Frequently Asked Questions
About Course Portals
What is a Course Portal?
A Course Portal is an online resource from which learners access everything they need to study for a LOMA designation program course and prepare for its exam. Course Portals are designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles by blending the more traditional textbook study experience with several new online and multi-media features, many of which today’s learners expect in their training and education programs. Course portals include the following elements:
- Assigned course materials in PDF format that can be printed or read online
- The same great interactive Practice Questions and Sample Exams currently found in LOMA Test Preparation Guides (TPGs)
- Recommended study plans to help learners set goals and manage their study schedule
- A variety of additional media-oriented features designed to enhance the study and review process
How do the courses delivered on a Course Portal compare to LOMA’s integrated courses?
LOMA designed the Course Portal to serve as a delivery medium that blends the types of media-rich learning aids we included in our new integrated courses with the comprehensive industry-specific content our textbooks provide. A Course Portal provides online access to all of the traditional materials—text, test preparation guide, etc. — needed by a learner preparing for a proctored LOMA designation program examination and adds many new features to help a learner apply the material to the workplace and to aid in preparing for the exam. While integrated courses present content screen-by-screen with the interactive review and practice "built in" as a part of the lesson presentation, learners using the Course Portal read the content of a lesson online or in printed form and determine when to access and use the related study aids, review exercises, and other learning features available on the Course Portal. The Course Portal provides a great deal of flexibility to learners in study approach, appeals to a variety of learning styles, and provides a great way for employees to advance their understanding of the insurance and financial services industry beyond the introductory level.
What is the difference between regular (traditional) LOMA study materials for a professional designation course and the study materials on a Course Portal?
The Course Portal includes all of the traditional assigned study materials, and more. On the Course Portal, the assigned textbook and Test Preparation Guide (TPG) are provided in a PDF format that can be viewed online or printed. The Practice Questions and Sample Exam from the TPG also are available on the Course Portal in the popular interactive format that provides instant feedback for each answer choice. A Course Portal also includes many other media-rich study aids and exam preparation materials that cannot be made available through a traditional printed text. For example, the Course Portal for LOMA 320 includes a video, a number of animated illustrations of concepts, a "top ten tough topics" review feature, and more.
Are there Practice Questions or a Sample Exam on the Course Portal?
Yes, the Practice Questions and Sample Exam traditionally found in LOMA Test Preparation Guides (TPGs) are available on each Course Portal in several formats, including both interactive and printable versions.
How to Access Course Portals
How do learners access a Course Portal?
To access a Course Portal, the learner must first be enrolled for the course in LOMANET. Once enrolled, the learner can login to LOMANET, click on "My Learning," and then click the link to the Course Portal shown there.
What is the price of course materials for a course delivered through a Course Portal?
A single fee covers examination enrollment, plus access to all of the assigned course materials and enhanced learning features on the Course Portal. The all-inclusive price is less than purchasing a traditional printed textbook, a Test Preparation Guide, and an exam enrollment separately. And there are no shipping fees! Consult LOMA’s Education & Training Catalog for current fees.
How do learners, or Ed Reps on behalf of learners, enroll for a course with a Course Portal?
Through LOMANET enrollments for all designation courses, including traditional text-based courses, Course Portal courses, and integrated courses, are purchased through LOMANET. Click on ENROLL FOR EXAM in LOMANET to begin the enrollment process.
What are the technical requirements for my computer?
The requirements for a user’s computer are:
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows 2003 Server, or Windows XP, or higher are recommended
- Browser: Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher
- An Internet connection (broadband highly recommended)
- Flash Player 9 or higher
- Software that can read PDF documents, preferably Adobe® Reader®
- Allow pop-ups from services.loma.org in order for the course portal window to open.
Can Mac users access course portals?
Course Portals are not Mac compatible.
How long will learners have access to a Course Portal?
Enrolled learners have access to the Course Portal until their exam period expires. The exact date on which access expires appears on the My Learning page in LOMANET, but for I*STAR and Prometric exams, the exam period typically ends on the last day of the quarter in which the learner is enrolled. For paper exams, it is typically the end of June for May exams or the end of December for November exams. If necessary, learners can receive access to the Course Portal again once they purchase a fee transfer or re-enroll for the course.
Can learners print the materials on a Course Portal ?
Yes. A learner is entitled to print for personal use one copy of the PDF text and one copy of the PDF Test Preparation Guide (Practice Questions and Sample Exam) for the course in which the learner is enrolled. Some items that appear on the Course Portal—like animations and videos—are not printable.
What if my organization wants to control the printing and distribution of the PDFs used by learners in preparing for LOMA examinations?
LOMA offers an option for Ed Reps at LOMA regular and affiliate member companies to gain access to protected PDFs (PPDF) course materials and manage the printing and distribution of these materials for their companies. Ed Reps at these companies will be offered a LOMA Electronic Library Licensing Agreement. Once the agreement is accepted by the Ed Rep, the Ed Rep will have access to the entire electronic library of PPDF course materials available in the languages in which their students take examinations. The Ed Rep may then print and distribute study materials according to the guidelines specified in the agreement. For more information on the Electronic Library, see the next FAQ.
