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Synchronous 3-Day Model

Facilitator Training
LaToya D. Hemphill
February 15, 2016
Melinda Medina

Introduction/Breakdown of Training
This training program has been created to provide guidance
and information to those in traditional higher education roles
with functional knowledge to facilitate online distance learning

The training will be conducted over three days, providing

participants with skills, materials, and tools to adequately
manage an online course, and interact with learners within an
online environment.

Layout of Training
Day 1
Part I: Introduction of Training Focus

Identification of Audience
Program Goals
Program Objectives
Summative Assessment of Trainee Learning

Day 2
Part II: Facilitator Skills and Instructional Materials

Skills Needed to Create Distance Learning

Phases of Development
Theories of Distance Learning
Engaging Distance Learners

Day 3
Part III: Management and Technology Tools

Mentoring Program
Management and Evaluation Programs
Learning Platforms for Distance Learning
Technology/Media Tools

Part IV: Issues and Classroom Management

Student Collaboration Technology Tools

Distance Learner Descriptions
Understanding Synchronous & Asynchronous Facilitation
Technology Issues/Resolutions
Learner Feedback
Challenging Behaviors
ADA Learners

Day 1: Introduction of Training Focus

Training Program Audience
The training manual focus is to assist higher education facilitators new to
distance learning programs.
Assumed Current Skill Set for Trainees:
Facilitators should have basic computer knowledge.
Ability to maneuver within a web environment.
Previous, if minimal experience instructing in a traditional learning environment.

Assumed Current Experiences of Trainees:

Former participation in some form of online learning/seminar.
Ability to incorporate audio and/or visual content into instruction.
Capacity to motivate conversation among learners.

Assumed Level of Trainee Knowledge:

High level of interpretation ability.
Aptitude in crafting thought provoking questions.

Training Program Goals

In transitioning to, or incorporating distance learning into ones facilitator
resume, it is important to realize that this format of learning is no less
detailed oriented than face-to-face traditional learning.
Training elements that will be focused on in this training are:

Technical training
Pedagogical training
Online coursework

The Journal. (2004). Faculty Training for Online Teaching. Retrieved from https://thejournal.com/Articles/2004/09/01/Faculty-Training-for-OnlineTeaching.aspx?Page=3

Training Program Objectives

The objective of the three day training is to equip participants
with the following:
A well-rounded understanding of distance
learning concepts.
Ability to develop, facilitate, and evaluate an
online course.
Understanding of how to manage challenges
within online learning environments, and provide
accommodating solutions to their course learners.

Summative Assessment of Trainee Learning

The assessment parameters for the training will
be made up of a reflective portion, involving
all participants discussing their understandings
of distance learning concepts for the benefit
of the individual learner, as well as allowing
each trainee to learn from their peers.
Trainees will also be charged with submitting a
reflective essay to further focus on their
individual understanding of the topics focused
on in the training.
All participants will be required to complete a
survey on the last day of training charging the
trainees to both rate their overall experience
during the training as well as rate themselves
in all of the training focus areas.
As part of reinforcing the online training,
participants will be required to submit their
essay, and survey answers vie the online
environment, and using a technology tool.


Day 2: Facilitator Skills & Instructional

Skills for Distance Learning

Teaching online courses requires more time, patience and

understanding than teaching a traditional course (Smith, N.,
2003). Some key skills needed to for effective distance learning
Preparedness unlike with traditional courses, online instructors do not
have the option of changing up course content on a last minute basis,
so its important to have all materials loaded and available to students in
Consistency with no face-to-face interaction, its vital that online
facilitators check in with their learners it not on a daily basis, establish a
schedule of when they will check into the learning environment.
Courtesy when replying to students, responses should be within 24
hours, and as all communication is in written form, be mindful of your
writing tone, in both general responses or critiquing assignments.

Strategies for New Facilitators

Within the confines of the three day training, participants will
be subjected to some of the same experiences as their online
students might encounter.
All training materials will be available through an established
collaborative site for the trainees, and all participants will be
charged with making general posts in the learning
environment, as well as submitting direct messages to the
training instructor.

Phases of Distance Facilitator

Visitor faculty that has general
technology knowledge, and has
considered online learning.
Novice faculty who have not
taught online, but have used some
form of supplemental technology
tool within their traditional
Apprentice fully committed to
implementing online learning, but
have only facilitated 1-2 courses.





Insider faculty that has conducted

more than 2 online courses, and has
a solid understanding of online
course creation and tools.

Master faculty has taught multiple

courses, multiple times, and has
created then from scratch.


Distance Learning Theories & Examples

The students understanding of
the subject matter changes and
transforms the learners initial
cognitive thinking to a state
where the learner is able to not
only identify behaviors in their
real world environment, but also
express it in written and verbal
Example: These include two-way
exchanges be they peer-to-peer,
or learner-to-facilitator.

Distance Learning Theories & Examples (cont.)

As students move into this phase
of learning, they are able to not
only speak/write from a point of
knowledge about the content,
but are now also able to make
comparisons within their own
experiences as well as others.
Example: One might utilize this
concept in group situations,
where they might be charged
with explaining their professional
position, by making a
comparison with a common
frame of reference.

Within this notion, students are
continuously, and effortlessly
able to reference concepts and
intertwine all their levels of
Example: A learner that has
reached this level of
understanding will be more
prone to hypothesize theories of
their own.

Engaging Distance Learners

When preparing a distance learning course, facilitators should
be mindful of incorporating some of the following theories into
their online course engagement:
Learner autonomy
The facilitator should be mindful of providing a choice of ways that the
learner can access and absorb the course content.

The facilitator should make sure that their online format allows the learner the
ability to access all course materials at any given time.

