How to Be Successful in your Studies?
It has come to our attention that there is a number of students at all levels who appear to have problems with their courses. As such, we are hereby sending forth this document to all of you so that you can be fully conversant with what we do during the duration of your studies, the dos and don’ts. It is important that you bear these things in mind throughout your studies.
WWES courses are not “automatic,” that is, you are not enrolled in any course simply because you are a registered WWES student. The school has enrolment keys for each course which a student receives upon admission into the WWES program. These course enrolment keys are what you need to log into the course area and start your studies. You have received your first keys in your enrolment email, and the rest you will receive after completing orientation courses.
After enrolling into a course, the following steps are necessary:
- Browse the course web page.
- Read the link General Discussion and Announcement for this Course
- Click the link “Resource Folder for the Course.” This is where all the required course textbooks are found. Download them and save them to your computer. If you are able to make printed copies, that will be fine. If you have printed textbooks, that’s an added advantage. NOTE: WWES does not provide printed textbooks to students.
- Read the instructions for each course you are enrolled, know who your professor is in case you have questions that you may want to direct to your specific course instructor.
- Download course assignments. These are usually in MS/Word format. There is a document that you MUST If there are additional documents to be downloaded, make sure you download all the documents.
Beginning your course work (ORIENTATION RESPONSE)
Now, having done all the above, you are now ready to start your course work. The following suggestions can be helpful.
- Set aside a specific time for your studies. Adult learning requires discipline, diligence and commitment.
- The purpose of theological education is to inform the mind and transform the spirit. This is only possible if the student of theology and Scripture has a right relationship with God. You need the Holy Spirit to help you, lead you, and guide you in your studies.
- Log in to the course area. Go to the Orientation Response of your respective course. If it asks you to read a specific book, article or just asks for general knowledge, read and understand the instructions first before attempting the questions.
- For each Orientation Response, take note of the required Word Count. In most cases, 250-300 words are required while in some cases a maximum of 500 words is required. Be sure to write the number of words required. In most cases, writing more than the required is not positive and may be penalized. TAKE THIS ADVICE SERIOUSLY.
- Type your document in an MS/Word format using Times New Roman 12. The advantage of typing in MS/Word is that, the software gives you a word count, checks your grammar and any typos which you need to correct before posting your assignment. Make sure, your default language is set to English (United States) or English (United Kingdom). Your spellings should always be either British or American and stick to one language.
- When that is done, click the Reply link under the Orientation Response (at the top of the page, not postings by other students), then copy and paste your Orientation Response into the online page. Click submit when that is done.
- Next, you need to respond to a minimum of two (2) Orientation Responses by other students. Each of your response should be at least 150 words. An entry that is below that word count is not acceptable. Below are examples of unacceptable responses:
- That is encouraging!
- I like your presentation!
- Good work my sister!
- I share the same opinion with you!
- Amen, etc.
Why are the above not acceptable?
- They are not engaging and interacting with the post of the other student.
- They are below the word count of 150 words.
- They are just generalizations.
You are also advised to make sure that you follow the above instructions. If you just click on the reply link of another student’s post, we may fail to see your original post and you will lose your 10 marks for that!
Moving on to the Progress Report 1
Go to your downloaded Progress Report.
- Write your Full Name on the provided space.
- Enter the date you start your progress report. When you finish, enter the date you finished.
- Read and understand the instructions. Take careful note of the length of your report, the required sentences or length of each paragraph, etc. If you do not follow such instructions, you will be asked to rewrite your Progress Report. If after three (3) warnings you do not produce a passing mark, you will be asked to repeat the course (subject to the discretion of the course Instructor), or you can be dropped from the program after several warnings.
- DO NOT UPLOAD YOUR SECOND PROGRESS REPORT BEFORE THE FIRST IS MARKED. This is important especially for those that are new to the school system. In case your first report has not received a passing mark, you will need to check the Professor’s comments and feedback to your paper so that they can be implemented even in the following Progress Reports. Thus, if you choose not to follow this instruction, you will may receive a failing grade. Remember, you need to pass a course with a score of 70% or higher in order to graduate from WWES for undergraduate degrees and a score of 80% for the Master’s level courses.
- In most cases the following general rules apply:
- All undergraduate courses that require Progress Reports should be between 2,000 -3,000 words.
- All Masters Courses that require Progress Reports should be between 3,000 -5,000 words, only on rare occasions can a maximum number of 7,000 words be reached.
