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Carefully Read the 12-Modalities Before Moving Forward

When faced with the challenge of teaching online, our faculty members work diligently to translate their course(s) content into the online teaching environment that is easy and multipliable for each student.  While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for presenting an online course, there are common components, criteria, and guidelines that our institute's faculty has individualized for their graduate requirements. 


We have ongoing success with guiding students through their online courses by providing a simple course work that consists of these sections:


  1.  Module matrix with required components, criteria, and guidelines

  2.  Syllabus required components and guidelines

  3.  Sample syllabus 

  4.  Course(s) objectives, methods & instructions

  5.  Individualized course(s) timelines & due dates

  6.  General guidelines for materials usage

  7.  Required course methodologies & guidelines

  8.  Checklist of course readiness.

  9.  Membership costs and guidelines

  10.  Testing & evaluation guidelines

  11.  Methodology of homework - assigned reading, writing & activities

  12.  How donation-based course attendance works


Section 1:  Module matrix with required components, criteria, and guidelines.


The IM online course content is presented in learning modules with each module taught on a time-scheduled basis, such as one module per week.  Depending upon the learning objectives, all the modules may be available throughout the course or the modules may be time-released week by week.  If the course link tools permit, the release of new materials could be  based on the results of the end-of-module assessment - the IM Quiz, this type of customization creates a learning track that meets the needs of individual learners.


The module matrix also includes suggestions for guiding students for readiness as online learners:


Pre-registration:  Students complete an IM online Learning inventory to assess their readiness for each course being recommended, or required, in our learning environment.  These are called IM Readiness Quiz's.  Students receive a score and feedback on their compatibility with successful online learning traits such as communication and learning styles.  Technical skills and access to appropriate technology are also assessed in this Quiz prior to registration in an online course.


At Registration: The online registration system provides the online student with information about how to obtain the required texts and materials as well as a link to the IM course orientation, which must be completed prior to the first day of class - if the class is a scheduled event.


Each module consists of 7 components, and the template lists criteria and guidelines for module development:

  1. Prior to beginning the module, students are assessed to determine their entry-level knowledge of the topic. Assessments may take a variety of forms including: objective questions, short answer or essay questions. Results of the module assessment will be compared with the professor's objectives.

  2. Learning Objectives - Include a lead-in statement such as, “Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to...”  Module objectives must include the actions, performance criteria, and conditions of what the student will be able to do.

  3. Assigned Reading - Reading assignments are required. Specify chapters, pages, documents, slides. Provide guided reading suggestions or points to look out for in the reading.

  4. Assigned Writing - Writing assignments are required.  Student submissions and the evaluation criteria will be review by the instructor or school provost. Student must transfer using a Word document or PDF.

  5. Faculty will provide an interactive exercise for the entire class or for groups. Suggested interactive exercises:
    a.   Discussion Forum with specific guidelines for quality/quantity of postings
    b.   Creation of individual or group PowerPoint(s) via discussion board for student review and comment.
    c.   Student submission of web resources on the module topic.
    d.   Post a self-assessment quiz using the online assessment tools

  6. For Further Study - Links to Web resources will be provided to engage students in further study.

  7. The purpose of the assessment is to measure the achievement of the Learning Objectives for each module. Suggested formats for the assessment may include:  Short essay questions or IM Quiz items.


Section 2:  Syllabus Components and Guidelines for Integrated Modular Course Syllabus


The overall syllabus design will show that each component of the course outline is integrated with the overall course objectives.  Throughout the syllabus:


  1.  Course objectives will reflect the purpose of the course as stated in the course description

  2.  Course outline will cover all the objectives

  3.  Methods of evaluation will match the objectives and show how students will demonstrate that all the objectives have been met

  4.  Methods of instruction will show how the course will enable students to achieve the objectives

  5.  Grading rubrics will detail the criteria for receiving course points.


Section 3:  Sample Syllabus


Since the syllabus is the basic course road map for the instructor and students, the IM Institute has developed a template that streamlines the process of developing a syllabus for each course.  Students will benefit from having a standardized look and feel to each course syllabus, and faculty will find that the syllabus creation and updating process is more efficient when they adhere to a pre-set format.


Section 4:  General Guidelines for Objectives, Methods & Instructions


Each IM Course will provide the student with guidelines for the instructor's objectives, methods & instructions for each learning track or individual module.  These modalities can be found in each syllabus.


Section 5:  Recommended Timelines


While it is not always possible to have the instructor develop an online course timeline, the goal is to have a well-planned approach that becomes a systematic process for course attendees.  The IM Institute works diligently to provide these time-placements for each student.

Section 6:  General Guidelines for Material Usage


Most of our faculty & instructors have copyright usage limitations on their materials.  It is the student's responsibility to make note of the individual requirements for each course & assigned material.

Section 7:  Required Course Methodologies & Guidelines


Every instructor is different when it comes to their guidelines and methods of processing a student. Some will provide and simple "read & feed" approach, meaning, the student reads an assignment and provides feedback to the instructor.  Others have a much more detailed & complex method of engaging the student.  Each student is responsible for memorizing the instructors methods and guidelines for each course.

Section 8:  Checklist of Course Readiness


During the pre-registration process, each student will be provided with a checklist of materials, resources & time-table for each particular course.  If the student is not prepared for each course, the student will not be admitted.  Even though many of our courses are FREE to the attendee, the materials often must be purchased - this is due to the instructor's individualized requirements placed upon the Institute. 


Section 9:  Membership, Costs, & Guidelines


The course work itself is donation-based.  This means that the student is encouraged to donate the suggested donation for each course, unless the student has a Student Membership or an IM Premium Membership:

STUDENT MEMBERSHIP: This level of membership offers subscribers/students access to all courses without donation per-course. Pending on your course participation, this could save you thousands of dollars.

IM PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP: The ultimate membership plan! Each member will have access to all the benefits of the Student Membership & IM Worldview Club - plus. See details provided in the link for Plus benefits. We are throwing the "kitchen sink" into this plan.

Section 10:  Testing & Evaluation Guidelines


Testing our students is very important to each of our instructors.  The benefits of the authenticity of guiding each student through the pre-established learning tracks, and their processes, each student will need to fulfill the individualized requirements placed within the IM Quiz(s) and evaluation forms.  For the instructor to conceptualize how to translate what they do in the classroom/studies online, or offline, these evaluations become the most important element of their online/offline learning path.  The roles and responsibilities of the instructor, the course development team, and the student support services departments are important in this process.  It is through the testing & evaluation guidelines that will ensure the quality and rigor of each online course. 

Section 11:  Methodology of Homework


It is said that the student's homework is the instructor's highest tool of motivation.  The IM Institute ranks homework as it's top priority.  It is imperative that each student read carefully the instructor's methodology attached to each assignment. Our instructors are particular with students following instructions. All homework is rejected upon submission if the resulting assignment does not meet the instructor's methods and guidelines.  All essay format assignments must be submitted via a Word document or PDF.


Section 12:  Donation Based Courses


The Identity Matters Worldview Institute is an outreach of the International Institute of Ministry.  This ministry is a tax-deductible non-profit that operates on donations.  The Institute is not a business.  This is why all of their services are donation-based, meaning, we strongly encourage all to give when making use of their services.  Please check the Membership Page for more details.

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