I have found the article on effective online facilitation in the Australian Flexible Learning Framework to give a useful set of guidlines about what they think this is… see http://pre2005.flexiblelearning.net.au/guides/facilitation.html

Facilitation skills include:

  • engaging the learner in the learning process, particularly at the beginning
  • appropriate questioning, listening and feedback skills
  • the ability to provide direction and support to learners
  • skills in managing online discussion
  • ability to build online teams
  • a capacity for relationship building
  • motivational skills.

It is also seen as important for teachers to have a positive attitude to online teaching and an ability to be innovative and experimental (risk taking).

There is a problem with this though… The teacher may be too directive with independant learners. Nellie http://nelliemuller.blogspot.com/2008/09/learners-teach-themselves-foc08.html makes a good point in her blog on this in relfecting on Carl Rogers approach to teaching http://www.panarchy.org/rogers/learning.html.

I like too Daryl Cook’s simple descriptions of the terms facilitating, moderating and teaching, thought ‘teaching’ is probably being defined differently today that it was 30 years ago…http://darylcook.com/category/personal/foc08/