Learn How (FAQs)

The 12 most Frequently Asked Questions  (FAQs):

12   Will these CEUs count toward my 50 hours needed for re-certification?   Ptarmigan West has  had all classes PRE-APPROVED through NCTRC.   This means NCTRC has reviewed the content and that you will receive credit for the courses taken through Ptarmigan West.  Ptarmigan West has based all classes on the International  Accreditation of Continuing Education & Training (IACET) requirements.  People often want to know if these are ATRA approved.  No, they are not.  Instead, they are approved directly through our certifying organization, NCTRC.  That means, they will accept them toward your re-certification. You can call NCTRC and ask them as well  (845.639.1439)  NCTRC does pre-approve courses and all courses offered by Ptarmigan West have been reviewed by them.  We are very proud to have that to offer to you.

11   How many CEUs do I need to re-certify? You will need 50 hours of approved CEUs to re-certify.  Each course will let you know how many CEUs are being offered as well as how many hours.   People often are confused when a course is .1 CEU and it is for one hour.  That is because 10 hours equals 1.0 CEU therefore 1 hour will equal .1.   You will need 50 hours which equals 5.0 CEUs.  Sometimes that’s confusing, but once you understand the thinking, it’s easy.

10   Will I need to purchase textbooks for these courses?  Usually, no!  Ptarmigan West provides you with a handout that you will download with the class. (Adobe Acrobat Reader- “PDF” is needed)  So, typically, there is NO textbook.  You will watch a video that goes along with the handout and you will have some internet work that will give you  reading material.  In only a few instances  will you have books that will be read as part of the course.  However, they can be downloaded with a “Kindle app” (The App is Free to both PC and Mac)  to your computer and  the books are very affordable.  If you want to read more books, you will have a bibliography at the end of every course that can direct you to further reading.

9    What if I don’t like using the internet?  OK, the internet is not for everyone.  But this is a pretty easy program to use.  You will register to take classes.  Then chose a class you’d like to take and pay with the secure payment process.  The program will take you in the order that it is designed for your learning experience.  You’ll download the PDF handout (you can print it if you’d like, or you can keep it on your hard drive and look at it during the course).  You will watch a video, and do some homework. Then you’ll take a test on the information that you learned and complete an evaluation.  Then…. you can print the CEU certificate of completion.  It’s that easy.  And…. to make things even easier, we store your CEUs so if you lose the one you print, then you can go on  and print it at the time of your re-certification.  Yup! We keep your certificates safe and secure until you need them.  However, we also know you like to have the hardcopy when you compete the class.  (We’re like that too.)

8     What program does Ptarmigan West use to deliver the classes?   DigitalChalk is the program and when you register for a class, you will have it too.  It is part of the internet and paying for the course will allow you to use it. You will not need anything else other than your up-to-date computer. 

7    Which internet browsers are supported for use with DigitalChalk?   We have gone to great lengths to ensure complete compatibility of our learning system with certain internet browsers therefore, DigitalChalk currently supports product functionality within:

  • Internet Explorer (version 6 & greater)
  • Firefox  (version 2.0 & greater)
  • Safari
  • Chrome

We are working to expand product support for additional browsers in future releases.

6    What are the  Minimum System Recommendations      In a nutshell:  If your computer is current, it’s probably going to work just fine.  If it’s 4-5 years old and you haven’t updated it, it might be a bit trickier to run the program.  Some internet connections are slower, and sometimes it’s just where you live.  In those cases the system just needs to let the program upload with more time.  Most of the time, they run pretty smoothly.  If you’re running on dial-up (remember those days) then it might not be too fast.   Just make sure you close all your other programs and browsers before you start and you will find everything runs quicker.  (That goes for all aspects of computer use as well.  It’s amazing how many programs we can have running and wonder why our computer is slow.) 

For all you techies out there:                                             

Minimum System Recommendations *    

  • CPU:  2 Gigahertz (GHz)          
  •  Memory:  2 Gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 4 GB RAM (64-bit)
  •  Operating System:  Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.7, iOS 6, Android 4  
  •  Screen Resolution:  1024×768            
  •  Browser:  Internet Explorer 9, Chrome Current and (Current-1), Firefox Current and (Current-1), Safari 6    Current and (Current-1) denotes that we support the current stable version of the browser and the version that preceded it. For example, if the current version of a browser is 24.x, we support the 24.x and 23.x versions.      
  • Browser Plugins:  Flash Version 10.1        
  • Internet Connection:    
  1.  Audio Only Chalkboard:  512Kbps dedicated download and 256Kbps dedicated upload.
  2.  Small Video Chalkboard:  512Kbps dedicated download and 256Kbps dedicated upload.
  3.  Large Video Chalkboard:  1.5Mbps dedicated download and 256Kbps dedicated upload.
  4.  Video Only Chalkboard and Full Screen HD Video:  2.5Mbps dedicated download and 256Kbps dedicated upload.

