Week One - In the Books

Friday, September 2, 2016

Well That Went Well

I waited all summer long to get started and now I get to put week one in the books.  I couldn't be happier with the start of the semester and the structure of the online program.  As long as I stay focused and disciplined, I expect to finish the course without any problems.  I also anticipate being challenged and learning a lot as we progress through the class.

The Week in Review

Overall, the week was about acclimating to the online program, getting to know my classmates, and getting my feet wet in the class.  I completed 3 non-credit activities (graded activities that are not weighted against the final grade), 2 module 1 reading assignments, and 1 video lecture series for module 1.  The only thing I have left to do by the end of next week is the learning activity for module 1.

I expect the learning activity will take between 3-6 hours to complete and I shouldn't have any problems getting this done by mid-week next week.  Originally, I thought I'd submit this next Tuesday, but I don't see any advantage to rush to submit it.  I'd like to get it done by next Tuesday, and then I'll target Wednesday or Thursday for submission.

What Did I Learn?

First and foremost, I learned that I'm surrounded by great classmates with very diverse backgrounds and experiences.  We all share the same passion and zeal to grow in faith and our knowledge of God.

Next, I learned that I think I'm going to survive this class.  There are a lot of uncertainties and doubts about beginning something new like this, and I think I've laid them to rest.  The online platform is superb and I know that the faculty and staff are committed to helping me succeed.  I know I can also count on my classmates for help and encouragement as well.

Last, it all begins with observation.  The class is going to focus on a methodical and inductive approach to studying the Bible.  The four key areas being; observation, interpretation, correlation, and application.  This week we began learning about observation and the importance of observing structure, syntax, form, and context (the 5 W's).  The key takeaway is - the more time you spend in observation, the less time you will spend and the fewer mistakes you'll make in interpretation.

Lessons Learned and Best Practices

I'm basically a week ahead at this point.  While the next module won't be unlocked until September 14, I'll be able to comfortably complete the reading ahead of time.  The next module appears to have 2 or maybe even 3 activities (not sure how assignment reviews are classified).  The good news is that there will be two weeks to complete module 2 so I'm not overly concerned about time at this stage.

That said, I think I'll be in good shape if I can stay (mostly) a week ahead moving forward.  I'm in a fortunate position that this is my only course this semester so I don't need to balance my workload.  I need to take advantage of this fact in case anything comes up.  I'd rather have a little buffer to be flexible than to be up against the wall on deadlines.  I feel comfortable calling this a best practice when it can be afforded.

BE101 Statistics

Based on the total number of grade points in the course, I can calculate my progress towards completion.  I am also tracking the amount of time that I am spending on the course which will help me budget my time moving forward and give you a rough estimate of the time required.  Do keep in mind though that this is the only class I am taking, so I am probably spending a little more time on this than I normally would if I was taking other classes.

BE101 Progress
Time Commitment (hrs)

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