ERIC Number: EJ1175405
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Describing Spiritual Growth in an Online Religious Education Course
Fryar, Ben; Wilcox, Brad; Hilton, John, III; Rich, Peter J.
Journal of Research on Christian Education, v27 n1 p56-75 2018
This research examined the phenomenon of spiritual growth in students taking an online religious education course at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 students who reported positive gains in spirituality as a result of the course. Students described their experience in the online course and the factors that contributed to their success.Results suggest participants took a great deal of ownership in their own spiritual growth. Although it seems likely participants were already highly self-directed, aspects of the online experience appeared to encourage self-direction. The course design was flexible enough for research participants to explore ideas on their own while also being structured enough to provide a guided experience. Online instructors acted as guides and facilitators, playing a less prominent role than face-to-face instructors. Frequent engagement in and reflection through writing appeared to be important for students' spiritual growth, whereas online interactions with other students seemed to have minimal impact. However, some responses suggested online interaction with peers was an area with potential for greater influence.
Descriptors: Spiritual Development, Online Courses, Course Descriptions, Teacher Role, Religious Education, Student Attitudes, Independent Study, Educational Experience, Teacher Student Relationship, College Students, Reflection, Writing (Composition), Peer Relationship, Computer Mediated Communication, Phenomenology, Churches, Religious Cultural Groups, Christianity, Semi Structured Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A