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  1. 1. Building a Student-Centered Community and Ensuring Quality Distance Education<br />Preparing for the Shift to Facilitator:<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Distance education is becoming more common<br />Numerous roles for the distance educator<br />Facilitator<br />Moderator<br />Instructor<br />Coach<br />Manager<br />Must prepare to make the shift from traditional teacher to “facilitator”<br />
  3. 3. The role of facilitator includes:<br />Guiding learners<br />Focusing on the students<br />Building community<br />Setting expectations<br />Ensuring quality distance education<br />
  4. 4. Guiding Learners<br />Select and filter information <br />Provide thought-provoking questions<br />Facilitate well-considered discussion<br />Guide students in their journey through the content of the course<br />Motivate students to expand on course topics and to learn on their own<br />Design and implement activities that require collaboration and discussion<br />Engage learners to keep thinking and learning moving<br />
  5. 5. Focusing on the Students<br />Create a student-centered learning community<br />Serve as a coach, counselor, and mentor<br />Encourage students to become active participants rather than passive listeners<br />Turn the learning over to the students<br />Encourage independent thinking and exploration<br />
  6. 6. Building Community<br />Distance learners = physically separated and isolated<br />According to Kelly, interpersonal interaction “leads to increased motivation, higher achievement, more positive attitudes toward learning, higher satisfaction with instruction, confidence in learning capabilities, enhanced critical thinking and problem solving skills, and higher cognitive processing of the content” (as cited in Janes, 2006, p. 95). <br />Build a community of learners that fosters relationships and feelings of connectivity <br />Help learners feel as though they are a part of the class<br />Create this culture through the shared experiences that students will have in the course. <br /> Make students feel as though they are a part of the group<br />
  7. 7. Setting Expectations <br />Students should know:<br />what their role is as defined by the facilitator.<br />what is required of them. <br />how the facilitator plans to interact with them. <br />Be explicit about mutual expectations for participants <br />Provide examples, create atmosphere, explain objectives and requirements<br />
  8. 8. Ensuring Quality Education<br />As noted by Yang & Cornelious (2005), “high quality, online instruction encourages discovery, integration, application, and practices. Instructors need to discover students’ learning preferences, integrate technology tools, apply appropriate instructional techniques, put them all into practices, and generate the most suitable method for individuals.” <br />Consider how to use technology and choose the most effective<br />Make modifications <br />Take time to train, experiment, develop, and prepare<br />
  9. 9. Conclusion<br />Begin creating a new persona<br />Also facing other distance education issues<br />Objectives and outcomes stay the same, but there are new issues and strategies<br />Online persona is one of transition<br />Imperative for distance educators to prepare for the role of facilitator and to consider its importance to distance education as they create their new personas<br />
  10. 10. References<br />Coppola, N. W., Hiltz, S. R., & Rotter, N. G. (2002). Becoming a virtual professor: Pedagogical <br /> roles and asynchronous learning networks. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18(4), <br /> 169-189. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from the New Jersey Institute of Technology Web site: <br /> &lt; <br /> %20Professor.pdf&gt;.<br />Janes, D. P. (2006). Together alone: What students need from an e-moderator. Canadian Journal of <br /> University Continuing Education, 32(2), 93-108. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from the Canadian <br /> Journal of University Continuing Education Web site: &lt;<br /> articles/v32pdf/3224.pdf&gt;. <br />Kimball, L. (2001). Managing distance learning – New challenges for faculty. In R. Hazemi and S. <br />Hailes (Eds.), The Digital University. Secaucus, NJ: Springer. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from <br /> the Community Intelligence Labs Web site: &lt;<br />vc/Managing_Distance_Learning.doc&gt;.<br />Yang, Y., & Cornelious, L. F. (2005). Preparing instructors for quality online instruction. Online Journal<br /> of Distance Learning Administration, 8(1). Retrieved July 30, 2009, from the State University of<br /> West Georgia Web site: &lt; yang81.htm&gt;.<br />