For a year now, I have been working through some ideas on how to ensure that a Catholic higher education institution, such as my own, maintains its Catholic identity when offering more online courses and programs. In particular, I wanted to work through how to ensure that the focus on communities and relationship-centered teaching and … Continue reading Online Learning Communities with a Catholic Flair
Another good consideration of how online courses from Catholic universities could, and perhaps should, retain aspects of their Catholic identities in online courses. One thing I would add — from my limited understanding — is the ability for an in-depth reflective process online that would be akin to the beholding process of engaging with one’s self, others, and the cosmos. Given the time and space possibilities in online courses, such reflection could be encouraged to really engage with any topic of a course, and thereby lead to greater learning, greater understanding, and greater appreciation.
What is it that makes an education Catholic?
Can one get a Catholic education online?
Would a degree from an online program be any more or less Catholic than one from a “traditional” college or university?
As I was thinking about this post for today, I wanted in particular to draw on insights from Brian Flanagan’s post about the models of Catholic higher education. Brian very helpfully noted that most of the “Catholic Identity” debate centers on disagreements between Immersion and Persuasion models of Catholic education. As I looked at those models, I thought about my own institution and where it might fit. Saint Leo University is partly a “Diaspora” school, in that our student body is predominantly non-Catholic and we are a (mostly) regional draw. We are also more of the “Cohort” type of school: while we maintain a structured core-curriculum of liberal arts study, many of our…
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With my interest in how to bring community to online teaching, in how to structure online learning to align with the ethos of Catholic teachings, I found this essay to offer some very thought-provoking ideas on how to bring sacramental teaching and learning into online classrooms. Dr. Zsupan-Jerome’s ideas on the need to be aware of symbols, presence and encounter in online teaching and learning definitely mirrors a relationship and community centered approach to education that perhaps isn’t even well realized in some face-to-face traditional classrooms. I look forward to reading more of her thoughts, as well as considering how her approach aligns with what communication theory would suggest.
By Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, Ph.D.
What does sacramentality look like in an online classroom? Stephen Okey’s recent reflection on “Catholic Identity and Online Education” is a timely conversation starter, and I appreciate his framework of focusing especially on five key areas of concern around Catholic identity. Of these five, the third concern of “the sacramental and liturgical life of the university” is especially intriguing for me. With a background in liturgical studies and my research focusing on faith formation and digital culture, the excellent questions he raises are frequently on my mind as well.
Steve makes the point that “given the centrality of physical contact for sacraments, there can be no real sacramental life mediated online,” focusing the rest of his thought on this topic around innovative possibilities to mediate the university’s sacramental celebrations and spirituality enrichment opportunities to online students. Streaming sacramental celebrations online or offering online chaplain services and…
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Earlier this fall, I attended the annual EDUCAUSE convention in Orlando, Florida. I have written about my experience at the convention as it relates to my ongoing project investigating the relationship between online learning communities and Catholic social teaching as an approach to designing higher education. As part of my attendance at the convention, I … Continue reading On Online Education and Catholic Social Teaching
Every year, there is a special gathering of individuals interested in improving the technologies of higher education. Faculty, IT administrators, inventors, entrepreneurs, the Big Dogs (i.e. Google, Microsoft, Dell, etc) convene for several days of talks, presentations, pitches, sales, and ideas. This get annual, international together is sponsored by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit dedicated to improving … Continue reading Community in Online Learning: Thoughts from EDUCAUSE
At my school on Tuesday, September 23rd, Dominican University hosted our fifth annual Caritas Veritas Symposium. These symposiums are times for our community of faculty, staff, and students to reflect upon the university's Catholic mission of care and truth, of working to create a more just and humane world. There are presentations, discussions, and activities … Continue reading Online Learning Communities: A Dominican Conversation
If you have been following my posts this summer (summing up here), then you know one of the issues I am currently investigating is how to translate the Catholic approach to higher education from a face-to-face context to an online context. For us at Dominican University, that means a continued focus on our relationship-centered approach … Continue reading What Makes For a Good Online Community?