E-quipped to serve: delivering holistic Christian mission training through e-learning

2015-11-30T15:31:58Z (GMT) by L. Kate Wiseman
Developments in Information and Communication Technologies are rapidly breaking down the barriers of time and place that may have previously limited learning to those able to access campus-based programmes. Distance learning, or e-learning, offers exciting opportunities to cross cultural borders and open up the world of education in ways inconceivable even a few years ago. This study considered how e-learning can be used to effectively deliver training to those involved in Christian mission work. Holistic mission training aims to equip the whole person head, heart and hands for Christian service, especially in cross-cultural contexts. Particularly in the Western world, this training has traditionally taken place within face-to-face learning communities, with e-learning s place as a delivery mode being a matter for debate. The research set out to identify and define the key criteria required for the effective delivery of holistic mission training through e-learning and conceptualise those criteria within a framework. A multimethod research design was adopted combining qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques. A systematic literature review was carried out to identify and define the key criteria for effective mission training and effective e-learning and the main challenges in delivering mission training through e-learning, along with potential solutions. Further criteria were found through action research to develop and evaluate a programme of holistic mission training delivered through e-learning. The study contributes to knowledge by identifying for the first time the elements, factors and conditions that can enable holistic mission training to be delivered effectively through e-learning and setting them within a framework to facilitate the development and evaluation of e-learning programmes. The findings highlight principles applicable to different learning situations, cultures and technologies and are largely transferable to other disciplines.