Ridley Online Review: Richard Humphrey

Posted: 17/11/14

Richard Humphrey, Dean of Hobart reviewed the Ridley Online sample lesson on Isaiah. He shares his thoughts on the experience here.

Sample Lesson

I love living and ministering in Tasmania. There are however times when I miss some of the benefits of living on the North Island. One of those is ease of access to great Bible and Theological Colleges and Courses.

So I was intrigued when I heard that one of our Anglican Churches here in Hobart had a group studying the Ridley Certificate successfully over the internet. Ridley also offers an online 3 year online degree program and I signed up for a sample lesson.

I did not do this with a great deal of confidence both due to the slowness of my own internet and not being convinced of the practicalities of learning this way. But I need not have worried on either account.

The easy to navigate web lesson on Hebrew parallelism involved video segments, a quick quiz, a link to a Bible reading and further reading, and the opportunity to be involved in online discussion.

The video was well produced with the lecturer who clearly knew his material with examples of his points of appearing on the side the screen. The video played without pausing, but could be paused and “rewound” which was useful as I was twice interrupted by family. I also discovered that I could watch the video with music on in the background not something we could do when I did my degree!

The link to an external site for the Bible is part of a suite of web based tools that are directly available to students and this was very easy to use and navigate. There was also an article for further reading building on the material presented in the video.
The quick quiz kept you on your toes to make sure that you were taking in what was being said and if you got a question wrong there was a helpful explanation. I was particularly impressed with the online discussion. Despite it being early evening on Friday there was a response from a member of staff within 40 minutes when I raised a quibble about the quiz.

As I thought about the kind of people who might use this resource I thought it would be worth seeing how robust the page was and pleasingly despite repeated random clicking everything worked smoothly.

The practicalities then were fine, but that is not ultimately of primary concern. The course even in this snippet invited the student to spend time at depth in God’s word and go beyond a basic understanding. Some of the words and concepts used in the sample assume some prior learning, and is clearly for those who wish go beyond basic biblical literacy. For instance use of the word “strophe” and “cola” may perplex some but in general ideas are well explained and illustrated.

For those of us who minister in more remote parts of this land, and perhaps beyond, Ridley is to be congratulated for providing this new well presented resource and it appears that any who are seeking to grow in their biblical and theological knowledge will find using this course richly rewarding.

Richard Humphrey
Dean of Hobart

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