The role of a facilitator
Online classrooms may lack the physical interaction between the students and facilitators, but that doesn’t mean they’re not as effective in an online class. The role of the facilitator in an online classroom remains the same: to aid and promote learning in the classroom. The online facilitator is different to an online instructor in the methods they use in order to deliver information to their students. A facilitator’s role is to aid in the student’s learning process. This means the students learn their lessons in ways other than the direct intervention from their facilitator. They may learn on their own or through the guidance of the facilitator. On the other hand, online instructors’ role in an online classroom is to instruct or directly feed the students with the information they need on a certain lesson. This concept of “spoon-feeding” of information is taken by online instructors to directly give the students the necessary information, maybe because of the ease and practicality in a strict teaching sense.
Facilitative instruction is more about aiding the student to figure out for himself what a lesson is all about. The facilitator gives certain bits of information that could help the student indentify what lesson is being taught, or in some cases, experience it first hand. This could be done through the use of probing questions that directly leads to a specific topic, other activities like games, competitions, and a lot more. On the other hand, direct instruction involves the “spoon-feeding” of information to the students, wherein the instructor gives the specific details of a lesson, instead of letting the students figure out for themselves what’s being discussed. Direct instruction involves straight lesson discussion and/or the instructors directly give steps for the students to follow.
In my future online classes, I would prefer the facilitator more than the instructor. One tool I can use in a facultative approach is the probing question method, wherein I ask questions related to the topic being discussed. I could also ask for reactions to certain lines of books or concepts regarding the lesson. This could be done through discussion board posts and a lot more. Through this way, I could aid the student to learn for himself instead on relying to others to give him the information he needs.