Online Education in Missions

-elevating effectiveness through eLearning-

Access to online biblical resources has become a discipleship tool for ministries everywhere. For many, online biblical resources are the only option they have for pursuing formal or non-formal theological training.

Many of the ministries Edutech Mission works with serve students who desire theological training, but find it challenging to find a solution that fits their needs. Many of these students have families, jobs, and other matters that compete with their already busy lives. Offering online training allows students the flexibility they need in order to learn, while at the same time balancing other commitments. For others, online courses are the only option they have due to lack of opportunities where they live. There may not be a local university, or even non-formal education services available, which leaves those who are seeking additional training without access.

Applying Missional eLearning

Edutech Mission has partnered with ProMETA, a Christian training school in Costa Rica that serves ministry leaders through online theological education. For the past few months, Edutech has been analyzing and testing several online educational platforms to see which would best fit their needs. An online educational platform is a space where teachers and students can upload or download resources, making distance education possible. Depending on the platform, there are many options available that make online learning easy to do. For example, a teacher can upload a course outline, post schedules, upload assignments, grade papers, and chat with students, etc. while students can download work, read posted articles, view media, and more.

A formal marketed system can be costly to buy and maintain, which for most ministries is not a sustainable option. They often come with standard packages, and only offer additional features with a more expensive package. Because of these factors and others, it’s important to know how the system will be used to determine which options are available.

Through several meetings of testing and analyzing, Edutech presented ProMETA with an option that was determined a best fit their needs, called Moodle. This is an open-source platform, which means it can easily be modified through free open-code programming to accommodate additional features. Low in cost, and easy to add features as the program grows, this will be a great asset in equipping more ministry leaders via online education.

As a guiding principle we believe in local ownership, which is why training is so important. Edutech will be offering additional training for site administration, and educational guidance. As part of the technical training we advised ProMETA’s leaders on how to manage teams, how to structure courses, and various functions of Moodle that will shape their online education. We are excited to see how this multiplying partnership will affect more and more students who are seeking to become better equipped with discipleship methods, to transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

Watch the video below to learn more about ProMETA’s online education.

 

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