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Frequently Asked Questions



For general SkillSoft information view the program FAQs. For assistance with registration and payment for SkillSoft licenses please view the registration and payment FAQs. For assistance with technical difficulties view the technical and platform FAQs and questions on how the SkillSoft courses operate view the course content FAQs.



SkillSoft Program FAQs


Q.  What is the SkillSoft library of courses?

A.   SkillSoft is an online library of courses available to employees through DOI Learn who purchase a license for the low cost of $20 for one year of unlimited access to over 3500 online courses beginning November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2012.  The library is available to SkillSoft license holders wherever there is Internet access. Courses cover a wide range of subject matter including:

  • Information technology
  • Microsoft applications, including PowerPoint and Excel
  • Budget & financial management
  • Leadership/supervisory skills
  • Project management
  • HR development
  • Acquisition management


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Q.  Who can purchase a SkillSoft license from DOI University?

A.  Any Department of the Interior  employee is eligible to purchase a SkillSoft license.  Contractors, volunteers and other DOI partners are also eligible upon authorization from the individuals COR or other approving official.

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Q. What is the SkillSoft Open Season?

A.  The SkillSoft Open Season is a limited time period during which SkillSoft licenses are available for purchase.  The SkillSoft Open Season usually occurs twice a year for approximately 6-8 weeks.  DOI University issues an announcement for upcoming SkillSoft Open Seasons  on the DOI University SkillSoft website as well as all employee announcements via email and on DOI Learn.

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Q. Why are SkillSoft licenses not available for purchase all year round?

A.  By limiting the purchase period of SkillSoft licenses, the price of the license as well as administrative costs are greatly reduced, enabling DOI University to offer SkillSoft licenses at a very low cost.

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Q.   When is the next SkillSoft Open Season?

A.  The Fall 2011 SkillSoft Open Season ended on December 9, 2011. The next SkillSoft Open Season has not been scheduled at this time. Announcements for subsequent SkillSoft Open Season will be on the DOI University SkillSoft website and DOI Learn.

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Q.   Can I purchase a license for myself?

A.   Yes, you can purchase a license for yourself but you must receive supervisory approval prior to registering for a license.  You must have a government purchase card available at the time of registration  as payment is required to complete the registration process. When registering for an individual license for yourself or someone else, select the 'Individual Purchase' radio button and following the instructions here.

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SkillSoft Registration and Payment FAQs

Q.  How do I register for a SkillSoft license?

A.  Detailed registration instructions can be found here.

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Q. I have to purchase a number of licenses for my office/organization.  Is that possible?

A.  Yes, you can purchase a bulk number of licenses for your office or organization.  Instructions on bulk purchases can be found here. Bulk purchases of more than 5 licenses and less than 125 can register on the DOI University SkillSoft Registration page. Instructions for bulk purchases of more than 100 can be found here. License purchases of less than five must be entered as individual purchases. Instructions can be found here. The following DOI Learn user information is required for all SkillSoft license purchases: DOI Learn username, first name, last name and work email address of each user.

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Q. Why is SkillSoft registration not available in DOI Learn?

A. The vast majority of SkillSoft registrations are submitted as bulk purchases for multiple employees. At this time, DOI Learn does not have the capability to properly process large numbers of registrations in one action. Moving SkillSoft registrations to an external site streamlines the process and reduces the administrative burden on both the user as well as DOI University staff.

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Q.   How do I pay for a SkillSoft license?

A.  The preferred method of payment is the government purchase card.  For purchases over the government purchase card threshold the SF-182 training form is accepted.  Procedures for submitting the SF-182 as payment can be found here.  Please be advised the DOI University cannot accept funds from non-government sources, employees may not use their personal (non-government) credit cards as payment for DOI University courses and programs.

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Q.  What is the period of performance of a SkillSoft license?

