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
The author, Dr. Dell'Angelo, makes some great points about how to use the idea of social justice to structure course content and course design. Her work also aligns with what I have been looking at in terms of applying Catholic social teaching and approaches to higher education to online learning communities. I am glad to … Continue reading Creating Classrooms for Social Justice | Edutopia
As reported by The Atlantic, secular beliefs are on the rise among young people, and conservative Christians are withdrawing from secular society whilst demanding their religious beliefs be tolerated, even if it means discrimination and intolerance. And this week's Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby and other similar businesses that are owned by … Continue reading An Autoethnography of Collegium – Applications for Higher Education
Final Day: Thursday, June 26th Here we are, at the end of a very long week. Long but fruitful. I do not regret coming, although I will be very happy to once again be sleeping in my bed, with the nice padding. After days of discussing, debating, defining what is Catholic intellectualism, Catholic social teaching, … Continue reading An Autoethnography of Collegium – Final Day