Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Email us at help@tonictutor.com

General

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Who are the creators of Tonic Tutor?

Tonic Tutor is owned and maintained by developer/artist William Ratke. The games were invented by composer/instructor Christine Donkin.

Where is Tonic Tutor based?

Tonic Tutor is based in Ottawa, Ontario.

What type of web browser do I need to use Tonic Tutor?

In order to use Tonic Tutor, you will need one of the following browsers installed. If you use a browser not on this list, it's recommended that you upgrade before you use Tonic Tutor.

  1. Internet Explorer 7+
  2. Mozilla Firefox 3.5+
  3. Chrome 6+
  4. Safari 5
  5. Opera 9+

Do my students or I need to install anything on our computers?

Tonic Tutor does not install or store anything on your computer which means that you can use it from any computer as long as it has a working connection to the internet. You will need to have Javascript enabled in your browser as well as the most recent version of Flash installed. If you or your students don't have Flash installed, you can find the most recent version here. You can find out how to turn on Javascript in your broswer here.

What happens if I close my browser and don't click on the logout button? Why does Tonic Tutor require me to login again if I leave the site open in my browser and come back to it?

If you don't logout manually using the Logout button in the top right corner of the site, Tonic Tutor will automatically log you out after 30 minutes of inactivity. You will be required to login again even if you leave Tonic Tutor open in your browser and come back to it later - after 30 minutes your Tonic Tutor session is closed and you will be redirected to the login page when you come back and try to use the site. This is done for security reasons to prevent others from accessing your account.

Can more than one student login to the same account on different computers?

Errors may be caused if multiple users are accessing an account at the same time, so every student requires their own account.

Can I log in to two different Tonic Tutor accounts at the same time?

You cannot login in to multiple accounts simultaneously using the same browser. Logging into a second account will log you out of the first session you were logged into. If you log in to a second account in a new browser window and then click on a link in the first browser window you may receive errors, so it is not recommended.

Are usernames and passwords case sensitive?

Passwords are case sensitive, but usernames are not.

Subscriptions

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How do I sign up for Tonic Tutor? Does it cost anything to create an account?

You can create a Tutor 10 FREE account here. You and 10 of your students will get full access to 10 Tonic Tutor games without ever having to pay a penny. You will always have the option to upgrade your account if you wish to add more students or for full access to all of Tonic Tutor's features.

What subscription plans do you offer?

If you don't already have a Tutor 10 FREE account, you can sign up and try out Tonic Tutor for free here. That account gives you and 10 of your students access to 10 of Tonic Tutor's games. We also have 3 premium plans you can upgrade to once you've created a Tutor 10 FREE account:

Tutor 10 - 10 students for $7/month
Tutor 20 - 20 students for $15/month
Tutor 30 - 30 students for $23/month
Tutor 40 - 40 students for $30/month
Tutor 60 - 60 students for $45/month

All of our premium plans come with several other features such as Achievements, Contests, Medals, Goals, Stickers, Report Cards and Statistics that track your students' progress. The plans are set up so that you can collect a fee from your students and then use that to pay the cost of the plan each month - your students won't have to subscribe individually or make individual payments.

What if I'm not a teacher, but I'd like to buy a subscription so that my family can play the games?

While we don't currently offer family or individual plans for Tonic Tutor, upgrading to the Tutor 10 account will give you access to all of our games in Freeplay. If you would like to use our games for practice without going through a teacher, that is the plan we recommend.

I signed up using Paypal, why don't you offer that as an option any more?

We have switched from Paypal to a fully PCI compliant payment service that uses Beanstream (which is based in Canada) and Chargify to manage our subscriptions. The new service is much more flexible. Modifying your account is now seamless and won't require you to cancel your account first. Our new service also makes it easier to create coupons, offer promotions and give discounts to our users. We feel that our new service offers a much more user friendly and reliable experience to our customers.

I have an existing subscription through Paypal, what do I need to do if I want to cancel or modify my account?

