Getting Started in the Pathways Learning Experience
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The Pathways learning experience allows you to select a learning path that is tailor-fitted to your needs and wants. There are eleven learning paths in Pathways, each emphasizing a different combination of the Toastmasters core competencies (public speaking, interpersonal communication, leadership, management, self-confidence). You can choose any one of those paths, whichever best suits you. There is an online survey that will help you assess which learning path is best for you.
Login: To get started, go to toastmasters.org and log in (click “Login” at the top of the page). If you have never logged in before, use the “forgot password” link. Enter the requested information, and the site will send an email to the email address they have on record for you, with a link to set your password.
Choose your path: When you have logged in successfully, go back to the Toastmasters home page and click “Pathways” then “Go to Base Camp”. That will take you to the Pathways start page. You may be given a warning that you need to allow pop-ups. This is to allow Pathways to open content in a new window. Allow only that site to use pop-ups, and you still will be protected from pop-ups at other sites.
At Base Camp, under “Choose your path,” click “Continue to Path Selection.”
You’ll be presented with the choice of accessing your path through Base Camp or in printed materials. Choose Base Camp. There are a bazillion reasons NOT to choose print materials, the biggest three being that it costs $25 extra instead of being free, you have the choice from only 5 of the 11 paths, and you don’t get to choose the electives you want. Also, if you choose to access your path online, you can still print out each project from there and end up with the same printed information you would have gotten in a pre-printed learning path. You lose nothing except the convenience of pre-printed manuals.
Take the assessment, at the end of which it will show you which 3 paths that appear to be best for you. Choose one of those if it appeals to you. Most members have gone with the top match, and it has been a pretty good fit.
If the recommended paths don’t appeal to you, you are free to scroll down and choose a different one. If you are debating which path to choose, here are some tips to get additional information to help you choose. Pull up a pdf resource from the Toastmasters website called “Paths and Core Competencies” – do a keyword search to get to it. Each learning path has a one-page description that spells out which projects are required and elective on that path. Level 1, most of Level 2, and Elective projects are the same for all learning paths, so pay attention only to the required projects for Levels 3, 4, and 5. To see what you will be required to do for each required project, look at its Project Description. (In Base Camp, select Tutorials and Resources and then Project Descriptions, and choose the name of the project you want to learn more about.) Select a path that has required projects that appeal to you.
Once you have selected your path, there may be a delay of an hour or two, after which you can access your learning path online. (If you elected to get your path in print, the Level 1 and 2 manuals should reach you within a week or so.)
To begin your first project, log into toastmasters.org, go to Base Camp, and click the “Log in as a Member” button in the middle panel. Then select the “My Education Transcript” panel. Find the name of your learning path but don’t click on it – click the rectangular button next to the name. The first time you do this, it will activate your learning path. Once you have activated your learning path, you should then be able to access it from your transcript by clicking the same red rectangular button, which now should have updated itself to read “Open Curriculum.”
A word about navigation. Your intuition may tell you to click on the word “Home,” for example, to go to your Pathways home page. But instead, you need to hover your mouse over the word “Home” until the real link appears below, then click that. Other menus operate similarly. Also, as described above, if there is a rectangular box next to a heading, you need to click the box to do anything useful. Clicking the heading itself will bring up information, but usually not anything for which you have a use.
When you open your curriculum, you will see a box on the left with Level 1 through Level 5, and a box on the right that should have in it the projects for Level 1. If it doesn’t, click “Level 1” on the left to bring it up. The Ice Breaker project should appear in the list of level 1 projects. Click on the red rectangular box next to the words Ice Breaker, NOT on the words themselves, to activate your project. Then the red rectangular button should update itself to say “Launch”.
Click Launch and it will open the Ice Breaker project in a new window. The window will open too small, so use your mouse to drag the corner of the window down and over to make it larger. It needs to be large enough that you can easily access the navigation arrows at the extreme left and right.
You can now navigate through the educational content. At some point you will get to the end of the project, and advancing to the next screen will open an “Assess My Skills – After” survey – the exact same survey you had completed earlier as the “Assess My Skills – Before” survey. DO NOT take the survey again. Just close the window. You are supposed to complete that last survey AFTER you have given your Ice Breaker speech. If you complete the survey now, the computer will give you credit for completing the Ice Breaker, even though you haven’t done it yet.
