription) your student will not have access to any offline teacher grading. If the Plato system doesn't grade it automatically, then you as the parent will be the grader. The instructor resource materials provide either an answer key, rubric to guide you or as the teacher you will use your own judgment. In addition, there are no online discussions. Since this is for homeschoolers, discussions will need to happen in the home between the student and parent. Similarly, our students do not have access to the Drop Box or message feature since there is not a teacher on the other end to respond.

In a typical school setting, a district purchases Plato curriculum and has teachers assigned to implement it. The Co-op is providing the material to homeschoolers but there isn't a certified, paid teacher assigned to facilitate that account. We are more than happy to assist with technical issues but there are not teachers for each account. Anything graded automatically by the Plato system will be found in the student progress report. Any offline grading will need to be kept track of offline by the parent. The steps for locating this student progress report are found in our FAQ.

Are all the titles interactive with a lot of videos like the middle school science courses?

Math tends to have more video "instruction". But while there is some interactive and multimedia, most of the titles also have more reading like a textbook. They will not look like the middle school life, earth & space or physical science titles.

Is there an option to renew my current PLATO subscription?

Due to programming issues, we do not have PLATO renewals. Here is a simple fix we suggest:

1. Save the progress report in your current PLATO course to your hard drive before your subscription expires.

2. Purchase a new subscription to the same course.

3. Using the progress report from the previous subscription, your student may pick up where they left off. You may combine a progress report from both subscriptions to have a complete picture of your student's work online with PLATO.

Does the program track a student?

Yes, the system does track and record one student's progress. Plato recommends you download and save a progress report at least once a week.

How do I access the student progress reports?

Log into your PLATO student account. In either the Active Work or All My Work Section, click on the Create Progress report in a class. Or if you click on All My Work, this will bring up everything for that class and in the upper right is a button that says: View Progress Report. Clicking on this link will bring up a pdf that may be saved and/or printed off for your records.

How are things graded?

There are online applications and mastery tests that are graded by the system. However there are some printable activities that parents need to grade and the answer keys are available in their instructor resources account. Any discussion or essay-type questions will need to be done between the student and parent. Please check the instructor resources for a rubric or suggestions.

What does the e mean in the exemption column?

*IF applicable*, the E means that your student did well enough in the pretest to exempt a section(s). You may choose to skip the section or work through the content. Some parents choose to have their student do everything regardless of the pre-test results. Additionally, some courses do not have pre/post tests, but instead of auto-mastery and auto-grading within the content.

The Plato subscription is in the name of the Co-op member, not the student. Why is that?

Due to programming issues, the subscription must be in the name of the Co-op member under which the subscription was purchased.

May more than one student use one subscription?

No. PLATO courses are designed for use by a single student. The system does not differentiate between two different students taking the same course unless two separate subscriptions are purchased. If you have two students who need to take Biology, for example, you should purchase two Biology courses. If you attempt to have multiple students share the same subscription, we will be unable to provide technical support for the problems this creates.

Is the PLATO website available at all times?

Typically, yes. However they state say that they do site maintenance and updates on Saturdays. After talking with them, they said it is not every Saturday that it is unavailable. Likely not more than a couple times a month and typically only once a month that members will not be able to log in. Here is PLATO's official statement:

PLATO Learning periodically performs scheduled maintenance on the PLATO Learning Environment on Saturdays beginning at 8:00 p.m. Central Time through Sundays at 2:00 a.m. Central Time. PLE may be unavailable during this time.

I would like to purchase two subscriptions of the same item. How do I do this?

You are always welcome to order as many as you would like. However due to the programming set-up for each subscription, you will have to place two separate orders if you would like more than one of an item. In other words, you can never put any other number besides a 1 in the QTY box. Likewise, if you order a pack with more than one course, each course must be different. You may not choose two of the same courses in a package. We recognize this may cause some confusion and apologize but want to make sure you receive everything you purchase.

How do I log in to PLATO?

1. Log in to your Co-op account from our homepage, www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org. Go to your subscription tab and your PLATO subscription links.

2. Click on student PLATO subscription link.

3. Click on the Log-in button that appears in the upper left a new window. You should now be in the PLATO system.

4. Click on the All My Work icon at the top.

5. You should now be able to navigate through the course title.
6. Be SURE to click the Log Out link in the upper right at the end of your time slot.

How do I log out of PLATO?

At the top right of the screen you will see a log-out button. It is very important when your time slot is over that you log-out. We really appreciate your courtesy to other members in doing this.

My student didn't finish a mastery test but now it is locked. What should I do?

The system is assuming your student needs to review or re-do the lesson before retaking the test again. From a PLATO support article: If you enter too many incorrect answers when taking a mastery test, or if you are disconnected from the Internet while taking a test (or if you exit before finished), you will be locked out. This means you have not mastered the material and need to complete the tutorial associated with the test. Once you complete the tutorial or, having completed it, re-enter it, advance back and forth quickly through a few slides and exit, the mastery test will unlock and you can take it again.

In some rare instances, the mastery test will still not unlock after re-entering/re-doing the lesson. Please email the Co-op with the specifics and we will do it manually. Include the course title and test title so we know exactly what to unlock.

The application and practice tests are locked. How do I access them?