You will need to cancel your Paypal account and sign up using our new payment service. Cancelling is easy, all you need to do is login to your Paypal account, find the most recent payment that was made to Tonic Tutor and click on it. Near the top of the page you should find a cancel link. After you click on that and confirm your cancellation you can return to Tonic Tutor. If you were logged into your Tonic Tutor account, please logout and then login again to make sure your cancellation has taken effect. Click on the Upgrade button at the top of the page and then choose the plan you would like to subscribe to. Once you've signed up for a plan with our new service, you can seamlessly change your account at any time by clicking on the Profile button and then clicking on the Modify my Subscription button.

What currency are the subscription prices in?

All of Tonic Tutor's subscription plans are in Canadian dollars.

When will I have access to Tonic Tutor after I sign up?

You will have instant access to Tonic Tutor after signing up for your account. If you upgrade or downgrade your account, you will need to log out and log into your account again before the changes to your account will take effect.

Why was my transaction declined when I tried to upgrade?

The first thing you should do when your transaction is declined is to contact the company that issued you your card. They should be able to tell you why the card was declined and what you need to do in order to ensure the transaction is approved.

Do subscription plans include taxes?

If you live in Canada we are required to collect PST/HST/GST depending on the province or territory in which you live. Taxes will automatically be added to your subscription when you sign up.

What happens if I subscribe in the middle of the month?

Don't worry, our subscription service automatically takes care of everything! Whichever day of the month you sign up will be the day your subscription is billed each month. For example, if I subscribed on the 16th of this month, the next billing date with the 16th of the following month.

When I go to upgrade my account, it asks me for my address. Why does Tonic Tutor need my address?

We require your address in order to prove that you live in or outside of Canada for tax purposes. Only subscribers that live in Canada need to pay tax on their subscription to Tonic Tutor, all other subscribers are exempt.

At Tonic Tutor your privacy is important to us. We promise that your information will not be shared with a third party or used for any other purpose than determining where you live for tax purposes.

Why has nothing changed when I go back to the Tonic Tutor site after I upgrade?

If you have upgraded your account and you are still logged into your Tonic Tutor account, you will need to logout from your account by clicking on the 'Logout' button in the top right corner of the Tonic Tutor site. Once you have successfully logged out you should be at the login page. If you login again your account should be reset and you will have full access to your upgraded account.

If you still don't have full access after logging out and in again, please email us at help@tonictutor.com for assistance.

I'd like to upgrade\downgrade my plan. What do I need to do?

With our new payment process, changing the plan you subscribe to is incredibly easy. All you need to do is click on the Profile button at the top of the page when you're logged into your account, and then click on the Modify my Subscription button. You'll be taken to a page that lists all of the plans that are available to you. If you have more students than a plan allows, you will see a message letting you know how many students you will need to remove before you can switch to that plan. Once you've chosen a plan, click on the button and your account will be instantly modified. If you have time left on your previous plan that was not used, your new subscription will be prorated and automatically adjusted to make sure you're not losing out on any time that you've already payed for.

How do I cancel my account?

To cancel your account, all you need to do is click on the Profile button at the top of the page when you're logged into your account and then click on the Cancel my Subscription button. You can enter the reason why you're cancelling or leave that input blank. Click on the Cancel button to complete the cancellation. You're account will remain fully active until your current billing cycle ends. If you decide you don't want to cancel before the month is complete, you can reactivate your account by going to your Profile page and clicking on the Reactivate my Account button.

Will I lose any of my students or lessons if I cancel?

No, your account is only downgraded to a free account when you cancel. None of your students, lessons or settings are removed or affected by cancelling an account. You and your students can still access the 10 free games included in the Tutor 10 FREE plan using the same usernames and passwords that you used while you subscribed. If you decide to resubscribe to Tonic Tutor, you can easily do so by clicking on the Profile button at the top of the page while you're logged into your account and clicking on the Reactivate my Account button.

What happens if I cancel or change the plan I subscribe to in the middle of my billing cycle?

If you cancel in the middle of a month you've already payed for, your account will remain active until the your current billing cycle has been completed. Once your billing cycle ends, your account will be downgraded to the Tutor 10 FREE account type which means that you and your students will still have access to 10 Tonic Tutor games.