After you have given your Ice Breaker speech, go back into Base Camp and re-launch the Ice Breaker project. Use the drop-down menu at the bottom to navigate directly to the Assess My Skills – After survey. Complete the survey, look at the screen it shows, with your before-and-after scores, then click the right navigation arrow to arrive at the congratulatory screen informing you that you have completed the project. When you go back to your curriculum (might need to refresh the screen), your remaining Level 1 projects will be ready to activate. You can complete them in any order.
When you have completed all of the Level 1 projects, you will be able to activate and launch “Level 1 Completion” in your transcript. Instructions will appear; follow them to submit your completion to your Base Camp Manager. It is good practice to email your VP Education to let him/her know your level completion needs approval; the automatic notification might go to an email address other than the VPE’s. After your VPE or other Base Camp Manager verifies your completion, Base Camp will allow you access to Level 2 projects. Completion of other levels works the same way.
At Level 3 and beyond, you will have the opportunity to choose from numerous elective projects. Those are handled similarly in Base Camp, except you will have an extra layer of navigation to reach them. If you have difficulties, use the Tutorials in Base Camp or ask a more experienced member for help. Choosing electives that interest you, allows you to tailor-fit your learning path to you own needs and desires. You can even complete extra electives if you wish, beyond those needed to complete your path.
Before you can receive credit for completing Level 3, you need to have served in three meeting roles: Toastmaster, Evaluator, and Topics Master. Entering dates for these is not very intuitive. While logged into Base Camp, hover your mouse over the “gear” icon in the upper left, wait for a menu to appear, and click “My Account”. Scroll down and you will see places where you can enter a date on which you served in each meeting role. Make sure you have dates entered for Toastmaster, Evaluator, and Topics Master. Entering dates for other roles is optional and entirely up to you. Only the most recently entered date is retained.
In Pathways, since most members don’t have printed manuals, the speaker is responsible for providing the evaluation resource to the evaluator in advance, and providing a printed copy of the resource at the meeting in most cases. (A few evaluators may feel comfortable using the pdf electronically, on a laptop computer or tablet.)
To access your evaluation resource, go into your project (for example, open your Ice Breaker project), and use the dropdown at the bottom to navigate to “Your Evaluation.” There, you will find a link for the evaluation resource which you can save, open, print, etc. (There may be other resources there as well; use them in completing your project.) Evaluation resources can also be accessed from the Pathways home page, from the Speech Evaluations tile.
After the oral evaluation has been delivered, the evaluator should return the completed evaluation resource (paper or electronic) to the speaker. The speaker may do what he wishes with it. In case you relocate to a different club later on, where you may need proof to satisfy the new club’s Base Camp Manager that you completed all tasks for your projects, it is a good practice to scan or photograph your completed evaluation resource and save it in Base Camp where you will be able to retrieve it when needed. But this is not required.
Once you have the electronic file, navigate to My Education Transcript in Base Camp, then e-Portfolio, then the Documents tile. You have six folders – one for each of the five levels and one for My Documents. You cannot rename them or add more folders. No one except you can access the folders – not even your Base Camp Manager. You are not required to keep any files; this space is for you to use as you desire. This is a good place to put your completed evaluation resources and any other files you want to retain, related to your projects.
From your Education Transcript, you also can view feedback and badges that other people have left for you, give feedback and badges to fellow club members, and send out requests for feedback. Feedback is a great way for club members to support and encourage each other outside of meetings. Use the Tutorials to learn how to give and request feedback and give badges.
You also will receive a digital badge after completing your Ice Breaker project and after completing each Level in your learning path. Your achievement designation in Toastmasters is the abbreviation of your learning path plus your level. For example, if you have completed Level 1 in the Dynamic Leadership path, your level designation (the letters you have a right to bear after your name) is “DL1.” When you have completed all five levels, you are said to be, for example, “Proficient in Dynamic Leadership”.
Step-by-step instructions are available for almost any imaginable task in Pathways – written Quick Reference Guides in numerous languages, and videos in English. In Base Camp, go to Tutorials and Resources (hover, then click new link) and drill through the links to select the type of resource you want (for example, Tutorials, Tutorial Quick Reference Guides, English), and scroll down to the one you want. Once you select a document, a screen appears that allows you to Launch it. it is also added to your My Education Transcript, available for you to view again anytime. There are even tutorials to inform you of how to move items from your transcript to an archive for housekeeping purposes.
If you still have trouble, ask for help from your club’s VP Education, any district officer, or call Toastmasters International, 1-720-439-5050, 6 a.m.–7 p.m. Mountain Time, Monday–Friday, excluding U.S. holidays.
Have a great journey along your learning path!