A Tour of the Classroom Page

This page offers a tour of the “Classroom Page,” which is the main page of each course. You may want to print it out to use as an aid in exploring the Classroom Page, from which you reach everything you need for your course.

This tour is available as a Powerpoint (in PDF form): A Tour of the Classroom Page (PDF of Powerpoint) and here is more or less the same thing as plain text:

To access the “Classroom Page,”

•    Open “Learning Center Home Page.”

•    Look for title of your course in list of courses for this year.

NOTE: Courses for the current year are at the top of list of courses, in alphabetical order and followed by the start date.

•    Click your course.

•    “Classroom Page” is the main page for your course.
You will notice that the “Classroom Page” has two columns—a wide column on the left side of the page and a narrow column on the right side. Let’s explore the left column first.

LEFT COLUMN:
    
The left column contains the course materials. At the top of the column, you will find the following:

•    Title of your course
•    “Classroom Page”
•    Course Description
•    Photograph (to the left of the Course Description)
•    “Learning Objectives” (in most courses)
•    Link to course syllabus
•    “The Faculty” with links to the vitas of the faculty members.
    
Next is a “Welcome” section, which contains three important links: “READ THIS FIRST,” “How to Use Moodle,” “Welcome to the Course” from the lead faculty for the course, and a “Welcome to the Course, a short video from Robert Stockman, Director.” “READ THIS FIRST” contains a short statement about expectations for online courses and information about internet connections. “How to Use Moodle” contains a series of FAQs about how to do a number of things that will make your participation in your course easier. Be sure to take a look at the questions, and return to them when you forget how to do something. The video gives you an opportunity to see and hear Dr. Stockman, with whom you have probably been in contact.

Next comes a “Discussion Forums” section, which contains three forums:

•    “News Forum” (for newsy posts)
•    “Faculty Discussion Forum (Faculty Only)”
•     “Course Lounge” (a place to discuss anything, related to the course or not).”
    
In “Texts and Resources” you will find a links to Adobe Reader (in case you need to upload that) and to the United States Bahá’í Distribution Service.
    
The “Local Study Groups” section includes a “Local Study Group Guidebook” and a “Local Study Group Forum,” which is a forum where groups post their reports. Everyone in any group (as well as individual learners) can see the reports, which helps groups see what others are doing.
    
UNIT 1:
    
After the “Local Study Groups” section, you will find a series of “Units” (each is followed by the title of the unit and the dates assigned to it; the number of units in a course depends on the length of the course) plus a final “Summary and Integration of Learning” unit and a “Grace Period.”
    
Unit 1 has assignments for the first few days of the course. The Unit 1 “Activity Page” lists all the things you will need to do for this unit.
    
“OBLIGATORY: Read about Forum Etiquette”: We ask everyone to read the forum-etiquette document, which helps all of us maintain a consultative, inquiring atmosphere in the course.

“OBLIGATORY: Create or Update Your Profile”: Each learner must update his/her profile. We have a web page called “How to Create or Update Your Profile,” which will walk you through creating or updating your profile.
    
“Students: Click Here to Create a Personal Learning Plan (PLP)”: We also ask each learner to draft a “Personal Learning Plan (PLP).” Click on the link to find sample PLPs and also the PLPs posted by your classmates. These may give you ideas for preparing your own PLP. We have a web page on this topic as well. With screen shots from the Web, it will walk you through the process.
    
“FORUM: A place to discuss Unit 1″ is very important. It is the link to the forum for posting your comments and questions and for responding to posts by your fellow learners and faculty. Forums are easy to use.

•    On “Classroom Page,” scroll to unit where you wish to post comment, then to “A Place to Discuss Unit x” (in the final unit, find “A Place to discuss integrative work”).

NOTE: You can also click on “Forums” in the “Activities” block (first block in right-hand column).

•    Click name of forum.

•    To create new topic, click “Add a new discussion topic.”

NOTE: You will see instructions in a small box

o    Type in subject of your comment and comment itself.

o    Click “Post to forum.”

•    To add comment to existing topic, click on title of topic.

NOTE: The topic will open, enabling you to see and read a series of postings. At the end of each posting you will find a “Reply” link.

o    Click “Reply.”
o    Type your message.
o    Click “Post to forum.”

•    To post to “Course Lounge,” follow the instructions above for creating a new topic or for adding a comment to an existing comment.

FINAL NOTE: You will have 30 minutes in which to edit or correct your comment in any forum.

UNIT 2: Unit 2 is the first of the units in which we begin to explore the meat of the course. The copy on the “Classroom Page” about this unit (and subsequent units) is fairly short: the title of the unit, the unit’s dates, and a summary of the unit’s “Tasks” plus two links—one to the “Activity Page” (which provides the details of the “Tasks”) and another to “A place to discuss” the unit (which is the forum for discussion).
    