If you change your plan in the middle of a billing cycle, your account will be prorated and either credited or charged the difference, depending on whether you are upgrading or downgrading from your current plan.

What is your refund policy?

We do not offer refunds for any of our subscriptions. If you no longer want to subscribe to Tonic Tutor, all you need to do is cancel your account and no further charges will be made. Once you've completed the cancellation process, your account will remain active until the end of your current billing cycle.

How do I update my credit card information?

If you have an active subscription, you can click on the Update my Credit Card info link on your Profile page. You will be redirected to a secure form hosted on Chargify where you can update your information.

Why was my credit card charged when I downgraded my account?

Whenever you upgrade or downgrade, the payment system automatically prorates the amount of time left on your current subscription, credits you for that amount and then starts a new brand new subscription for you. So if you have a lot of time left on your old subscription, most of that balance will carry over to your new cheaper subscription and you shouldn't see a charge. However, if you don't have much time left on your old subscription, you will see a charge - the total for the new subscription minus the balance of your old one. Your new subscription date will be the same date that you downgraded, so the next payment for your new plan will change.

Creating Student Accounts

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Where does a student go to log into the account that the teacher has made for them?

A student can log into their account the same way a teacher does, by clicking on the login button in the top right corner of the site and entering their user name and password.

What happens the first time a student logs into a new account?

The student will be prompted to create a user name and password that will replace the temporary login and password created by Tonic Tutor when the teacher added them. The student will then use their new user name and password whenever they login to Tonic Tutor.

How do student passwords work?

A temporary password is given to the teacher when the teacher creates the student's account. After a student account is activated, the temporary login and password that was shown under their name in the teacher's Student Index will no longer be displayed, because it has been overwritten by the new password. The new password is encrypted for security reasons, which prevents us from displaying it in the teacher's account. A teacher or student can always change their password by logging into their account and clicking on the 'Profile' button in the top right corner of the page. Click on the 'edit' button next to the password field to be taken to a page where you can enter and save a new password.

What should the teacher do if a student forgets their password?

Teachers can reset a student's password by choosing Student Options from a student's Student Menu, entering a new password in the input next to the the 'Save Password' link and then clicking on the 'Save Password' link to save it.

Lessons

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When will students be able to access the games?

A student will be able to access Tonic Tutor's games as soon as they have activated their account (i.e. logged in and created a new username and password). Teachers don't have to assign a lesson if they don't want to - their students will still be able to access all of the games in FreePlay mode.

Does the teacher need to change game settings every week?

No. The teacher can create a weekly lesson for a student and that lesson will continue to reset each week until the teacher changes it. Since the questions in each game are generated randomly, students will never play exactly the same game twice. Teachers can tweak individual game settings or assign a new lesson template at any time and the changes will automatically be updated in the student's lesson.

What happens if I change a lesson time? When will their lesson reset?

Whenever you change a student's lesson time, the time that their lesson is reset will also change. For example, if I change a student's lesson day from Monday at 9am to Thursday at 10am, their lesson will be reset the following Thursday at 10am. Changes to a student's lesson can cause a lesson week to be slightly more or less than the standard 7 days.

How come the number of times a game needs to be played doesn't change after a student has finished it in their lesson?

If a student clicks the back button on their browser after they complete a game, the browser will show an outdated version of their lesson since the page does not get refreshed if the back button is used. We recommend that student's always click on the orange Game Menu button that appears after they finish the game - this will take them to a refreshed version of their lesson and update their progress. If a student does hit the back button on their browser, they can always manually refresh their browser to make sure their lesson page is properly updated.

Is there a way to turn off a student's lesson without turning off all of the game switches?

Yes, you can turn off a students' lessons temporarily without making any changes to it by turning the Lesson Switch on the student's lesson page to Off. If you want to turn all of your student's lesson off, you can do so in one easy step by changing the Global Lesson Switch off from your Settings page.

How exactly does the global lesson switch work?

The Global Lesson Switch on your Settings page will turn off all of your students' lessons if it is active, overriding individual student lesson switches. If the global switch is not active, then individual student lesson switches are used to determine whether a student's lesson is on or off.

What does the Restore Last Lesson button do on the Edit Lesson page?

