Welcome to the online learning orientation course for Trinity Western University.

Online and digital learning environments are excellent ways for students who may not be able to access on-campus programs to participate in higher education while not having to move or disrupt their career. At Trinity Western, beginning with the MA Leadership, we are working towards providing an engaging and effective online learning environment for remote students.

There are several ways that you might be considered 'remote': You might live in another location and not be able to move to Langley; or you may live locally, but have a full-time career; you might have significant family obligations that keep you from being able to attend face-to-face classes; or you might be experiencing health challenges that keep you at home. Whatever the case, we want to open up access to Trinity Western University in a way that makes sense for you.

One of the most important components of learning at TWU is that students are immersed in a supportive community. That is why the on-campus experience has been prioritized for so long. Fortunately for you, web technologies and access to broadband internet have improved drastically in the last few years, as have the importance of online communities. As such, we are able to create online learning environments that are just as interactive and supportive as you can find on campus.

This course is designed to provide you with an introduction to the web technologies that we have used to create the online MA Leadership courses and to give you opportunity to begin to build your own presence on the web. You will learn to use WordPress to share your ideas with your fellow learners, how to create and share digital audio, how to create, find, and share digital images, and how to protect yourself and your data online.

We will provide you with multiple opportunities to think about the impact of digital tools on you, your family, your friends, and your colleagues and to begin to take steps towards regaining control over your digital identify. Participation in online/digital spaces is not a neutral endeavour. There are risks as well as rewards. Often, unfortunately, the risks fall disproportionately on those who exist in traditionally marginalized communities like people of colour, women, sexual minorities, religious minorities and others. Conversely, it is those already in privileged positions who tend to reap the benefits.

Knowing this, we need to prepare you to be able to protect yourself, especially if you are in a vulnerable community, or to protect those around you who are more vulnerable than you.

Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

  1. Apply advanced search strategies to identify and select relevant open access resources to support learning.*
  2. Create digital media in various formats.
  3. Apply digital communication and collaboration tools effectively in a higher education context. *
  4. Develop a positive digital online identity in support of learning commensurate with good practice for privacy, security and interpersonal communications.*
  5. Demonstrate how to participate legally and ethically in an online digital learning community.*

*These outcomes were originally published for the course 'Learning in a digital age' by OERu and are reproduced here under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Course Structure

This short course is divided into two sections. Your program or instructor may have a third section that covers program specific details.

The first section will help you develop some digital skills required for you to participate easily and efficiently in various digital environments. You will learn how to create and maintain your own website in WordPress and how to use WordPress to interact with your colleagues and instructor on the web.

The second section covers the idea of digital literacy, which is

the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society. It includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy. [SOURCE]

Becoming more digitally literate will help you to communicate ethically and effectively in TWU's digital learning environment as well as in your personal and professional life outside of the university.

Digital Skills

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy is the capacity to make meaning with digital tools.

Bonnie Stewart

Privacy and Data Protection

Information Environmentalism

Digital Media Creation

Photo Credit: Ales Krivec