I recently took an online course. The teacher is someone I look up to and have learned a lot from.
The lessons were a combination of reading, watching video, doing exercises at home and sharing with other students in a forum. This works well for me. I can structure my time, do the work at my own pace, and ask questions of my peers.
But there was one complaint that came up over and over in the forum. A few people were disappointed, others were frustrated, about one thing.
The teacher, the one who had written all the material, wasn’t present in the forum.
He had written all the lessons. He had recorded all the audio and video. When you signed up for the course, you were getting hours and hours of material that he had put together personally. But he, himself, wasn’t there.
I’ve thought a lot about this in the past weeks. I’m creating my own online course, and I’m thinking about the experience I want my students to have. I understand why this presenter went the route he did. The course allows him to share his material with thousands of people, something he could never do one-on-one. Yet, I understand the disappointment of some of the students.
We want direct access. We want connection. We want to know that there is someone there to listen to us, to give us counsel, to help us when we struggle.
This is why the 5th commitment of an apprentice of Jesus is to pray.