Online Teaching Essentials

Key Components of an Online Course

Student Resources

  • MOODLE tutorial – Is our seminary’s MOODLE material provided to students? Are links to MOODLE documentation provided in the course?
  • Technical requirements – Are technical and system requirements clearly stated?
  • Additional supplemental technology – If any non-MOODLE electronic resources are used, is documentation provided? Is information and support available?
  • NYTS Technical Resources – Are NYTS’ internal technical support resources listed clearly (how to contact the help desk, access web support)?
  • Digital Library – Are students encouraged to utilize the services and resources of the library website (https://libresources.nyts.edu)?
  • Seminary policies – Are institutional policies such as academic integrity clearly stated or linked?

Course Guideline

  • Syllabus – Is the syllabus posted as a content item (viewable in the course) and as a downloadable file (linked as a pdf or docx file)?
  • Course schedule – Is the course schedule (broken down by date and module) posted as a content item and as a downloadable file? This will utilize the MOODLE course outline as well as make the outline available separately as a pdf document.
  • Course modules, lessons – Are the modules clearly delineated? The MOODLE system does a good job of separating material on the front page. However, the use of horizontal lines and Headings are useful for creating differentiation.
  • Learning outcomes – Are the learning outcomes clearly stated?
  • Faculty expectations – Are deadlines and cutoff dates clearly stated? Are assignments, grading commitments, and expectations explained?
  • Contact information – Is contact info provided along with designated times for direct contact (i.e. “office hours”)

Course Content

  • Course files – Are course files clearly named? Are they compatible with the above-stated technical and system requirements?
  • Organization of course files – Are there files posted in a clear and organized manner?
  • Multimedia use – Is the multimedia content available? Is it coherent with technical requirements? Is it of good video and sound quality?

Interaction/Communication

  • Are you communicating frequently with your students?
  • Are announcements posted frequently?
  • Are the discussion boards active? Are you or your teaching assistants participating?
  • Is there group work where applicable?
  • Are you making an effort to reach out to students who are not participating or have not been active?
  • Are collaborative tools in use?

Assessing/Evaluating

  • Is there a rubric or point values or grading criteria provided?
  • Does each assessment clearly relate to the learning outcomes?
  • Are you as the instructor providing constructive feedback on assessments?
  • Is the grading section maintained in a timely, comprehensible fashion?

Technical Considerations

Being aware of certain issues can help alleviate some concerns during the first week of your course. It is not necessary for one to have the most powerful or the most expensive computer available. However, you will need to have a relatively current computer with multimedia capability and Internet connectivity. 

Additionally, we recommend having the following software or free downloads for a more comfortable experience:


Email

To take advantage of MOODLE’s email interface it’s critical to be aware of the following: When MOODLE gets automatically populated with students it also includes their NYTS email as a default. unfortunately, we have found that many students either are not aware that their NYTS email exists or simply don’t use it. Therefore, you should notify your students of the importance of their NYTS email and encourage them to use it! NOTE: Students have the option to “forward” their mail to any external account.


MOODLE Course Creation

As a result of the growing demand for use of the MOODLE System, the Teach section on library resources along with helpdesk services (through email) require that every course offered at New York Theological Seminary receive its own MOODLE course. Each course is given its own shell in which course content can be uploaded, documents transferred, and online interaction takes place.

You can email the helpdesk to make the following requests:

  • Creating New Courses
  • Copying Courses
  • Adding Additional Instructors / Teaching Assistants to Courses
  • Technical Difficulty Issues
  • Roster Issues

The “Teach” section at the Information Literarcy and Library Services website will continue to remain as a resource for instruction on using MOODLE, incorporating course content and addressing any functional issues.