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Student News: Open on All Sides

Jul 31, 2020

by Nicola Daniels, WI Registrar & Student Services Specialist

The past few months have seen big changes to the Wilmette Institute’s public website. These changes are merely the most obvious signs of a more fundamental movement now gaining traction throughout the institution. Read on to learn some of the ways faculty and admin staff are responding to feedback from students.

Spiritual affiliation

Just as Bahá’í communities worldwide welcome people of all the world’s religions and faiths to their Houses of Worship, and to community activities such as devotionals and study circles, the courses of the Wilmette Institute are also open to all. We are removing the question about religious affiliation on the course registration form, and inviting students to include their current spiritual affiliation in their Moodle profile.

We invite you to update your profile

Watch ‘Spiritual Affiliation’ video on YouTube (1 minute)

Zoom sessions enhance learning experience

More and more faculty are including weekend video conference calls in their courses. Student feedback from the satisfaction survey and other sources indicate that this has greatly enriched the conversations among students, and between faculty and students. Recent courses that have used Zoom this way for the first time include ‘Abdul-Bahá: His Life and Ministry (William Collins). The Bahá’í Faith and the Arts (Anne Perry and Peggy Caton), and Exploring the Book of Revelation (JoAnn Borovicka and Ted Brownstein).

A typical Zoom session hosted by William Collins for his course on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Irene Chege and Lynn Richards (both first-timers), and Mona Rohani, have
all written about their experiences in this course in our Newsletter.

Quizzes, videos and more

More faculty are creating quizzes to help break the ice and orient students into the learning space. The image below shows a screenshot from a Zoom session hosted by JoAnn Borovicka for Exploring the Book of Revelation. The screen share displays an introductory quiz question.

Zoom screenshot with quiz on Book of Revelation

Students will find their satisfaction surveys for courses that started in the month of July embedded in the Classroom page, so it is easier to access. The Participants page has also gotten an upgrade. Students can now see the name of their mentor at a glance. For more details see the new YouTube tutorials Navigating Moodle Participants Part 1 and Part 2.

We hope you find these updates helpful. As always, feel free to contact us.

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