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Distance Learning (Correspondence)

The Study Process: How it Works


Welcome to Electricians’ Training through Distance Learning. This type of training is not new. Many colleges and other educational institutions have been offering this learning option for many years. Novel Engineering (NE) has successfully instructed electricians and others involved in the electrical field through distance learning since the early 1990s. With technological progress, delivery of education through non-traditional means, including online learning, has become increasingly popular. Instruction is delivered through a variety of methods. The instructor is only an email away or available by way of other modern means.


The study texts used in our programs have been carefully chosen. They are heavily illustrated and well suited for this type of learning. We use mainly printed texts, but some e-books are used. Most of the texts are provided by NE, but some are the responsibility of the student. Some courses contain workbooks in addition to the main text and many contain supplemental online or other digital resources. Many of our courses are NEC® based. Texts for these courses are based on the most current edition of the National Electrical Code.® We strive to keep all courses and texts up to date, presenting current information.


Reading and homework assignments are required for each course. After completing the assigned reading for a course chapter or unit, students complete and submit a homework assignment. For some of our courses, the homework assignments are done online in the form of tests. The online test platform also accommodates instruction in the form of diagrams, instructor notes, reference information, video links, etc. The student receives instant scoring and feedback after completing an online test. Each course is designed as a 45-hour course of study, unless otherwise noted. 45-Hour courses contain at least 11 homework assignments.


Course instructions are provided for each course and contain the complete course syllabus and detailed instructions on completing the course. If a course has an online component, instructions for accessing the online content are provided. Assignments that are not completed online should be mailed to NE for review and grading, or, they can be transmitted by fax or email attachment in Portable Document Format (PDF). Assignments submitted in PDF via email attachment are reviewed and returned by email.


Study progress is up to the student. There is no specified time limit for the completion of a course or module. We hope that the student will make steady progress, even if the progress is slow. A student becomes “inactive’ when no assignments have been submitted for one year. A student can be reinstated by contacting NE and paying a small reactivation fee.


Instructor assistance is available by several means. The “Ask-a-Question” form works well for regular mail or fax. You may email us at or telephone us at 207-236-0032.


Proctored final exams are required. Students must take a proctored/supervised exam for each course studied. Review the document “About the Proctored Exam” for details.


Resources are available at our website, We are continually adding documents to “Resources” on our site. School policies, course descriptions, programs of study, assignment sheets, proctor selection forms, and other information and material can be found on the site.


About the Proctored Exam


The Proctored Exam – A proctored final exam is a required component of any quality distance learning course and necessary for approval of our courses by the Maine Electricians’ Examining Board. The purpose of the exam is to ensure that the student has successfully met the course objectives. Exams are generally proctored in person, but remote (online) proctoring may also be possible. Ask about our Instructions for Remote Proctoring of Exams.


The Proctor – The student must select a professional person to supervise (proctor) the course final exam. The Proctor Selection Form contains information on who may serve as a proctor. Complete the form and send it to Novel Engineering by mail, fax, or as an email attachment, at any time before you are ready to take an exam. The proctor must be approved by Novel Engineering. We will notify the student if the proctor selected is not approved to administer exams, and advise that another person must be selected to serve as proctor. The proctor will administer the exam for Novel Engineering. At the exam site, the proctor will verify that it is the enrolled student (and not someone else) that is sitting for the exam, examine student reference materials, and time the exam.


Number of Proctored Exams – If you are studying a single course rather than a module, you will take a proctored final examination when you are finished the assigned work for that course. Otherwise, you will be taking a proctored exam (an exam for each course) for a group of courses in one sitting, as indicated on the program module information. None of the homework assignments are required to be proctored (supervised).


Scheduling the Exam – At the same time that we return your last required assignment (graded) for the course or program, we will send your proctored final exam, with instructions, to the approved proctor. When you receive your last corrected assignment, the front cover of the exam will be included in the mailing. This will show the course(s) being tested and the allotted time for the exam. Also, there is a note to advise the student that the exam has been sent to the proctor. The student should contact the proctor to schedule a mutually acceptable time and place to take the exam.


Exam Content and Reference Materials – The exams consist mainly of multiple-choice questions, but some questions may be encountered that require written answers and/or an indication of whether a statement is True or False. All proctored exams are open-book timed exams. Any books may be used (except for the NEC® exam) along with a calculator and blank scratch paper. For the NEC® exam, only the National Electrical Code® book itself is permitted, to best simulate the actual licensing exam conditions.


Passing the Exam – If you have done reasonably well on the lesson assignments, you should have no trouble completing the exam within the allotted time. In the unlikely event that you should fail a proctored exam, arrangements can be made to re-test once at no additional cost. Based on our records for a period of 20+ years, a student has a better than 95% chance of passing the exam on the first attempt and completing it within the allotted time.


Exam Results – After we have received the completed exam from your proctor and graded the exam, we will mail or email a Student Progress Report, and, where applicable, a certificate of completion or transcript. The report will inform you of your exam score, your average lesson score, and of your overall course score. Also, Novel Engineering will advise you of any incorrect answers on the proctored exam, and will provide corrective information.

Proctored Exam
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