VATeir Website Documentation
By Cillian Ó Lúing



1. Student Section


1.1 Navigation
1.1.1 The Menu

The menu is the primary means of navigating the website. From the horizontal menu at the top of the page, click Training. You will find the My Training menu on the left-hand side of the page.


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Fig. 1.1.1: Student Menu


1.2 Availability
1.2.1 What is it?

The first step to getting mentoring in VATeir is to submit your availability to us. Your availability lets us know when you will be around and available, and lets us know exactly the times that you are free so that that we can schedule a mentoring session with you.


1.2.2 Submit Availability

In order to submit your availability, select Availability from the menu on the left-hand side of the page.

  1. Firstly, select a date on which you will be available for mentoring. Click on the calendar icon to the right of the text box to open the calendar.


    sqg.png
    Fig. 1.2.1: Select a Date


  2. Seconly, select a time range during which you will be available for mentoring. Click on the clock icon to the right of each time box to open the time selector window.

    Students can step the hours forward and backward by hours.

    All times are in local Irish time or Irish Standard Time (IST).


    sqj.png
    Fig. 1.2.2: Select a Time


  3. Finally, click on Submit to submit your availability.

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    Fig. 1.2.3: Submit


    A success message will display on the page in green at the top of the page.



1.2.3 My Availability

The availability page will show all of your submitted availability for the future. You can edit the date and times thereof, or delete one if you become unavailable.

Availabilities will display here when three conditions are met:

  1. That the start date and time for the availaiblity record has not been surpassed;
  2. That a mentor has not already scheduled a session using an availability record;
  3. That an availability record has not been deleted by the student.

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Fig. 1.2.4: Availability Page


Heads up! You can submit more than one availability!
Heads up! An email will be sent to your VATSIM-registered email address when a mentor books a session with you. Please ensure you have all @vateir.org email addresses added to your spam filter.

1.3 Sessions
1.3.1 What is it?

The Sessions page shows your forthcoming and past sessions after your availability has been picked up by a mentor. From this page you can cancel a session and see prepatory comments mentors leave in advance of the session (These are also included in the Session Booking email).

Each session will give you the mentor who mentored you, the program under which the session was conducted, the position on which the session was conducted, the type of session it was, the date on which the session took place, the start and finish times of the session, and the aforementioned preparatory comment.

Click on the icon to display the preparatory note.


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Fig. 1.3.1: Sessions Page

1.3.2 Cancel a Session

You can cancel your session by clicking on the yellow cross. An email will be sent to your mentor and to you at your VATSIM-registered email address to confirm the cancellation.


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Fig. 1.3.2: Cancel Session

You will be prompted to confirm whether you would really like to cancel your mentoring session before you do so. Please be advised that you will have to wait for a mentor to schedule a new session before you will be able to receive mentoring.


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Fig. 1.3.3: Confirm Cancellation

A success message will confirm the cancellation of the session.


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Fig. 1.3.4: Cancellation Confirmation

1.3.3 Past Sessions

Past sessions are displayed underneath forthcoming ones. The layout thereof is similar to the aforementioned forthcoming sessions, however in the place of the cancel option, there is a space for a link to the mentoring report which your mentor will submit on your behalf to the training department to document what went on during the session.


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Fig. 1.3.5: Past Sessions

A report link will become available as soon as a mentor submits a mentoring report for that session.

If you do not see a report in this list, do not worry, as it may take a mentor several days to fill out a mentoring report for you. Once they do, however, a link will become available and will link you directly to the relevant report in your Training History.


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Fig. 1.3.6: Mentoring Report Link

1.3.4 Controller Profile

All controllers including students who connect to the network on an Irish VATSIM position who are also registered with the VATeir database will have their name turn into a link which links to their controller profile.

This feature is independent of dashes or underscores which are contained within the callsign.


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Fig. 1.3.7: Controller Profile


1.4 Validations
1.4.1 What is it?

Validations are a means of allowing VATSIM members who are not pre–authorised to log on and control a position to do so. These validations include Solo Tower Validations (STVs).

