FAQ

Please check this list of frequently asked questions before contacting Thinking Strings Support.

Where do I find my Revealing serial number?

If you purchased your courseware from the Thinking Strings store, an email with your serial number and instructions for getting started was sent within minutes of your purchase to the email address you provided. If you are not seeing that email, please check your spam and junk filters. Please note that if you don’t find the email, if you create your Interactive Explorations account at interactivegradebook.com with the same email address you used for your purchase, your Revealing courseware will be automatically linked to your account and you will have everything you need.

If you purchased your courseware from a campus bookstore, the serial number is located under the flap of the cardboard packet.

What are the step-by-step instructions for getting started with my Revealing courseware?

To use your Revealing courseware, you first (A) create a Thinking Strings account and register your product and then (B) download the Interactive Explorations application to your computer. Please carefully follow these instructions step-by-step.

Where do I create my Interactive Explorations account?

You create your Interactive Explorations account, which you use to access your Revealing courseware, at interactivegradebook.com.

When I try to use Interactive Explorations, why does it say I do not have an account?

Although you may have created an account in the Thinking Strings store, you have not yet created your Interactive Explorations account (which is entirely separate from the store). Please create your Interactive Explorations account at interactivegradebook.com.

What is my Pass Key?

When you are register your Revealing courseware, you are asked to enter your Pass Key. This is a five-character code provided to your class by your professor. The Pass Key links your courseware registration and progress data to your professor’s Interactive Grade Book roster. If you do not have your class Pass Key and want to get started with your assignments, that’s okay. Complete the registration process without a Pass Key. Later, when you learn the Pass Key, sign in to the Interactive Grade Book and click Edit next to the product to which you want to add the Pass Key.

What is the “failed to load externals” error?

If you see a “failed to load externals” error when attempt to launch Interactive Explorations, it means you are trying to use the application from within the compressed (zip) file in which it is downloaded. On Windows computers, when you double-click the downloaded IntExpWin.zip file, an extraction window will open in which you see a folder called IntExpWin. Please copy (right-click and choose Copy) or drag this folder to a location of your choice, for example, your Desktop or a folder that you have made for your class (right-click at that location and choose Paste). You will see some files copying. Then close the extraction window and double-click the IntExpWin folder you just copied to your Desktop or the location of your choice. Inside you will see the Interactive Explorations app (there should also be a file called revsecurity.dll and a folder called Externals, which you do not click), which you double-click to launch.

How do I update my Registration Information, Pass Key, or Password?

You update your registration information in the Interactive Grade Book at interactivegradebook.com. You may want to edit this information if, for example, your email address changes, your password has been compromised, or if you registered your courseware without a class Pass Key and now know the Pass Key for your instructor’s Interactive Grade Book®.

Sign in to the Interactive Grade Book with the same email address and password you use to access Interactive Explorations / Revealing. To edit your account information, go to My Account. To add or edit your Pass Key, locate your Revealing title in the list of Products/Courses and click Edit.

If you forgot your password, go to interactivegradebook.com and click the “I forgot my password” link and follow the instructions as they appear.

If you know your password and want to change it, sign in to interactivegradebook.com, go to My Account, and click the Change Password button.

How do I add my class Pass Key to my Revealing courseware registration?

To add your class Pass Key (provided to your class by your professor) to your Revealing courseware registration:

  1. Sign in to your account at interactivegradebook.com
  2. You will see a list of “Registered products not linked to a course”
  3. Click the Edit button next to the product to which you want to add the Pass Key.
  4. Enter your class Pass Key and then click Register Product.
  5. When you go to your Interactive Grade Book Dashboard, you will see that your Revealing license is linked to a course.
On what computers can I use Interactive Explorations®?

To use Interactive Explorations on a desktop or notebook computer, the minimum system requirements are:

  • Macintosh OS 10.7.5 or more recent OR Windows Vista or more recent
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 15 MB of space on a hard drive OR USB flash/jump drive
  • Display resolution of at least 1080 x 768
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Reliable broadband internet access
  • Use of the desktop app is not supported on ChromeBooks, “netbooks,” or tablets (e.g., iPad)
I don’t have a compatible computer. How do I use Interactive Explorations®?

If you do not have a Windows or Macintosh computer that meets the minimum system requirements of Interactive Explorations, it’s okay. You can save the Interactive Explorations application to a USB thumb/flash drive for use on any computer. For example, you can use it in a campus computing center or a library. Nothing will be written to the computer on which you are working.

