Tools for Improving Your Online Facilitation

Last revised: 10/10/2016 by dtm

Overview:

So you have already designed and developed your online or blended course and are ready for takeoff… teaching! This article provides you with some ideas and practical tools to help you improve the facilitation of your online course considering the four major roles of an instructor and the four critical time frames of the course.

Four Online 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
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  a UConn eCampus “tailored” AOF 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:

 

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