A Successful Online Course Pays Attention to the Following:
Creating a Quality Syllabus
Since students do not see the instructor face-to-face the syllabus is very important. As emphasized by the “Quality Matters” program special attention should be given to the alignment of course objectives, learner interactions and activities, resources, materials, and technology, as well as assessment and measurement.
Overcoming the Psychological Distance
Current technology enables us to overcome the psychological distance between student and instructor in Distance Education in remarkable ways. Appropriate audio-visual elements can have a very positive impact on student learning.
Connecting with the Online Student
Creative ways of connecting with the online student both asynchronous as well as in real time can play a very important role in motivating distance learners. Through web conference technology it is now possible to have real seminars with students participating from all over the world.
It is now possible to provide online students with frequent and valuable feedback. Both formative and summative assessment can be given in a meaningful way within the online environment.
The Creation of a Community of Learners
Challenging and supportive communities can be established among distance learners. The instructor should, however, use all the tools available to him/her in order to make these groups more effective.
Spiritual Formation of Online Learners
Valuable research has been done recently on ways to facilitate the spiritual formation of distance learners. This aspect is of special importance to churches and other organizations that may be future (or present) employers of the online theological student.
Petrus J. (Peter) Gräbe
Regent University School of Divinity
1000 Regent University Drive