I've written a little about the overall structure of Saylor and something about the courses so this is just a short practical guide to getting started.
All courses are self-paced and open to enrolment at any time so you can jump in whenever you like. In fact, as I said last time, you don't actually need to enrol or even register on the site, you can just turn up and start learning! So where do you begin? A number of students seem to get confused simply by the open nature; it is as if you arrived on your first day at university to find the doors flung open and a note saying 'help yourself'. So this is my five step guide to getting started:
Step 1: Click on the ePortfolio link at the the top of the page and register. you don't have to but it will give more options - which I'll discuss in a later posting.
Step 2: While in your new ePortfolio, click on the 'Course Catalog' link. You'll now see in the centre of the screen a list of every course offered in order of course code from ARTH101 (Art History) to STS203 (History of Technology) and on the left (in large blue lettering) a list of Areas of Study (ie 'Majors') from Art History down to Psychology. Click on one of the Areas of Study and you'll see just the courses which contribute to that area. Browse around, see what interests you and take a look at the first units for a couple of courses.
Step 3: Back to your ePortfolio for a rest...
Step 3A: If you have decided on an area of specialisation then click on the 'Areas of Study' tab and choose your area. Click on the area and you will be taken to a list of the required courses. Select as many or as few as you like to register immediately.
Step 3B: If you haven't decided yet or just want to complete one or two individual courses, click on 'Add a course' (which takes you right back to the Course Catalog) and click on the 'Enrol' button next to the courses you want.
Step 4: Back in your ePortfolio, click on the 'Courses' tab, if you're not already there, then on the course that you want to study first.
Step 5: Start at Unit 1 and keep going....
Good luck with your studies and next time I'll offer a few hints and tips on how to make the most effective use of your time.