As you have almost-certainly noticed, Western Seminary is increasingly requiring that students engage our Online Distance Education Learning Centers or Campus Online Classrooms. We recognize that for some of our students – including some of our very best students – these new tools create stress as they are challenged to learn new technology systems and approaches to learning.
We want to help you become comfortable with, though perhaps not enamored of, these new learning resources. We know that the sooner you are able to focus fully on your course rather than on support or delivery systems, the more comfortable you will be with the more extended use of the new toolset. That is why, in the early weeks of the summer 2013 semester, the Online Campus will host campus and online training opportunities to “show you the ropes” and to answer your questions about the effective use of our Moodle Learning Centers and online classrooms.
Many generations of students have trained here at Western Seminary with great pride. After all, God has done great things through their time with us. In that school pride, we often have folks ask if there is any way to purchase Western Seminary apparel or gear that highlights the place they’ve trained. Now, we can answer that question with a resounding “yes”!
Western Seminary is pleased to announce the launch of the Western Seminary Marketplace!
From backpacks, beanies, polo shirts, to iPad cases, shoppers can select a product and then choose from images that specify their campus location, or announce that they are an alumnus, or sport a collegiate block letter version of our logo for a more vintage feel. The shopper gets to customize their product to their satisfaction, and a portion of each purchase will be benefit the seminary and our students. We hope that you will let other Western Seminary alumni and all of our friends know of this exciting new opportunity.
You may have noticed a new pop-up question that appears when you login to the fall 2012 Integrate update asking if you would like to report your progress to the CLL offices. You may wonder what this is all about, so let me take a moment to explain what is happening.
One of our primary responsibilities to you, our students, is to help you succeed in each course you take by distance education. Feedback from students over many years has been consistent: By far the greatest issue they face is the scheduling of their time to complete courses in a timely manner, both to improve learning outcomes and to reduce end-of-semester stress.
Integr@te incorporates tools to help you monitor your progress. Often, however, our students do not check their progress against their recommended schedule and fall behind. Integr@te now provides you the option to report your progress so that we can come alongside you as you work toward course completion. All that is reported is your student ID number and your progress report. Nothing else is communicated. To help provide a "safety net" and promote your ultimate success, we simply need to know who you are and where you are in your studies.
With fall 2012 registrations, Integr@te has become the primary delivery and resource system for Western's distance education courses. While we have anticipated the platform migration, the mandated changes to course scheduling make the timely delivery of course materials a necessity. Students must be able to access course content in the first week of each session to ensure compliance with federal guidelines.
Thankfully, over the past year we have been conducting a live test of the system to ensure that our current students would find it both a functional improvement over a DVD-only approach, and a useful learning platform. Responses have been gratifying.