In the course of their training, a VATeir student may be given an STV or other relevant validation before they have attained the requisite VATSIM rating to log on to a position.

The student's mentor submits the validation on the student's behalf. This must then be approved by a member of the staff of the training department before the validation is considered active. At this point it will display on the student's Validations page and on the list of validated students available to VATSIM supervisors.


1.4.2 Receving a Validation

The validation section requires no student input as everything is handled by the training department.


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Fig. 1.4.1: Validations Page



1.5 Training History
1.5.1 What is it?

The Training History page is the location where all of the mentoring reports, notes, and other training-related errata which pertain to you as a student are stored. Other students do not have access to this page, and only VATeir mentors with the requisite permissions and VATeir staff have access to your history.

At the top of this page is the Training Details section, wherein you will find details including your current ATC Rating, Pilot Rating, VATSIM and VATeir registration dates, Activity Status on the Network and on the VATeir website, Current Training Programme, and the type of controller that you are (Home Controller or Visiting Controller).


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Fig. 1.5.1: Training Details

1.5.2 Deck of Cards

The method of storing mentoring reports, notes, and information related to sessions is through the use of a 'deck of cards'. For each mentoring report, a card is added to your training history with information contained thereon, including the mentor's comments, and progression through the training syllabus.

The deck of cards is colour-coded to speed up recognition of a particular card type. The colours of the various cards are given below.

After a number of sessions, you may notice that the deck of cards begins to fill up as mentors add more and more records to your training history.

One important point to note is that a card will only appear once the mentor has added a report or a note to your training history. These reports and notes are not system-generated and it might take a number of days before the mentor gets around to filling out a report for a particular session.

Cards are ordered by date from bottom to top, which means that the most recent card will always be at the top of the deck.

Specific details about the different card types are discussed in more detail below.

Each card is telescoped in order to save space on the page. It might be necessary to click on the More or Less links in order to view the rest of your mentoring report or note.

Cards are ordered by the date on which the card was submitted, and not the date on which a session may have taken place.


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Fig. 1.5.2: Deck of Cards

1.5.3 Card Types

There are three card types VATeir training system at the moment. Mentoring reports, notes, and information cards (info cards).


  • 1.5.3.1 Reports
  • Mentoring reports are submitted by mentors after having completed a session with you. Mentors can add their own text-based comments, and can mark you against critera set forth in the VATeir Training Syllabus.

    Syllabus criteria can be accessed by clicking on the More link. Mousing over the bar will display your mark for that syllabus item. Mobile devices simply display the mark without the bar.



    Fig. 1.5.3: Syllabus Criteria for a Sweatbox session (brown card)

    • 1.5.3.1.1 Live
    • A Live mentoring report is for sessions which take place live on the VATSIM network.



      Fig. 1.5.4: Live Report

    • 1.5.3.1.2 Sweatbox
    • A Sweatbox mentoring report is for sessions which take place offline on the sweatbox server.



      Fig. 1.5.5: Sweatbox Report

    • 1.5.3.1.3 Exam
    • An Exam report is for practical exams.



      Fig. 1.5.6: Exam Report

  • 1.5.3.2 Notes
  • Notes allow a mentor to add information such as the issuance of theory tokens, validations, theory exam pass/fail results, or any other information that would be relevant to your training history in the VATeir.


    • 1.5.3.2.1 General
    • A General note ("Note" on your training history) is for mentors to add miscellaneous information to your training history.



      Fig. 1.5.7: General Note

    • 1.5.3.2.2 Validated
    • A Validated note is to indicate that you were validated on a particular position. This does not in itself represent the fact that a validation has been awarded. You are only validated if a validation shows up on the validations page, discussed above.



      Fig. 1.5.8: Validated Note

    • 1.5.3.2.3 Revoked
    • A Revoked note is to indicate that a validation has been rescinded.



