Online Program Management System
dCourseWeb is an Internet-based application designed by Nazarene Bible College (NBC) to manage online education programs. It includes a course or learning management system, along with an advising utility for advising and scheduling students. The system maintains historical information on instructors, students, and courses for use by administrators, instructors, and advisors. The application is both an administrative tool and an instructional tool.
NBC developed dCourseWeb and offers access to other schools. Currently, 20 other colleges, universities and seminaries are using dCourseWeb for online classes (including Caribbean Nazarene College and South Pacific Nazarene Theological College).
As an administrative tool, dCourseWeb provides extensive scheduling options, faculty management, and student management and communication.
- Advising Utility aids in maintaining student information, i.e. schedules and registration status
- Built-in intervention processes monitor student attendance and grades, providing advisors and instructors with daily and weekly information to better serve the students
- Secure discussion or classroom environment with a web-access option that allows for online or offline work
- Extensive Help Items provide easy to understand answers to common questions
- Student Center/Chapel area for students and instructors to share prayer requests and services
All information is entered into data tables and then accessed by various applications so that it is easy to update information. Extensive program options enable the system to be customized to look and operate in a way that best fits the needs of the institution. Multiple reports are available to provide detailed information for administrative and assessment purposes.
The program is housed on servers at NBC, so all hardware and software are maintained and managed by NBC. With proper authentication, schools can access the program from any computer with Internet access.
As an instructional tool, the system is similar to that used by the University of Phoenix. It includes two components: 1) a web-based area for content and resources, and 2) a “store and retrieve” program for class discussion. Students can access the class content with any browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and the class discussion using Scribe the integrated Web discussion tool, Scribe Mobile for mobile devices, or any newsgroup reader (Outlook Express/Windows Mail/Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, etc.).
- All forms of media can be built into the program, providing unlimited ability to include materials
- Web-based course content generated using basic XHTML allows added creativity in course design
- Course content sharing gives Administrators and Instructors a head start in building new courses
- Quiz/exam generating program allows professors to design tests in a variety of formats
- Customizable grade book for instructors - unique to each class
- Areas for instructor information, class roster, and syllabus
- Secure instant messaging feature that is built into the program to enable synchronous conversation with individuals or groups
The course content is stored in data fields and can be used for a single class or shared by multiple classes during the same session. Once course content is created, it is available for use again simply by scheduling the class with a new start date and instructor. When it is time for the class to begin, the system builds the class from the data files and customizes it to fit the instructor and date. The same content can be used by multiple instructors at the same time, with each class built to show the proper instructor.
The store and retrieve feature enables a student to quickly download the class discussion notes to their personal computer and then disconnect from the Internet to do class work, read class discussion notes, and write responses. The student can then reconnect to the Internet to quickly send the notes to the rest of the class.
Through special licensing, the Learning Center includes access to Turn It In and Refworks.
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