Completing the tutorial/lesson that corresponds with the application and practice tests will unlock these. First do the tutorial and then you may proceed to any additional activities/options for that section.

Is it possible to change the grade required for mastery on the mastery tests? It is currently set to 80% and we would like it to be X% instead.

In PLATO content, the system defined mastery criteria for mastery tests is 80% and cannot be changed. However in the Instructor resource materials, there is often a unit test that you can print off and an answer key. If these are available, you may print these out and use your own percentage for mastery.

Can I print out the mastery tests and answers?

No, not the mastery tests that are taken and graded by the Plato system. However upon completion of a mastery test, there is a certificate that can be printed. You choose the student to be shown, it lists the chapter and unit title and the score earned.

The unit post test is locked. May I manually unlock as we can with the chapter mastery tests?

No. Since the unit post test is a cumulative review from all the chapters in that unit, once it is done, the test is locked, regardless of the score. Options:

1. In the instructor resource materials, there are usually printable unit tests with answer keys (see steps below to access the printable unit tests). You may have your student do the offline printable unit test in place of an online unit test or to help prepare for the online unit test. Any scores earned from an offline unit test would need to be recorded offline by the parent as well.

2. If there is a unit test in your student's course, we can reset a unit post-test however the student's score and progress will be cleared and they will have to start at the beginning of the unit test. We want to make sure you understand this before requesting that we reset a unit post-test.

How do I access the printable unit tests?

1. Click on your Plato instructor resource link in your Co-op account.
2. Top left Plato Courseware choose > Courseware - Home School Parents
3. Select Plato Content on the left.
4. Scroll to the correct course and expand to access materials.
5. Once the test is open, select view answer key and in the top right there is a Print button to print out the entire test and/or answer key.
- You can print post tests even though there may not be a post test shown within the student subscription. You may also print/view an answer key for the post tests.
- While you cannot print out a mastery test, you can preview it as an instructor by clicking View next to the mastery test.
- The post test will be hand-graded by you the parent so will not appear on the progress report. You may manually record the grade off-line.

Pop-up blockers are making it difficult for me to use my PLATO program. How can I troubleshoot and/or adjust my browser to allow the pop-ups?

How to turn off pop-up blockers to run PLATO activities: Turn off pop-up blockers.

 
 PLATO Science FAQs

These titles look very comprehensive. Would you consider these full courses or supplemental?

We have been advised that the material was compiled and presented directly from a variety of science textbooks. In addition, there are online schools that use these science programs with an added lab component and count it as a full course. However we leave the decision to make the PLATO science program your core or supplemental science curriculum up to you as the homeschool parent.

About how long would it take for a student to go through the high school materials?

Since the chemistry, physics and biology are different from the previous versions we offered, there isn't a quick answer. There aren't many videos but rather text for a student to read, pictures to digest, interactive elements to engage the learner and some videos. There are also offline activities to print off. So how quickly a student moves through the material is dependent upon their speed and comprehension of reading and how long it takes them to complete the interactive and offline activities. Plato says there are 34-36 weeks worth of material, assuming 1/hour a day, with 12 units in each and 68-72 modules each course. Plato breaks up their courses into units with several modules within each unit.

There is a physical science offered in the middle school and the high school offers. Is this the same course or two different titles?

The physical science course offered in both is indeed the same material. It straddles the grade levels and Plato suggested we offer it in both group buys.

These titles seem the same as what you were offering before. Are they?

The life, earth & space, and physical science titles have the same content with some upgrades and additional features (like printable offline activities and pre-tests). For example in the Life Science course, Unit 1 has been added and is entirely offline activities. The video lessons start in the Unit 2, What is Life? chapter. For Earth & Space, the first video lesson is in the Unit 1, Earth's Composition chapter. In the Physical Science course, the first video lesson is in the Unit 1, Understanding and Measuring Matter chapter. Anytime you see (with Assessments), it means there is a video lesson and interactive application.

However the biology, chemistry and physics are not the same or are new titles all together. They will not look like the previous chemistry and biology titles we offered before. While there is some interactive and multimedia, they also have more reading like a textbook.

The FAQ says the high school biology, chemistry and physics courses have more textbook-like reading. Is there audio support for this reading?

Yes, there is audio support. At the bottom of the lesson and application screens, there is a play button and the lesson is read. There are offline activities and website links that are used in applications that do not have audio support. Neither do the mastery tests have audio support.

Is the physics course calculus based?

Edmentum has assured us that Physics is not a Calculus based course.

Do the PLATO Science Courses contain Evolution material?

Evolution is described in several Biology Series units ('Evolution' and most of the 'Animal Kingdom'
programs), as well as in the last unit from the CE Life Science Course. CyberEd presents the concept
as a scientific approach to evolution.

Our Plato sciences are scheduled to expire soon. Is it possible to renew and not lose any info or could we extend our course for another month?

Unfortunately, we are unable to extend Plato subscriptions. If you choose to continue the course, you will need to purchase it again. In this situation, we recommend that members download and save a student progress report in the old subscription and then use that progress report to decide where the student will start in the new course.

What do I do if my question is not answered on this page?

You can submit your question at the Contact Us page. We will answer your question and update this page as well.

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