Weeks 5 and 6 – Models

Over the next two weeks (5 and 6) we take what we have learned by defining our philosophical approaches to online teaching and learning and begin to examine online teaching practice. Educators in an online environment are often considered “facilitators” (although “moderators” or “E-moderators” are also used) of learning. You may recall the following from the manifesto in Week 1 “Online teaching should not be downgraded into ‘facilitation’.” What do you think the team meant by this?

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Andy.Schultz

As online learning environments emerge and mature, different models for facilitation have been researched and developed. In the next two weeks, in addition to a general overview of online facilitation you will explore four models by:  Gilly Salmon, Zane Berge, Andrew Feenburg & Cindy Xin and Ed Hootstein. In recent years we have seen the emergence of Massive, Open, Online Courses (MOOCs), where thousands of learners may be enrolled and participating in a course. On a smaller scale, some educators are opening up their online spaces to participants who are not registered in a course, but who may contribute and complete the course in open online spaces for their own professional or personal interests. As you work through the four models think about how these new developments in education may impact the online teacher. What kind of model might fit for hundreds or thousands of learners in a course?

As you read through the models keep your philosophy in mind. What model ‘speaks’ to you in terms of your own beliefs and philosophies in practice? Please read Weeks 5 and 6 activities pages for further details.

Weekly Summaries

In our first online session we had discussed the idea of weaving as a facilitation technique where everyone’s contributions are highlighted and summarized. Does someone want to give it a try for weeks 3 and 4?

I would also encourage you to check out the recent postings on philosophies. Do you see commonalities, things that surprise you, different approaches that are intriguing? Provide a comment!


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1 Response to Weeks 5 and 6 – Models

  1. BC Sparvier says:

    “Online teaching should not be downgraded into ‘facilitation’.”
    I had applied for a position with a university that wanted a E-facilitator. They described the position as someone who would alongside a professor that did not have the technical skills for online teaching. Basically, they want someone to do all the technology work form uploading documents, converting and formatting etc…

    I think this is where the gap is right now. there are colleges and universities that have online learning but not enough teachers know how to do the technical part.

    This gap then relates to everything we are learning here. That online learning just needs a teacher, if that person has the technical skills great, if not they will hire someone to do it.
    I’m glad that I did not get the position because that’s what motivated me to join this course and now I am learning more about online learning and the problems.

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