Expectations for Online Learning

Online and Hybrid Courses

Each semester, IBS offers a number of online courses which run the length of a regular semester and may be either synchronous or asynchronous. Online courses are listed as 8000-level courses in the course schedule. Students should contact the faculty of record to determine what delivery method will be used for any given course.

Additionally, some courses are available as “hybrid” courses, wherein students may participate in a real-world class via video conferencing. Permission to join a class via video conferencing is always at the discretion of the instructor.

Students at a distance must review the Expectations for Online Learning (below) before enrolling in an online course or program.

At present, IBS does not offer a fully online degree program. Degree programs have residency requirements or limits on the number of online courses that can be used to satisfy graduation requirements. All students should expect to spend some time in Berkeley.

Some students may wish to consider the stackable curriculum to meet degree program and residency requirements.

Expectations for Online Learning

In order to succeed in IBS’s online courses and certificate programs, students should be computer literate and have access to the following technology:

  1. Regular access to a computer and a reliable internet connection.
  2. An email account which will be used to verify a student’s identity when logging into the Moodle learning platform.
  3. A modern web browser to access the Moodle platform (Chrome and Firefox are more reliable on PCs; the most recent version of Apple Safari on Macs) as well as to do online research. Mobile app versions of Moodle (such as for tablets or the iPad) generally have limited features; we recommend students access Moodle via a laptop or desktop computer.
  4. A PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat or Apple Preview.
  5. A word processing program such as Microsoft Office.
  6. The ability to listen to and watch audio and video files on your computer.
  7. Many online courses combine synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous modalities. Synchronous courses will require you to make time in your schedule to meet with your instructor and classmates similar to an on-site course. Synchronous meetings are usually conducted via Zoom or other video conferencing software.

Technical support

IBS utilizes the Moodle learning platform administered by the Graduate Theological Union. The GTU offers ample technical support for students and faculty. Once logged into your Moodle account, you will find both resource pages as well as a chat box to speak to a staff person for assistance. The chat feature is also included on the GTU library webpage.