While LOMA supports Ed Reps in their effort to manage the printing and distribution of printed versions of the study materials, we strongly encourage Ed Reps to also provide learners with course enrollment and access to the complete Course Portal as early as possible in their study experience. The Course Portal includes valuable study resources in addition to the course materials that will help the learner to better understand the material and prepare for the course examination.
What is an Electronic Library Licensing Agreement?
What if a learner doesn’t have computer access, can she still access the materials needed to study for an examination?
Ed Reps who accept the Electronic Library Licensing Agreement will have access to the study materials needed by learners who do not have computer access (see the FAQ above for details on the Electronic Library Licensing Agreement). This agreement will allow Ed Reps the option of printing these study materials including the PPDF textbook and Test Preparation Guide (TPG) for students at their company who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in a course portal course. Note that some Course Portal elements such as videos and animations and interactive versions of the Practice Questions and Sample Exam are available only through the online Course Portals. Ed Reps will not have access to these materials, and learners who do not have access to a computer will not be able to access these materials.
Periodically, study materials are updated. Learners are responsible for studying from the correct study materials. Consult the Education & Training Catalog to confirm the assigned materials for each testing period.
What are the options if a learner doesn’t want to use a Course Portal?
Access to the Course Portal, which includes all study materials for a course, is included with course enrollment, and we strongly encourage learners to use the Course Portal to prepare for the course examination. However, other options for accessing and studying course materials include; printing the PDF materials from the Course Portal and using these materials to study offline; obtaining study materials from an Ed Rep who is authorized to copy and distribute these materials; purchasing a professionally printed and bound copy of the textbook for an additional fee. Please note that some features on the Course Portal–courses are available only through the online Course Portals.
How many pages are in the PDF textbooks?
The number of pages for each textbook will vary. Typically you will find that most of the textbooks will range from approximately 300 to 350 pages, including the glossaries.
Studying with Course Portals
Will learners be tested on all of the materials on the Course Portal?
Learners will be tested only on the Assigned Study Materials as listed in the LOMA Education & Training Catalog. The material is the information contained in the textbook and the practice questions. The other materials on the Course Portal are designed to reinforce important concepts and help learners retain and better understand the text materials.
Can a learner buy a hard copy or CD of the course materials?
A professionally printed and bound duplicate of the textbook is available from LOMA’s book distributor for an additional fee (see order form for details). The Test Preparation Guides (TPGs) are not available for purchase in a hard copy format. None of the materials are available on a CD.
Can learners obtain the materials on the Course Portal without enrolling for an exam?
Learners cannot access a Course Portal without enrolling for the course. LOMA will give Ed Reps at regular and affiliate member companies the option to accept an Electronic Library Licensing Agreement that they will complete through their LOMANET account. This licensing agreement will allow Ed Reps to set up an electronic library of protected PDF (PPDF) course materials that they can print and distribute to students at their company who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in a Course Portal course. (Note that some Course Portal features such as videos and animations and interactive versions of the Practice Questions and Sample Exam are available only to learners through the Course Portal.) For more information on the Electronic Library Licensing agreement, see the FAQ, "What is an Electronic Library Licensing Agreement?" in this document.
How long does it take to study for an exam using materials on a Course Portal?
Study time depends on many factors and varies for different learners. It can depend on how quickly they learn, how familiar they may be with the content, etc. If learners take advantage of all the learning features and other materials available through the Course Portal, they may spend more time than they would spend if they were simply reading a text. However, because the learning features on the Course Portal augment the basic content of the course, learners may find that they have better retention of concepts, need less review time, and are better prepared for success on the exam.
Can learners see the assigned study materials distributed through the Course Portal before they enroll in a course?
Learners at companies whose Ed Rep has access to the Electronic Library may contact their Ed Rep for assistance in viewing printed copies of the assigned study materials. Ed Reps can use this method to allow learners to see the printable course material before they enroll for the course. (Note that some Course Portal elements, such as animations and interactive versions of the Practice Questions and Sample Exam, are available only to learners through the Course Portal.) For more information on the Electronic Library, see the FAQ, "What is an Electronic Library Licensing Agreement?" in this document.
Will learners have access to a Performance Analysis Report for paper, I*STAR, and Prometric exams for courses with a Course Portal?
Yes, most LOMA exams provide you with a chapter-by-chapter performance report on your Course History page in LOMANET.
What if a learner does not take the exam by the end of the testing period?
A Fee Transfer may be purchased for those who do not take their exams by the end of the chosen exam period. The Learner can then re-enroll for another testing period for no charge. Current study materials for that exam period will be included on the Course Portal with the new enrollment.
What if a learner fails the exam for a Course Portal course? Is there a reduced re-enrollment fee?
If a learner fails an exam for a Course Portal course, the enrollment fee is reduced. If the learner enrolls in a different exam period, study materials may have changed. The most up-to-date study materials for that exam period will be included on the Course Portal with the new enrollment.