Part 1: Introduction and reaching young learners
When one considers the topic of inclusion in the context of theological education, it is natural to turn our thoughts to diversity. As outlined by Jack L. Seymour, academic dean at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, in the Association of Theological Schools Folio, administrators and boards of trustees are exploring how best to address inclusion and diversity within theological teachings, with a focus on creating a welcoming environment regardless of race, cultural codes and differences.
However, in the educational realm, inclusivity has yet another definition. In this context, inclusive learning refers to practices that support meaningful and accessible learning for all students. Seymour speaks to this in his Folio article by posing the questions, “Who matters?” and “Who belongs at the table?” and by examining what is expected of students and faculty today. He asks important questions related to widening participation in theological study such as, “Which students belong (part time, full time, mature, young, second career)?” and “What scholarship is respected and what contributions are valued?”
The right learning management system (LMS) can be instrumental in helping theological educators achieve new levels of learning inclusion by allowing the institution to reach every learner and support every learning style. Let’s explore some of the ways a modern LMS can help you realize your inclusive learning goals and reach all forms of learners in the theological education setting.
Bright and enthusiastic, young learners bring energy to their scholarship. These students are interested in the development of human growth, people’s flourishing and advancement of all classes within society. They are enthusiastic preachers, biblical scholars, theologians and ethicists who want to make a difference in our world. They also are extremely comfortable with technology and have an expectation their learning will be technology-enabled. Look for a modern LMS that offers online learning options and is mobile-enabled, allowing learners to access the learning content from any location and at any time of the day. In the delivery of learning, consider building video and other dynamic forms of content into the curriculum. For instance, the University of San Francisco course Building Christian Community exchanged videotapes of weekly sessions with students in Taiwan, and students communicated over the internet. Students learned how to report on the content, critique the process and apply principles, and collaborated and communicated through discussions with peers and instructors. Goals, strategies and results of the course were critically assessed, and several advantages of learning via the internet emerged.
Want to know more? Look out for part 2 of this blog series, where we dive even deeper into how to reach part-time learners and mature learners.