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Facilitator Training Program

David White
October 3, 2016
Garth Beerman

The faculty at Powell College (PC) have not taught online classes in the past and the
school has decided to offer the PC online program for the fall. The online classes are limited to
only three schools at PC. The school of English, Business, and Criminal Justice. The faculty of
the three schools will take part in a facilitator skills instruction class prior to the start of the
academic year.
The asynchronous weekend will consist of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The reading
material, quiz, test, and discussion threads are estimated to keep the student engaged four hours a
day; however the material is estimated to absorb five days at a face-to-face (F2F) program. The
program is online. One of the stated objectives of the program is to simulate an online class
The facilitator training at PC will consist of three days where participants must meet the
attendance requirement. One requirement to complete the program with a passing grade is
attending class six times during the three-day class while attending class each of the three days.
The training is facilitator led on the first day, allowing the students to move the conversations
toward a student centric environment 2/3 of the program.
The following section highlights the training audience (the faculty), program goals,
objectives, and details of the assessment of learning planned for this training.
o The faculty consists of adjunct faculty who have taught as little as two F2F classes to
professors who have tenure at PC, gained by teaching full time for 10 years.

o Only 3 of the adjuncts have taken certification programs online, none of the other faculty
have experience in an online classroom environment.
o Three facilitators from each school make up the first faculty for the online program.
o A recent survey of the three schools faculty showed a curve of reluctance to anxious to
learn about online education.
o All of the faculty have knowledge of the subject matter they teach, none have academic
knowledge of how this information can be taught online.
o Their education level are masters degrees to PhDs.
Program Goals
o Create a competent faculty prepared to use technology and learning theories to provide
excellent educational choices to online students.
o Erase the reluctance of faculty to explore the option of online facilitation.
o Create an online learning community that is utilized by all online faculty.
o Increase enrollment to PC by providing knowledgeable faculty to meet the needs of


online students.
Program Objectives
Faculty will demonstrate their ability to have presence in the online class.
Faculty will create starter conversations for their course.
Faculty will integrate their F2F curriculum into the online program.
Faculty will demonstrate their literacy of multimodal communication.
Faculty will utilize collaborative methods to enhance the learning experience.
Faculty will identify three learning theories.
Faculty will collect and disseminate research information regarding online learning.
Beginning with a diagnostic assessment the faculty will be evaluated on their online

o The diagnostic assessment will indicate the baseline of knowledge as individuals and as a
o Expectations are the group will have novice understanding of learning systems but have
workable experience in using the Internet for research.
o A formative assessment will not be conducted due to the short time frame of the program.
o A summative assessment will be conducted at the end of the program, which will include
a test of knowledge gained since the diagnostic assessment.
o Individuals will be graded on a pass/fail scale and the scale will be tilted in the direction
of the faculty.

o The group will be assessed with a post training evaluation after one semester.
The following section highlights the skills required to be an effective Distance Learning
Facilitator (DLF) and the phases of the development he or she will travel, to become a respected
leader in their field.

DLF must be time managers, good time managers.

DLF must engage the students.
DLF must be enthusiastic about their position.
DLF must know their curriculum (not necessarily be subject matter experts).

Phases of Development
According to Palloff and Pratt (2011) there are five levels of faculty development.
o Visitor Faculty that has touched the idea of technology integration but have not dived
in as a true believer in the format.
o Novice Faculty that has yet to facilitate an online program but use online technology as
a minor part of their F2F coursework.
o Apprentice Faculty with minimal experience but who are on the learning side of the
o Insider Faculty who have a few online classes under their belts and are comfortable
with the online environment.
o Master Faculty who have taught online for multiple terms and have designed several
online courses.
The following sections highlights the curriculum points regarding the theories of distance
learning and engaging the distance learner.

Distance Learning Theories

According to Haythornthwaite (2011) there are multiple distance learning theories. The
faculty will study three specific topics.
o Intrinsic motivation
o Social Informatics
o Digital Media Theory

Engaging the Distance Learner

o Presence in the class
o Messaging
o Pushing students to think outside of the classroom.
Learning Platform
o Weebly
The following sections highlights the curriculum points regarding challenging behaviors,
classroom management techniques, and technology.
Challenging Behaviors

Cyber Bullying

Evaluation Programs
o Challenges
o Strategies of Evaluation for Facilitators
o Faculty Board

o Mentoring Program
o Criteria for Mentors
o Expectations of Faculty Students

Class Discussions
Private Messages
Process of Facilitator

The following section highlights the curriculum points regarding technology, description
of distant learners, synchronization, feedback, and ADA.
o Wiki
o Facebook
o Blog
Distant Learners
o Cultural
o Experiential
o Nontraditional Learners

Learner Feedback

o Messages
o Comments
o Audio/Video
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
o Facilitator Responsibility
o Student Responsibility
Weebly Site

Haythornthwaite, C., E-learning Theory and Practice, 2011
Palloff, R., & Pratt, K., The Excellent Online Instructor: Strategies for Professional
Development, 2011, Pg. 19
White, D. (2016) Facilitator Training Program, Unpublished Paper, CUR/532 Facilitating
Online Learning, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