Online Learning

Devoted to the emerging online learning experience available from Northwest College of the Bible in Portland, Oregon, USA. This blog centers on development news.     NCB main menu.     NCB OnLine menu.

Monday, October 29, 2007

This Morning Was Historic for Missions

Former NCB student Jaffet Perez just called (via Skype) to report a breakthrough in distance teaching. Vaughn Elliott is at his home in Massachusetts teaching in Spanish a video class to a group of men in Guatemala. Jaffet just left the "party" to slip out and report.

The connection uses MSN Messenger for both audio and video. We will explore this method of distance teaching in our Missions MN203 class. It will be in session 16.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Acts Course Accepts Guests

For a limited time, the College-level Acts course has been opened to guests. All facilities are available. However, tests will not be corrected and there will not be credit for the course.

The University of California is making some of its online courses available at no cost and without credit. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will have more than 1,800 courses online for no cost by 2008.

We will test the no-test, no-credit approach to learning.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tabernacle Course Becoming Available

The excellent work of Earl Chambers on the Tabernacle is being adapted for use on our website. These presentations were made on the Eternal Glad Tidings TV program and have been put in written form. Earl Chambers has granted the right to use them as a course at NCB Online.

Chapter one is available now and future chapters will be made available as the quizzes are completed. Check out SI 107.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Safe Computing

Occasionally our students are concerned about the safety of their equipment - and our system.

SiteGround, the company that hosts NCBible Online backs up our entire site once each week. Additionally, each of the 28 courses are backed up each day.

As for this administrator's computer, it is guarded by AntiVir, a German company that updates and downloads its virus definitions each day. It is free of cost.

Each week, Spyware Doctor scans for and removes ads that have collected.

We do not open email with attachments that we did not expect, including greeting cards.

Microsoft is allowed to update and patch Windows XP regularly.

Each day, the data drive is backed up by to a location in Utah. This service is also free of cost.

About once each week, the data is saved to an external harddrive here in the office.

With this much safety in place, we pay little attention to the dire warnings supposedly signed by Bill Gates that the worst virus ever has just been discovered. We have taken reasonable precautions and move on enjoying life.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Students Arrive in Thailand

Fifth-year student Laine Johnson and his wife Christy arrived in Thailand yesterday to begin a tour of service. This is their second term there. They will purchase a truck for trips to remote villages. Their email and phone connections will be reduced to once-per-week.

They will continue language studies as well as providing teaching sessions for the populace.

There is a web site about their previous trip. Laine holds a MBA from Baylor University.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Skype Trial Period

The eBay-owned Skype telephone system boasts in excess of 30 million users around the world. eBay is using it to directly connect buyers with sellers of larger items.

Now, we have added a Skype button in our Life of Christ class so students with Skype will have free and immediate access to the instuctor. This should pave the way for better communication. If this proves to be useful, Skype buttons will be placed in more classes.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Library Downsized

Among recent changes at NCB, the library was downsized. In keeping with current trends of use, a large number of books were removed, leaving a leaner and more useful group of research books.

A new library being constructed in Vancouver, Washington is advertised as a place to sit comfortably, for people to chant or be quiet. The designers say that it not definitely not a place simply for warehousing books. We agree with that trend.

Many key texts at NCB are being put on CDs. In 2008, we will make the switch to using DVDs. Some books are in the public domain because the copyright has expired. Other books are placed there by the publisher or by the family of the writer.

Books on disk are available to NCB students after they have completed some lessons on line or in the classroom.