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Towards Effective Online Facilitation

 -- The Effect of Facilitator's Leadership
      Behaviors on Online Learning

    ...
Background

• Online education is still booming!
• Instructional interaction and support are vital for the success of
  on...
Context and our practice
       Timeline and Background of National Teacher’s Educational
            Technology Ability M...
Development Training Model
                presented on the 13th APEID International Conference by Qiong Wang, 2009


Deve...
Authentic Issues

• How to build a facilitation team that could
  provide best support for this training?
• How to help fa...
Facilitating online learning

• Change of the role of online instructors

 Role Type                          Role of inst...
Some research about online facilitator

• Capacities and competencies
  – Thach and Murphy (1995): Competencies for distan...
• Are they effective?
• A need for richer theory and models (Wise, Chang, Duffy,
  & Valle, 2004).


         Behavioral l...
Methods

• Participants
  – 157 learners and 7 facilitators in two teacher training classes
• Procedure
  – Literature stu...
Facilitating Behavior System
                                            Summary
                                     Firs...
What happened? A training case

 Adapt to online training

          Shift of difficulties and concerns


                ...
Did facilitating behaviors happen?

• Most behaviors happened
  – The behavior system was proven to be quite inclusive and...
Quantitative analysis model
                                                  Are behaviors in the system
                ...
Is the leadership theory applicable to
                 online facilitation?
                                             ...
Are behaviors in the system effective in
        promoting online learning?
                                              ...
Are behaviors in the system effective in
       promoting online learning?
                      Table 4 Partial correlati...
Conclusion

• The behavioral leadership theory is appropriate for the study of
  online facilitation.
• However, the facil...
Bodong Chen

       bodong.chen@utoronto.ca
Twitter: bodongchen (twitter.com)
Facilitator's Leadership Behaviors and Online Learning
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Facilitator's Leadership Behaviors and Online Learning

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This is a presentation by Bodong Chen on the Ed-Media 2010 conference in Toronto.

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Facilitator's Leadership Behaviors and Online Learning