FINAL UNIT: The final unit is called “Summary and Integration of Learning.” Click to open the “Learning Self-Assessment” where you are asked to complete a quick survey of your learning. If your “Personal Learning Plan” included a “Presentation,” an “Artistic Project,” and /or a “Research Project or Paper,” click on the appropriate link and complete a description of your project (all three are optional). Finally, there is a “Forum” for discussing your integrative work and for asking any final questions you may have.
    
GRACE PERIOD: Every course has a “Grace Period” (usually one month) during which you can finish the work you could not complete during the scheduled times.
    
RESOURCES: After the “Grace Period” unit you will find a link to every reading in the course—and sometimes supplemental readings as well. Each “Activity Page” for every unit includes links to the readings for the unit, but in “Resources” you can access all the readings in one place. ___________________
    
THE RIGHT COLUMN:
    
The column on the right side of the “Classroom Page” contains a number of blocks, each with a different cluster of links.
    
ACTIVITIES: The first block is entitled “Activities.” If you click on “Forums,” for example, you will open a page called “General forums,” which lists every forum in the course. On the right side of “General forums” there is a column labeled “Track.” All of them should all say “Yes,” indicating that you are subscribed to them. This means that, when someone posts in a given forum, you will receive a copy by email half an hour later. You can unsubscribe to any forum by changing “Yes” to “No.” Above the “Track” and “Subscribed” columns, you can click on “Subscribe to all forums” or “Unsubscribe to all forums,” or, for each forum, you can click on a “Yes” to change it to “No” or vice versa. I will post a separate document called “How to Subscribe and Unsubscribe to Forums” that will walk you through the process.
    
LATEST NEWS: “Latest News” is usually the second block. Click on any item to open it.
    
SCHEDULE OF STUDY UNITS: The third block in the right-hand column is “Schedule of Study Units.” It contains the name of each unit in the course. A click on any of the unit names will take you to the unit’s “Activity Page,” which tells you what to do in each unit and gives you links to the readings for the unit.
    
Please note that the final unit does NOT have an “Activity Page,” which means that you cannot access the final unit from the “Schedule of Study Units” box (you will have to scroll down the “Classroom Page” to find it).
    
SETTINGS: The “Settings” block, the fourth one in the right-hand column, is used mostly by the faculty and the administrator of the Wilmette Institute. But, occasionally, you will need to use it.
    
SEARCH FORUMS: “Search Forums” is the fifth block in the right-hand column. It provides a useful way to find a post you wrote or one that a faculty member or fellow learner wrote.
    
RECENT ACTIVITY: “Recent Activity,” the sixth box in the right-hand column, lists all recent postings to the forum. They are all clickable.
    
NAVIGATION: The “Navigation” block is the final box in the right-hand column. It is an important section to explore. Two important sections are “My Profile” and “My Courses.”
    
By clicking on “My Profile,” you can access a number of things, including “My profile,” “My courses,” and “Participants.”
    
“My Courses” lists every Wilmette Institute course you have ever taken. By clicking, you can switch from one course to another (which is convenient if you take a lot of courses).
    
Under “My courses,” look for the name of this course, which should be followed by a list of several things, including “Participants.” If nothing appears under “My courses, click on the little open arrow to the left of the course name, and the list will open.
    
Under “My Courses,” find “Participants,” which is the first item under the title of this course. Click on it, and you will see a list of everyone in the course and the study groups. Near the top of the page listing “Participants” (on the right side of the wide column), you will see “Visible Groups.” The box underneath “Visible Groups” says “All participants.” To the right of the “All participants” box, there is a triangle (pointing down), which will pop down a menu listing all the groups in the course. Click on a group, and the screen will refresh to show just the members of that group. If the triangular arrow is not visible on your screen, click on “All participants,” and a list of mentors and groups should appear. If you have trouble finding the groups, email wi@usbnc.org, and Dr. Stockman will help you.
    
Under “Participants,” click on your name, and you will see your profile. I have already sent out a post on “How to Create or Update Your Profile,” which will walk you through the process. Please upload to your profile a photograph of yourself (or of a flower, a pet, or some other image). If you have trouble, email the photograph to wi@usbnc.org, and Dr. Stockman will do it for you. If you prefer not to post a photograph of yourself, you can upload one of your pet or a flower and some other image.
    
Now use the back arrow to return to the “Classroom Page,” or click on the course name in the breadcrumb line on the upper left of the screen (Home – Courses – [name of course] – Participants – [your name]. Either will also take you back to the “Classroom Page.”
    
That is the tour! The “Classroom Page” is fairly clear and becomes clearer with use. But it may take a little time to see everything and to understand why it is there. If you have any questions, please email wi@usbnc.org or Dr. Stockman at rstockman@usbnc.org.
    
Good luck with your learning journey.