Consulting in Quality Online Theological Education

Wabash Conference on Online Pedagogies in Indianapolis, October 2009

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.

Meaningful Assessment

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.




Credentials in Distance Education


Dr. Gräbe obtained the module in Distance Education from the Diploma in Tertiary Education at the University of South Africa with distinction (1992). He also completed the Master Instruction Program at Regent University (2004) and obtained Blackboard Certification from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Regent University in 2005, as well as the Quality Assurance Rubric Certificate on July 17, 2009. He also obtained the Online Instructional Design Certificate from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Regent University, as well as the Certificate on College Teaching, offered by the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education. 


Conferences and Information about Certificates


  • Peter Gräbe participated in the Indianapolis conference on the pedagogy of online theological education, arranged by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology, October 2009.
  • Participated in the webinar, Increasing Cognitive Engagement in the Online Classroom. Presenter: Dr. Jean Mandernach, Park University. Facilitated by the Center for Teaching and Learning at Regent University, March 26, 2009.
  • Delivered a paper on "Aligning Heart, Head and Hand. A Historical and Biblical Perspective" at the Coalition of Christian Teacher Educators Conference, May 25 - 27, 2006, Regent University.
  • The Online Instructional Design Certificate from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Regent University addressed the following aspects of online teaching: the importance of objectives in the online course; organization in the online course; impacting online learning with visual elements; connecting with the online student; meaningful assessment in the online course; best practices in online teaching.
  • The Certificate on College Teaching, offered by the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education addressed the following issues: testing and grading; teaching and learning styles; helping students retain classroom material; lecturing and questioning skills; the use of technology in the classroom; student-centered learning.
  • Participated in the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education Retention Workshop led by Dr. Robert Hanny at Old Dominion University, November 7, 2003.
  • Participated in "Balancing Assessment and Instruction through Differentiation," Carol Ann Tomlinson and Robin Fogarty, Conference organized by the School of Education, Regent University, October 17-18, 2003.
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