During the question and answer portion of the keynote address of the 2015 Online Learning & Teaching Conference, Kim Onines asked a great question to President Gilbert about the residency requirement to be admitted to our online program. Students either have to have earned 15 credits on one of the CES campuses or need to have gone through the Pathway program to matriculate to BYU-Idaho online.
His response to her question was a peculiar one, one, I think, to which we should all pay attention,
"Probably one of the biggest things in removing that [residency requirement] in time will be whether or not we and the Board feel like the change in the student's life is happening online in the way it does when we gather [face-to-face]."
While I think most of us would agree that the potential to effect change in the life of another may be most easily achieved through personal, face-to-face relationships,
What are you doing in your course to impact the lives of your students in ways previously only achieved through face to face experiences?
If we aren't seriously reflecting on this question and seeking to spiritually impact our students then, in my opinion, we are wasting everyone's time.