- All reports should be answered in accordance to the given instructions for each course. Failure to do so will result in a failing grade being given.
The above instructions are to be taken seriously.
Continuing to PROGRESS REPORT 2 AND 3
- A student is only permitted to advance to submit the next Progress Report ONLY after the first report has received a successful pass.
- Follow the instructions in the first progress report.
- Continue from the submitted document. AT THE END, THE COMPLETE REPORT SHOWING ALL 3 PROGRESS REPORTS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED.
- Do not try to modify the Progress Report template. Just provide your answers under the questions by hitting the ENTER button from your computer keyboard. Be sure to save your document and all the answers. Again, wait for feedback from the 2nd Report before submitting the Final Report.
Writing Discussions and Essays
In some of the courses, students are asked to write some discussions. Again, each discussion is well structured and requires a student to use his analytical skills in contributing to the topic/essays. The following are some guidelines:
- Understand the nature of the course, and the readings supplied to it since all discussions are from the given textbooks.
- Read and review the material in the textbooks before attempting the answers
- The discussion is written in essay style format; do not use points. In other way, write using academic paragraphs. An academic paragraph usually consists of an open or topic sentence, three or four supporting sentences and a summary sentence.
- To avoid repetition of points, first brainstorm; as you read and study, take notes.
- Write your responses in an MS/Word document, and when you have corrected all your grammar and typos, copy and paste into the discussion body. Click submit to send your work.
- If the assignment requires you to respond to other students, remember, the general rule is that, you have to use 150 words for that. Always, take your work seriously.
Essays tests the student’s ability to express him/herself in an academic manner. In most cases, some courses require that a student writes an essay. Most of these essays at WWES vary in length, depth and scope. Generally, most essays are 500, 700 and 1,500 words. The student should check his/her course assignment requirements for specifics on the number of words required. The following guidelines are set:
- Every essay should have an introduction that introduces the topic.
- There should be a body of the major points in paragraph form.
- If an essay is to be submitted as an attachment, the following rules shall apply:
- All essays shall be typed in Times New Roman 12 font
- The essay shall have a cover page that contains the following information:
- Student full name
- Student WWES number
- Date of Essay submission
- Professor’s name
- Course Number and Name
- Student’s academic level
- The essay shall be double spaced.
- The essay shall be written in an academic style that shows references, in-text citations or footnotes (for the BA and MA level courses)
- It is not permitted to use first person form such as
- “In my own opinion, I think, I feel…”
- “We saw that….”
- “I am going to write, etc.” Rather, the third person form shall always be implored in writing essays or research papers. Examples below:
- “The writer is of the opinion that….”
- “The writer has observed…”
- “The student is going to write about…”
Always remember to observe this rule especially if you are in the graduate program.
At WWES, the Masters level courses usually have a research component in almost all courses. Research is part of the graduate program and it is required. It is also a way of preparing one to write academic and scholarly material, and is one’s preparatory school before enrolling into a doctoral level. Hence, we urge all those in the graduate level to seriously take note of the following:
- The first step in crafting a research paper is to come up with a research topic. At times, WWES suggests topics that are relevant to the course. Always, consult your current course instructions.
- Most of the research papers have a minimum word count of 5,000 words. Do not exceed 7,000 words. The word count does not include front matters and bibliographic references.
- Each Masters Research paper should contain no less than 7 sources.
- Do not use com as an academic source.
- Do not plagiarize, that is, copy information from a book or internet and use it as if it’s your own. WWES has zero tolerance to such unacademic and unethical behavior. To avoid plagiarism, read and summarize what you have read in your own words. Remember to use direct quotes if you are directly quoting from the author and give a proper citation, reference or footnote; otherwise your text is plagiarism and will be rejected,
- Do not fill your assignment with quotations. A maximum of 3 short quotations is permissible per page. The examiners do not seek to hear what others have said or written; it’s your work. They want to hear what you have written. If it happens that your quotations make the bulk of your work, your research will be rejected.
- Quote Bible verses only when necessary. Your quotation should not exceed the whole verse! Otherwise, just reference your idea with the Scripture verse. If your work is full of quotes from the Bible, it will be rejected.
In all courses, a student feedback is required. Generally, a student has to answer the following questions:
- What did you like about the course? What you didn’t like?
- Was there too much or too little on something?
- Did you find the course beneficial to your spiritual life?
- What is your overall sense of the course? Was it nice, too hard, too easy, too theoretical, relevant, inspiring…?
