Facilitation of Learning & Teaching Online PART 2

Methods and Strategies

This module is guided by the principle that in order to be an effective online facilitator you must first experience the online environment as a learner. It is designed to broaden your knowledge of online facilitation models and strategies so as to support your own online facilitation.

After reviewing two popular research-based online facilitation models, you will choose one to help guide your facilitation of a chosen activity or lesson for your course. In addition, you will be provided with two lists of various instructional strategies with which to format or guide your activity/lesson. Upon completing your facilitation instructions for your activity/lesson you’ll have the option to submit it and receive feedback as well as to reflect on your experience through a reflective discussion post.

You can start this module by reading through the learning outcomes and subsequent resources. There is additional reading material, but it is not required to complete the module. It has been provided to offer you a deeper understanding of the online facilitation models. The module will begin with a brief introduction to the two models: the Community of Inquiry framework and Salmon’s Five Stage model. Remember you only need to choose one model to guide you through your activity/lesson planning.


Learner Support:

To support your learning a sample lesson has been provided at the end of this module.


What you will learn in this module PART 2

You will:

  • Read about the changing roles of instructors in an online environment.
  • Explore and select an appropriate online facilitation model to guide your facilitation
  • Determine what you want to do and how you want to work with your students (eg. lecture, discussion, small group work)
  • Using an online facilitation model, choose from a list of facilitation methods in order to help design an activity *Optional submit activity for peer feedback
  • Provide a final summary post, describing and reflecting upon how you’ve utilized your chosen online facilitation model *Optional Reflective discussion post

Required Resources

Online facilitation models

List of facilitation methods

Below you will find two different live links of facilitation methods to choose from one from the University of Illinois Springfield and the other for McGill University.


Changing Roles of Facilitators

With instructors facing new roles that demand a thorough understanding of the relationship between technology, pedagogy, and content within their given discipline (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Wu et al., 2016), the role of educators is increasingly more complex (Ouellett, 2010). Facilitating online calls for an instructor to take on several different roles including that of facilitator, designer, technology specialist, and director.

As the facilitator, the instructor’s role is to create meaningful learning opportunities for learners to gain the skills they’ll need in their chosen careers. The instructor needs to carefully design and scaffold assignments and assessments that will help lead to personal growth and self-efficacy among students (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, n.d.).

As a designer, instructors curate resources that serve the learning goals and enable students to grow knowledgeable in their field. They select the most relevant resources such as videos, readings, and the like to best serve learning outcomes. Instructors must design the online environment, so it is logically organized and easy to navigate (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, n.d.).

As a technology specialist, the instructor assumes the role by choosing appropriate technologies to meet learning goals. It is necessary for the instructor to understand how to use the tools and clearly explain their use to students. Furthermore, as a technology specialist, the instructor needs to ensure the course site is continuously running smoothly otherwise the lack of efficiency can lead to student frustration and a barrier to learning (Taylor-Massey, n.d.). Educators now need to consider asking “when, to what degree, and to what ends” (Ouellett, 2010, p. 12) technology should be used, rather than whether it should be used, in order to make informed decisions about which educational technologies are best suited for their subject-matter (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).

As the director, instructors need to make themselves available to guide students and clarify or answer questions along the way. They need to provide just-in-time feedback, so students know where they are at any given time within an assignment or project and how to proceed forward (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, n.d.).

Knowing the extent to which educators need to adjust their roles is necessary to gain knowledge or a sense of mastery in a particular area. This module will focus on providing knowledge and proficiency in facilitating online learning environments.


STEP 1: Read the following two articles:

Anderson, T. (2004). Teaching in an online learning context. In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.), Theory and practice of online learning (pp. 273-294). Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University. Retrieved from https://auspace.athabascau.ca/bitstream/handle/2149/758/teaching_in_an_online.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Wright, P. (2015). Comparing e-tivities, e-moderation, and the five stage model to the community of inquiry model for online learning design. The Online Journal of Distance Education and e-Learning, 3(2), p. 17-30. Retrieved from https://tojdel.net/journals/tojdel/articles/v03i02/v03i02-02.pdf


OPTIONAL: Additional Reading 

Anderson, T. (2016, September). How communities of inquiry drive teaching and learning in the digital age. Contact North Nord. Retrieved from https://teachonline.ca/tools-trends/insights-online-learning/2018-02-27/how-communities-inquiry-drive-teaching-and-learning-digital-age



Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for integrating technology in teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Retrieved from http://onlinelearningcurriculumcommittee.pbworks.com/f/mishra.pdf

Learning to Learn Online by Kwantlen Polytechnic University is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0

Ouellett, M. (2010). Overview of faculty development: History and choices. In K. J. Gillespie & D. L. Robertson (Eds.), A guide to faculty development, 2nd ed., (pp. 3-20). Retrieved from https://tpa.abu.edu.ng/www.devcomlibrary.com/Ebook%20Database_E/A_Guide_to_Faculty_Development__Jossey_Bass_Higher_and_Adult_Education____2nd_edi.pdf#page=29

Taylor-Massey, J. (n.d.) Redefining Teaching: The five roles of the online instructor. Retrieved from http://blog.online.colostate.edu/blog/online-teaching/redefining-teaching-the-five-roles-of-the-online-instructor/

Wu, B., Hu, Y., Gu, X., & Lim, C. (2016). Professional development of new higher education teachers with information and communication technology in Shanghai: A Kirkpatrick’s evaluation approach. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 54(4), 531-562. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/doi/pdf/10.1177/0735633115621922


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