The computer I was using broke. Can I use Interactive Explorations on another computer?

You can use Interactive Explorations and your Revealing courseware on as many computers as you like. You can save the Interactive Explorations application to each computer or you can store it on an external drive that you move from computer to computer. You use your same account to sign in on all of your computers.

What is my Achievement Profile?

When you sign-in to Interactive Explorations and open your courseware, you will see your Achievement Profile. The Achievement Profile has three primary functions. It is your table of contents. It allows you to navigate to your courseware content. It shows you what you have completed through a system of gold stars.

I’m on my Achievement Profile, how do I open a section?

Your Achievement Profile has three columns. The first (left) column lists the modules of your Revealing courseware (these are like chapters in a textbook). The second (middle) column lists the sections of each module. The third (right) column lists the concepts covered in the section. Single-click a module title to display its sections in the second column. To see the concepts included in any section, single-click the section title in the second column. To navigate to the beginning of a section, double-click the section title (second column). To navigate to the beginning of a concept, double-click the concept title (third column).

How do I go back to my Achievement Profile from a section?

From any page in your Revealing courseware, click the star in the lower left corner to return to your Achievement Profile.

How is my progress tracked on my Achievement Profile?

As you work with Revealing courseware, your progress is tracked automatically and reported to the Interactive Grade Book. The star at the lower left of every page is white before you begin; once you have completed all of the work on a page the star at lower left becomes gold. When you have completed all of the work concerning a particular concept, section, or module, you earn a gold star on your Achievement Profile for that item. Place your cursor over any gold star on your Achievement Profile to view the date on which you completed that item. That same date will appear in the Interactive Grade Book.

I’m missing a gold star on my Achievement Profile.

A gold star will be displayed next to each entry on your Achievement Profile when you have completed the work for that item. The gold stars are cumulative: you will have a star in the second column when you have completed all the work in the underlying third column. Once you have stars for every section in the second column, you will receive a star for the entire module (that is, items in the left column of your Achievement Profile). Rolling over a star shows you the date of completion. When you complete an individual “page” of content, the star in the lower left of the window will turn gold.

To complete a particular concept (the third column in your Achievement Profile) for which you do not have a gold star, please double-click the entry on your Achievement Profile. This will take you to the first page of that concept. Many concepts have multiple pages/screens. Click the right arrow button or use the right arrow key on your keyboard to move forward one page at a time. Be sure you have a gold star at the lower left corner on every page; if you don’t have a gold star on a particular page, complete the work on that page. Please note that many of the “Try It” pages have more than one correct response. You must exhaust all the correct responses to receive a gold star on that page.

Why don’t I have a gold star on a page of reading or a Try It activity?

A Try It page is marked as complete when you have completed all of the correct responses on the page. An essay or a journal entry is marked as complete when you have typed a text response and clicked the Save button. To receive credit for reading text pages, you must spend a minimum number of seconds on the page (the exact time varies by product). If you find you can read a page in under the allotted time, you can use the extra seconds to learn a bit more by exploring additional materials. For example, right-click on the background to clear the page text, see the image, and learn the additional information included in the image caption; answer some review questions (click the “notepad & pencil” button at lower right to open the Assistance Palette and go to the Review tab); or on many pages (this varies by product), click the Listen and/or Read button available at lower right to access additional material.

What do the buttons on the bottom control bar do?

The control bar at the bottom of the Interactive Explorations window holds buttons and one slider knob for navigation, and buttons for audio control, the Assistance Palette, the Achievement Profile, replay page, bookmark, printing and copying pages, support, and quitting Interactive Explorations, as well as a navigation menu.

How do I move between pages in a section?

Use the Previous Page (left arrow) and Next Page (right arrow) buttons to move backward and forward through the pages of the current section one page at a time.
Use the Page Slider Knob to quickly move to a particular page within the section in which you are working. Click on the Slider Track (the horizontal line itself) to jump to a different page in the section in which you are working.
Click the Replay Page button (curved arrow) to restart the current page, including the narration, if there is any for that page.

How do I open the Assistance Palette?

To open the Assistance Palette, which contains a variety of resources such as the glossary and review, as well as your bookmarks and highlights, click the Assistance Palette button (notepad & pencil) at the right of the control bar. Detailed information about the Assistance Palette is provided in the Assistance Palette FAQs.

Can I print or copy the pages of my Revealing courseware?