Adobe Acrobat- for viewing the PDF handout for each course and your certificate

* Please keep in mind that these are minimum system recommendations and other environmental factors may impact your course delivery performance. Contact DigitalChalk Support at [email protected] if you have any questions about your specific environment or if you are experiencing any technical difficulties. Be sure to close all other tabs, browsers, and programs while streaming your content. It may also help to hard wire your Internet connection instead of using a wireless network connection.  While DigitalChalk may run without issue in older operating systems and browser versions, these are not actively tested and we may not address bugs that appear when operating within these older environments.

5    Which credit cards are accepted during the course registration process?    We currently accept the following credit cards for course registration purposes:  

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Diners Club

And YES, it is secure.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.  

4    What happens if I lose my internet connection during a test?     When you have an interruption to your connection while taking a non-timed test element, the test will stop at that point. When you re-enter that test element it will begin at the question where you were disconnected.  Don’t worry…. we’ve got you covered!

3    How do I take a class:                                                                    

First: Open an account  (There is no fee to open an account) 

  1. Navigate your browser to the:   Ptarmigan West’s E-learning site   and select the “New Account button.”      
  2. Complete the new user signup fields then click the Next button   (you’ll need your NCTRC number nearby).      
  3. You will receive a Terms of Use confirmation screen, upon solving the “Captcha” and accepting the terms.  Then you will be taken to the Dashboard tab of  Ptarmigan West classes.

Second:  Register for a course        

  1. Click the Catalog tab to see all of the course offerings that are currently available from Ptarmigan West.
  2. Add courses to your Shopping Cart by clicking the “Add To Cart”  button for each course you want to take.
  3. Purchase your selected courses by clicking the “Shopping Cart”  button.

Third: Begin taking the course     

  1. Click the Dashboard tab.  The courses you have purchased will be listed on the “Current Courses”  tab.  Select a course to begin by clicking the course name.  
  2.  Begin the course by clicking the name of the first displayed element.

It isn’t difficult.  It looks harder written out.  Just think if we gave directions on how to make a cup of tea.  It might sound complicated, but in reality, it’s pretty simple.  

The one hour classes are very quick and straight forward.  Start with one of those and you’ll get the feeling of how to run the program.  Then you can head into the higher number of CEU courses.  We’ve purposely started with more of the one hour CEU classes so that you get the hang of using the program.  But-  you got through college and you passed the NCTRC test.  You also work with people that can be challenging. You’ll learn to love these courses.  The computer part will be second nature with just a little practice.  We want this to be a really quick and easy way to get some CEUs, but don’t forget, we also want you to get out to live conferences where you interact with your fellow therapists.  Don’t ever let the on-line learning be your only mode of learning.  Promise?  However, when you do, we want the interaction with the internet to be a beneficial part of your learning experience.  That’s why we embrace the “E-learning Manifesto”.

2    What if I have problems?  

If it is a problem with a link or related to the course itself contact     Ptarmigan West

If it is a technical problem you will want to contact     Digital Chalk

And the number one Frequently Asked Question: 

1   What is a ptarmigan?

Ptarmigan West gets its name from the bird.  A ptarmigan is the state bird for Alaska and is found in the mountains in Washington state where Ptarmigan West is located.  This bird has brownish specks and colors in the summer and is white in the winter. It adapts to its’ environment.  As recreational therapists, we do a lot of adapting. Yet, not so much that we distort what is being done.  The bird doesn’t change who it is when it adapts to its’ environment, it enhances  who it is.  Ptarmigan West (pronounced “Tarmigan” West- the P is silent) wants to do just that…… adapt when necessary, but keep the focus on moving forward after a disability.   We have been registered with the State of Washington since July 13, 1990 and have been providing workshops and seminars for Recreational Therapists as well as a training video for PT, OT and SLP universities.  But we just can’t be everywhere, thus our on-line classes.  We will continue to do live seminars and provide CEU opportunities.  If it is difficult to make those, please use our on-line classes as a resource.  Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts, ideas and requests.  We are in this together.   

The bottom line:  You can receive CEU’s that are PRE-APPROVED from NCTRC, you can take a year to take the class AND you can print your  CEU certificate right away after completing the course. (And if you lose it, there is a copy on your “Completed Course” section of the registration page,  safe. and sound.)         Is that easy, or what?