Creating Online Presence

I will teach a doctoral level capstone preaching course in which we explore theories of preaching, sermon development/refinement, and sermon presentation.  The course draws upon skills learned through experience and prior education to facilitate the practice of preaching.

Cognitive presence.  An activity I will use to establish cognitive presence is discussion forum posts.  Students will be assigned a weekly discussion prompt or question that is intended to facilitate discussion about and beyond the assigned reading.  The assignment requires students to succinctly demonstrate engagement with the reading and comprehension of the theory presented.  Additionally, the assignment requires students to understand key terms, accumulated throughout the semester.  This activity supports cognitive presence in that it challenges students to read for comprehension and application.  It challenges students to respond to the question:  how might this theory be used in a particular context, if at all?

Social presence.  Students in this course are required to sign up to lead at least two weekly discussions on zoom.  Students will facilitate a 30-40 minute discussion on the assigned topic.  Student leaders may conduct the course at their discretion, using whatever tools best facilitate discussion.  As the instructor, I will attend these sessions, but will defer to the student leader as much as possible.  This activity supports social presence in that it invites all students to bring their experiences into the class space.  The breadth of experience enhances the overall class learning.  Furthermore, students get to engage one another more directly and build community through conversation and virtual interactions.

Teaching presence.  I continue to imagine and explore my distinct teaching presence in the various settings in which I teach.  I will use short video lectures and zoom discussions to execute this course.  I expect to function as facilitator of among students who bring a wealth of preaching experience.  My intent is to introduce students to unfamiliar theories and approaches to preaching, as well as to cultivate an environment where students receive constructive feedback on their preaching practices.  In this class, I intentionally posture myself as a co-learner and guide to help students achieve their personal commitments to the practice of preaching.  

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