Michael Jensen reviewed the Ridley Online sample lesson on Isaiah. He shares his thoughts on the experience here.
To be honest, I don’t think that an online course can ever replace a face-to-face educational experience in a community with other students. My fears about online education are that opportunities for in-depth engagement will be lost and that it will be impersonal, even robotic. But Ridley Online is neither of those; and it does remarkably well at compensating for what an online educational experience must surely lack. The video presentation is very well done, with the material clearly outlined and explained by a scholar who is expert in his field. The lecturing is polished and thorough, and the lecturer is clearly intrigued by his subject matter!
There is opportunity for further, in-depth, reading on the subject of the lecture and a sophisticated test you can take to make sure you have ingested the material well. The process is clearly set out and you don’t need a degree in computer science to operate it. Online discussion forums are not as good as face to face classes, but the facility here provided for interaction is inviting and stimulating. Students who contribute will get the most out of these.
I found myself being excited all over again about the techniques of Hebrew poetry. Part-time or distance students struggle with finding time to put in the focussed attention and with accessing extra resources. Both of these aspects of learning were provided for in the lesson – although even more extra resources for further reading would be excellent. I would certainly commend Ridley Online for anyone wishing to engage in a quality theological educational experience that keeps them motivated and interested, and deepens their knowledge of God so that they can serve him and his people.
Rev Dr Michael P Jensen
St Mark’s Anglican Church
You can do the sample lesson too: Ridley Online Sample Lesson