The Restore Last Lesson will restore the lesson you had before you assigned the current lesson. It's not really meant to be a tool to "store" a lesson for later, it's more of a safeguard that makes sure you can restore a lesson if you accidentally assign a new one. It only keeps track of one previous lesson, so if you assign two new templates, the first lesson is erased, the second lesson is stored so that you can restore it if you want and the third lesson would be the active one.

What happens to my current lesson if I click on the Restore Last Lesson button?

Your current lesson will switch places with the previous lesson, so you can switch back and forth between them by clicking on the button. If you assign another lesson, the previous lesson that was stored will be erased and your current lesson will be stored.

Is there a way to see all of the lessons I currently have assigned?

Yes, if you click on the Settings button in the top right corner of the site, you can find a list of all your active lessons. You can click on the View Details button to see the name of the student or group the lesson is assigned to, what preset the lesson was created from, and the option to change the lesson name. You can also click on the Edit Lesson button to edit the lesson.

What happens when I change a lesson's name on the Settings page?

When you assign a lesson, the name of the group or student that the lesson is assigned to is used to generate the lesson's name. If you want to change the name to something more descriptive, you can do so on the Settings page. The changed name will show up in your My Presets options when you assign a lesson. The name is only cosmetic and does not have any affect on the lesson's settings.

Games

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I've just change a student's game settings. When will those changes show up in the student's lesson?

The game settings in a lesson are updated instantly and will show up the next time the student loads the game. Any game settings that are changed after the lesson's game has been completed will be active when their lesson is reset.

When I load a game, all I get is a blank screen where the game should be or it flickers. Help!

Flash sometimes glitches out and you need to clear it's cache. You can do so by following the instructions here. If that doesn't work for you, try uninstalling your current version of Flash and installing the newest version by following the instructions here.

What is FreePlay mode?

Your students will have access to all of Tonic Tutor's games once their lesson has been completed. The settings used for FreePlay games are not the same as the settings used in their lessons. Instead, each game has four levels which increase in difficulty. All of the FreePlay games also have achievements that are awarded at the end of each game if the student meets certain goals, such as Time Efficiency, Number of Correct Answers and Number of Games Won.

How does seasonal content work?

Seasonal content is currently only available to subscribers. There are two types of seasonal content: 1. Seasonal games that are available for a limited time and 2. Seasonal themes that change the look of some of the games for a limited time. Seasonal games are not included as part of a student's lesson - they will only be able to access them in Freeplay mode once their lesson is finished. Teachers can try them out by clicking on the Games at the top of the page. Seasonal themes will change how some of the existing games look but don't change gameplay mechanics.

What seasons are there and how long do they last?

There are currently five seasons:

  1. Hallowe'en - October
  2. Christmas - December
  3. Valentine's Day - February
  4. Easter - April
  5. Summer - June, July & August

Can I turn seasonal content off?

Yes, you can turn the seasonal content off for individual students by going into a student's Options page. You will see a dropdown menu for each season, which you can set to on or off. By default, all seasons are set to on. You can also turn off seasonal content in your Teacher account by clicking on the Settings link in the top right corner of the site.

Some of the games are a bit too small and students have a hard time clicking on them, is there anyway to make them bigger?

There is a plugin that you can use with some browsers to make Flash games full screen called Swiffout. We haven't tested it and we don't offer support for it if it doesn't work for you, but you're welcome to try it out and see if it helps.

Do any of your games support UK terms?

Yes! We currently have three games that support UK terms: Boxing Glove, Light Bulbs and Piggybank. To turn on UK terms for you and your students, click on the Account button located in the top right corner of the page after you login. Turn the UK Switch on, and the UK terms will load in those three games automatically.

Statistics

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Why don't I see any results when I go to a student's Stats History page?

The Stats History page only shows results for lesson weeks that have ended. If a student has not completed a minimum of one lesson week for the lesson year you are viewing, then no results will found. After one lesson week has been completed, you should see those results on the Stats History page.

How do lesson years work?

Statistics are broken up by lesson year. The Stats History page will display the current lesson year by default. If you want to view results from previous years, you can do so by selecting a previous year from the lesson year drop down. If a student only has one lesson year, then you won't see the lesson year drop down menu.