For each of the above question, try to use at least 50 words. Do not just say, “Yes, I liked the course. I am blessed. Yes, I benefited. It was too nice.” If you post such responses, you will fail the feedback and lose points towards your final grade! Take your feedback assignment seriously!
Why Some Students Fail while Others Pass
Having discussed above on how to tackle your course work, it is important to highlight below why some of the students fail to make it here on WWES.
- Most students fail because they don’t follow instructions. This is the major reason. If you do not follow any specific instructions given by the course professor, you will receive a failing grade. WWES has no zero tolerance to students who do not follow instructions.
- All students are required to take the PS-1002 Orientation to Online Studies course despite the program one is studying. Most students have a tendency of absconding this course, only to find the courses difficult for them. It should be understood that this is the most important course at WWES since it covers all the basics that one has to comprehend in order to be successful in one’s studies at WWES.
- All undergraduate students should then move on to ST-1002 The Bible and Its Interpretation only after a successful completion of PS-1002. DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY OTHER COURSE DURING THIS PERIOD.
- All masters’ students should move to PS-5003 Orientation to Theological Studies after a successful completion of the PS-1002 If you are in the extended MA in Bible and Theology program, FIRST complete the undergraduate courses BEFORE moving to the PS-5003 course.
- If you fail to observe rule 3 and 4 above, you will not make it at WWES.
- Most assignments are posted on wrong course areas. Others are submitted as drafts, while others are incomplete courses.
- Some assignments are poorly presented. There are numerous grammatical mistakes especially among those who use English as a second language. We encourage students to improve the English language skills by taking a free course from worldenglishinstitute.org. Also, we have an introduction to theological English course here at WWES that students can take. Another great resource can be found at www.grammarly.com. We urge all students to make use of this free online software for grammar checks and anti-plagiarism.
- Most students fail because they ignore or do not read feedback comments from their professors.
- Some fail because they just want to earn a degree, hence, they are on a rush to finish the courses too quickly. This is not advisable. We therefore advise all students to take between one to four courses maximum in any given term. Do not enroll in more than one course if you do not have the required time to read and study the courses. On an average, to successfully complete a course, you need approximately 135 hours of commitment to it.
- Some students email their courses to the instructors. Kindly take note that all course assignments are submitted through the official course web page on the school website evangelicalseminary.net. All assignments sent to the instructors as email attachments will not be graded, unless if there are circumstances beyond the student’s control that has enabled such an arrangement. However, prior permission has to be sought from the respective Instructor or Dean. DO NOT EMAIL YOUR ASSIGNMENTS TO THE SCHOOL. UPLOAD THEM USING THE PROPER LINKS ON THE SCHOOL WEBSITE.
What WWES Can/Cannot Do For The Student:
- As WWES, we cannot assist students with technical problems that are related to their own computers and Internet service providers (ISP). It is important for students to consult with their local service providers.
- We do not grade students work on demand. All courses are graded between the 1st to the 15th of each month, subject to the Professor’s schedule. While some professors can grade your coursework earlier, there is no guarantee that this is the norm. Therefore, students are encouraged to anticipate grades during the stipulated times.
- WWES cannot provide printed textbooks to the student. The student is supplied free PDF copies and can use the internet to purchase those textbooks if the student has the financial means to do so.
- We do not write letters of recommendation except Academic Reference letters.
- WWES only offers scholarship up to the Masters level. We do not have doctoral programs at the moment. WWES has not entered into agreements with other schools to facilitate students exchange or acceptance (So don’t ask us to send you to another school). However, students are encouraged to use their WWES qualifications to pursue higher theological qualifications. We have students that have been accepted at some accredited institutions.
- WWES only provides letters of Academic Reference to students who completes and graduates from our programs. If a student is a dropout, WWES is not obliged to write such letters of recommendation.
- Upon graduation, WWES mails a printed copy of a student’s diploma and two official transcripts, signed by the school officials, and sealed by the official school stamp. The student pays nothing to the school.
- WWES cannot provide money or gifts to help a student’s ministry. All we are able to offer at the present moment is theological scholarship to students from the underprivileged nations of the world who feel are called by God to the work of ministry but have no resources and the financial muscle to get a world-class theological education.
- WWES is not a church. Hence, we cannot facilitate any arrangement where students are detached from their churches. Rather, we encourage all our students to build healthy and vibrant relationships with their local churches, pastors and mentors. Occasionally, WWES can have its professors as academic mentors to some students who may have the needy on a case by case basis.