      Fig. 1.5.9: Revoked Note

  • 1.5.3.3 Info
  • Info Cards are added to your training history in the place of a mentoring report to describe some detail about a mentoring session.


    • 1.5.3.3.1 Cancelled
    • A Cancelled Info Card is added whether it is the student or the mentor who cancelled the session, or if the session did not take place for one reason or another.



      Fig. 1.5.10: Cancelled Info Card

    • 1.5.3.3.2 No Show
    • A No Show Info Card is added when the student did not show up to a session.



      Fig. 1.5.11: No Show Info Card

1.6 Calendar
1.6.1 What is it?

The calendar lets you to push your forthcoming sessions and VATeir events straight to your calendar clients. This is a good way to keep track of forthcoming mentoring sessions.

In order to generate your own personal secure link, click the Generate button.



Fig. 1.6.1: Generate URL

By default, the generated calendar link will include your mentoring sessions and any future VATeir events that will take place on VATSIM. Once genereated, you do not have to regenerate the link as new events will be pushed to your calendars automatically.

If you would like to display only your own mentoring sessions and not VATeir events, clicking on the tick/cross will toggle the inclusion of events.

To delete a URL in the event that it becomes compromised, simply click delete. You may generate a new URL by clicking on the Re–Generate button.



Fig. 1.6.2: Your Personal URL

1.7 Teamspeak
1.7.1 What is it?

The Teamspeak link in the menu on the left provides quick access to the VATeir channel on the VATEUD teamspeak server. You will be automatically connected using your VATSIM-registered name.

This link is especially useful for those people who may not be so familiar with how to use Teamspeak. This link makes it easy for you to connect and get started with your training.



2. Mentor Section


2.1 Navigation
2.1.1 The Menu

The menu is the primary means of navigating the website. From the horizontal menu at the top of the page, click Training. You will find the Mentor Menu on the left-hand side of the page.



Fig. 2.1.1: Mentor Menu

2.2 Mentor Dashboard
2.2.1 What is it?

The mentor dashboard serves as the hub for all of your mentoring-related functions and features. From this page you are able to see your forthcoming sessions, submit mentoring reports, and schedule mentoring sessions.


2.2.2 Forthcoming Sessions

Your forthcoming sessions will appear here. This list shows your student's name, the position on which they will be mentored, the date of the mentoring session, and the time at which the mentorings session begins. The list will order the sessions descending by date so that your next mentoring session will be at the top.

If you would like to edit any session details or to cancel the session, click on the white arrow.



Fig. 2.2.1: Forthcoming Sessions
  • 2.2.1.1 Edit Session
  • After you have clicked on the white arrow, you are taken to the Edit Session page. Here, you can change the session type, the position and the time on which the session will take place.

    The report types are defined by the student's current training programme. If, for example, an S2 student needs mentoring on the basics of GND, it is necessary for a member of TD Staff to put the student into the relevant training programme for the OBS–S1 report types to show up in this list.

    Times limited by the availability which the student submitted to the training department. You cannot schedule a session earlier or later than the student is available. All times are IST.

    A preparatory comment may be added or left blank.

    To edit the session details, click on the blue Edit Session button.



    Fig. 2.2.2: Edit Session Section
  • 2.2.2.2 Cancel Session
  • In order to cancel a session, one must click on the yellow Cancel Session button to the left of Edit Session.


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    Fig. 2.2.3: Cancel Session

    After having done so, you will be prompted to confirm that you would like to cancel the session with the student. The session will not be counted among any completed sessions tallys, and a Cancelled Info Card will be added to the student's deck of cards.

    Student and mentor are both sent an email confirming that the session has been cancelled. The session will thereafter be stricken from any lists viewable on the website by either.


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    Fig. 2.2.4: Confirm Cancellation


2.2.3 Sessions Without Reports

After the scheduled start time of a mentoring session has been surpassed, the session will jump from the Forthcoming Sessions list to the Sessions without reports one. It is from this list that you can file a mentoring report.

