As with any classroom, online or face to face, there are many factors that ensure that the learning potential is maximised, not least the role - and skills - of the facilitator.
I think we all agree that all skills are important in order to create an online/blended learning environment. The facilitator needs to be organised and sessions need to be well thought out with clear objectives and outcomes fully communicated. The facilitator needs to support the learning and problem solve alongside the students. The facilitator must adapt to the needs of the students and the situation; as Bill stated. flexibility - in all senses of the word - is key.
It is also important to note that, as Ed Hootstein stated, the facilitator must also be able to change shoes and wear many hats and I think I am starting to realise why. As an online facilitator, all roles found in a school fall on you and your support network that you would normally have in a regular face to face environment - the teachers, support staff, admin - are not necessarily there.
You need to be the guidance counselor supporting the students that are struggling or need a little extra support. You need to provide the structure and organisation as well as the rules and expectations - like the Principal. You are the secretary - and this takes up a lot of the time - communicating, record keeping, updating, adapting, checking and also the janitor, cleaning up and dealing with all the crap... And you are the tech support too.
2. Online vs. face to face Venn Diagram
3. Collaborative Presentation of Web2.0 Tools
4. Designing an online discussion
5. Establishing an Accessible Social Presence
6. Designing a comprehensive Assessment Plan
7. Online Course Syllabus
8. Reflection: iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching
Hello, I am Tony Potts, the Director of Digital Learning, PK-12 ICT Coordinator, ICT teacher and technology integration specialist at GEMS World Academy, Dubai. Please feel free to ask me ANY questions...