Is online education viable?

Powerpoint Slides, Ecologies of Faith in a Digital Age, #13682_2

I don’t know what you think about online education or online church. Whenever I’m around professors I sense a general skepticism toward online education.

The recent failure of the University of Texas’s online education pilot project raises concerns over the economics, but faculty are more often concerned about how the lack of classroom interaction and community affects the educational experience.

This book by Stephen Lowe and Mary Lowe is a fascinating assessment of the possibilities for both education and church. In short, they argue that a hybrid model–actual and virtual–can facilitate spiritual growth and genuine transformation:

“When we engage in online Christian education through mediated instruction, we are simply tapping into the existing spiritual communion of believers made possible by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, much like Paul did when he wrote letters to churches from whom he was separated and could not visit in person…. Both online and face-to-face learning experiences contribute to student development in their own unique ways.”

Read more here. Interview begins at p. 17