The list offers a brief overview of the session, including the student's name, the position on which they were mentored, and the date on which the session took place.

Click on the white arrow to file a mentoring report, to mark the session as not having taken place, or to mark the student as not having shown up.



Fig. 2.2.5: Sessions Without Reports
  • 2.2.3.1 File a Report
  • The original method VATeir used to use to file mentoring reports was in a forum. You made a new post, copied a template, and provided a text-only report of what happened during the mentoring session.

    The current system makes things much easier. There are two steps: the first is grading the student's performance against the training syllabus, and the second is to write a text-based report about what happened during the session.



    Fig. 2.2.6: Add Mentoring Report


    • 2.2.3.1.1 Syllabus Items
    • Syllabus is defined in the TD Staff section under Syllabus. The syllabus should be worked out by the TD Staff and left alone so that all reports are consistent. It is the job of the mentor to mark every syllabus item in every report that they submit so that the TD Staff so that the training department can work out mean, mode, and median on the dataset to return whether the student is fit for exam/progression to the next rating.

      See the training department procedures for syllabus grading criteria.


      • 2.2.3.1.1.1 Variable Grading
      • For syllabus items with variable grading (1–10), one drags the blue slider horizontally across the line. The max mark is 10, and the min mark is 1. Giving a student a mark of 0 supresses the syllabus item for that report, and causes it to not show up in the breakdown of items as seen by the student.



        Fig. 2.2.7: Slider


      • 2.2.3.1.1.2 Boolean Grading
      • For syllabus items with boolean grading (1 or 0), one selects one option out of three. N/A supresses the syllabus item for that report, and causes it to not show up in the breakdown of items as seen by the student. "Poor" will render as on a student's mentoring report, while "Grand" will render as .



        Fig. 2.2.7: Boolean Switch


    • 2.2.3.1.2 Rich-text Editor
    • The text-based portion of the report uses a rich-text text editor. Formatting options can be accessed through the use of the buttons at the top of the text box.

      Formatting can be used to make reports more readable, and makes reading the reports a lot easier.



      Fig. 2.2.8: Rich Text Formatting


  • 2.2.3.2 Mark as Cancelled
  • The Cancel Session button can be clicked if the session was cancelled or did not take place. This will add a Cancelled Info card to the student's deck of cards.



    Fig. 2.2.8: Cancel


  • 2.2.3.3 Mark as No Show
  • If a student does not show up for the mentoring session, click on the No Show button in order to mark the student as not having showed up for it. This will add a No Show Info card to their deck of cards.



    Fig. 2.2.8: No Show


2.2.4 Available Students

The Available Students list shows all of the availability records which have been submitted by students as long as they satisfy the following criteria:

  1. That the availability record is valid for a future date and time;
  2. That an availability has not been already picked up by a mentor scheduling a mentoring session with the student;
  3. That the student has not deleted the availability in question;

Past availabilities do not display here.

  • 2.2.4.1 List Available
  • This list displays the students who are available and whose availabilities satisfy the above requirements.

    The list includes the student's name, clicking on which will bring you to that student's training history, the student's training programme, the date the student is available, and the times that the student is available.

    Click on Book to proceed to the Schedule Session page.



    Fig. 2.2.9: Available Students


  • 2.2.4.2 Schedule a Session
  • The Schedule Session page allows you to book a mentoring session or exam with a student. After having booked the session, the site will send both mentor and student an email confirming the session booking.

    If the mentoring session will take place on the VATSIM network (either Live or Exam report types), the website will also display the session on the front page, on the events page, and will push the mentoring session to calendar applications via the site's calendar feature, discussed above. This will hopefully drive more traffic for your session.

    In order to book a mentoring session, a mentor must fill out a simple form, pictured below.



    Fig. 2.2.10: Schedule Session Form


    • 2.2.4.2.1 Report Type
    • The report type is generated automatically by the site based on the student's current training programme. This report type will have an effect on the sessions which one can select.

