Online Learning Environment

Learning online is different from in-class or face-to-face learning in many different ways apart from physical location.

The virtual space where most TWU courses call home is Moodle or WordPress, and both of these require students to log in using their TWU email for access.

It is important to note that access to learning can occur in different ways. Two terms you need to be familiar with are:

  • Synchronous learning: at the same time
  • Asynchronous learning: on your own time

There are strengths and stretches to both of these methods. Your instructors will let you know how their course is designed. Some courses will provide instructions for both so that students can choose the method that works best for them. It is also possible for a student to do a hybrid of synchronous and asynchronous learning in one course, and some may refer to this as multi-access learning. Thus, instruction can take on multiple forms. Where once a teacher talking at the front of a classroom was expected, now instructors may teach through live Zoom sessions, or recordings and videos, or written content in Moodle. Different instructors will organize their course differently and may even use different tools. The instructor’s presence and expertise is still there, but it is now mediated with some form of technology. If it is unclear where to find something or how to use a new tool, you should kindly ask your instructors for clarification and more instruction.

Regardless of how you decide to learn, it is your responsibility to make sure you are keeping up with the course work and communicating with your instructors. As you continue to review this guide, these ideas will be explained further.

One thing that remains the same with online learning is the TWU values and expectations of conduct. It is important to review to each topic below to ensure we are conducting ourselves in a respectful manner that reflects the values of TWU and cultivates an environment of positive learning experiences for everyone.

Respect, Civility, Diversity, Opportunity, Inclusiveness

At TWU, it is expected that all community member's conduct themselves in a manner that positively reflects what we value as an institution: Respect, Civility, Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusiveness (Student Handbook Code of Conduct - Introduction). It is important to remember that these values go beyond just face-to-face interactions and should be pursued, and practiced, in all facets of our life - including within the domain of online communication. Before looking through the guidelines below, it is important to take a moment and consider that:

Within the TWU community, students, faculty, and staff join together to pursue truth and excellence with grace and diligence, treat people and ideas with charity and respect, think critically and constructively about complex issues, and willingly respond to the world’s most profound needs and greatest opportunities. – TWU Student Handbook

Although this resource will provide some guidelines for online conduct, ultimately, these values of TWU should be at the forefront of our interactions when engaging in online activity. In addition to the information contained in this Student Guide to Online Learning, it is expected that the Christian beliefs and practices, on which TWU is founded, are consistently cultivated as we create an environment where everyone is treated with respect.

The Code of Conduct provides a framework of how these values are expressed in the online environment.