Community on the Net

So, as most of you know I am a Distributed Learning (DL) student at Luther Seminary working toward my Master of Divinity degree. This new way of seminary learning has many asking its validity when it comes to building community – a key component of seminary life. As part of my seminary training, I am in a cohort of people that come to seminary for two weeks twice a year for intensive coursework. We live together, eat together, study together, learn together, and pray together all day every day for two weeks at a time. Then we go back to our respective homes and stay connected on line – studying together, praying together, learning together, and sharing life. One of the members of our Cohort (3) put this video together to give you a better taste of DL Community life! So what do you think? Does DL community on the net work?

Be still and blog….lr

4 responses to “Community on the Net

  1. I’m LOL! What a great piece! Did one of you create it?

    • Mary – I just updated the entry with a comment – I had practiced with embedding the video first before I was able to add text. To answer your question – Matt Schur put it together this afternoon in response to a similar clip that President Bliese showed in chapel around Thanksgiving last fall. We are finding that many of the cohort people are facing push back from their synods on the community piece and doing a year in residence. Come spend a few hours or days with us here and then ask if we get the community piece! I’m off to devos in the Harrison Dance Hall!

  2. Kathee Forrest

    I more than “Like” Matt’s video and the wonderfully robotic-voiced honesty of the message! The DL program is not at all disembodied and unrelational, but, as a cohort member, I second the motion of a strong sense of community that we share with other cohort members across the country. We all bring unique perspectives and ideas to share as we gather together in January and June – as well as through the Facebook connection all the time. As far as relational, I particularly like the idea of hybrid courses which begin as an on campus intensive and then continue online, so we have met and developed relationships with our fellow students within the larger body of commuter and residential students. Then as we leave campus and return to our homes, we complete the course together. This is a learning that is transformative, or as Parker Palmer says “the grace of great things.”

  3. As a member of Cohort 4 I’m probably a little biased, but I can really tell the difference in a class that is attended mainly by your cohort versus one that is not. The sense of community is missing. We have been structured as a Cohort to believe that the bonds we form are as important as the classes we attend. Whereas, in a “regular” class, the material and learning is the main objective and that is what is supported -a definite difference that I can feel in the classroom. It is also a little disappointing, as well. I can learn theory and concepts in the comfort of my own home on the computer. I attend class for the interaction and the sharing of ideas, not to occupy time and space for a grade. Our cohort spends time in community on our facebook group page. I would not have that connection if I commuted to class and then went home to face family obligations and homework.
    I loved the video and thank Cohort 3 for blazing the way in a lot of ways. I would love to have our candidacy committee see this, but I am not sure how to introduce it to them, as there is resistance and a lack of understanding of this program. Any ideas?

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