Facilitator should incorporate a variety of tools to account for the different
learning styles of their students.

It is important for the facilitator to incorporate in their online course
opportunities for their student to interact with each other on some level to
promote co-operative learning, and increase emergent knowledge.

Bates, T. (2014). Learning theories and online learning. Retrieved from http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/29/learning-theories-and-online-learning/

Day 3: Classroom Management & Technology

Distance Educator Mentoring

In distance education, it is not only important for the students to feel

supported by their facilitator, but also for new facilitators to also have a
mentor to provide guidance in their transition to online learning.

Some key criteria when

looking for a distance
educator mentor include:
Time availability
Is there a willingness to mentor?
Is the mentoring conducted
face-to-face or in an
established online environment
(to maximize the distance
learning experience)?

Important criteria that a

mentor in distance
education should have
consist of:
Do they have insider
knowledge on up-to-date
information pertaining to
distance learning?
Are they at an adequate level
of familiarity be a good mentor.
Does your mentor choice
possess a high level of
technical skill to provide

Learning Platform

For the novice facilitator a Content Management System

(CMS) is the suggested initial learning platform to begin a
distance learning course.
Designed specifically to support educative and academic
courses, CMS allows for all the basic maneuverability and
creation of an online learning environment without the need
to know HTML or convert files.
This format also allows for group discussion and course posting
by the instructor
Shankar, V. (2007). CMS and LMS A Comparison. Content Management News. Retrieved from http://www.contentmanagementnews.com/cms-and-lms-a-comparison2007-02

Media Tools




A cloud application that allows for the uploading and sharing of documents
and other information formats such as audio files and presentations.

Allows for the selection or upload of images and/or video to assist in creating
online videos

Offers access to templates and original creation of infographics, charts, and
posters that can be uploaded for collaborating.

Student Collaboration Tools

Provides educators and

learners a source to create
environments. Allows for
easy global accessibility at
no fee, and offers an all-inone learning platform, and
extensive customizable

Has the ability to allow for

flexibility of logistics as it is
accessible on a variety of
media. Lessons the issue of
misinterpretation, and
provides a medium to
build connections across
the world.

A social writing platform

where students and
instructors can
communicate and work on
projects in both individual
and group settings.
Provides access to
assessment tools to
measure student
contribution and real-time

Distance Learner Differences


This student has grown up in or experienced

regions and countries different from their personal
make-up, which has influenced their perception
of the world on certain view points.
From a distance learner perspective, this type of
student will be able to acclimate to the learning
environment more easily than some of their peers.


The experiential learner develops knowledge,

skills, and values from direct contact through
activities such as internships, service learning, and
other professional work.


The primary characteristics of non-traditional

students are those who for various reasons did not
continue their education directly after high
school, are outside of the age range of traditional
learners (25 and over), and are usually the head
of their household and work full-time.

Facilitation Skills
Synchronous vs. Asynchronous
Includes an ice-breaker element
to engage the class, and bring a
sense of connection.

All materials/resources are
available to students in advance.

Incorporates heavy student


Time frames for student feedback

should be well established.

Offers specific ways for learners to

contribute as a way of lowing
student anxiety.

Provide written explanation of

directions and use images for
enhanced comprehension.

Inform students of resources

available to them in connection
with real-time sessions.

Create a platform students to ask

questions, and to provide

Finkelstein, J. (2006). Learning in real time: Synchronous teaching and learning online. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from

Technology Management
Technology Issue

Loss of Internet Connection

If the loss of service is the fault of the
online institution, a grace period, and
alternative deadline will be put into
place. If the loss of service is a result of
the students service provider, it is the
students responsibility to find an
alternative method of submission.

Computer Failure

All computer failure issues are the

responsibility of the students. Students
will be provided with alternative formats
of technology that can be used as a
back up (smart phone, notebook, etc.)

Outdated Software

Should students have issue with viewing

or accessing certain materials, general
access to updated software will be
available for download by the students.

Classroom Management
Classroom Issues
Learner Feedback

Challenging Behaviors
Inappropriate posts

Lack of

While it can sometimes be beneficial
and necessary to alternate between
submission formats, it is important to
establish the primary method of
communication that will be used by all
The facilitator should firstly establish a
firm policy regarding student curtesy
towards fellow students, as well as a
general example of levels of recourse for
infractions, such as point deduction,
suspension, or expulsion.
The instructor should have listed in the
syllabus the minimum participation
requirements, noting how many days
students are required to participate, and
to what extent.

Keeping in in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, students who require,
and can provide proof of need will be provided with the appropriate accommodations.

Bates, T. (2014). Learning theories and online learning. Retrieved from

Experiential Learning Center, University of Colorado Denver. (2016). What is Experiential Learning? Retrieved from
Finkelstein, J. (2006). Learning in real time: Synchronous teaching and learning online. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Retrieved from http://learnmodcomp.blogspot.com/2012/06/computers-dont-teachpeople-peopleteach_16.html
The Journal. (2004). Faculty Training for Online Teaching. Retrieved from
Marker, P. (2015). Skype and Distance Learning: the future of education? Retrieved from
Moodle. (2016). About Moodle. Retrieved from https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/About_Moodle
Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2011). The excellent online Instructor: Strategies for professional development. San Francisco, CA:
Piktochart. (2016). Product Features. Retrieved from http://piktochart.com/product-features/
Shankar, V. (2007). CMS and LMS A Comparison. Content Management News. Retrieved from
VoiceThread. (2016). Communicate, Collaborate and Connect. Retrieved from
Wideo. (2016). How are people using Wideo? Retrieved from http://wideo.co/blog/make-a-video-online/#.VsKULzH2bIV
Wikispaces. (2016). About. Retrieved from http://www.wikispaces.com/content/classroom/about