Facilitating Online Learning

Facilitation is an art as much as a science online or in any learning environment, to be sure. Every educator who acts as a facilitator of learning will have some unique components to their style that represents their personality and experiences. Many times, without even knowing it, a facilitator will ascribe to a specific theory of combination of theories of learning.

To learn about the variety of learning theories that can inform facilitation, review the Culatta (2013) website on Learning Theories.

To expand your thinking about online facilitation, consider the information shared in the National College for Teaching and Leadership (n.d.) Advanced Facilitation course and, particularly, the information in the image below about online learning behaviors that is shared in the Module 6 of the course for inspiration about online facilitation in discussion-based learning environments.

Zones of Online Facilitation

Models of Online Learning Behaviors Source: National College for Teaching and Leadership (n.d.) Advanced Facilitation Course.

Considering the graphic above and your experiences with discussion facilitation in your online courses, do you find yourself experiencing all of these zones in your classes? How have the instructional design and technology choices in your classes influenced how much you have experienced each zone? Please provide your thoughts in a comment.

~ Lisa Johnson, Ph.D.


Cullatta, R. (2013). Learning theories. Retrieved from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/

National College for Teaching and Leadership (n.d.) Advanced facilitation [Online course]. Retrieved from https://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/transfer/open/advanced-facilitation/advfac-s01/advfac-s01-t1.html