Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I. General Information about e-Learning

II. Course Information

III. Registration and Payment Process

IV. Technical Questions

V. After the Course

VI. Contact Us

For questions not covered in this area, please contact us:

The Manager
Public Finance and Trade Programme
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Email pft-elearning@unitar.org


I. General Information about E-Learning

What is the difference in between UNITAR's e-Learning courses and UNITAR's Workshops? Will the lack of face-to-face discussion in the e-learning course affect the quality of the course?

While UNITAR's e-Learning courses will not involve face-to-face interaction, which the UNITAR Workshops offer, there are several advantages that the e-learning courses offer. The courses not only offer flexibility in time and location, but they also synthesize the inputs, materials, and texts of the numerous workshops in a well-structured manner. While the e-learning courses do not have the face-to face component as the workshops do, there will nevertheless be a weekly discussion board session in which a UNITAR Senior Special Fellow (SSF) or international financial expert will be logged on 'live' to discuss any questions that may arise in regards to the course.

How do e-learning courses work?

The courses have a duration period of approximately six weeks. In total, particpants should anticipate on devoting to the course in between fourty to fifty hours over the six-week period.

Who should enroll in an e-learning course?

Our courses cover a wide range of issues in the field of public finance and debt management. They are primarily intended for professionals working in these areas from the public and private sectors, academic institutions, think tanks, as well as from civil society.

Is online training suited for you?

UNITAR's e-learning courses are structured in a very user-friendly manner with a clearly defined pedagogy and easy online navigation. As such, the online training course is really ideally suited for anyone who is even minutely familiar with the basic features of a computer and internet browsing, e.g. if you can access and read a newspaper online, you can take our online courses.

What Web skills do I need?

One does not need a lot of experience with computers to take our e-learning courses. One should however be familiar with the Internet and World Wide Web. One's computer experience should include using the mouse, scrolling, clicking hyperlinks, locating and saving files, using e-mail, entering text into Web-based forms, and using the Web to access information.

When is the enrollment deadline?

The enrollment deadline for each of the e-learning courses is roughly two weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

II. Course Information

How will I learn?

One will learn the course information by reviewing the course materials lesson by lesson and then fulfilling each objective as they progress through the lessons. Since every lesson is printer friendly, one may wish to print each lesson and review it offline. In this regard, the course is both online and offline. There are online tools that the course participants will most certainly want to access, which will enhance their learning experience. The online tools include the discussion board and the hyperlinks to websites, i.e. the World Bank at www.worldbank.org.

How much time will I need?

One should anticipate on devoting to the course roughly in between fourty to fifty hours during a six-week period.

What do the course materials look like? What are they composed of?

The course materials are broken down into lessons. Each lesson is composed of lesson objectives, course materials, lesson reviews, multiple choice and true/false questions and assessments. In addition, each lesson will provide the students external links to websites and web documents, which will be beneficial to those who seek and desire a more in-depth explanation and discussion of the course materials.

How long will the course materials be accessible?

The course materials will be accessible online for the time period that is allotted to the duration of the course - approximately six weeks.

Will I need to purchase additional books and reference materials?

One does not need to purchase additional materials because it is a self-contained course, however outside reference materials are always beneficial. They may assist an individual in expanding his/her wealth of knowledge on the course subject.

Who will teach the course?

The course is to some degree 'self-taught' since there is no direct face-to-face interaction with a professor, as in a traditional class setting. However, through our discussion board facility, students have the possibility to asynchronously interact with the Course Director and international experts. This provides the student the opportunity to discuss the course and to pose any question that may arise.

What is the grading system?

In general, at the end of each lesson there is a set of multiple choice questions (MCQs) that students must take in order to receive a certificate of completion for the course. To receive the certificate, one must answer 80 percent of the end-of-lesson questions correctly. However on most of the courses, a compulsory report and mandatory participation on the discussion forum is also required.

Who owns the course materials (copyright issues)?

All materials in the courses are copyright protected by UNITAR. Written permission is required to redistribute information from the UNITAR courses, either in print or electronically.

Will there be any certification after successful completion of the course?

