10 Facilitation in E-Learning

Annette Towler and Tyree Mitchell


We are seeing large changes in how we instruct and develop individuals to maximize their learning experiences. Traditional courses are still prevalent yet organizations are developing e-learning courses to cater to the learner. The US military has already moved many traditional, classroom-based courses to e-learning environments (Tucker et al., 2010). Universities are also making substantial inroads in the development of e-learning classes and some predict that this impact of e-learning will lead to a significant reduction in the number of global universities (Economist, 2012).

How is e-learning facilitation different from traditional learning facilitation? There is a difference in the amount of social contact between trainees and trainer. Social contact can range from very limited (e.g., email) to distant but rich (e.g., teleconferencing or streaming video). The role of the trainer can be different because the trainer acts as a facilitator rather than a purveyor of knowledge. This can also result in the learner being given more control to choose different training methods and to use different learning strategies.

This chapter will focus on the role that the trainer plays in facilitating e-learning. The chapter will focus on (1) the relationship between the trainer and the trainee within an e-learning environment and (2) the specific trainer behaviors that are conducive for trainee learning. These ...

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