A New Website for a New Era

A new website marks the beginning of a new era for the Wilmette Institute’s on-line Bahá’í learning courses. Launched on January 29, 2008, the new website is far more sophisticated than previous ones.

The site features newly redesigned information pages (in elegant blue and gold) and links to new pages that provide an improved method of delivering course materials.

The home page serves as a portal to the Wilmette Institute’s On-Line Learning Center. Buttons and links take users to information About the Wilmette Institute, Upcoming Courses, Individual and Group Study, Courses & Registration, Tuition & Financial Aid, Faculty, News, and How to Contact us.

Students trying to decide whether to study as an individual or as part of a local study group can click on the Individual Study and Group Study boxes at the bottom of the main page to learn more about the two options.

Students can also read about courses being offered during the next six months by clicking on the Upcoming Courses link in the upper right or on the Courses & Registration button on the left side of the home page. Each course description includes Register button that takes you to the registration system, where you can register for a course and pay by credit card.

Learners who have already registered for a course can get to it by using the gold “Login” button in the upper right of the home page. Once you enter your username and password, “The Learning Center” opens, and the course you are taking appear. A simple click on the course title opens the course’s study page.

“The Learning Center” is the Wilmette Institute’s most important new feature. Powered by Moodle, a free, open-source, course-management system used by thousands of universities worldwide, The Learning Center hosts our web-based courses on the life and writings of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith and of Shoghi Effendi; Bahá’í history; Bahá’í theology; religions and scriptures in Bahá’í perspective; and teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, such as the individual, marriage, and family life; Bahá’í community and administration; science and religion; the prosperity of humankind; and world civilization.

Moodle also provides many new options to faculty members, who will be creating their courses within the Wilmette Institute’s course template. In addition to posting assignments for each unit, they can include a list of readings or create quizzes, “wiki” pages, workshops, lectures, chat rooms, discussion forums, surveys, and other features. Some courses will feature power-point presentations and audio lectures.

With its new website and its new Learning Center delivery system, the Wilmette Institute aims to improve the quality of its courses over the next year.

Our invitation to you is this:  Log onto the new website, take a tour, register for a course, tell your friends, and join the Wilmette Institute’s on-line learning community.

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