When do lesson years reset?

Lesson years are set up to work with the traditional North American school year, so a new lesson year will be created on Sept 1st of every year.

Is there a way to export all of my students' current lesson results?

Yes, you can export lesson results by clicking on the Export button in your student navigation bar at the top of the page. You can export PDFs of all of your students' current lesson results at once, or all of the results for students that have lessons that finish on a particular day.

Report Cards

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My student's scores are really low on the report card I'm creating, is there any way to remove really low scores?

There are a few things you can do to make a student's report card a little less harsh if the scores are low. The first option you have is to change the Include Unfinished Games as Zeros setting on a student's option page so that it is off. If a student has games they don't finish during a lesson, those games are counted as zeros and will bring down the overall score for the game. This setting is on be default, conforming to standard score models where unanswered questions equal a zero. If you turn the setting off, the student's Stats History and Report Cards will not include any unfinished games which usually means their scores show up a bit higher. This setting does not permanently affect a student's scores, so it can be switched on or off without having long term effects.

If you have specific games that have really low scores, you can choose to remove those games from the report card completely. You can do so by clicking on the Click here for additional report card options link and deselecting games from the list. Once you refresh the report card, the games you deselected should be removed.

If you'd prefer not to remove games from the report card, you also have the option of filtering out lesson weeks that are below a certain threshold by selecting a value from the Filter Scores setting. Once you refresh the report card, any lesson weeks with an overall score that is below the value you set will not be included in the scores.

Student Rewards

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How do I give my students achievements for games?

Achievements can only be earned when students achieve specific goals when they play a game in FreePlay mode. They are assigned automatically when a Freeplay game is completed and do not require any additional input from teachers.

How can I find out what achievements or rewards a student has earned?

You can find an overview of all the awards a student has earned by clicking on their Student Menu in your Student Index and selecting 'Award Page' from the Awards menu. You can also click on the links at the top of your student's award page to get more detailed information on specific types of awards.

How do I send stickers to my students?

You can send a sticker to your student by clicking on a student's Student Settings button in your Student Index and selecting the 'Send Sticker' button from the Awards menu.

Contests

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If I create a contest that uses all of the games, will they include seasonal games as well?

Yes, seasonal games are included in contests that use all of the games. Since seasonal games can only be played in Freeplay, contests that are score based will include game scores from the seasonal games played in Freeplay.

Goals

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When a student's weekly lesson is completed how can a student continue to work on their goals from Freeplay?

Freeplay game settings will be different from the settings you have assigned your students as part of their lesson, so Freeplay games played after a lesson is complete are not counted towards a student's goals. This ensures that the goals are consistently tracking your students progress based on their lesson's specific settings. If a goal is not completed before they finish their lesson, they can continue to work towards their goal once their lesson resets.

Do Goals reset when a student's lesson resets each week?

Goals do not reset, they remain active until they are completed or deleted. Goals are intended to give teachers the ability to create long term targets that extend beyond a single lesson week.

Can I assign Goals to multiple students at once?

Yes, you can assign goals to student groups by selecting Assign Group Goal from the Goals section of the Student Menu for any student that belongs to a group. Assigning goals to a group work exactly the same way as assigning goals to individual students - a separate goal is created for each student in the group. If a student already has an existing goal for the game, a second goal will not be created. Goals are owned by the student and not directly linked to the group itself, so if you remove a student from a group any group goals you assigned them will remain active. If you add a student to a group, you will need to assign them goals manually since any goals you've assigned to the group previously will not be automatically created for the new students.

Why can't I edit a goal after it's been created?

We want to ensure that goals that are created for a student remain consistent for the entire duration of the goal. That means that teachers don't have the ability to edit a goal by changing the goal target or the number of times the goal must be reached before the goal is completed. If a goal is too difficult for a student, we recommend that you delete the existing goal and create a new one.

Can a student have more than one goal for a single game?

No, only one goal for each game can be active for each student at one time. If a game has an existing goal, you will need to wait until the student completes the goal or delete the existing goal before you can create a new one.