To print the title and text of any screen, click the Print Page button (sheets of paper) at the right of the control bar. You can also copy the text of any page for pasting into an application of your choice, such as a word processor or text file. To copy the title and text of any screen to your computer’s clipboard, shift-click the Print/Copy Page button (sheets of paper) at the right of the control bar. Open the file (for example, a Word document or a text file) into which you want to paste the text that has been copied to the clipboard. Then paste the text where you wish using the appropriate commands from the application in which you opened your file or your computer’s operating system (usually Ctrl/Command V).

Can I navigate between sections without returning to my Achievement Profile?

Click the Menu button (left arrow in a circle) at the left of the control bar to move between modules and sections by selecting from pop-up menus.

How do I return to my Achievement Profile?

To go to your Achievement Profile, click the Achievement Profile button (star) at the left of the control bar.

What are all the ways I can navigate from place to place within my courseware?

You can navigate through your Revealing courseware in several ways. You can jump to sections or concepts of your choice from the Achievement Profile or from the various tabs in the Assistance Palette (for example, Recent Pages, Search, Bookmarks, or Highlights). To move around within a section, use the previous and next page buttons and the page slider control on the control bar at the bottom of your display. To move between sections or modules from any page, click the Menu button (up arrow) at the bottom left of the screen and make your selections through the pop-up menus.

How do I earn gold stars on my Achievement Profile?

You receive a “completed” star next to each entry on your Achievement Profile when you have completed the work for that item. Place your cursor over the gold star to see the date of completion. Gold stars on your Achievement Profile are cumulative: You will have a star for a section title in the second column when you have completed all the work in the underlying third column of concepts. Once you have stars for every section in the second column, you will receive a star for the entire module (that is, items in the left column of your Achievement Profile).

I’m missing a gold star on my Achievement Profile, what do I do?

To complete a particular section (second column) or concept (third column) for which you do not have a gold star, double-click the entry on your Achievement Profile. This will take you to the FIRST page of that section or topic. Most concepts have multiple pages/screens. To find any incomplete pages, click the right arrow button or use the right arrow key on your keyboard to move forward one page at a time. Be sure you have a gold star at the lower left corner on every page; if you don’t have a gold star on a particular page, complete the work on that page.

How do I earn gold stars on individual pages of my courseware?

When you complete an individual “page,” the star at the lower left will turn gold. For text/reading pages, you need to spend a certain number of seconds (the amount varies by product) on the page. Your star will not turn gold until you move to a different page. If you return to a page you have read, the star at lower left will be gold. If you find you can read a page in fewer than the required seconds, you can use the extra seconds to learn more. For example, right-click the background to clear the page text, see the image, and learn the additional information included in the image caption; answer some review questions (click the “notebook & pencil” button at lower right to open the Assistance Palette and go to the Review tab); or (in some products) click the Listen and/or Read button available at lower right to access additional material.

Many of the “Try It” pages have more than one correct response. You must exhaust all the correct responses to complete the activity and receive a gold star on that page.

I’m missing a gold star, what do I do?

If you are having trouble receiving a gold star after following the instructions above, please contact Thinking Strings Support. Be sure to let us know the exact title of the entry in the third column of your Achievement Profile for which you are having trouble receiving a gold star so we can provide specific instructions.

What is the Interactive Grade Book?

As you work with your Revealing courseware, data describing your progress are automatically reported to the Interactive Grade Book®. Reporting is done in near-real time. Depending on the number of students working simultaneously, the speed of your Internet access, and other such factors, it could take several minutes for the work you are doing on any particular page to be reported to the Interactive Grade Book.

Has my work been posted to the Interactive Grade Book?

You can view your progress data posted to the Interactive Grade Book. Open a browser and sign in at interactivegradebook.com with the same email address and password you use for Interactive Explorations.

Why can’t my professor see my name and work in the Interactive Grade Book?

If your registration and progress data are not showing up in your professor’s Interactive Grade Book roster, it likely means that you have not entered your class Pass Key or you entered the wrong Pass Key. To add your class Pass Key (provided to your class by your professor) to your Revealing courseware registration:

  1. Sign in to your account at interactivegradebook.com
  2. You will see a list of “Registered products not linked to a course”
  3. Click the Edit button next to the product to which you want to add the Pass Key.
  4. Enter your class Pass Key and then click Register Product.
  5. When you go to your Interactive Grade Book Dashboard, you will see that your Revealing license is linked to a course.
How do I view the details of my progress data?

