Sherryl Catchpole and Ros Goodhind are our first Australian online EfM graduates. Sherryl and Ros completed their Year 4 fully online in 2014 with Barbara Booth and Lynelle Osburn as co-mentors. The Graduation Service for Sherryl and Ros was conducted by Fr Graheme Baldock on 7 March 2015 at St. Anne’s Scarborough, part of St.Mary’s parish at Redcliffe, Queensland.
We are so proud of Sherryl and Ros who embraced the new technology and learned many new skills. We asked them to comment on the experience, which they have done as follows.
How was EfM Online?
EfM Online was a wonderful solution to our problem of our group being unable to continue when we had a year of the course to finish. It would also be excellent for those who are located in rural or remote areas or for those who are isolated in some way.
We started with basic computer skills (we could send emails) and our mentors helped us through each new requirement. Course work was done during the week and we used an Internet discussion page at our convenience to post comments and to answer questions. We could read what our fellow students and mentors were contributing.
Once a week there was a set time for our meeting. There was a worship roster and that material was sent in beforehand. Each meeting opened and closed with prayer. We had a time to respond to the “how we were feeling” page . Typing comments into “chat room” was used instead of speech. The “Blackboard” screen as a tool for Theological Reflection impressed us with its ease of use.
About half way though the study year we had a face to face meeting in Sydney. People came from the Riverina (1), Sydney (3), and Redcliffe Queensland (2). We spent two days together participating in worship and TRs. It was great to meet everybody. We would like to suggest that the “f2f” be held earlier in the year if possible.
We can only imagine the extra work our mentors, Lynelle Osborn and Barbara Booth, put in to implement the online course and we thank them most sincerely.
The whole four years of EfM have been an enjoyable learning experience. Online has been different but effective. As graduates we feel equipped for our ongoing Christian ministry.
Ros and Sherryl