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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Spiritual Formation in the Online Learning Community of a Bible College
by Lam, Ee Lin, Ed.D., Regent University, 2020, 173; 27836809
Abstract (Summary)

A key concern of theological educators in offering online education has to do with spiritual formation. A related concern is the apparent lack of community online, which is considered an essential context for formation. This research explored how spiritual formation was demonstrated in the online learning environment of a Bible College in Singapore. The study also explored how community was represented by the community of inquiry (COI) with its three constructs of social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. The population for this study was comprised of graduate students and instructors enrolled in all online courses offered in the School of Theology (English Department) during Term 1 (January to March) of 2018. Textual communication of participants in the learning management system of four online graduate courses was examined using qualitative content analysis. Deductive analysis using the COI theoretical framework showed a learning community was represented online in each of the four courses. Inductive coding and categorizing of data demonstrated how students engaged in the process of spiritual formation online. Students interacted with content, including Scriptures, in the process of formation. They demonstrated intellectual engagement, emotional expressions, volitional indications, and relational communication. Students also integrated their learning with life dimensions of self, spiritual life, and ministry, demonstrating a potential effect on and formation of such areas. As spiritual formation is an ongoing lifelong process influenced by an ecosystem of multiple communities, this study did not measure each student’s outcome or extent of formation. Future research calls for an examination of data beyond the textual communication in the learning management system to provide a more holistic evaluation of both the elements of COI and the process of spiritual formation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pittman, Jeff
Commitee: Grooms, Linda D., Hanes, John C., Jr.
School: Regent University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religious education, Spirituality, Educational technology
Keywords: Community of Inquiry, Content analysis, Online learning/education, Singapore, Spiritual formation, Theological institutions
Publication Number: 27836809
ISBN: 9798643173427
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