The Billings Gazette recently ran an article about a project I’ve been helping a little bit. You probably know that St. Vincent Healthcare, my host institution, is a Catholic hospital. As such, they’ve got a pretty large chaplain staff. But there were some challenges in getting new chaplains trained and with a little discussion and thought, the staff decided to try a pilot project: distance education using existing telehealth videoconferencing equipment. A certified teacher for the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) course was brought in to the program (he teaches most of the sessions from Washington State) and students were signed up for the first session. I was invited to join the project’s advisory committee because of my degree in adult learning and educational technology. I have to confess that the technology has changed significantly since I did my doctorate, but the basic ideas of adult learning haven’t changed at all. I was able to provide a little assistance and some insights into teaching and learning at a distance and the class took off. It was highly successful and a second semester was started with more students from outside Billings participating. The second semester was perhaps even more successful. Now it looks like this has a good chance of becoming a certified training method and there is a lot of interest throughout the country about participating in the class. For detail on the project, you can check out the article in the Billings Gazette here
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