April 30, 2020
Wesley Biblical Seminary has continued to provide consistent and high quality online education to its students around the world, as many colleges and seminaries have struggled to adjust during the global pandemic.
“The transition to a fully online educational model has been seamless,” said Chris Lohrstorfer, vice president for academic affairs. “Our on-campus courses are already fully available online via real-time video. We are offering the same transformative classroom experience online, with high expectations and robust learning outcomes.”
By offering a consistent educational experience this semester, WBS is an outlier.
“Our students have been able to continue learning and engaging at a high level. We were ready for this crisis, because we have constantly been adjusting to the changing educational environment.
Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer, VP for Academic Affairs
A recent survey reported on by Inside Higher Ed, shows that most professors and schools were unprepared for the shift to online education.
- Half of schools surveyed had no professors with online experience.
- 63% of professors changed the assignments they required
- 48% of professors lowered their expectations for student work
- 46% dropped assignments or exams.
The faculty inexperience and lowered academic expectations reflected in this survey can result in a poor educational experience for students. But WBS has not had to face the same challenges with online education.
“Our professors have not had to lower their expectations or quality of teaching,” Lohrstorfer said. “Our students have been able to continue learning and engaging at a high level. We were ready for this crisis, because we have constantly been adjusting to the changing educational environment.
WBS has significant experience in online education, offering its first online courses in 2008. That early experience with online education has developed into a model of online learning that is fully integrated with the on-campus experience.
Since 2017, WBS has made its on-campus courses fully available online via real-time video. This approach has made the WBS classroom experience richer and fully integrated.
Students in the physical classroom are able to interact with peers who are in ministry across America and arond the world. Online students have the same opportunity to interact personally with peers and professors in the classroom environment.
“All of our faculty are trained to deliver course content through a variety of platforms,” said Dave Schreiner, assistant professor of Old Testament. “This preparedness effectively eliminates any anxiety that may present itself in times such as these–for both faculty and students.”
WBS did not set out to develop an educational model that could smoothly handle the most significant global pandemic in history. But by innovatively serving students, WBS is able to deliver a personal, robust, and flexible education to students around the world.
If you are interested in learning more about online education at WBS, click here.