There is indeed a certificate that UNITAR will send by mail after the successful completion of the course. This certificate is signed the UNITAR Executive Director or its authorized representative.

III. Registration and Payment Process

How do I register for the course and pay the corresponding fee? How will I know that my payment has been received by UNITAR?

Step 1:
Applicants first need to fill out the online Registration Form (on the UNITAR e-Learning website). After applicants click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the registration form, they will receive a reply via email from UNITAR confirming receipt of their application (please ensure that a valid email address is entered in the registration form).

Step 2:
Following registration, bank details will be provided by UNITAR. All applicants have to pay the corresponding fee via bank transfer. Payment must be received by UNITAR immediately after registration.

Step 3:
UNITAR will confirm receipt of the applicants payment via email and reserve a slot in the requisite course. UNITAR urges you to send a confirmation of your payment by email to pft-elearning@unitar.org

Step 4: Once payment has been received by UNITAR, the applicant will receive his/her username and password one working day before the start of the course.

Are there any payment options aside from Bank Transfer to UNITAR account?

Currently, we are only accepting payment via bank transfer (see procedure and bank transfer details above).

Does UNITAR refund fees?

UNITAR does not refund payment once it has been received for a particular e-Learning course. However, if a participant is unable to take a particular course after having deposited a fee for it, the fee can be applied/allocated to another UNITAR course on the condition that the other course starts within the same calendar year. All unused payments at the end of a calendar year are considered forfeited. Cancellation of participation from a course must be requested via email (pft-elearning@unitar.org) before the first day of the course to be able to apply the fee to another course. UNITAR's Public Finance and Trade Programme reserves the right to reschedule a course without any advance notice.

Can I apply my fees to another course?

Cancellation of participation from a course must be requested via email (pft-elearning@unitar.org) before the first day of the course to be able to apply the fee to another course. No cancellation is allowed from the first day of the course onwards. UNITAR also reserves the right to modify course schedules.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can enroll in more than one course at a time.

IV. Technical Questions

What equipment is required for the course?

In order to take this course one will need a computer that meets the minimum specification listed:

  • Windows 95 or higher, MacOS 9 or MacOS X
  • At least 64 MB of RAM, 1 G of free disk space
  • Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Internet Explorer 4.0 or Netscape 4.0 - JavaScript and Cookies must be enabled
  • A 56k modem

Your network administrator or a person who has basic knowledge of hardware and networks will be able to tell you whether or not your computer/setup meets the requirements.

How do I register for my course?

Registration for a UNITAR online course is very easy. All you need to do is to fill out our online Registration Form and click on the button 'Submit'. UNITAR will then process your request -- and once your fee has been deposited-- assign you a User Name and Password which will be communicated to you via email. This will allow you to take the course at your own pace and timeframe.

How do I start taking my course?

From one's personal account page, click the course name and the home page will appear with several icons. The icons on the course home page will vary with the course one is taking, but they can be divided into these general categories.

1. Course information/Content: This can include such items as Course Objectives, Syllabi, Course Documents, and Class information.

2. Assessments/Assignments:These can include such items as Exams, Self-Test, Assignments, Surveys, and Assessment Tools.

3. Student Tools/External Resources:These can include such items as Grades, Student Homepages, Calendar, and Communication Tools.

Who do I contact if I have technical problems (i.e. lost password)?

Should one encounter technical difficulties, such as a lost password, please contact UNITAR's e-learning administrator. Each online course will have a support group with dedicated contact details.

V. After the Course

What happens after the Course (Alumni)?

Once one has successfully completed a UNITAR e-learning course, one will be put on a mailing list to receive all of the latest UNITAR publications regarding debt financial management, which will be free of charge. In addition, UNITAR will inform the course 'Alumni' when new courses become available.

How long does it takes to receive a Certificate of Completion (for successful participants)?

After each course has ended, the UNITAR e-Learning Committee in collaboration with the Course Director evaluates individual participation (quizzes, compulsory reports, participation on the discussion forum) before UNITAR prints and signs the certificates. On average, it takes around 8 weeks before we can dispatch the certificates (via regular mail). Actual delivery varies, depending on your local postal service.