| The term online facilitator is used interchangeably with terms such as e-tutor, online tutor, online instructor and e-learning facilitator. An online facilitator is seen as a person who regulates discussions to provide consistent opportunities for communication and collaboration. This can take the form of asking questions or suggesting alternative approaches- whilst also accepting the views presented- to stimulate discussion. Online facilitators need to judge when to intervene and when to alter their approach in relation to a group’s functioning in an effort to promote independent thought, discussion and knowledge construction.
In the event that an online facilitator also acts as a tutor, it is imperative that he/she is knowledgeable about the subject matter. They also need to acknowledge the specificities of working with participants that are connected virtually and may be very diverse in terms of location, language skills and cultural backgrounds. Thus, online facilitators need to be flexible in their approach to engaging learners in a virtual environment, be perceptive to gauge their progress and be receptive to their particular needs. In this sense, the online facilitator’s role is a fundamental one which can affect how positive the learning experience for participants is. See also: Online Facilitation, Facilitator.
|Roles and Responsibilities of an Online Facilitator|
Key attributes of an Online Facilitator
Recommendations for an Online Facilitator to perform effectively
Primary tasks of an Online Facilitator
How can Course Administrators support the Online Facilitator?
|Below are additional resources on facilitator competencies:
|IBSTPI Instructor Competencies||This resource lists key competencies that have been internationally endorsed for instructors, including those teaching via the online medium.|
|E-Moderator Competencies||This model provides a useful illustration of the role of e-moderating in different stages of online activities for supporting knowledge construction.|
|Great Teachers||Using a humorous/informal writing style, the author of the article provides a succinct outline of some key instructor/teacher qualities.|
- Effective Online Facilitation, Online Facilitation (7 December 2010); Tools for Development, eTutoring (2 December 2010); Online facilitation and the role of the Tutor, Wearing Four Pairs of Shoes: The Roles of E-Learning Facilitators, Running E-tivity plenaries (29 November 2010); E-tutoring in higher education (6 December 2010); Facilitating Online, The Non-Drowsy Virtual Classroom (29 November 2011); Facilitation Online, Online Facilitator Skills (26 January 2011); Best Practices in Online Conference Moderation (1 January 2011); What’s Different about Teaching Online? How are Virtual Teachers Changing Teaching?, Facilitation Techniques (1 February 2011); Naidu, S., E-Learning A Guidebook of Principles, Procedures and Practices, Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia (CEMCA), 2006; Lehmann, K. and Chamberlin, L., Making the Move to eLearning, Putting your Course Online, Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009; Murphy, P. and Pratt, K., Building Online Learning Communities, Jossey-Bass, 2007; Christopher, D., Facilitating in the Global Virtual Classroom, Infoline, November 2011, Vol. 28 (1111)