Distance Learning - SUCCESS 
Addressing the Mikdash leadership which had convened to hear the results of the pilot project, Chaya Devorah asked: "Why have the basic pedagogic methods used in our great Yeshivot persisted over the millennia,? The answer is simple: it works. A Yeshiva is an incredibly effective venue for learning to take place, and the underlying reason is that learning in a yeshiva is student-driven.
Responsibility for learning rests squarely on the student not on the teacher. While there are some formal lessons, most of the learning in a Yeshiva takes place in Chevruta, when two students study together, grappling with the texts on their own. In keeping with the latest in pedagogical theory, the role of the Rav is not to be the "sage on the stage" but rather the "guide on the side". In our distance education program, we provided the opportunity for chulnik students to be paired with Chevruta partners from Eretz Yisrael via internet telephone. The Magid Shi'ur was available to answer questions during the Chevruta preparation period. During the Shi'ur itself, the students simultaneously logged into the same web site and listened to the Magid Shi'ur 'together', even though they were physically in different locations. The fact that the students could ask questions and hear the answers in "real time" meant that we could almost approximate a classroom atmosphere.
MCDE decided that the first series of Shi'urim - 'Distance Learning - Basic Mikdash Studies 01' would be based on Eizehu Mekoman, the 5th perek of Mishnat Zevachim, an excellent introduction to Avoda 101. We found an extremely talented Magid Shi'ur who expertly stimulated interaction with and among the students in a resource-rich environment; information and interchange flowed in both directions between student and teacher as well as from student-to-student. The Mishnayot came alive. Captivated, the students participated enthusiastically. Weekly online quizzes were given to enable the students to test their knowledge and understanding. After the session ended, we emailed feedback questionnaires to all the participants. Even before we had a chance to collate and analyze the results, we were inundated with requests from scores of young Kohanim from all over the world requesting permission to join the Shi'ur. With the encouragement of the Segan - and a special budget - within a few weeks, we opened nine more Shi'urim. I will not say that there were no problems, there were, particularly in finding suitable Magidei Shi'ur. Since then, the program has snowballed. This was a year and a half ago."
"We ran the pilot program for two five-month sessions in the standard experimental/control model in which pre-tested groups of eligible students from roughly the same background were selected to participate. The control groups consisted of young Kohanim of roughly the same background who did not participate in our program. Comprehensive examinations in what the MCDE termed "Mikdash studies" were administered to both groups and all the students averaged approximately 27% correct on the pre-test. Since the questions were primarily four-choice multiple-choice, the baseline for students was only slightly above random. After participating in the program post-test scores of students in the experimental group rose to an average of 85% as compared to a 55% score of the control group. Statistically speaking, there was less than a 1% chance (p<0.01) that this difference occurred by chance. The administrators also noted a significant increase in motivation in the students participating in the program. Equally important, the Magidei Shi'ur in Avoda 101 noticed a marked difference between our 'graduates' and the students who had not been exposed to our program. Weekly quizzes fired up the students' competitive instincts. In a physical classroom, where everyone is present in the same place, a good teacher can usually see who is 'getting it' and who is not. In our virtual classroom, the constant quizzes fulfill this function.'"
"We had originally designed the program to meet the needs of young Kohanim abroad, but very rapidly, we found that perhaps the greatest need for such a course was in Eretz Yisrael! Older Kohanim who wanted to refresh their knowledge, Avoda 101 students, and even students from 'Practical Korbanics 3 and 4' wanted to sign up. Eventually, we exhausted the pool of potential Chavrutot from the Beit Midrash Hagadol and we had to turn to the other Yeshivot where the study of Kodashim is pursued. After initial hesitation, many of them stepped into the breach. With the encouragement of the Segan, we expanded our technical staff to meet the increased demand. Our initial courses were in Ivrit; however, soon the MCDE was over- whelmed with requests to organize programs in English, French and Russian. It did not take long until thousands of Ba'alei Batim from all over the world were knocking at our door. After much - unintended I might add - publicity in the media, the Mikdash website started getting thousands of hits a day from Bnei No'ach and other non-Jews, then tens of thousands. They wanted to learn philosophy and ethics. They wanted to approach the Kadosh Baruch Hu. They entreated us to fulfill our 'ordained role as humanity's moral teacher'. We began to believe that we were involved in something awesome and tremendous. When the website buckled for the first of many times, we were convinced. We were doing nothing less than helping to actualize the prophecy of Yeshiyahu HaNavi. "And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the House of the Lord shall be established as the chief of the mountains, And it shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say: 'Come ye and let us go up to Har Hashem, to the House of the G-d of Jacob - the Beit Hamikdash - and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.'"
Catriel's book in progress: The Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrim’s Perspective; A Guided Tour through the Temple and the Divine Service