Teaching an online course is different than teaching face-to-face course. In a face-to-face environment, communication is instant, understanding the students clarity on course content can be seen, and connections and rapport develop quickly between students. In an online environment, communication may not be instant, an instructor cannot see “the deer in the headlights” stare when information is not clear, and it takes a bit of time for students to build connections and rapport. It’s critical to create a “safe” environment for learning and build a sense of community. This can be accomplished with proper facilitation.
There are four roles for facilitation in an online course. These roles are before the course begins, the first week of class, throughout the course, and the final week of class. The table below provides a breakdown on each of the roles. In addition, Humboldt State University has developed an Assessing Online Facilitation checklist. Take a few moments to review the information and apply it to your instructional strategies.
For additional information and support, please consult with your instructional designer.