Reasons Institute makes use of the latest technology in its distance-learning opportunities.
Reasons Institute online courses are taken exclusively over the Internet. There are no on-campus meetings. However, textbooks are required. All homework is submitted to your instructor online. Your "virtual classroom" is delivered over the web via the Moodle online learning platform.
All students must have the following in order to participate in an online course. Please verify that you have these components before registering for a course.
- regular, easy access to a computer that is less than 5 years old
- regular, easy access to a private email account
- high-speed internet connection (not dial-up)
- ability to play .mp3 files on a computer (test your computer here)
- ability to play streaming video files (test your computer on Vimeo & YouTube)
- ability to play Flash video files
- ability to open and print PDF files (test your computer here)
- ability to create .doc or .docx files using word processing software (If you don't own MS Office, you can use Open Office, which is a free open source program, to create .doc or .docx files.)
- ability to listen to audio CDs and DVDs
Students access course content (e.g. lectures, assignments, message boards) using the Moodle e-learning platform through their internet browser. Because Moodle is open-source software, there is no professional tech support available. The Reasons Institute staff does its best to conform course elements to standard internet protocols and we will try to help students do basic troubleshooting of their technical problems, but we have very limited resources and it is ultimately up to the student to properly configure his or her personal computer. Visit the "Troubleshooting" section of our FAQ page to view a list of the most common problems.
In order to access all of the course elements, students need to be able to play Region 1 DVDs.The videos produced by Reasons To Believe and Sourceflix are Region 0 and should be accessible by all DVD players. Most commercially produced videos (such as PBS and the History Channel) are restricted to Region 1 DVD players. Some of these are playable on the computer, however, while others are not. We will do our best to help recommend alternative viewing options for international students, but we cannot guarantee all students will be able to play every video.