Facilitation in the Online/Hybrid Classroom
Have you ever thought about, or had, specific training related to your teaching style?
Do you think that you have a teaching style?
If you are making the shift to teaching online, one of the things that you may have to examine is all the ways that you interact with students, and how you will continue to interact and support online students.
Best practices in this area suggest that learning facilitation skills are important to take your teaching online.
Here are some of the characteristics of a facilitator vs a traditional teacher and how their classrooms differ.
|Information radiates out from teacher||Facilitator participates and guides|
|Teacher is the center of attention||Students are the center of attention|
|Large classroom||Small groups|
|PowerPoints||Handouts, scenarios, group activities|
|Direct control of class and activities||Indirect control of class and activities|
10 ways to succeed as an online facilitator
- Reach out to your online students before the class begins, and be responsive to their email questions
- Make sure that students know your latest contact information and the turn around time they can anticipate for responses
- Be comfortable with the technology and have resources available to help students troubleshoot technical problems
- Have a clear, well-developed syllabus
- Create safe spaces for online communication by posting guidelines and setting an example with your own communication style
- Create a balance for your communication by allowing and encouraging students to talk to each other, allow them to lead or create discussions when possible
- Create interesting and multi-modal prompts for assignments and discussion, using open ended questions and giving students choices for interaction
- Keep an alert eye on your students and try to encourage those that seems disengaged
- Provide the right balance of feedback to students, quality is more important than quantity
- Perhaps most important of all, be willing to reflect on your own experience after a class ends and use that to continue to adapt and grow your facilitation skills.