Workshop Presentations

Faith formation

What’s faith got to do with it?     Melinda Thompson and Lloyd Goldsmith, Abilene Christian University

Hear how ACU’s M.Ed. faculty designed their online classes with faith formation in mind and learn how you can do the same at your institution.

Jesus Geek: Faith Formation of Techies in an Online Environment      Andrew Sears, City Vision College

This workshop will examine how to effectively do spiritual development in an online environment specifically targeting the needs of techie/STEM students

Fostering Spiritual Formation in Online Learning

Mark Maddix,Northwest Nazarene University
Mary Lowe, Erskine Seminary
Steve Lowe, Erskine Theological Seminary

One of the challenges facing Christian universities and seminaries in offering online courses and programs is how to ensure that students are growing spiritually.  This presentation will provide both a theoretical and practical approach to developing online courses that foster spiritual formation.

Teaching Spiritual Formation Online: Aims, Structure, and Reflections  Vic Copan, Palm Beach Atlantic University

This workshop will focus on the aims I am pursuing in my online spiritual formation class, how I have organized the course, and the assignments I have included.  The workshop will conclude with (1) my reflections on what has gone well and what could be improved and (2) with an discussion with the workshop participants on teaching spiritual formation online.

Online learning

Online Teaching! There must be more!    Phyllis Ennist, United Theological Seminary

If you have been teaching online courses and you are thinking there must be more, then this presentation is for you. You’ll have fun and find new illustrations to engage your students in enjoyable ways that promote theological learning.  You will explore reusable examples that foster community engagement using media literacy, social media, research ideas, presentation, and collaboration tools.

Flipped Classroom: An Old Concept with a New Twist     Patricia Bassett, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Flipped instruction, a form of blended learning that has recently captured the attention of the educational community is by no means a new concept. Come learn about Immediate Feedback Assessment (IF AT) and other techniques introducing a new twist to an old concept!

Learning Communities: The heart of online learning    Mark Maddix, Northwest Nazarene University

As universities and seminary continue to develop online courses and programs, it is important to ensure that community is developed online.  This presentation will examine the need for developing strong learning communities that foster relationship and effective learning. Specific attention will be given to providing practices that foster effective discussion and dialogue as the heart of online learning.

Mobile Learning Ideas and Tips for Your Online or Blended Courses
Scott Hamm, Abilene Christian University

The 2013 Horizon Report continues to identify mobile learning as a major trend in higher education. The proliferation of tablets has joined the integration of smartphones as influential technologies impacting the global lifestyle, especially in higher education. Mobile learning continues to offer new opportunities for online teachers and students to interact with each other, with course content, and with their world. This workshop will focus on ways you can apply mobile learning to your courses.

The Seven Sins of eLearning Designers (And What to Do about Them) Rick Hubbard, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Too many course designers unintentionally create barriers to student success and engagement.  Many of these mistakes can be avoided by following some straight forward, easy-to-implement strategies. The seven sins include, not designing with accreditation in mind, poor motivational design, information dumping, wrong usability design strategies, under-utilized technology, over-used technology, and failure to build community.

Transformative Learning in the Technological Age     Colleen Halupa, LeTourneau University and A.T. Still University

This workshop will discuss Mezirow’s theories of transformative Learning and their application in the higher education classroom in the technological age.  In addition to discussing the way these theories can be applied to students to enhance retention of knowledge and critical thinking, transformative learning can also be applied to the faculty members themselves.  Transformative learning principles can be used as a framework to assist faculty in adapting to their changing roles in the classroom as technology is widely adopted in all aspects of the educational setting.  Mezirow’s ideas of God and fate will also be discussed, as well as their application in the Christian university environment.  This workshop will have a practical application portion where participants will do a self-evaluation of their transformative learning quotient in regards to technology, student expectations and their own personal growth.

Professional development

Big Data for Connections to Immersive Learning     Andrew Peterson, Reformed Theological Seminary, Global

Guidelines for “big data” increase impact and affordability of Christian education.  Structured and unstructured data, powerful computing, and software tools produce customized and social learning.

Does online quality really matter?     Tim Ziebarth, Grace College

Are online courses more than face to face courses morphed into a PowerPoint and distributed through the Internet? Can we implement a quality system in the framework of online course(s) heightening the experience for instructors and students?