  1. 1. Towards Effective Online Facilitation -- The Effect of Facilitator's Leadership Behaviors on Online Learning Bodong Chen, OISE/University of Toronto Qiong Wang, GSE/Peking University Ed-Media 2010, Toronto June 30, 2010
  2. 2. Background • Online education is still booming! • Instructional interaction and support are vital for the success of online education. • Instructional relationship and the role of instructor have evolved. • Online education in China – Flourish quickly into a massive scale since 1998 (Wang & Zhang, 2005) – Practical problems and misunderstandings with pedagogies, administrations and technologies (Zhang, 2005; Wang, 2007) – Overlook instructional support and interaction.
  3. 3. Context and our practice Timeline and Background of National Teacher’s Educational Technology Ability Middle-level Distance Training National Teacher’s (f2f) Finished developing Training launched Online Training course of Middle Level – with new design and Launched the Online training model. Till the end of 2009, Training course of finished training of 8 "Educational Beginner Level National Test of classes with around Technology Ability developed by Peking Educational Technology 1500 teachers Standards (trial University (NTET) for teachers edition)" launched 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Collected and analyzed Educational Technology evaluation data of the Training Textbook first two classes (Beginner Level) Educational Technology The second class in Capacity Building on Training Textbook Shandong province Educational Technology (Middle Level) Launched the first for Primary & online middle-level Secondary School Middle level training training class in Teachers Across China launched, with both Shenzhen (TETA): Teacher face-to-face and Training + Testing distance modes
  4. 4. Development Training Model presented on the 13th APEID International Conference by Qiong Wang, 2009 Development Training Course Traditional Training Course Course designers, trainers and Curriculum is predefined, and trainees are all contributors to materials are developed by training. course designers. Trainees’ discourse and Discussion and assignments are assignment inputs are regarded as just for exercise and assessment. an integral part of training. Course content is dynamic and Course content is static. keeps developing during training. Contribution of a class will be brought to other classes in latter No explicit mechanism for training. knowledge accumulation.
  5. 5. Authentic Issues • How to build a facilitation team that could provide best support for this training? • How to help facilitators get prepared? • How to improve online learning by improving facilitators’ performance?
  6. 6. Facilitating online learning • Change of the role of online instructors Role Type Role of instructors Role of students Traditional role in F2F Manager, expert, controller, Listener, receptor, novice, classrooms information transmitter, goal passive learner, learning maker, time handler. depending on instructor’s evaluation. Supportive role in online Resources, participant, Problem solver, explorer, setting scaffold constructor, learner, researcher, collaborator, goal host, facilitator, coach, monitor, maker, host, facilitator, mentor. scaffold builder, participant. Figure adapted from Dabbagh, N., & Bannan-Ritland, B. (2005). Online learning: concepts, strategies, and application. Pearson Prentis Hall: New Jersey.
  7. 7. Some research about online facilitator • Capacities and competencies – Thach and Murphy (1995): Competencies for distance education professionals – Chen (2004): Capacities of tutors in distance education • Facilitating process – Youngblood, et al. (2001): 4 themes and 12 facilitator tasks – Gilly Salmon (2000): 5 stage model of e-moderation • Strategies and techniques – Collison, et al. (2000): Facilitating online learning: Effective strategies for moderators – Hanna, et al. (2000): 147 practical tips for teaching online groups
  8. 8. • Are they effective? • A need for richer theory and models (Wise, Chang, Duffy, & Valle, 2004). Behavioral leadership theory • Ohio State Leadership Studies – Consideration: behavior indicative of friendship, mutual trust, respect, and warmth in relationship between the leader and members of the group. – Initiation of Structure: the leader’s behavior in delineating the relationship between himself and the members of his group, and in endeavoring to establish well-defined patterns of organization, channels of communication, and ways of getting the job done.
  9. 9. Methods • Participants – 157 learners and 7 facilitators in two teacher training classes • Procedure – Literature study and integration: extract facilitating behaviors from literatures, and integrate them into a behavior system based on the Ohio State Leadership Studies. – Case study: online observation and document analysis to evaluate adaptivity, applicability and inclusiveness of established behaviour system, and revise system accordingly. – Survey and quantitative analysis: examine the effectiveness and theoretical validity of revised facilitating behavior system.
  10. 10. Facilitating Behavior System Summary First level 2 Second level 10 Behaviors 66 (revised to 45 later) Initiation of Structure (F_IS) Consideration (F_C) f1. Have the basic competencies of f7. Cultivate a favorable learning facilitators in online learning environment f2. Guide discussion and spur critical f8. Have a good impression thinking with personal opinions f3. Construct scaffolds for deep learning f9. Have good interpersonal skills and use multiple communication techniques f4. Help learners improve ideas f10. Reward learners f5. Uncover key points of concepts and relationships between ideas f6. Send instructional reminders and keep learners in track
  11. 11. What happened? A training case Adapt to online training Shift of difficulties and concerns Dropping out … Server was attacked Recovered and finished smoothly Day 1 3 7 14 24 50
  12. 12. Did facilitating behaviors happen? • Most behaviors happened – The behavior system was proven to be quite inclusive and adaptive in the case study. – 80% of 45 behaviors was labelled as “Always” – Frequencies of behaviors reported by learners varied – Difference between Consideration and Initiation of Structure
  13. 13. Quantitative analysis model Are behaviors in the system possibly effective in promoting online learning? Behavior system (1) Partial correlation Outcome variables First level Learner satisfaction Second level Learner participation Behaviors Moderating variables Training scores Learning purpose Learning expectation Trust for facilitators Can behavior categories distinguish from each other? (2) Factor analysis Is the Ohio State leadership theory applicable to online facilitation behaviors?
  14. 14. Is the leadership theory applicable to online facilitation? Table 2 Rotated Factor Matrix • Factor analysis Component – Two factors can explain most (74%) 1 2 variance. f1 .785(**) .389 f2 .878(**) .290 – They can be significantly related to f3 .833(**) .188 Consideration and Initiation of f4 .862(*) .271 f5 .333 Structure behaviors respectively. .824(*) f6 .841(**) .384 Table 1 Total Variance Explained f7 .491 .724(**) f8 .199 .894(*) Component Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Rotation Sums f9 Squared Loadings of .239 .643(*) % of Cumulative f10 of % .250 Cumulative .702(*) Total Variance % Total Variance % 1 6.291 62.907 62.907 4.610 46.102 46.102 2 1.153 11.530 74.437 2.833 28.335 74.437
  15. 15. Are behaviors in the system effective in promoting online learning? Table 3 Bivariate correlation • Bivariate correlation Behavior Learner Learner Training analysis categories Satisfaction Participation Scores f1 .329(**) .172 .125 – Significantly correlated f2 .287(**) .165 .041 with learner satisfaction f3 .404(**) .091 .007 – but not with learner f4 .359(**) .043 .070 f5 .431(**) .049 .026 participation and f6 .360(**) .039 .010 training scores. f7 .298(**) .043 -.001 f8 .339(**) .128 .131 f9 .263(**) .068 -.145 f10 .301(**) .076 -.037 F_IS .433(**) .091 .052 F_C .368(**) .086 -.056 ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
  16. 16. Are behaviors in the system effective in promoting online learning? Table 4 Partial correlation between behavior categories and outcome variables • Partial correlation Control Behavior Learner Learner Training Variables Categories Satisfaction Participation Scores – With learners’ p2 & p3 & f1 .207(*) .179 .014 training purpose, e2 & e3 & f2 .216(*) .093 -.010 expectation and trust trust1 & f3 .269(**) .023 -.111 trust2 f4 .233(*) .005 .045 for facilitators f5 .324(**) -.005 -.065 controlled. f6 .235(**) -.007 -.087 f7 .088 .044 -.044 – Only Initiation of f8 .166 .181(*) .117 Structure is f9 .156 .066 -.140 significantly f10 .095 .016 -.084 F_IS .317(**) .054 -.050 correlated with F_C .179 .087 -.101 learner satisfaction.
  17. 17. Conclusion • The behavioral leadership theory is appropriate for the study of online facilitation. • However, the facilitating behaviors mainly take effect on learning satisfaction, but have little influence on engagement and perceived learning. • The partial correlation analysis yield a significant correlation between Initiation of Structure behaviors and satisfaction, while the correlation between Consideration behaviors and all outcome variables are not significant. • Further experimental studies need to be done.
  18. 18. Bodong Chen bodong.chen@utoronto.ca Twitter: bodongchen (twitter.com)

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