A.  The SkillSoft license is active for pre-designated period of one year.  The current SkillSoft license periods are November 1, 2011-October 31, 2012.  If you register for a license after the license start date there is no extension on the end date of the license. If your license expires you must register for a new license in order to have continued access to SkillSoft.

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Q. I have a SkillSoft license, how do I know when it expires?


A.  You can check the expiration date of your SkillSoft license by logging into DOI Learn and viewing your profile, the field “SkillSoft Expiration Date” indicates the expiration month of your license.

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Q. I would like to buy licenses for future employees, can I do that?


A. Yes! You have to make a bulk license purchase, instructions can be found here. Indicate the number of blank licenses you wish to purchase and be sure to include and pay for the blank licenses as you go through the payment process. When you need to use a blank license, simply send an email to with new user's first and last name, email address and DOI Learn username as well as the name of the individual who made the original license requests.

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Q. I have registered and paid for a SkillSoft license, how will I be notified that my license is active?

A. You receive a confirmation email when your license is active and you are able to search for and access SkillSoft course in DOI Learn.

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Q. I am a new employee and do not have a DOI Learn account. Can I still register for access to SkillSoft?

A. Unfortunately, a DOI Learn account is required to access the SkillSoft library of courses. Please visit the DOI Learn portal for more information on obtaining a DOI Learn account.

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Q. Is supervisory approval required to register for a SkillSoft license?

A. Yes, you must obtain supervisory approval prior to registering for a SkillSoft license. By clicking the "Submit" button on the DOI University SkillSoft Registration site you acknowledge that you have received supervisory approval. You can also request formal approval through DOI Learn (after logging in search for "Access to SkillSoft Library" in the catalog), but the registration must be completed through the DOI University SkillSoft Registration site.


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Technical and Platform FAQs 


Q. Who do I contact for Technical Support? 

A. If you encounter any technical difficulties, please contact the GeoLearning Helpdesk at (866) 466-1998 or

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Q. How do I access SkillSoft courses after registering for the SkillSoft license?

A. After you have registered and paid for a license you will soon gain access to the library in DOI Learn. For instructions on how to begin to take courses in SkillSoft click here. Employees who have completed the registration process before Novemeber 1, 2011 will have their licenses activated by November 1, 2011. Users who register after the first of the month will have their licenses activated approximately one week after they have registered and paid. 

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Q. How do I search for a course on a certain topic?

A. Instructions on to search for SkillSoft courses in DOI Learn can be found here.

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Q. Should I have other applications open when running the courses?

A. Occasionally, having other applications open on the desktop can affect course performance. We recommend closing all non-essential applications when playing courses.

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Q. What browser version is required for playing courses? 

A. It is recommended you use Internet Explorer. 6. 0 (or greater). 

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Q. How do I know if my web browser is configured correctly?

A. You can use SkillSoft's Browser Capabilities Check to insure that your computer and web browser are configured correclty to enable you to access the SkillSoft platform and e-Learning content. You can access this at: 
Below is a list of basic recommended browser settings. For a more comprehensive list view the DOI LEARN Browser Settings Document

Minimum Requirements for Plug-ins:

  •  Flash 6.0 through 8.x Mozilla 1.6 and 1.7.2 require Flash 7.0 r19 and r25 or higher,  respectively
  •  Enable browser caching
  •  Enable Active Scripting and Scripting of Java Applets
  •  Supports JavaScript 1.0 and Java 1.0.2
  •  Supports .ZIP, .JAR, or .CAB Java Applets
  •  Recommended: Enable Java Console
  • A browser enabled with a pop-up blocker or similar window blocking tool may interfere with the launch of the Job Aids, NASBA, Help, and SkillBriefs windows from the SkillSoft Course Player. If this occurs, SkillSoft recommends you set the blocking tool to "Always allow". An additional technique is to use the CTRL or SHIFT key when selecting the link from the Player. If both of these fail, SkillSoft recommends disabling the blocking tool during course play and re-enabling it after completing your play session.

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Q. When attempting to Play a course, it is taking an unusually long time for the course to start.

