What does a Semlink experience look like? What do I receive with my course materials? How long does it take to complete a course? Continue reading below to get a brief picture of what taking a Semlink course might look like for you in each of our available formats:
Semlink+ courses will be taught online, using our online learning management system, Sakai. The course will include video presentations from your professor(s) and online interactions with your professor and fellow students via online discussion forums, blog posts and responses, etc.
While classic Semlink courses are almost entirely self-paced, Semlink+ classes will involve weekly assignments. Click here for a sample syllabus.
How long does a Semlink+ class take to complete?
Semlink+ classes last for 14 weeks, and their schedule roughly corresponds to the on-campus semesters Spring, Full Summer (Hamilton campus) and Fall. The first Semlink+ class, Christian Ethics with Drs. Bruland and Hollinger, will be offered from May 20 - August 26, 2013. All coursework will need to be completed in this time frame.
Most classic Semlink courses consist of two main components: a set of recorded lectures and a course notebook. Both are available in a number of different formats that you can select during the registration process. Our online learning management system, Sakai, houses the content for most courses. Sakai will contain everything you need aside from textbooks to complete the course.
Optional course materials include:
DVD: The DVD-ROM contains the lectures in a compressed MP3 format. These lectures were usually recorded in a live classroom at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and then edited for use with the Semlink program (except for the ITS courses). The MP3 can be saved to your computer and then transferred to play in a portable MP3 player, although you are not permitted to share these lectures or give them away. The DVD-ROM also contains the full course notebook electronically as a PDF, viewable using the free Adobe Reader. If you prefer to have a paper copy, you are able to print the pages you need.
Audio CDs: Most lectures are available on audio CDs which are great for use in car stereos and portable stereos that do not have the capability of playing MP3 files. While the entire lecture series, when compressed in .mp3 format, can fit on a single CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, it requires approximately 20 audio CDs to hold the lectures for a typical Semlink class.
Course Notebook: Also included with every Semlink course is a course notebook. These notebooks have been designed in-house by a team of Semlink Notebook Writers. They contain the syllabus and introductory information, complete lecture outlines, appendices and a workbook section that can be completed as you listen to each lecture. These notebooks are designed to help you process what you are learning as you listen to the lectures. If you elect to purchase the printed version you will be provided with a hard copy of the full course notebook in a three-ring binder.
How Long Does a Classic Semlink Class Take to Complete?
Timeline: Upon receiving your course materials, depending on the course you have registered for, you will have five (5) or six (6) months to complete your Semlink course (20 weeks for language courses). During this time, you must listen to the lectures, complete all the readings, all assignments and projects, take all examinations and fulfill all the interactivity requirements. Courses can have up to 30 hours of lecture material, and typically require about 2000 pages of reading in addition to a midterm and final examination and any assignments.
Flexibility: This does not mean that you have to take the full six months to complete your course. Many students find that they have a month in which their work and personal commitments allow them to devote significant time to working on a Semlink class. This is the Semlink advantage: you can work at your own pace, and you can fit a Semlink class into almost any timeline you have available.
Minimum Time Required: There is a minimum amount of time you are allowed to spend on a Semlink class--not as an enforced rule, but as a practical outworking of how the program is set up. Each course has certain interactivity requirements, and these are designed to be spread out across the duration of your course. One type of interactivity requires emailing your Semlink Teaching Fellow back and forth a minimum of three times. This takes time--about a week for each interaction. So while there is no official minimum amount of time you must spend on a Semlink course, we have found that there is a practical minimum of about one month that is required in order to complete your interactivity requirements. You can expect to allow five (5) business days for each Teaching Fellow response.