The following user requirements should be confirmed before users begin to use the Virtual Goal Coach system:
1. Users are using Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) web browser. This application comes with all versions of the Windows operating system. You cannot use other browsers including (but not limited to): Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari.
2. Inspect the Browser to ensure that standard menus and navigational toolbars appear correctly.
3. The following IE settings have been applied:
a. Browser version should be 6.0 or later and have the latest service packs and security patches applied
Check version and service pack status by performing the following:
b. The browser's cache has been cleared
Clear the cache by performing the following:
c. Browser always retrieves the most current version of the site
Ensure that the most current content is retrieved by performing the following:
d. Specify Security Settings for Web content zones and Trusted sites
Update security settings for web content zones by performing the following:
Add Virtual Goal Coach as a Trusted site by performing the following:
e. Privacy Settings
Change privacy settings to Medium by performing the following:
f. Auto Complete has been disabled (Having the username/password information automatically entered compromises the security of the system).
Disable Auto Complete by performing the following:
g. Ensure that the Windows Operating system has all the latest patches and updates
Obtain the latest patches and updates from the Microsoft Update site: http://update.microsoft.com/
The first step is to navigate to www.virtualgoalcoach.net where you'll discover additional information about the VGC as well as the remainder of the functionality discussed in this training manual.
Once on this page, you will find a left-hand menu with additional information about the VGC as well as the Login functionality (discussed in Section 1.5).
The next few sections of this manual expand upon these left-hand menu items.
The Tutorial section offers step-by-step instructions on the different parts of the system. Use these as guidelines to get started on reaching your goals.
FAQs (or "Frequently Asked Questions") is a link you can click on to find answers to some of the most common questions a VGC user might run into including how to login and what to do if you've forgotten your password.
Contact Us provides you with the means to get a hold of help if the Tutorial or FAQs have not given you the information you need to proceed. Clicking the Contact Us link will provide you with a name and/or phone number of someone who can offer assistance on any of your VGC questions.
Navigating to www.virtualgoalcoach.net will bring you directly to the Login page. Another way to reach the Login page from anywhere in the system is to click the word "Login" found at the top-right of the screen at all times when inside the VGC. After clicking the Login icon on the top-right navigation area, you will be sent to the user's secure login page. You must be registered as a user (your coach will have sent you a Welcome email with your username and password) in order to login and use VGC.
Once on the login page, you will be asked to input your unique username and password (which you should have received in your "Welcome" email from your coach). Note that your username is usually your email address and neither the username nor the password is case sensitive. In other words, inputting "User" is equivalent to typing "user". For security purposes, please make sure not to share your password with anyone else, as this is the only unique identifier of the person who logs into the system.
Once you are done entering your username and password, you must click the Log In button to access the secure area of the system. This is accomplished by using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which is a protocol method of choice for securing data transmissions across the Internet. Whenever you see a "closed lock" in the activity bar of your browser, it means that a secure connection has been established and it is safe to send sensitive data through the Internet.
Whenever using web-based systems that make use of the SSL protocol, you should not use the Back or Forward buttons for navigation, but instead rely on the navigation found within the system (links and buttons on the web page). In addition to using the SSL protocol, the VGC system makes use of a timeout feature. If you do not save a page or navigate to another page within 20 minutes, you will be logged out of the system and any partial data entered on a page will not have been saved.
Once you have successfully logged in, you will be brought to the Personal Space section of the system which will be discussed further in Section 2 of this manual.
The above graphic is the Virtual Goal Coach Personal Space screen which is where you find yourself right after you log in. For your convenience, throughout the entire site you will find five main navigation areas:
A. The top-right navigation area is always visible and allows you to get support as well as quickly login or logout of the system:
Home: Clicking on the Virtual Goal Coach logo will take you to the Personal Space screen without logging you out of the system.
Get Support: Click here to find contact information when you need technical help.
Login/Logout: Clicking Login will take you to the login page where you can securely login to the Virtual Goal Coach system. Logout becomes visible once you are logged in and it securely logs you out of the system in one click.
B. The left navigation menu is context sensitive and will change according to the task that is being performed. The Personal Space screen's left navigation menu options will be further discussed in Section 2.
C. The top-navigation menu: Once you are logged into the system, this menu area links to the following tools of the system: Personal Space, Work on Goals, and Resource Directory.
D. The body-navigation links: The links in this area give you access to specific files and tools within the task that is being performed.
E. The bottom-navigation links: The links in this area give you access to many useful tools including:
Get Support: Click here to find contact information when you need technical help.
Acceptable Use Policy: Links directly to the User's agreement.
Security Statement: Links directly to the Security Statement.
Privacy Statement: Links directly to the Privacy Statement.
Product Tour : Links to a virtual tour of Virtual Goal Coach (coming soon)
FAQ's: Links to a Frequently Asked Questions document for users new to the Virtual Goal Coach system.
Contact Us: Click on the Contact Us link to write an email message or call Virtual Goal Coach technical support.
After logging into the system, you will now be able to begin working on your goals, contacting your coach, and preparing your vision statement.
