Orientation

Orientation

Updated: September 30, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for orienting yourself to features on ReligionAndPublicLife.org. The following links, in no particular order, provide an overview of our organizational design. As always, we welcome your feedback via the Live Chat or by emailing us at [email protected]

Style Guide: When communicating with others about this community, please apply our style guide with attention to how we brand our name: https://www.learn.religionandpubliclife.org/style

  • ReligionAndPublicLife.org is our official name and website address. 
  • Please do not use acronyms; RPL has other meanings.
  • “Religion and public life” is a field of study. It’s a term used by other organizations; therefore, please use the “.org” to communicate that we are an online community and help boost our Google ranking.

Social Learning Community. ReligionAndPublicLife.org is a “social learning community” that consists of the following three functions: 

  1. A social network, similar to LinkedIn, that connects young adults, college students, and professionals through sharing profiles, joining clubs, and messaging one another through our companion app;
  2. A learning management system that allows contributors to build on-demand and live courses, as well as publish digital resources to serve as textbooks to supplement onsite teaching; and an
  3. An E-commerce platform that allows contributors to advertise their services (e.g., speaking, consulting, training) and products (e.g., certificate programs, books, research reports, lesson plans).

We believe technological advancements if used effectively, can cultivate advances in human relations.

Mission & Mottos. Our mission is to cultivate the public understanding of religion. Our primary mottos are, “Come for the Classes. Stay for the Community.” And the secondary tagline is “Civic Education for a Common Good.”

Onboarding Grants: Our grants program is used to evaluate and welcome new contributors and certify organizations.

OpenMind™ Platform. We’re integrating the OpenMind™ platform to set the tone for the community.

The Wellness Lab converts the Oxford Handbook of Happiness into a series of online modules about the science of human flourishing.

The Moral Imagination Community is our education-research project to evaluate learners’ attitudinal shifts when exposed to religious studies content.

Contributors: Here’s a list of the experts who are developing and teaching courses, advising students, producing multimedia, and marketing or administering the platform.

Clubs are extracurricular social groups used to connect members based on a topic. Clubs can be public or private, free or for a subscription fee. For example, scholars of religion will host regular press briefings in the Press Club to support Journalists and journalism students to promote the public understanding of religion.

Curriculum Pipeline. We have a robust collection of courses in development.

Courses. Our course directory details which courses are live.

Sample Certificate Program. See how the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding offers a batch of courses as a certificate in American Muslim Life: Law & Society.

The WISE Cap method is a retention strategy to help students Watch compelling videos; Interact with retention games; Study scholarly sources, and Engaging their fellow students and instructors. Students seeking academic credit earn their CAP by Composing the assigned essays; Amending their written work based on faculty feedback, and verbally Presenting their insights in a live Socratic seminar.

Sample Course with WISE Steps:  See AMST 2501 Muslim Religious Liberty in Early America, for a demonstration of how learners Watch, Interact, Study, and Engage the subject matter and one another.

The Accreditation Guide defines distance education, credit hours, and contact hours, as well as demonstrates how the WISE CAP method meets professional and regional accreditation requirements.

Podcasts Powered by Vennly. Vennly powers our audio production process. The online production study allows contributors to record and edit their podcasts from their computers. The producers refine the files and add music at the opening and closing of each episode. We feature podcast episodes in the Study pages of the WISE curriculum, and public episodes stream everywhere you find a podcast. Check out their popular app.

Certificates, Skills, and Job Feed: The skills-tags that describe our digital credentials sync with a live job feed of the country’s major job posting sites. Certificate earners can sync their credentials with their LinkedIn profiles.

Bookstore. We can help grantees generate income from their products (courses, events, scholarship) and services (consultancy, speaking). All partners receive 80% of all income, and 20% goes to pay for the technology that makes this platform possible.

The Movie House allows members to host in-person or online screenings of documentaries and educational videos about religion and public life.

The Quad allows members to informally interact with one another as cartoon characters in a live spatial video platform.

Conferences: Concept page for how we hope to offer in late 2021 a platform for hosting virtual conferences.

Frameworks provide the intellectual scaffolding and the conceptual lenses for our curriculum design. The frameworks guide contributors and serve as the criteria by which we measure our content.

Liberty² (“liberty squared”) is a legal framework that guides our First Amendment education programs.

Partner Landing Page: We create white-label landing pages for every vendor to feature their products and services. Here’s a sample landing page.

Promotional Videos. We will create a suite of marketing videos for each partner to distribute branded material via their communication platforms.

Twitter Followers. We currently have over 9K Twitter followers. We think this asset will help promote our partners’ courses but we haven’t yet employed a Twitter campaign.

Distribution Plan. Here’s a link to our marketing plan to reach stakeholders in higher education.

Headlines of news about religion and public life.

Job Board. A live job feed for jobs in religious studies and theology and law and legal studies, the humanities, and political science.

Terms & Conditions. Detailing the legal parameters of the project.

Privacy Policy detailing our commitment to privacy and security.

I hope these are helpful links to orient you to ReligionAndPublicLife.org. I can’t wait to dig deeper and integrate your ideas and suggestions into our social learning community.

Cheers,

Nate

P.S. Our Mobile App is now live on the Apple App Store and on the Google Play Store for Android phones.

September 30, 2021