To implement our mission of providing training and instruction for church transformation and ministry preparation topics, we have developed a set of courses that provide a broad scope of educational services in order to appeal to the broadest number of churches, clergy and laity.
Our flagship products are our Interactive Distance Learning Courses. These on-line courses consist of a series of live or on-demand streaming videos of subject-matter experts delivering lectures or workshops on selected topics. Streaming videos are further enhanced by fully-interactive sessions conducted among the members of the class and our course instructors and mentors using a variety of interactive technologies ranging from conference calls, web conferences, class forums, chats and other interactive objects embedded into the class's web pages.
Our Interactive Distance Learning Courses are based on TeleWorship's "Watch ... Discuss ... Do!" concept (click here for details.)
The greatest values provided by our courses are not just providing their educational content but also by their interactive and action-oriented nature. Our courses are designed to put students on trajectories for implementing the best practices taught in the courses.
We also feature certain courses provided as self-paced distance learning courses. These on-line courses consist of a one or more (typically a series) of on-demand streaming media (video, audio or audio-graphic) of subject-matter experts delivering lectures on selected topics. Each on-demand streaming media session can be taken (or repeated) in a self-paced fashion on a scheduled determined by the student. All streaming media is available 24x7. Typically included in Self-Paced Distance Learning Courses are reading assignments from the course's textbook(s). Assessment of students' learning is accomplished by some combination of online discussion or writing assignments that require the student to write a certain number of papers that are submitted for assessment and critique. The learning environment is further enhanced by all elements being embedded in fully-interactive Virtual Classroom that can be accessed by all of the participants in the class. The Virtual Classroom features a Class Forum that allows text-based interactions for question-and-answers or discussion among all participants in the class. The Virtual Classroom also contains Class Materials for downloading, Class Notices, Class Calendar and other on-demand information. Writing assignments are submitted for assessment via an online application that collects and time stamps students' assignments and records them to databases that are fault tolerant and fully backed up.
Where appropriate, we sometimes provide a-la-carte access to only the video portion of our courses without their usual interactive components.
Please note that we don't think viewing only the video without using all of the elements of our fully-interactive courses are as effective as our fully-Interactive Distance Learning Courses. However, by separating the costs of the interactive components, we can provide access to only the on-demand videos at a much-reduced cost. It is our hope that this will provide a broader audience, particularly in small churches.
It is our hope that the Lectures will be used as an introduction to church transformation and become a stepping stone to re-taking the course in its fully-interactive form.
From time to time, we offer Blended Learning Courses that employ a combination of live teaching and online tools. The use of these techniques will enhance the learning experience by responding to a variety of learning styles. Students will enter into an intensive shared experience of information gathering, followed by some weeks of reflective conversation for integration of the learning into their lives and work.
Live teaching will take place with the instructor and student participants together in a physical venue. Students will listen to lectures, participate in hands-on, interactive elements, and have time for personal reflection. They will come away from courses with notebooks filled with information, and the beginnings of their reflections on their new learning. In the event that students are unable to attend one or more of the onsite sessions, but still wish to take the course, they are asked to contact the course instructor for notes and videos from the sessions.
Virtual components will revolve around “Community-Based Learning” where course participants will join with the instructor in an online learning community. Here they will meet in a Virtual Classroom to receive additional course content modules via audio-graphic presentation, followed by group chat via text and voice. Students will also be reading and responding to posts by the instructor and their classmates in the private Community Forum dedicated to the course. This will serve as an additional opportunity for interaction between participants, further deepening reflection and integration of the material into concrete practice. Students will also then have this as a resource that is open for some weeks after the last live session to provide a place they can return to refresh their learning and pursue further study.