Element #2: The Integration of Faith & Zeal

Element #2: The Integration of Faith & Zeal

Element #2: The Integration of Faith & Zeal


As the Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe once wrote, “As we engage a mystery, it increases our capacity for understanding it.” Along the way, there are many opportunities to foster the development of discernment skills and even simple internet politeness skills. Text does not convey the nuance of body language, tone of voice, or facial expressions that we take for granted F2F. It’s very easy for a reader to interpret text very differently from the way you intended it. Text-only, usually through asynchronous discussion forums, requires deliberate mindfulness through word choices, phrases, the occasional (very occasional) emoticon. Remember that deep conversations are possible online and asynchronous, though they will be different from F2F.  When you ask a deep question asynchronously, you give students time (sometimes days) to ponder it.

If you’re sharing your slides and giving a lecture, in the online classroom it’s even easier for students to tune out because there’s no eye-to-eye contact.  They can open a new browser tab to Facebook, pull out their phones, put music in one earbud, etc. Unlike a F2F classroom, you may not necessarily be able to see their faces to know they’re tuning out.  In this situation, mindfully use your voice to express your faith and zeal.


  Pedagogy Implementation

To Introduce: Recommend websites that engage the visitor to enter into and more deeply develop an understanding of specific topics or areas of study.  Include verbal reports, discussions, and the sharing of digital resources.

Use Moodle’s URL resource to embed links directly into your course site.


To Enhance: Invite remote guest speakers or groups to join your discussion via Zoom, or similar “live” means, providing appropriate prior readings or topic materials.

Use Zoom integrated into Moodle for online video conferencing to bring in remote guest presenters.


“The spirit of faith looks through, within, behind, and around things, seeking their deeper dimensions, evoking wonder, mystery, and new relationships.”

Consider Virtual Reality using Google Cardboard, DayDream, or other inexpensive platforms, to allow students to look through, within, behind, and around. 3-D immersive worlds such as Titans of Space and InCell VR allow students to experience awe-inspiring macro- or micro-views in ways impossible with paper or even flat computer screens.


Considering flipping your class.  Record video lectures or presentations, where your facial expressions and tone of voice can highlight your enthusiasm and energize your students.  Your students will watch the videos on their own schedule before class, so they get more hours hearing your personal voice, rather than reading to themselves.  Then use classroom time saved for in-depth discussions (Bloom levels 3-6).

Use Loom, Zoom, or Quicktime or Snagit to record lectures (be mindful of chunking into 5-10 minute segments).  


Embed quiz questions into your online lectures.  This can help cover Bloom levels 1-2, so you can spend class time on higher levels.

Add quiz questions to your own or other videos using H5P’s Interactive Video feature.  You can have grades in these quizzes flow directly to the gradebook.


Consider asking a deep question online before class, discussing it during class, and asking the same question (or one suggested by the discussion) online again after class.

The Forum activity has a setting “Q and A Forum” that requires students to make a post before they can see other students’ posts.  Then, after class (either F2F or online), ask them to make another post, referencing the class discussion as it relates to another students’ post.