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From Neil
1. I live about as far from the sea (and therefore from sailing schools) as you can in Europe.
2. I wanted to spend my time at a sailing school learning the practical, rather than theoretical aspects of sailing.
3. I have eight years of experience learning online with the Open University
For the above three reasons I decided to spend the alpine winter taking the RYA Day Skipper Online Theory Course with Navathome.com.

There was no comparison between this course and the online courses I have previously done. This course offers immediate online feedback as you progress through the course. You see exactly where you need to put in more effort. The immediate feedback reduces the feeling of "lack of direction" that can easily occur when you are studying alone. And when you are totally frustrated because you are too stupid to see the wood for the trees, then you can fire off a mail begging for advice and within minutes you get a calming and informative answer - even on Saturday afternoon or in the evening.

The ability to work on the course as and when I had time was important in fitting my learning around the rest of my life - I often have to be flexible in my planning. It also meant that I could enjoy the learning experience as there was no time pressure to have a section finished at a certain time.

I felt that the course went in to just the correct amount of depth on each subject. I have to admit that I occasionally "lost an hour" as I wandered off in to the Internet to read more information on a subject. (There are some interesting helicopter rescue videos out there). The voice overs are useful; having some one read to me seemed to make the information "stick" better than just reading it.

The online assessment follows the same format as the training so there is an immediate feeling of familiarity. Once again you receive immediate feedback from the system and from a tutor. On the final question I stupidly wrote 050° instead of 005° and the system kept saying "try again". Georgina was immediately online to suggest taking a short pause and then looking again. Good advice that worked. Within minutes of finishing you know if you have passed or not.

I have met people who are not very good at self motivation. I am not sure of the suitability of an online course if you are some one who enjoys putting everything off until tomorrow. I assume that at some point you receive encouragement to "get back to work" from the tutors but I didn't need this.

I enjoyed the entire experience and will be back for another course at the latest next winter.


Neill

From Colin
Saw your on-line course this was the perfect solution for me as I could take my time going through the course Cont..
Hi Vic Here is some feedback on the Day Skipper course.
As far as the course is concerned, I had been thinking about doing the day skipper theory for some years. I just never got round to booking a course or making the time. When I saw your on-line course this was the perfect solution for me as I could take my time going through the course from home and I liked very much the way the system told me immediately if I had got it right or wrong and gave me another chance to correct it, that for me works much better than sitting in a classroom with younger/faster students who absorb things much quicker.
Also knowing I could E mail or phone if I really got stuck was comforting.
Each time I completed a section I couldn't wait to move onto the next.
I had tried self-teaching by buying the normal navigation books and working through them but I picked up more with your on-line coursework than I did with any of the books.
 I think for me the secret here was:-
(1) Going through the coursework
(2) Doing the chart work
(3) Immediately finding out if I had got it right or where I had gone wrong and going back to do it again, learnt so much that way.
 So all in all I think you have a great system and will definitely be back when I do the yacht master theory course.
Many thanks
Colin Click to hide?
From the Skipper yacht Edelweiss
Just completed my Day Skipper Theory and thought it worthwhile posting my thoughts. Cont..
Completed my Day Skipper Practical course five years ago and shortly after joined an online course for the theory side (the wrong way around I know!)
The Navathome course is far superior and keeps you interested throughout, the instant assessment feature is great and encourages you to quickly tackle the next stage.
The support is excellent and if you have a senior moment Vic and Georgina are ready to assist with very quick replies often within minutes.
I have retaken the Days kipper course as a refresher before taking the Coastal Skipper course to further add to my general sailing knowledge before taking off on our travels around the Med and beyond.

Great Course and Format.
Skipper
Yacht Edelweiss Click to hide?
From Peter Hayward
I have just completed on-line theory course. Completing the course on-line allowed me to work at times of my choosing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Cont..
I have just completed on-line theory course.
By completing the course on-line allowed me to work at times of my choosing and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have gained so much knowledge from completing the course and having recently purchased my first sailing cruiser the theory work has helped enormously and given me confidence to make passages to other destinations along the East Coast of England.
I would highly recommend the course to anyone .
Peter Hayward Click to hide?
From Miguele
Thank you very much for the good news. Cont..
Hi Vic.
Thank you very much for the good news!
Thank you for all your support and advice during the process of the course.
I will continue reading about sailing and I hope to enjoy the practice next week as well as I did with the theory.
Please send the certificate to my home address:
Kind regards,
Miguele Click to hide?

The one below was from Patricia (Ocean theory) who fortunately lived near enough to us to meet up for lunch. We had a very pleasant meeting and received good feedback on the course with some recommendations which we took on board and used to improved the course.
Patricia had tried to do her ocean theory with another distance learning centre and chatted to us because she was unhappy with  the course she had booked which consisted of a DVD and some slides on the internet.
It was not value for money, she was unable to progress through it and the instructor feedback was almost non existent so she booked her Ocean Theory with us and passed.

Patricia
Thank you very much for the good news. Cont..
Hi Vic,
This is absolutely wonderful fantastic news! a 100%? wow.
I had some doubts about some of the answers. So glad this is done.
I would love to meet for a celebratory lunch. This studying alone thing is getting to me.....
Thanks again for all your time and patience in answering my questions.
All that is left now is to do my sights and the oral exam.
Maybe we can brainstorm over that one when we meet for lunch.
Yes, please, My full name for the certificate is Patricia ................
Thank you both so very much again! Patricia Click to hide?

This is one I saw on an independent forum. I have removed the name of the Centre.

Hi John, Yes, I did sign up for the _______ Sailing Day Skipper course and to be honest I was a bit disappointed.
Their website promised a lot and to be fair there are some aspects of their course that were good, particularly the admin / record area they have. The main gripe that I had was with the course itself. Although there are a  few bells and whistles in the form of quizzes where you match answers to questions by moving tiles about, the course is effectively a series of videos of PowerPoint presentations with a narrator.
The slides themselves were quite good but for me it was just death by PowerPoint and it also made it difficult to go through the course at the speed I wanted to - there were some bits of the syllabus that I knew quite well and wanted to skip through quickly and other bits that I wanted to take more time over.
For me the video format didn't really lend itself to that very well and I also got very tired of the narrators voice after a while - it also made it a bit antisocial when I was working through the course in front of the TV with my laptop on my knee! The other thing that I really didn't like were the way the course exercises (which I think are set by the RYA and are standard across all training centres) were handled. You worked through these on your own and then watched another video which had the answer.
The  Instructor didn't have a clue how well I was doing with these - or indeed whether I'd done them at all - he just knew if I'd watched the answer video.

When my husband did his online course (Navathome based) his instructor got a copy of his answers and would email him with helpful comments or offers of assistance. It's only my view, but after comparing my experience with my husband's I'd steer clear of_______ and go for one of the Navathome courses.
 I hope this is helpful and sorry for not updating the post as I'd planned!!
We are always happy to have a chat about your current level and which course would be the best for you.
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