The Personal Space link is located on the top navigation menu that appears once you have logged into the system.
The Personal Space section of the system gives a quick view of your messages, goal status, vision statement, and various options available in the left-navigation menu (reviewed in Sections 2.1 - 2.5 of this manual).
Now you are ready to start setting up your goals. The first link listed in the left-navigation menu of the Personal Space screen is Select Goals.
To select your goals and steps, perform the following steps:
Click on Select Goals link on the left navigation menu of Personal Space.
You will see a list of pre-made goals that your coach has created. Some of them, your coach might have even pre-selected for you. You may modify your coach's selections and even add your own personal goals.
Selecting/Unselecting Goals: You may select additional goals by checking the checkbox for the goal you would like to add. Similarly, you may remove goals by unchecking the checkbox. Goals with a checked checkbox and white background are considered "selected" while unchecked goals with a gray background are considered "unselected"
Adding a Personal Goal: You also have the option of creating your own Personal Goal. To do so, in the last row (labeled "Personal Goal"), give your new goal a name and click Add.
After clicking Add, you will see your personal goal's name filled in and an empty place for "Goal Completion Prompt." In the "Goal Completion Prompt" field, fill in a question that you would like to be asked once you've completed all of the steps for your goal to know if completing all of the steps has allowed you to complete the goal, or whether the goal is still not completed even though all steps are complete.
This goal will now appear in your list, but it will be unselected.
You'll still need to select it as a goal that you'd like to work on by checking its checkbox in the list of goals.
Editing a Personal Goal: If you ever need to make a change to your personal goal, at the end of its row in the list of goals, click on the Edit button. Doing so will allow you to change the goal's name, goal completion prompt, as well as deactivate the goal.
Once you've made your changes, just click the Update button and they will be saved. If you decide you don't want to make the changes, just click Cancel.
View Printable List: Clicking this link will provide you with a printer-friendly list of your goals and steps. It's located just below your list of goals.
Once you've gotten your goals the way you desire them, you'll need to choose the steps to achieve these goals. You'll want to do this for each goal that's selected. Some of your goals may have pre-selected steps from your coach. To choose the steps for a particular goal, find the goal in the goal list and then click the Go button for that goal. You can do this for goals entered by your coach or for any personal goal you may have created.
You will then be presented with a list of steps for the selected goal.
Selecting/Unselecting Steps: You may select additional steps by checking the checkbox for the step you would like to add. Similarly, you may remove steps by un-checking the checkbox. Steps with a checked checkbox and white background are considered "selected" while unchecked steps with a gray background are considered "unselected"
Adding a Personal Step: You also have the option of creating your own Personal Step. This is done the same way for a goal created by your Coach or for a goal you created. To add a personal step, in the last row (labeled "Personal Step "), give your new step a name and click Add.
After clicking Add, you will see your personal step's name filled into the "Step" field. If everything is correct, click Save or click Cancel if you do not wish to save the step.
This step will now appear in your list, but it will be unselected.
You'll still need to select it as a step that you'd like to work on by checking its checkbox in the list of steps.
After selecting a step, you'll need to indicate the "Target Date." This is the date that you intend to have this step completed. Your coach may have selected some of these dates for you. To select the Target Date, click on the calendar icon at the end of the step's row.
To modify the Target Date, you just click on the calendar icon again and the calendar will be presented to you again.
Editing a Personal Step: If you ever need to make a change to your personal step, next to the step's name, click on the Edit button. Doing so will allow you to change the step's name, as well as deactivate the step.
Once you've made your changes, just click the Save button and they will be saved. If you decide you don't want to make the changes, just click Cancel.
The My Profile section of the system allows you to update your username, password, contact information and vision statement. To access your profile, perform the following steps:
Click on My Profile link on the left navigation menu of Personal Space.
You will be presented with the My Profile section of the system which contains: Update Profile, Change Password, and Vision Statement tabs.
The Contact Coach section of the system allows you to quickly and easily send your coach a message.
Click on Contact Coach link on the left navigation menu of Personal Space.
You will be presented with the Contact Coach screen:
If your message was successfully sent, you will receive a confirmation after clicking Save:
The Message Center is basically your mailbox for messages between you and your coach. You can send and receive messages from here, review old messages, and change your messaging preferences.
Click on Message Center link on the left navigation menu of Personal Space.
You will be presented with the Message Center screen:
Please note that f you have a lot of messages, they will be "paginated" meaning only the newest ones will appear on the opening screen and you will need to click the page numbers at the bottom of the list in order to see older messages:
Your Vision Statement is displayed on the Personal Space screen. To enter or modify your Vision Statement, you will need to do so from the My Profile section of the system. This functionality is discussed in detail in Section 2.2c of this manual.
Select Work on Goals from the top navigation menu.
You will be brought to the Goal Center:
Select Resource Directory from the top navigation menu.
You will be presented with a directory of all resources made available to you by your coach.
Once you've filtered/sorted for the resource(s) you're interested in, you can print a single resource or the entire list of resources currently displayed on your screen based on your filtering/sorting selections.