You can view your progress data exactly as your instructor or professor sees it in the Interactive Grade Book. After you sign in to the Interactive Grade Book, you will see a list of your Thinking Strings products and courses. Click the Course for which you want to see your posted progress information.

Looking at your Interactive Grade Book data for a particular Course, you will see the titles of the modules of your courseware horizontally across the screen. A “+” indicates that you have done some of the work for this module, but it is incomplete. A “date” indicates the date on which a module was completed. Click a module title to expand the display and view your data for the sections of that module. Click a section title to expand the section and see its concepts. Continue expanding until you can see how many times you viewed a page and for how long.

Click the Display Essays button to see your Essay submissions. Click the Display Journals button to display your Journal entries (if your product includes a Journal).

Background Image & Caption

To display the full background image with its caption, place the cursor over the image and right-click, or hold the option (Macintosh®) or alt (Windows®) key and click. Everything but the image will be cleared from the screen and the image’s caption will be displayed. Click anywhere to bring everything back and continue working.

References and Web Sites

If you see a black dot to the right of the page title, roll your cursor over the page title to see bibliographic references, web links, and other useful information. To clear the displayed text, click it.

Context-Sensitive Glossary

Roll over the text on any screen. When the cursor changes to a pointer, the term you have rolled over is defined in the glossary. Click the term to read its definition. You can also click terms within a displayed definition.

Read Buttons

Selected pages contain Read Buttons. Click the button to display a pertinent text passage. Click the button again to hide the text display.

Listen Buttons

Selected pages contain Listen Buttons. Click the button to listen to a relevant audio selection. Click the button again to stop the audio. If you hear nothing, make sure your speakers are turned on and the volume on your computer is sufficiently loud.

Bookmarks

To place a bookmark on any page, click the Bookmark button at the lower right of the screen. To remove a bookmark, click the Bookmark button again and then confirm that you want to remove it. To see a list of the pages that you have bookmarked, open the Assistance Palette (click the “notebook & pencil” button at lower right) and go to the Bookmarks tab. Double-click a page title in the list of bookmarks to go to that page.

Highlighting

You can highlight a portion or portions of the text on the screen. Click and drag over the portion of text that you want highlighted. After making your selection, release the mouse and the highlight will remain.

To remove a highlight, shift-click on the highlighted text.

Notes (Annotation)

You can take notes that will be linked to a particular page. While on the page about which you want to write some notes, open the Assistance Palette (click the “notebook & pencil” button at lower right) and go to the Notes tab. The title of the page that you are currently reading is displayed at the upper left of the Notes screen. Type anything you like.

As you move through pages in Revealing…, the associated Notes page will be displayed in the Assistance Palette.

To display all of your Notes in a list, click the “Show all notes” box at the upper right of the Notes screen. Notes will be displayed with a header that is the section name and the page title followed by your notes. To go to a page displayed in the Notes list, double-click the page title.

NRSV (Bible products only)

Revealing the Hebrew Bible, Revealing the New Testament, Revealing the Gospels, Revealing the New Testament Letters, Revealing the New Testament Narratives, and Revealing Paul include the complete New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation of the Bible. Click any New Testament chapter or text citation in in the text of Revealing to open the NRSV to that verse. You can open the NRSV in its own window at any time by clicking the NRSV button available at the lower right of every screen, including the Achievement Profile. In the NRSV window, the table of contents is on the left and the New Testament text is on the right. Click any item in the table of contents to jump to it in the text display at the right.

How do I contact Thinking Strings Support?

You contact support by completing this Support Request Form or by sending an email to support@thinkingstrings.com. The more complete and detailed the information you provide in your support request, the more likely it will be that Thinking Strings Support can provide you a solution in a single email response. Please include your full name, the title of the product you are using, and a very detailed description of the situation you are experiencing. For virtually all situations, we will reply to your support request within 24 hours on business days.

When is Thinking Strings Support available?

Thinking Strings Support is available throughout the business day in the Eastern time zone. If you contact support in the middle of the night, you will receive a reply the next business day. For virtually all situations, we will reply to your support request within 24 hours on business days, but during the day, response times are usually much shorter. Thinking Strings Support reserves the right to copy a student’s professor or instructor on any support correspondence.

Can I get support by phone?

