Hello my name is Marvin Oxenham and it’s been my privilege to coordinate a group of over 100 theological educators from 35 different countries of the world who have expertise in online theological education. Together we have developed the Distance and Online Competency Framework (D/OTEC) for theological education.
And this brief set of videos will be illustrating the seven main categories into which these competences have been grouped. In this video we will be talking about contextual competences and the category of context. And here we have identified three main areas in contextual competence. The first is the ability and the competence to engage with trends, theories and debates.
There’s a context of trends worldwide, a context of theories and debates that are happening around distance and online education, and in particular in our case distance and online theological education. And this competence therefore has to do with recognising what the debates are, with engaging with some of the main terminologies, with being able also to engage theologically with the trends and debates. I hope you don’t mind every once in a while I’ll be looking down at my screen to catch the notes and make sure I don’t miss anything.
The debates also have to do with issues of finance and sustainability and how as a theological school we can actually move forward in distance and online education. The second main competence in this category of context is the competence of engaging with context and diversity. And these are two important related terms. Context of course is everything that has to do with your particular context, so what is the reality in which distance and online theological education is being delivered, and to be able to engage with that, to be able to understand the outside context and how that impacts both the design and the delivery of online theological education.
But secondly, also with diversity. There there’s a huge range of different kinds of diversities in the students that will be engaging with distance and online education: diversity and digital literacy, diversity in their level, diversity in their situations and the learning outcomes, and so forth. And so this second competence has to do with diversity and with context and the ability of an online theological educator to to engage with both. And the third competence in the category of context is the ability and the competence to situate learning in context. And so this is related to the one I’ve just mentioned, but it has to do with actually placing the learning within a situated context. Very frequently distance and online education happens away from any sort of a residential scenario which is so familiar to centuries of theological education.
And so the distance and online competence that is required is how do we actually take advantage of the situations and situated learning that can happen, of the learners that are in different in different situations. So this has to do with designing with local context in mind, but also with delivery with local context in mind and what does that look like. What is blended learning and what are the different kinds of blending and how can these be applied to different situations?
So this is the first category of the Distance and Online Competency Framework (D/OTEC) framework is the category of context.