Monthly Archives: January 2020

ASK Process Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces closed down in 2018, I’ve been archiving my wikis here on my blog. One wiki took a lot longer than the others due to the volume of information on it. That is the ASK Process wiki.

ASK, Authors Specialist and Knowledge, provides students with the opportunity to interview an author or a subject specialist in the topic they are reading about in a novel. The program uses excellent children’s literature, journal writing, and interviewing to promote reading for understanding.

This wiki was designed as a one stop shop, pointing to all the different ASK programs offered by a variety of organizations. There are two goals for this wiki:

  • To provide a place for teachers to find ASK programs to sign up for (NOTE the availability – not all programs are open to everyone)
  • To provide a place for videoconference coordinators to learn how they could offer ASK programs for their schools

The wiki is now archived at

The Macomb Intermediate School Districct is where the ASK process with videoconferencing started, and they are still running it in 2020. So be sure to check out their site as well. Macomb ISD staff mentored several organizations in running the ASK programs over the years.

If you love books and technology, and haven’t heard of this structured format, I highly recommend that you take some time to learn about it!

Strategies to Assist Distance Doctoral Students in Completing Their Dissertations

My colleagues and I recently published an article on distance doctoral students in The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. It’s a Field Notes article, with practices from our experience shared.

Lim, J., Covrig, D., Freed, S., De Oliveira, B., Ongo , M., & Newman, I. (2019). Strategies to assist distance doctoral students in completing their dissertationsThe International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning20(5), 192-210.

Strategies for Three Goals

In the paper, we share strategies and technology tools that meet the following three goals:

  1. cultivate a shared culture of responsibility and commitment
    • a tool to discuss the distance doctoral student’s social network
    • teaching students how to manage their split life
    • a tool to evaluate the student’s readiness for the dissertation process
    • mapping out where dissertation skills are developed in the program
  2. increase effective communication between researchers
    • being available to students
    • giving effective feedback
    • generating trust
    • using humor
  3. grow departmental and institutional services and technologies for faculty and students
    1. the use of online and library resources
    2. campus-wide use of research software
    3. writing retreats
    4. departmental support for research

If these areas are of interest to you in supporting online doctoral students, I encourage you to take a look at our article. It’s open access, so please enjoy!

Book Review: Ecologies of faith in a digital age: Spiritual growth through online education

Recently I had a book review published with the Journal of Research on Christian Education. You can read the full review through your library.

Ecologies of Faith in a Digital Age: Spiritual Growth through Online Education by [Lowe, Stephen D., Lowe, Mary E.]

The book is available through Amazon as a Kindle version or paperback.

I highly recommend that you read the book, particularly if you’re involved in faith-based online education. The book sparked some interesting questions to think about:

  1. What are some examples in the Bible of using nature/creation as an illustration for spiritual growth?
  2. What lessons can we extract from those illustrations in the Bible of what a digital environment should be like in order to support spiritual growth?
  3. What are some ways to do the “one another” phrases from Paul’s writings – together online? i.e. “build up one another”, “comfort one another” as as few examples.

Here’s a snippet of my book review to inspire you:

Lowe and Lowe argue that the natural is not just a metaphor for the spiritual; that Scripture does not support Plato’s division between the natural and the spiritual. God’s methods of gardening are evident both in the natural world and in our spiritual growth and are “identical” between them (p. 41). The proper spiritual ecology will provide the “requisite spiritual nutrients” for growth (p. 48) and several chapters go in depth exploring kingdom growth as described in the Bible using plant ecology and the human body ecosystem (Paul). As Christians, we are expected to “mutually assist each other” (p. 66) even in digital ecologies. As I have personally experienced, and heard others describe, the work of the Holy Spirit connects believers across distance (p. 73). As Lowe and Lowe argue, critics of online community seem to “contradict orthodox Christian theology” regarding the “communion believers enjoy with Christ through the Spirit” (p. 73) by suggesting that community cannot happen online. Lowe and Lowe make the Scriptural case that in fact, Biblical spiritual growth can happen at a distance through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Lim, J. (2019). Book review: Ecologies of faith in a digital age: Spiritual growth through online education. Journal of Research on Christian Education, 28(1), 84-87, doi: 10.1080/10656219.2019.1593009

Your Turn

  • What challenges do you face in faith-based online learning?
  • What do you think we can learn from Paul, as one of the first distance missionaries (think of all his letters as distance education)?
  • What have we learned from research on online communities that connects to spiritual growth online?

Feel free to comment!