Online OUPV classes - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-28-2009 Thread Starter
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Online OUPV classes

Has anyone taken one of these? Theres a couple Ive found available, one being The National Maritime School

Im curious if its difficult to complete, and if everything worked out ok. At one point in the description it says that upon completion your awarded a certificate that the USCG will accept. They also say that taking the test at an actual USCG facility is optional.. sounds a little fishy to me

Dave in NC
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-04-2009
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Smile Online OUPV Classes

There are several schools out there that offer these programs. You take the test either at one of the schools testing locations or one of the RECs. You MUST take a test to get your ticker.

I personally do not like the online courses because it is very difficult to learn plotting and Rules of the Road (lights, day-shapes, steering rules etc.) without the ability to ask questions from an instructor as well as discussion with other students. Furthermore, there are less distractions when you have to sit in a classroom versus being at home where phone calls and other distractions can affect your focus.

That being said--the advantage is you can do the course work at your own schedule.

I have a license and I have been a USCG license instructor. I think students do better when they are in the classroom versus in front of the computer. The computer should be used as a supplemental tool and not as the primary means of a lecture.

This license is a professional license, would you want your surgeon to take online courses or have actual experience with a scalpel?

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post #3 of 27 Old 03-10-2009
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Not for everyone!

If you take a look at any online course offerings at any community college or even universities such as YALE even prestigious Harvard offer courses online. These online courses, including OUPV are simply not for everyone. If you are not computer savvy you will not enjoy the online experience. Most OUPV classroom courses are for individuals that really need hands on to learn. We have found the students’ requiring the hands on applies mostly to retired, and the recreational boaters. The working Captains are use to online courses/classes. Most Maritime employers have been utilizing computers and simulators for years to train employees. So, if you can comprehend what you read and have an understanding of computer jargon and want to get your captain license minus the instructors’ sea stories. I suggest online. Most schools that offer online have FREE demos. Give them a whirl and decide.
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post #4 of 27 Old 03-10-2009
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I have to agree with CaptRJ about online learning not being for everyone, but it sure works great for many and has become a universally accredited method of learning. I'm an Instructional Designer and courseware developer and have a bachelors in Industrial Ed and a Masters in Adult Ed. I have designed classroom, lab, and now online courses. I have developed courses for the nuclear industry and currently for the USAF. Our learners are geographically all over the place and can't always be where a classroom is available. Based upon our assessments we feel confident that the learners are comprehending and retaining the primary course objectives.

However it is crucial that the course content meets the course objectives and there are valid means for the learner to assess their understanding of the material. Additionally, it would be important for me to find out if the OUPV course provider is accredited by the Coast Guard or other organization that has that authority before I paid my money to them. I'd look into where they get their course content and who their subject matter experts were that provided the content. Also see if you can get information from past students on their experiences with the course.

Good Luck


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Originally Posted by CaptRJ View Post
If you take a look at any online course offerings at any community college or even universities such as YALE even prestigious Harvard offer courses online. These online courses, including OUPV are simply not for everyone. If you are not computer savvy you will not enjoy the online experience. Most OUPV classroom courses are for individuals that really need hands on to learn. We have found the students’ requiring the hands on applies mostly to retired, and the recreational boaters. The working Captains are use to online courses/classes. Most Maritime employers have been utilizing computers and simulators for years to train employees. So, if you can comprehend what you read and have an understanding of computer jargon and want to get your captain license minus the instructors’ sea stories. I suggest online. Most schools that offer online have FREE demos. Give them a whirl and decide.

Chesapeake Beach, MD
C&C 25 MKI, Hull No. 039
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-11-2009
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I agree with CaptRJ.


I usually instruct an average of 120 students a year. Approximatley 80-85% of these students have NEVER worked with a paper chart and have no idea what the difference is between Stand-On, Give-Way and Right-of-Way. They have no idea how to calculate current, set/drift or how to calculate course-to-steer as well as no idea how to perform True to Compass and Compass to True conversions. Most of them have not taken a two or three visual-bearing fix.

After taking the "Brick and Mortar" course I believe the majority of these students come away with a fairly good understanding; Especially since there is some discussion amongst the students and instructor. One does not get that experience with online OUPV instruction.

Now--if the student is familiar with all these techniques AND has experience using them with proficiency, then as CaptRJ stated, these students would probably benefit because the course is designed to pass the test.
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post #6 of 27 Old 03-12-2009
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One additional comment---Some of the Online OUPV courses offer a service where by you can call an instructor if you have questions however the costs to speak with said instructor is approximately $100/hour. So if you call an instructor and you spend 15 minutes with them on the phone you pay $100.00. If you call them again and spend an additional 15 minutes on the phone, you pay an additional $100. The time is not prorated. So while an online course appears to be $200.00 less than a "Brick and Mortar" course. It is possible, (and quite likely if the student wants some instructor-student interaction,) the online course will actually cost the student more than a "Brick and Mortar" course. When I instruct the courses, there is no additional charge for the student to call me at night to discuss a problem or if the student wants to show up early to class and spend some time reviewing some topics he/she maybe having some difficulty.
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-12-2009
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Yamsailor, I agree With you! I can't not imagine doing a course on line. I got my license many, many years ago, before on line courses! My father was a retired Navy Captain and I grew up around boats. I thought I knew Plotting when I started my OUPV Class. I was lucky enough to be seated next to an older man. When we started working with the charts I looked over and I could see the grace in the way this man working with the charts. It was like watching Peggy Fleming on ice skates. I learned some tricks and tips that I use to this day from that man sitting to my right.

The interaction between students and students: and students and Instructors I think is one of the most important things you would be giving up with on line course.

I scored 100% on my charting. Thanks Ralph, (the man sitting to my right)!


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post #8 of 27 Old 03-12-2009
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In my opinion the only advantage of an on-line is course is the ability to work on ones own schedule. However, I do not think this specific advantage is worth spending more money and getting less hands-on experience from a "Brick and Mortar" course. This license is a professional license; Like all professions, it requires hands-on training.

It is my hope (not because I am an instructor) people who want to get their OUPV license will take a "Brick and Mortar" course because it will, in my opinion, produce better mariners and reduce on-the-water risks (i.e., collision, dismemberment, death.)
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-12-2009
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A MMD OUPV or otherwise is not just about reading books and plotting. Time on the water learning the ropes, and navigation from those who know is also required. Don't think because you passed a test you are ready to go to sea in command of a vessel.
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-12-2009
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quite correct lastconch. The problem is alot of these people do think just that thought. I think alot of the people who go for the online courses are exactly those type of people--but not always.
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