Tools for Improving Your Online Facilitation

Last revised: 10/02/2018 by JAP


So you have already designed and developed your online or blended course and are ready to teach This article provides  practical tools to help improve online course facilitation by considering four major instructor roles during four critical course time frames.

Four Online Course Facilitation Roles and Four Critical Time Frames (Humboldt University website)

Your four online facilitation responsibilities include:

  • Pedagogical: Guiding student learning with a focus on concepts, principles, and skills.
  • Social: Creating a welcoming online community in which learning is promoted.
  • Managerial: Handling organizational, procedural, and administrative tasks.
  • Technical: Assisting participants to become comfortable with the technologies used to deliver the course.

The four time frames of your online course include:

  • Before class begins
  • During the first week
  • Throughout the course
  • During the last week
Course Facilitation Plan (CFP)

A Course Facilitation Plan (CFP) is a tool that outlines specific tasks related to each of your four online facilitation responsibilities (listed above) during the four main timeframes of your online course (listed above). The CFP that was named by UConn eCampus is based on an instrument called the Assessing Online Facilitation (AOF). The AOF is a tool developed by California State University (CSU) system through a Technology Integration Grant for Educational Resources (TIGERS).  Through the grant CSU (specifically the Humboldt campus) completed a project to help online faculty plan for and assess their implementation for strengths and opportunities.  The Humboldt team developed an Assessing Online Facilitation instrument (which is much like a “checklist” of tips and reminders for successful online teaching) that is freely available to all and that can be modified to meet individual styles and needs (free use). This tool considers the four roles and four time frames outlined above.

Here is a copy of the UConn eCampus Course Facilitation Plan (CFP),  a “tailored” AOF called the for your use (3 available formats):

Facilitation Activity Record (FAR)

The TIGERS grant also produced a document called a Facilitation Activity Record (FAR).  This FAR is a good format for taking weekly notes (e.g. “what you have done”, “what is going well” and “what you want to improve upon for next time/your flags”).  The FAR is a tool for organizing and documenting  your activities on a weekly basis and may also become a valuable reference for you or a future instructor the next time the class runs.

Here is a copy of the FAR template for your use (3 available formats):

Helpful Tip:

Consider keeping copies of your AOF and FAR with your course in a hidden “Instructor Resources” content folder in the left course menu.

For more information visit:



    Indicating your role will help us serve our community better.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.