      The selection of a report type at this stage will have an impact on the syllabus items which will be displayed on the student's mentoring report later on. Care must be taken to select the correct mentoring report type for the type of session that will be taking place.

      In order to change the types of reports offered by the site, a mentor must request of a member of TD Staff that a student's programme be changed. After this has been done, a mentor can then select the correct report type.



      Fig. 2.2.11: List of Report Types


    • 2.2.4.2.2 Position
    • The list of positions is generated by automatically by the site based on a student's current mentoring programme. For example, OBS–S1 reports will have Ground and Delivery positions, S1‐S2 reports will have tower positions, etc.



      Fig. 2.2.12: List of Positions


    • 2.2.4.2.3 Times
    • Select a time at which the mentoring session will begin, and a time at which the mentoring session will end.

      You cannot select a time which is outside the range of times given by the student in their availability. Checks are done on the submitted times to make sure that they make sense.

      The student's earliest availability time is shown in both boxes on page load by default.

      Click on the Clock Icon to the right of the time field to bring up the time-select dialogue box.

      Mentors may step the minutes forward or backward in multiples of 15 minutes to precisely time their mentoring sessions.



      Fig. 2.2.13: Time-Select Dialogue Box


    • 2.2.4.2.4 Preparatory Comment
    • This is an optional text field.

      This field can be filled in to suggest that student do something before the mentoring session. The contents of this text area are sent in the session booking email, as well as being available on the student's Sessions page.



      Fig. 2.2.14: Comment Text Area


    • 2.2.4.2.5 Other Booked Sessions
    • You may periodically see this red box at the top of the mentoring session booking form. This is to indicate that another mentor has booked a session on the same date as the session which you are about to book.

      This box is especially useful if you intend to use the sweatbox server and another mentor will also be using it. Conflicts can be avoided by checking the type of session which the other mentor has booked.

      The advisory will include the session type, the position on which the other session has been booked, the mentor's name, the date, and the times during which the session has been scheduled to take place.



      Fig. 2.2.14: Other-Session Advisory


2.2.5 My Mentoring

The My Mentoring graph gives a representation of the sessions which you have given over the course of the last six months.

Mouse over the different sections to get the programme to which the segment belongs.



Fig. 2.2.15: My Mentoring Graph


2.2.6 Completed Sessions

The Completed Sessions area chart gives a representation of the sessions completed by all mentors in the last two months. The quotient of sessions given in the this past month are displayed by the blue area, while the sessions given the month before are shown by the white area.

Mouse over a point on the graph to get more detailed information.



Fig. 2.2.16: Completed Sessions Graph


2.3 Student List
2.3.1 What is it?

The Student List shows all of the students currently registered on the website, whether they be a home controller or a visiting one.

The following criteria must be met before a student is shown in the list. The student must be

  1. currently active, both on VATSIM and the VATeir website. To remain active, a student must log in at least once every six months. They will then show up here and on the controller roster;
  2. currently assigned to a training programme.


2.3.2 Search

You may search the database of students based on the following parameters. The results will display all controllers who have student records, regardless of the fact that the student may have completed their training and that their VATSIM account may be suspended:

  1. Full name;
  2. VATSIM ID;
  3. VATSIM-registered email.

The search results will be displayed in a layout which is similar to List view, discussed below.



Fig. 2.3.1: Search a Name


2.3.3 Views

There are two separate ways to view students in the training system.

  1. 2.3.3.1 By Programme
  2. This is the default option.

    Students are displayed sorted by the training programme to which they belong. This makes it easy to see how many students are currently in a particular training programme, and also makes finding a particular student easy.

    If you are in List view, you can return to the Programme view by clicking on the "By Programme" link at the top right of the table of results.

    Click on the white icon of a person in order to access the student's training record.

  3. 2.3.3.2 By List
  4. This option can be accessed by clicking the "By List" link at the top right of the table of results.

    Students are sorted by descending rating and then ascending alphabetically by surname.

    Click on the white icon of a person in order to access the student's training record.



