2011 Online Course

2011 Online Course for Theological Faculty Teaching Online


May 31 to July 30, 2011

Course Fee: $100 per person (due upon enrollment, after being accepted, in early May)

The Wabash Center is increasingly aware of the growing number of seminaries that offer at least some of their curriculum online. The circumstances that lead to the use of online seminary courses are many and complex. The pedagogical challenges and opportunities of online seminary coursework are of particular concern.

Therefore, as part of our mission to enhance teaching and learning, we have contracted with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Distance Education Certificate Program – a nationally recognized leader in instructional design for e-learning environments – to offer an 9 week online class for seminary faculty to learn about and experience effective practices for teaching online.

Please direct your questions to the Wabash Center, not the University of Wisconsin program.

We invite deans, rectors, or principals at accredited theological schools and seminaries in the US and Canada to nominate a faculty member to participate. This letter of recommendation should accompany the faculty member’s application (see “How to Apply,” below), and should include a brief description of the seminary’s plans to use online learning in its coursework, and the applicant’s role in these plans. (Only one applicant from each school.)

More About the Course
This an introductory course that will present the major elements involved in using the internet for instruction. It will be conducted online to provide hands-on experience with online learning.

The course is designed to accommodate faculty with a wide range of online teaching experience. No prior experience is necessary; course material will be valuable to faculty at more advanced levels as well.

It will use a “principles-to-practice” approach that presents guidelines and strategies for applying principles of online learning to the practices of individual faculties’ online courses.

Each week will include resource materials, readings, and online activities to engage participants in active discussion, debate, case studies, mini-projects, and other group or individual work.

The course will use threaded discussion forums and an asynchronous format, (meaning you can log in at any time to read and post messages –), although posting early in the week and then later in the week is required for group cohesion.

This is a concentrated, resource-rich, learning experience. You must think through what you’re hoping to learn, to help guide you in selecting resources most relevant to your situation and context.

The approximate time commitment is 8-10 hours per week for reading and activities. To participate, you must be able to log in and post responses at least twice every week.

There is no “certificate” that is awarded for successful completion of the course.

You will need a computer with a broadband connection to the internet, a browser such as Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, and Flash Player Plug-In (or be able to download the free plug-in).

2011 Online Course Participants
Deborah Appler, Moravian Theological Seminary
Lee Barrett, Lancaster Theological Seminary
Margaret Benefiel, Andover Newton Theological School
Donald J Brash, Palmer Theological Seminary – Eastern Univ
Thomas Cattoi, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
Steven L. Cox, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
Suzanne Coyle, Christian Theological Seminary
Venita Doughty, Denver Seminary
David G. Garber, McAfee School of Theology – Mercer University
Craig Hill, Duke Divinity School
Denise Dombkowski Hopkins, Wesley Theological Seminary
Jamal-Dominique Hopkins, Interdenominational Theological Center
Thomas Jackson, Claremont School of Theology
Loren L. Johns, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Cindi Beth Johnson, United Theological Seminary of Twin Cities
Kent Kersey, Corban College, and Graduate School
Hwacha Kim, World Mission University
Cindy L Kissel-Ito, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Thomas McDermott, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary
Ruth A. Meyers, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Christine Mitchell, St. Andrew’s College
Gilles Mongeau, Regis College
Samuel Ogunboye, Harvest Bible College
Vicki C. Phillips, West Virginia Wesleyan College
Carl Savage, Drew Theological School
Vincent Skemp, St. Catherine University
Laurie Ziliak, Saint Mary’s University of Winona

Course Topics
1. Major differences and similarities between online teaching and face-to-face teaching
2. Online course models and best practice principles (including the “hybrid model” that blends distance education and face-to-face education)
3. The role of the instructor and course management issues
4. The role of the learner and motivation
5. Interactive teaching strategies
6. Facilitation and communication techniques
7. Formation, community, and spirituality in the online seminary classroom
8. Application issues and questions in online teaching

Wabash Center