What Is It?
How does a seminary education form people into better Christians and better leaders? Surely the classes are a large part of the equation. But conversations that begin in the coursework have a way of continuing in the lives of students in work, ministry and life after the degree.
The Quad is a scaffold to support and sustain these conversations and the formative relationships they create. The Quad is an online space for this formative life of the seminary, exclusive to Fuller students, faculty, staff and alumni as they continue the formative engagement they began while studying.
News & Events
Fuller has many streams of conversation all flowing at once. The schools, centers, institutes, initiatives and groups can be a lot to keep up with not to mention all their events an announcements. At the same time, individual groups often struggle to make the rest of the community aware of the exciting opportunities they offer. The News page is a space for groups to make announcements and notify the Fuller community how they can connect and take part. News items are tagged by content, campus and location for easier sorting.
While most of these groups already have a presence on the web, the Community Resources page serves as a living, growing directory of as many Fuller and Fuller related groups as we can find. The purpose here is to map the many flowing streams that trace their source back to Fuller. We want to enable the discovery of groups and conversations you didn’t know existed and to make it possible to connect and offer your voice.
Every user has a profile page where they can share their relationship to Fuller, a brief bio, and any social links they would like. There is also an interests field where they can offer academic, ministry or personal interests. By clicking on these linked interests they can see other users who share them. Users can upload a profile photo and see their own and others activity in the conversations. The Quad is an opt-in service. No one has a user page set up for them until they log in.
Where Did it Come From?
The Quad began as a conversation among Fuller staff, students and faculty about what the makes the community of Fuller distinctive and formative. As Fuller began investigating more flexible degree programs and course delivery modalities, we became more convinced of the value of making the formative richness of Fuller available and discoverable through the web. At the request of a group of administrators convened by Provost McConnell, the Distributed Learning and Information Technology teams began work on the Quad early in 2013.
We began by talking with students, faculty, staff and alumni (in Pasadena and at our regional campuses) about what would be most valuable and useful to them in such a space. The planning and design were headed up by myself and Cory Piña through most of Spring and Summer. In June we launched a small, invite-only beta version of the Quad where we learned a great deal more by watching users and incorporated much of their feedback into the final design. The public beta opened to the entire Fuller community on September 10, 2013.
Who is it For?
[diagram] Fuller.edu’s audience is the whole world wide web and anyone who might want to learn more about Fuller. As such it presents a carefully selected sample of the richness of Fuller to inspire and draw visitors in to learn more.
The Quad’s audience is significantly narrower. It is for the people who have have already begun some formative relationship with the seminary and have some degree of commitment to it. Because of this, we can offer a wider sampling of conversations, groups and content and be freer in our conversations knowing that, despite Fuller’s diversity, there is a shared view of the world and the kingdom of God that enables us to speak and share more freely and be understood more readily.
How do I used it?
Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni are already involved in a couple dozen conversations and have begun a steady stream of events and announcements. Users with access can submit their events here.
We have several events planned that will take place entirely online, hosted by the Quad. Interviews via google-hangouts of guests from outside Fuller as well as text-based “Ask Me Anything / AMA” style interviews with Fuller faculty, Administrators and others are in the works.
What Can You Imagine?
Our journey with the Quad began in conversation with the community it exists to support. We want to continue that focus on user-driven design that creates valuable experiences for the people who make Fuller such a rich community. As Fuller students, faculty, staff and alumni use the Quad we will continue intentional solicitation of feedback, suggestions, and dreams for what kinds of experiences would add value towards the goal of forming and sustaining better Christians and better leaders.