MOOCs and Theological Education     Melinda Thompson, Graduate School of Theology, Abilene Christian University

The Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) has gained a lot of attention in recent years.  But are MOOCs right for your institution?  Learn what questions to ask before you start building your first MOOC.

KISS Your Online Course: Keeping Your Course Design Short and Simple     Kevin Mahaffy, Moody Distance Learning

In the belief that more is better, technological trends can cloud our focus on student learning. This presentation will refocus on what really matters.

Growing Beyond Your Campus:  Navigating the Utilization of Online Adjunct Professors Gabriel Etzel and John Cartwright, Liberty University School of Religion

When an academic institution finds itself desiring or needing to utilize adjunct faculty for online courses, the process of employing and deploying those faculty ought to be informed by the unique challenges associated with online education.  With the unique nature of online learning/learners in mind, this presentation will discuss important considerations when it comes to hiring, training, evaluating and developing online adjunct professors.

Up! From Genesis to Jettison: Giving Flight to Online Instructors Through Mentoring and Technologies that Matter      Janet Randerson, Moody Bible Institute

Training online instructors to leverage free and readily available technologies has a positive impact on instructional quality and student satisfaction.

Synchronous Success Stories – ClassLive Video/Web Conferencing      Tina Knebel, Technical Assistant and Faculty Online Certification Instructor, Palm Beach Atlantic

This interactive presentation will provide an overview of PBA’s six-week online certification course in which faculty experience both the student and instructor experience while completing the training and demonstrating their newly-learned skills in eCollege and ClassLive video/web conferencing software.  Participants will have an opportunity to participate in the video conferencing software and witness effective engagement strategies for synchronous ClassLive lesson plans.

Befriend the IT geeks, they might have some good ideas! Using online forms and social media tools for online faculty professional development     Alin Vrancila, Moody Bible Institute Distance Learning

Building a Faculty One-Stop-Shop that centralizes student retention, course requests, incident reports, course content issues in one centralized location has proven to be beneficial. Including a blog within that One-Stop-Shop for professional development is proving to be even better.

Social networking

Harnessing the power Christian social networks to foster Christian formation     Steve Lowe, Erskine Theological Seminary

While many in the natural sciences call for “a science of networks,” we in Christian online education need “a theology of networks.” Since God has created the world so that “everything is connected to everything else,” we also need to recognize that “everyone is connected to everyone else.” Our socially interconnected world made up of individual and collective social networks creates a world of reciprocal influence largely ignored by the current Christian community. The early church (A.D. 100-300) harnessed the power of their existing social networks to grow the church numerically. It is now time for the contemporary church to harness that same power to grow the church spiritually.

Using Social Media in Education: Connection or Isonection     Ron Hannaford, Biola University

Awareness of the issues raised will assist Christian educators and their institutions of the need for an appropriate use of technology, strategic instructional design, and sound pedagogy aimed towards building authentic, connected relationships during the learning process.

Social Media: Are You In, or Out? (or both?)     Luther Hollis, Palm Beach Atlantic University

This presentation will address the hurdles and hesitations of using Social Media in online education, specifically focusing on the internal and external benefits and impact of various social media tools.

The Quad: Formative Community Beyond the Classroom  Cory Piña, Fuller Theological Seminary

So much educational formation happens beyond the course content, outside the classroom. How can we make that experience available to our online, commuter, regional, and global students, as well as face-to-face?

Digital relationships: Remixing the ecology   Mary Lowe, Erskine Theological Seminary

Human ecology appreciates the similarities between the reciprocal interconnections of living things in natural ecosystems and the reciprocal interconnections of humans with one another in social ecosystems. Some of those social ecosystems are played out in what we’re seeing with the digital revolution which has impacted nearly every segment of our culture and perhaps most significantly, the Millennials or what we might call “digital natives.”  Social media has reshaped nearly every landscape we once knew and we are now seeing the growth of that medium as a relational tool more than an informational one. As our connections to one another become increasingly global, distributed, and characterized by hybridization, we need to remix the ecology so that we no longer insist on a model of spiritual formation that is not able to encompass this complex and interdependent reality. An ecological model that honors biblical and theological insights integrated with an expanding appreciation of the power of social networks will enable theological educators to continue their efforts to form students spiritually into the 21st century.


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