Frequently Asked Questions
Following are answers to questions we often receive, regarding course selection, how to order courseware, and the training delivery process. You may want to consult this list before calling or writing Object Innovations. We are always available to answer questions and otherwise to assist you -- find us at the numbers and addresses shown at the top of the page.
What We Offer
- What's included when I buy an OI course?
You purchase some number of student guides, which are printed books. With the coursebook each student gets access to download the supporting lab files, containing extensive programming examples, and exercises. Separately, we provide materials for the training vendor and/or instructor, including presentation slides, instructor's guide, and classroom setup guide.
- Does the price of a coursebook include shipping?
The price of an OI course does not include shipping, as this can vary dramatically based on location and turnaround time.
- Do you provide any solutions for the labs and demonstrations presented in the course?
Absolutely, and we believe this is one of our strongest suits as a provider of training materials. An OI course always includes extensive code examples. There are complete starter and answer code sets for every exercise, and often intermediate answer sets as well. Code is thoroughly documented, and often there is HTML documentation giving a navigable overview of the course software. Our Java courses all offer javadoc-generated documentation for code examples.
- In what format are presentation files available?
Our presentations are view-only PDF files. Presentation pages match the content of the printed student guides exactly in format and content, but do not include pages unsuitable for projection viewing, such as the lab instructions at the ends of chapters. Chapter and lab numbers synchronize to the printed book.
- What content is provided in the instructor's guide?
The instructor's guide provides notes to the instructor on how best to deliver the course. This document is written by the course author(s) and includes an overview on philosophy of the course design, suggested timeline (at a granularity of chapters per day or half-day), lecture notes per chapter, and often tips and troubleshooting for possible in-class problems.
- What tools and classroom environment are required to deliver an OI course?
See the course outline for general system requirements, including baseline hardware specifications. The setup guide for a course describes precisely what software packages must be set up to support the lab software. For most of our courses this software will consist entirely of free, downloadable products, so there is no additional cost involved in delivering the training. Some of our courses cover commercial products by nature, and here the corresponding product will be required -- an example would be Visual Studio .NET for the .NET curriculum.
- What support does OI provide for training delivery?
OI can provide limited "up and running" support for setting up supporting tools and getting the lab software installed. The actual instruction of the course is not included in the price of the book. Nor can we provide in-depth support on the various tools required for course delivery, such as SDKs, IDEs, or application servers. We assume that the training provider and/or instructor have the expertise to install and run the necessary software to support training in a given technology. See also the separate FAQ on delivering an OI course, for practical details.
- Can I see a sample of a course that interests me?
You can download an archive of sample content for any OI course from our download page, or you can contact us directly to receive evaluation materials by email. Each downloadable archive includes the course table of contents and one sample chapter, each provided as a watermarked PDF; this material is not for redistribution or for any use other than direct evaluation by our customers. Other than the watermark, the content is identical to that found in the course as purchased, including presentation pages and lab instructions in the chapters.
- Can I procure a customized course based on OI materials?
We are happy to provide custom books from our standard courses. See our customization guide for details. Note that a one-time setup fee will typically be charged to create the master for the custom book.
- Can your courseware be used for self-directed study?
We design the courses for instructor-led training in classroom environments. Given the thorough nature of the presentation materials and great volume of example code and step-by-step exercises, self-study is also possible, but it requires a strong background and problem-solving ability, as no one is available to answer detailed questions on theory or to clarify a given instruction in a lab.
- Where do I sign up for classes?
OI does not offer training; we provide courseware only. If you are looking for public classes in the topics our courses cover, contact us directly and we can refer you to a training company that uses our courseware, and they can answer your questions about training availability.
Procuring OI Courseware
For full details, see also our purchasing page.
- How can I purchase courseware?
To order courseware, contact us by phone (781-466-8012) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- What payment methods are available?
First orders require a charge to a credit card. We accept Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. For ongoing business, we can set up an account on which we will invoice you for courseware orders.
- What is the suggested lead time for ordering materials?
We recommend ordering courseware at least a week in advance of the training date. This allows us time to process the order, print coursebooks and ship to your desired location. We can often support faster turnarounds, though shipping costs rise quickly as the lead time shrinks.
- Can I get a license to resell OI courseware?
We do make licensing arrangements, assuming sufficient volume to make the work to set up and support a reseller relationship worthwhile. Contact us directly to discuss possible structures and pricing.
- As a training company or independent instructor, how do I deliver an OI course?
(1) Place an order for student kits with OI, as described above. (2) You will receive instructor materials including instructor's guide, classroom setup guide, and presentation PDFs. (3) Set up the classroom according to the setup guide -- this will include installing the PDFs and downloading the labs and other software and installing them on student machines. (4) The instructor must prepare for the course: read the book, work through code exercises, research, and read the instructor's guide for notes on lectures and timeline.
- In the setup guide, the link to lab software is broken, or I'm having other problems finding or downloading the lab files. How can I find them?
If the link given in a setup guide is broken, there are two possible causes. One is we've erred in revising a course and either the lab file or the link is incorrectly written. The other is that you're working with an outdated version of one of our courses, such that the lab file has been retired from our downloads area. It's a good idea to double-check that you're working with the most current version of the course -- contact your courseware provider or Object Innovations if in doubt. In any case, you can find a complete index of all our current lab installers.
- In setting up a classroom, I find that a later version of a tool required for the course is available than the version identified in the setup guide? Can I safely use the latest version in class?
Tool versions matter! It is always best to procure and to install the exact version of each tool that is identified in the course setup guide. Even where two versions of a tool are only slightly different, and we might guess that there will be perfect compatibility, the setup guide reflects the exact environment on which the course software has been tested. Once we step outside those boundaries, OI cannot guarantee that problems won't crop up.
- I'll be installing course software on my own machine, either for an upcoming class or for reference outside of class time. I have older or newer versions of some required tools. Can I safely use these versions for the class or for later work?
See the question above.
- I can't find the version of a tool that's required by the course setup guide -- what should I do?
If you need assistance finding the correct version of a tool, and the setup guide links aren't working as advertised, please contact OI directly and we'll diagnose the problem ASAP.
- How can I provide feedback on an OI course?
Any way you want to! We value student and instructor feedback greatly. As an instructor you will be provided a feedback form; use this if it's helpful. But we're happy to receive any comments, criticisms, bug reports, or suggestions informally as well. Just call or email at the above addresses and your feedback will be passed along to the appropriate curriculum coordinator and course author. We may want to follow up on these things with you as we are always striving to make our materials as clean, current, and authoritative as possible.