How Our Courses Work

Our Classroom

This first section introduces the format of the classroom. For a more general course overview, see below.

Students will log in to our online conference room where they will watch and listen to a live video feed from the professor. Throughout the class, the professor will take questions and comments from students in real time through a text interface, allowing students to contribute to a dynamic classroom experience. The result is the kind of engaging and in-depth discussion that most people would never think they could have in an online class.

 

All class discussions are recorded in video and audio-only formats and made available to all enrolled students for download. If you miss a session, therefore, you will not miss out! The recordings you download are yours to keep; you can review our class sessions at any time.


For Auditing Students

Courses at Signum University meet for three instructional hours every week. In addition to a weekly Primary Lecture (90 minutes) with the instructor and/or guest lecturers, students will be assigned a rigorous weekly reading list. Each week will conclude with a Closing Session (90 minutes) led by the instructor that covers questions submitted by M.A. students in Discussion Session and all students through collaborative course tools during the week.

For more detailed information about course requirements for M.A Students, or a session overview, see below!


For M. A. Students

Courses at Signum University are three credits courses and meet for three instructional hours every week. In addition to a weekly Primary Lecture (90 minutes) with the instructor and/or guest lecturers, students will be assigned a rigorous weekly reading list. For M.A. students, Signum classes will also require participating in Discussion Sessions (60 minutes) and writing essays (20 pages or 8,000 – 10,000 words each semester). Each week will conclude with a Closing Session (60-90 minutes) led by the instructor that covers questions submitted by M.A. students in Discussion Session and all students through collaborative course tools during the week. Many courses will also require a final exam for M.A. students.

For more detailed information about each session, see below!


Weekly Session Overview

 

The Primary Lecture Session

Each week, the professor (or guest lecturer) will deliver the keynote lecture. The lecture will last for 90 minutes, and it will be delivered through a live video feed. During the lecture, students will be able to submit questions for the lecturer in text format. From time to time during the lecture, one of the course preceptors will relay student questions to the professor, who will then be able to respond to them in real time. A recording of the lecture will be available to all students in the course if they miss the live broadcast or want to watch the lecture again.

The Discussion Session

Students will meet in small groups for a lively discussion of the reading and lecture topics each week. Each discussion group will be no larger than twelve students. The weekly discussion sessions will be an hour long, and the discussion will be led by one of our course preceptors. The preceptor of the discussion section will also be the person grading the papers written by the students in that section.

The Closing Session

During the week, the professor and the preceptors will have been gathering questions that students still have, either generated in the discussion sessions or posted on the course discussion board. In the closing session, the professor will choose the most important of these and address them in a live video session lasting from 60 to 90 minutes. The interface will be identical to that of the primary lecture, and the closing session will also be archived for students to watch later.

Other Course Activities

In addition to these three class sessions, Signum students will also have two other opportunities to interact with the professor and each other in any given week. The class will have a moderated discussion board open to all students in the class. The professor will also hold a few virtual open-office sessions during the week, in which students can drop in for a live audio chat with the professor.


A Note About Times (and Time Zones)

Students from all over the world may enroll in courses at Signum University. Obviously, the differences in the times of availability and time zones in which our students and professors are operating create some logistical challenges.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DcAqk-yJ7Q?hl=en"><img src="http://www.signumuniversity.org/wp-content/plugins/images/play-tub.png" alt="Play" style="border:0px;" /></a>
Listen In: Flexible Course Times (YouTube)

Both M.A. students and auditors will be asked to inform us of their time zone and the times of day in their local time when class attendance would be possible for them. We will schedule the primary lectures and closing sessions in a time slot that works best for the majority of the students in the course. Those who cannot attend the lectures live will still be able to view the recordings of the sessions.

For M.A. students, different discussion sessions will meet at different times of day, and we will do everything we can to ensure that individuals are assigned to sessions that meet at a time convenient for them.

Depending on enrollment, the professor may deliver two separate lectures at different times. Finally, the drop-in office hours of the professor will be given at different times of day during the week, to accommodate as many different time zones as possible.