2012 Online Workshop

2012 Online Course for Theological Faculty Teaching Online

Dates May 30 to July 27, 2012
Application deadline: March 15, 2012
Course Fee: $100 per person (due in early May upon acceptance)

A growing number of seminaries and theological schools offer parts of their curriculum online. The circumstances that lead to the use of online courses are many and complex, as are the pedagogical challenges.

To meet this need, the Wabash Center has 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 a 9-week online course for seminary faculty to learn about and experience effective practices for teaching online.

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 nomination should accompany the faculty member’s application and include a brief description of the seminary’s plans to use online learning in its coursework as well as the applicant’s role in these plans.

More About the Course
This is 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, yet course material will be valuable to faculty at more advanced levels as well.

The course uses 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 provides resource materials, readings, and online activities to engage participants in active discussion, case studies, mini-projects, and other group or individual work.

Technologies used may include an internal course management system as well as external technologies such as a wiki or web-based audio tools. Participants should expect to create additional accounts with these external tools.

Scheduled Interactive Learning: At certain points in the course, participation will be required in collaborative online group work activities within a specified schedule:

  • A welcome webinar (approximately 1 hour, scheduled during the 1st week of class);
  • A collaborative online activity during the week of June 25 (tentative date);
  • A collaborative online activity and an optional webinar during the week of July 16 (tentative date).

Participants will be required to contribute to activities such as discussions and group projects for a minimum of 4 days during the week, for approximately an hour each day.

Independent Learning: During the rest of the course, participants will direct their own learning independently. There will be deadlines for completion, but because there is no expectation of interaction with other members of the course during this time, participants are free to choose when to access those resources and complete the activities.

Project Requirement:  Participants will work independently on a course design project throughout the nine weeks.  There will be interim deadlines for completion of project components, as well as a peer-review process towards the end of the course during which participants will be responsible for offering feedback on other participants’ designs.

Personalization: This is a concentrated, resource-rich learning experience. Especially during the self-directed, independent portions of the course, participants will have the chance to review many additional resources related to the unit’s topics and to address issues that are most relevant to your situation and context.

The approximate time commitment is 8-10 hours per week for reading and activities.

This course focuses on how teaching and learning changes when the course format includes geographic separation between and among learners and instructors, mediated and aided by technologies and sound pedagogy. IT IS NOT a course about technology or about web design. It will expose participants to a handful of technologies that might be used in online or blended learning, but it will not cover the specifics of these technologies or learning management systems. Participants will not create video lectures, course websites, wikis, etc.

Michel Elias Andraos, Catholic Theological Union of Chicago
Willard Ashley, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Shane Berg, Princeton Theological Seminary
Carson Brisson, Union Theological Seminary – PSCE
Susan Carole, Nazarene Theological Seminary
John Coakley, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Kenda Creasy Dean, Princeton Theological Seminary
F.W. ‘Chip’ Dobbs-Allsopp, Princeton Theological Seminary
Wilda Gafney, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Amy Gall Ritchie, Bethany Theological Seminary
Frances Taylor Gench, Union Theological Seminary – PSCE
Ella Johnson, St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry
William Stacy Johnson, Princeton Theological Seminary
Susan Kendall, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Denise Kettering, Bethany Theological Seminary
Eric Kyle, College of Saint Mary
Tat-siong Benny Liew, Pacific School of Religion
Marian Love, Aquinas Institute of Theology
Kimberly Majeski, Anderson University School of Theology
William McDonough, St. Catherine University
Gordon S. Mikoski, Princeton Theological Seminary
Donn F. Morgan, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Caleb O Oladipo, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
Aline Paris, College of Saint Mary
Jennifer Reed-Bouley, College of Saint Mary
Gregory Robertson, Anderson University School of Theology
Warren Cal Robertson, M. Christopher White School of Divinity of Gardner-Webb University
Bernie Schlager, Pacific School of Religion
Randi Jones Walker, Pacific School of Religion
Roland C Ziegler, Concordia Theological Seminary (IN)

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. Instructor and learner roles and competencies in online learning
4. Teaching strategies that promote interaction and engagement
5. Formation, community, and spirituality in the online seminary classroom

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

Wabash Center