If we believe that a telephone conversation will accelerate resolution of the issue you describe in your support request, we will ask you to notify us of a telephone number and at least two alternate times (including time zone) when we can reach you while you are at the computer. If you like, include this information with your initial support request so we can call you if necessary. In advance of the support call, we will email with the timeframe (usually a one-hour window) within which we will call you. The call will come from a number that is blocked or unknown on caller ID.

How do I create a Support Log?

Thinking Strings Support may ask you to send us a log file. To generate this log, please launch Interactive Explorations, log into Interactive Explorations, and look at your Achievement Profile. Click the “notepad & pencil” button at lower right of the Interactive Explorations window to open the Assistance Palette. Click the Support tab. Click the checkbox at lower left to turn on the Support Log. This will create a file called TSEngine.log on your Desktop. Do whatever it is that causes the error message. After you get the error (at least once, but multiple times would be helpful), close Interactive Explorations, and send us the TSEngine.log file (it’s on your Desktop) as an email attachment.

What is the Assistance Palette?

The Assistance Palette contains eight tabs that offer features to enhance your learning experience: Glossary, Search, Recent, Bookmarks, Notes, Review, and Support.

How do I open, close, and position the Assistance Palette?

To open and close the Assistance Palette, click the Assistance Palette button (“notebook & pencil”) at the bottom right of the screen. Position the Assistance Palette wherever you want by dragging it.

Why is the Assistance Palette blocking the main Revealing window?

Click the top title bar of the Revealing… main window to bring it in front of the Assistance Palette. You can leave the Assistance Palette open while you are using any module.

Glossary

Definitions of terms are provided in the Glossary tab of the Assistance Palette. To look up a specific term, type it in the search field at the top of the palette. You can also view groups of words by typing the first letter(s) of the terms. To scroll through all of the glossary terms, leave the search field blank. Glossary terms are displayed in the left column, which is scrollable. To view a definition, click the term in the left column. The definition is displayed on the right.

Search

Use the Search tab to look for words or phrases throughout  your Revealing courseware. Type a word or phrase into the search text entry field at the top of the Search tab and click the Search button (or the return/enter key on your keyboard). A list of all the pages that contain the word or phrase for which you searched is displayed. The name of the section(s) and the title of the page(s) in which the search term was found are shown. Use the scrollbar at the right of the palette or the up arrow and down arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through the list, or click on a page title to select it. To go to a page in the Search list, double-click it.

Recent Pages

The Recent tab of the Assistance Palette provides you a list of all the pages you have visited during your current session with your Revealing courseware. The pages are listed in the order in which you visited them, with the most recently visited page at the top of the list. Each page is indicated with the name of the section in which it is contained and the title of the page. Use the scrollbar at the right of the palette or the up arrow and down arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through the list. To go to a page in the Recent Pages list, double-click it.

Bookmarks

The Bookmarks tab provides a list of the pages you have bookmarked. Each page is indicated with the name of the section in which it is contained and the title of the page. Use the scrollbar at the right of the palette or the up arrow and down arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through the list. To go to a page in the Bookmarks list, double-click it.

Notes

The Notes tab allows you to view and edit the Notes you have written. When you arrive at the Notes tab, the Notes for the page you are currently reading will be displayed (or the Notes will be blank if you haven’t written any notes for that page). You can type or edit the note. Or click the Show all notes checkbox at the upper right of the Notes screen to display all of the Notes you have written. Your notes will be displayed in a list with a header that is the section name and the page title followed by your notes. To go to a page displayed in the Notes list, click the page title.

Review

NOTE: Your performance on the Review is NOT sent to the Interactive Grade Book. Use the Review to test your own knowledge of the material in a given section.

The Review tab offers you a series of multiple-choice questions that you can answer at any time to test your knowledge. Go to the Review tab to answer questions concerning the section in which you are currently working. When you change sections, the Review questions change. If you are on the Achievement Profile, the Review questions will pertain to the section that you most recently visited. To change the topic of the Review questions, make a selection on the Achievement Profile to navigate to a different section.

At the bottom right of the Review tab, an indicator shows your number of correct responses / the number of questions you answered in your current review session. To answer a question, click your response from the choices provided. If your first response is correct, your tally of correct responses will increase. If your response is incorrect, you can click on the other choices to learn the correct response (of course, your tally of correct responses will not increase). If your response is incorrect, you might want to go to the Search tab and find a page on which you can learn more about the topic. To reset your responses and begin to test your knowledge again, click the Reset button.

Use the left and right arrow buttons to move backward and forward through review questions. NOTE: If you pass over a question without choosing a response, your tally will not change.

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