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Publication date: 12 May 2021

Irudayaselvam Stanislaus

The Catholic Church expects theological institutes, priests and seminarians to be well-informed, critical and creative users of information and communications technology…



The Catholic Church expects theological institutes, priests and seminarians to be well-informed, critical and creative users of information and communications technology. Currently, most theological institutes use the traditional face-to-face teaching method. An attempt to implement blended learning as an innovative teaching and learning modality for communication theology was made at the Saint Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore, India, using the lab-rotation model for one semester. This paper aimed to study the two important course outcomes: participation and satisfaction.


The course was designed using the analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation (ADDIE) model, developed, implemented and evaluated for 21 first-year theology students. The combination of descriptive and quasi-experimental research used an online questionnaire containing statements on a five-point Likert scale. The study evaluated the potentials of blended learning as an innovative modality through student participation and satisfaction.


This research found that a high level of participation augmented satisfaction among the students during the implementation of the blended learning modality. The positive results revealed that future shepherds in the Catholic Church could effectively integrate information and communications technologies (ICTs) in their life and mission and serve digital citizens.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted in St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute of Theology (SPPI) for an elective course, Communication Theology, taught once a week. Only two outcomes; participation and satisfaction were studied. The respondents were 21 first-year theology students of the SPPI, which could have limited the generalizability of the results. They were not allowed to use any gadgets. So this research had to adopt a lab-rotation model wherein the students followed part of their course in the computer room.

Practical implications

This pilot experience in blended learning modality will help SPPI recognize the advantage of such an approach and possibly decide to adopt it as one modality in the institute. It may also serve as a model for other Catholic schools and this could trigger the wider adoption of blended learning among Catholic schools. Results of the study can demonstrate to the faculty how blended learning is designed and a sample module can easily guide them on how it may be implemented. Hence, this can equip them already with knowledge and skills about the new modality.

Social implications

The positive learning experiences will help the professors to further discover and adopt new and existing learning technologies that can enhance the learning atmosphere for post-millennials. They can now innovate teaching and learning strategies to best address the learning needs in their classroom, given the pervasiveness of ICTs in the everyday lives. This study will also provide a new learning option for the students as they undergo a new student-centred learning exercise.


The pioneering effort of integrating ICTs in the form of blended learning in theology curriculum was executed in SPPI. The application of the blended learning approach to teaching communication theology is innovative in that educational technology is not only applied to theology courses but involves the promotion of technology use among future religious leaders. From a long-term perspective, this attempt can transform traditional face-to-face dominated teaching approaches.


Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659


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