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?
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.
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!