TeachLearn/eLearning/Online Facilitation

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2010 October: TfL03 Course

e-Activities (E-tivity)

  • Each e-tivity should contain: a spark (motivation), purpose (why important), task (detailed description), interaction/response (how to interact - facilitator to give expectations) and time indication.

Key principles

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e-Tivity admin

  • Weaving - summarising a small cluster of user comments
  • Summarising - whole eTivity
  • Costs
  • Platform choice

Online facilitation

Gilly Salmon's 5-Stage Model Retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.atimod.com/e-tivities/5stage.shtml

  1. Access & Motivation
  2. Online Socialization
    • Icebreakers: Litchfield (2003)[3], Southern New Hampshire University (n.d.)[4]
    • For me I like to ask students to give name, interests, computer level, and knowledge in subject they are doing. I ask them to couch this in a way that they are saying why they would be a good person to have in a group (sort of like advertising themselves) - as there is always group work involved in one way or another. This gives real relevancy to the need for a good introduction.
  3. Information Exchange
  4. Knowledge Construction
  5. Development

Interactive model (http://www.atimod.com/e-moderating/fivestepflash.htm ) Not too sure how useful

Models of learning and teaching


  • Mayes: The Conceptualisation Cycle
    • conceptualisation, construction and dialogue.
  • Laurillard's Conversational Model
    • narrative - this involves the telling or imparting of knowledge to the learner;
    • interactive - this is based on the outcome of the learning. The tutor provides feedback to students based on the outcomes of tasks students undertake in order to help consolidate learning and improve performance;
    • In addition, the tutor uses this information to revise what learning has occurred and, if necessary, change the focus of dialogue (adaptive);
    • Communicative/discursive - the tutor supports processes where students discuss and reflect upon their learning.
    • The tutor and student agree learning goals and task goals, which can be achieved using 'productive' media, such as online presentations.

Online facilitation courses (and content) from Sarah Stewart

Pedagogy & Learning

What Makes A Successful Online Facilitator? (2010) Illinois Online Network. Retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/instructorProfile.asp

  1. Broad base of life experiences
  2. Open, concern, flexible, sincere
  3. Writing skilled
  4. Accepts facilitated learning as equal to f2f
  5. Ability to think critically
  6. Able to teach subject matter in an appropriate learning model
  7. Able to use technologies

Hootstein, E. (2002) Wearing Four Pairs of Shoes: The Roles of E-Learning Facilitators. Retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.astd.org/LC/2002/1002_hootstein.htm

  1. instructor,
  2. social director,
  3. program manager, and
  4. technical assistant.

White, N. (2004) Facilitating and Hosting a Virtual Community. Retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.fullcirc.com/community/communityfacilitation.htm

  • As site owner can only provide the fertile ground on which a community may grow, and then provide some gentle guidance to help the group thrive. Much of the challenge in fostering an online community is social, rather than technical."
  • Roles (examples)
    • Social Host
    • Team, Project manager
    • Community of Practice (CoP)Facilitator (or Coordinator)
    • Cybrarian
    • Help Desk
    • Referee
    • Janitor
  • Co-Facilitating
  • Role models

Cowley,J., Chanley,S., Downes,S., Holstrom,L., Ressel,D., Siemens,G., Weisburgh, M. (2002) Online Facilitation. Retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/onlinefacilitation.htm

Means of facilitation

  1. Static text or graphics
  2. Threaded or unthreaded discussion board
  3. IM or chat (possibly archived for asynchronous learners, probably according to some type of schedule)
  4. Live voice or video, possibly with some white boarding.
  5. Links to other materials or lists of materials
  6. Email
  7. Drop box (a place for people to leave assignments, which could be open to all or just to the person who left it and the instructor).
  8. Non-virtual (office hours, phone support)

Personal Learning style

Having some self-awareness of your study habits and learning styles is important regardless of whether you are studying online or in classroom-based courses. Try this online quiz from VARK to find out more about your personal learning style.


Asynchronous e-learning: communication between people does not occur simultaneously.

  • Examples of asynchronous e-learning include taking a self-paced course, exchanging e-mail messages with a mentor, and posting messages to a discussion group.
  • Advantages: convenience, accessibility, and the fact that it is self-paced.
  • Disadvantages:that the student may feel isolated or be less motivated without any real-time human interaction. In addition, asynchronous e-learning does not provide immediate feedback on a student's performance, leaving adjustments to training until after an evaluation is completed.

Synchronous, or live e-learning:, communication occurs at the same time between individuals, and information is accessed instantly.

  • Examples: real-time chat and video/audio conferencing.
  • Advantages: can provide instant feedback on a student's performance and allows the training to be adjusted immediately, if needed.
  • Disadvantages: the training is not self-paced and the logistics of scheduling, time zones, and student availability need to be managed.

Icon References.png References

  1. Retrieved October 22, 2010 from http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/E-tivity
  2. Retrieved October 22, 2010 from http://www.atimod.com/e-tivities/resources.shtml
  3. Litchfield, B (2003) Using Online Icebreakers to Promote Student/Teacher Interaction. University of Southern Alabama. Retrieved October 22, 2010 from http://www.southalabama.edu/oll/jobaidsfall03/Icebreakers%20Online/icebreakerjobaid.htm
  4. Southern New Hampshire University (n.d.)Icebreaker Ideas Submitted by DEOS Members & SNHU Faculty. Retrieved October 22, 2010 from http://acadweb.snhu.edu/DE/Goddard_Gretchen/icebreaker%20activities.htm
  5. Retrieved October 22, 2010 from http://www.atimod.com/e-tivities/5stage.shtml

TeachLearn/eLearning/Online Facilitation. (2018). In virtualMV's ( Michael Verhaart ) wiki. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from http://www.virtualmv.com/wiki/index.php?title=TeachLearn/eLearning/Online_Facilitation    (zotero)