A. Do you use McAfee VirusScan version 4.x or higher, and do you use VShield with Download Scan set to Scan All Files? This has been found to slow the download of the Java Applet when starting the course. You can set VShield Download Scan to Scan Program Files only instead of All Files. 

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Q. When I try to play a course, nothing happens or I just get a gray screen.

A. The most common cause of this symptom is an outdated Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM that ships with Internet Explorer has problems that sometimes impact the execution of our Java Applet. The solution is to update the JVM. This update is available from the Sun Microsystems web site at

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Q. Does the SkillSoft courseware support proxies and firewalls?

A. Yes, the only exception to this is if the firewall or proxy server at your site is filtering Java Applets or compiled code. In this case the SkillSoft course Player will not be able to load properly. Check with your Network Administrator to see if this applies to you.

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Course Content FAQs


Q. Can I turn the audio off?

 A. Yes. You can turn the audio off at any time by clicking the turn off audio button located in the bottom navigation bar. You can turn it back on by clicking the same button.

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 Q. Can I play two courses simultaneously?

 A. No. You can only play one course at a time.

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 Q. How do I bookmark my place?

 A. Using the Exit button to close the SkillSoft course player "bookmarks" your place in the course. When you leave a course using the Exit button, you place a bookmark. Then when you return to that course, you are given the option to return to where you left off.
You’ll also notice that if you leave a course to visit the Course Menu, that you’ll find a Return to Bookmark button in the lower right corner. Click on the Return to Bookmark button to return to your last place in the course.

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Q. What are Job Aids?

A. Each SkillSoft Business Skills course typically has several job aids associated with it. Job Aids can be used whenever you need support on a new skill - while taking a course…or many months later when you need a quick refresher. They are handy highlights of a course, you can print out and refer back to in the workplace.

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Q. What are SkillBriefs?

A. Most SkillSoft Business Skills courses have numerous SkillBriefs associated with the course. They provide a summary of the key points covered in the related course. SkillBriefs a great resource of "just in time" learning, either on their own, or as a refresher of the course objectives.

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 Q. When do I know when I have completed a course?

 A. The completion requirement for your courses is if the overall high score is 70% or greater and if all assessments have been attempted.
Note: The overall high score is found under the column titled ‘Mastery Results’ ‘High’ on the ‘Learner Records Progress Report’.

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 Q. I have been in and out of a course multiple times, how do I know what lessons I've completed?

 A. The Course Menu lists all your lessons. The Status icons to the right of the lesson indicate their status. The icon is next to any lesson you have paged through. Lessons that are not yet started are indicated by the icon. Lessons that have been started, but not completely paged through are indicated by the icon. The test scores for each lesson are available to the right of the Status icon.

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 Q. How do I get a SkillSim marked as complete?

 A. You must enter the SkillSim through "SCORE" mode in order to have the Sim marked as complete. Once in this mode, you must move through the entire SkillSim without a catastrophic failure. Entering through "EXPLORE" mode will result in no score. Your score is determined using the examples below:

  • You complete the simulation making all "Appropriate" choices. Your score is 100
  • You complete the simulation and some of the choices are rated "Fair" or "Inappropriate." Your score is less than 100 but greater than 0.
  • You fail the simulation. Even though you may have made "Appropriate" choices, you selected an "Inappropriate" choice that terminated the simulation early. A Final Summary feedback page is displayed and you are not presented with the remaining material in the simulation. Your score is 0.

The SkillSim counts the number of objectives in Score mode that the user answers correctly vs. the number of objectives that the user was presented with and assigns a percentage. (For example: If you answer 'Appropriate' rather than 'Inappropriate' or 'Fair' 67% of the time, then your score for the SkillSim is 67%).

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Q. Do I get credit for multiple part test questions if I don't answer all the questions correctly?

A. In multiple part test questions, you will receive partial credit for those questions you answered correctly. The score is calculated by the number of correct answers divided by the total number of choices.


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