Fig. 2.3.2: Change View


2.3.4 Student's Record

The student's training record is laid out in the exact same fashion as described in 1.5 Training History with a number of mentor-related functions added in.


  • 2.3.4.1 Training Details
  • This is similar to the section described in 1.5 Training History, however a mentor is also able to access a student's validations, availability, they may email the student at their vatsim-registered email address, and they may access their controller profile.



    Fig. 2.3.3: Mentor Options


  • 2.3.4.2 Training History
  • The training history displayed here is identical to that which the student sees. In addition, the mentor has the option to add a note to the student's deck of cards, and also to edit reports and notes should they make a typographical error.


    • 2.3.4.2.1 Add a Note
    • In order to add a note, the mentor must select the note type which they would like to add from the dropdown menu just under the Training History banner. Selecting the type from the list will automatically redirect the mentor to the relevant submission form for the note type.



      Fig. 2.3.4: Select Note Type

      After the mentor has been redirected, the submission form will load.

      If one is adding a note about a validation, please remember that adding a note saying that a student is validated is not in itself a validation. You must also submit a validation for the student through the validation section, discussed below.

      For the Validated and Revoked note types, just type in the position related to the validation. Leave the text box blank, it is not necessary to add a "Student validated" as this will be available tacitly from the note colour and name.



      Fig. 2.3.5: Add Note


    • 2.3.4.2.2 Edit
    • In order to correct small typographical errors etc, mentors can click on the Edit button in order to edit the contents of notes and reports. Be advised that changing the report type in a mentoring report can have consequences on the syllabus items which are displayed, these being assigned to a report based on a report type.



      Fig. 2.3.6: Edit Button


2.4 Validations
2.4.1 What is it?

The validations feature allows the training department to keep track of everyone's validations. Mentors can submit a validation request on behalf of a student, however the must be approved by a member of TD Staff before it comes in to effect and before it shows up in a student's list of validations list.


2.4.2 Views

The validation list is split up into two views. The default view is the Sector view, whereas to access the Position view, a mentor must click on the Position View link at the top right of the list of validations.


    2.4.2.1 Sector View

    The sector view offers a 'top-down' representation of a student's validations. For example, if a student is shown to be validated on EIDW_TWR, that means that they are also validated on EIDW_DEL and EIDW_GND. This is to ensure that all validations are explicity stated in the event of queries from VATSIM supervisors over the validity of a student's validation.



    Fig. 2.3.1: Sector View


    2.4.2.2 Position View

    By contrast, the Positions view does not truncate the data; all validations for all controllers are presented, grouped by position. This is useful when one would like to see which and how many students are validated on a particular position.



    Fig. 2.3.2: Position View


2.4.3 Student's Validations

A student's Validations page can be accessed either by clicking on their name in the Validations list, or by following the link in their training details.

The page includes details of positions on which the student is validated to control, the mentor who issued the validation, the date from when the validation takes effect, the date of expiry of the validation and options.

To extend a validation, click on the icon besidee the validatoin which you would like to extend.

To delete a validation, click on the icon besidee the validatoin which you would like to delete.

To add a validation, click on the relevant sector from the menu on the right. This will validate the student on all positions up to that sector at the chosen airfield. For example, by clicking on APP under Dublin, this will validate the student on DEL, GND, TWR, and APP at once. If the student already has validations on the lower sectors, these validations are extended to the lifetime of the upper validation.

Students are validated for 60 days, after which their validation must renewed, otherwise they will be no longer validated.

Rows which are orange in colour indicate validations which haven't been approved by TD Staff. As such, validations which are orange do not count as validations. In the example below, the student must wait for the training department to approve the validation for EIDW_APP before they are validated.

The site publishes a list of validations in the form of a txt document for use by network supervisors. This link can be accessed here. This file is updated automatically when a validation is added, deleted, or updated.



Fig. 2.3.3: Student's Validations


Tógtha ag Cillian Ó Lúing 2014–2018.
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