The Covid-19 pandemic has put Friends Theological College (FTC) on a different academic trail. Since we signed on Moodle Cloud online learning platform in May 2020, we have provided academic instruction to our students virtually. FTC faculty and staff have responded and adapted to this new path positively. Since we received results of our residential students’ exams and signed modular students on Moodle, this test has proven workable, and I should say that we are scaling up to establish a robust digital infrastructure that will allow students to carry on learning with minimal challenges. We also plan to set up and open short-term virtual teaching and learning solutions to church leaders in varied levels of their operations.
Due to limited space on the Moodle Cloud platform package we purchased, we have only signed on students who are enrolled at the FTC-Kaimosi campus and faculty. Students in other satellite campuses are receiving instruction and lectures via other e-learning platforms such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Email, Google Meet etc. The Zoom cloud platform we subscribed to can only accommodate up to 200 people. Since we were limited financially, we opted for this lower package partly as an experiment and it is proving workable. When we stabilize financially we shall upgrade to one that can accommodate 500 people or more. As for now the Principal, Academic Dean, IT instructor, and the Registrar are putting in extra time supervising, guiding, and advising both students and faculty on this new path. We have to ensure that all programs offered through e-learning conform to learning outcomes and other requirements specified in the traditional face-to-face delivery of the curriculum.
Out of a total of 323 students, only 141 are enrolled on e-learning, which forms 43.6% of the student body. Our survey shows that other groups of students have varied reasons for not enrolling. Some are waiting and watching to see how this virtual program goes; some are challenged with incompatible appliances or comprehending the whole idea of online learning; while others cannot simply meet the cost of mobile data, some simply do not believe one can learn online and be as good as one who learned through the traditional face-to-face. This newsletter is therefore sent out as a tribute to FTC students who are enrolled online. They will go down in books of history as pioneer students on the FTC e-Learning program. Embedded in this letter are pictures of some of our students working online from various locations in the comfort of their homes.