Course Handbook

Course Context and Purpose

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The FLO course introduces research-based online learning concepts, principles and strategies that can make online facilitating fun and effective. It builds on the fundamental principles of the face-to-face Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW). These principles include:

  • participatory and learner-centred — participants form a learning community and support each other's learning
  • a safe, respectful learning environment — you will be encouraged to take risks, be creative, and learn from your mistakes
  • feedback-rich — you will be encouraged to give and receive feedback with fellow participants
  • reflective practice — you will analyze and critically reflect on the art of facilitation and your facilitation skills
  • relevant and meaningful — you will explore the future application and transferability of your learning in this course

FLO is meant to help you enhance skills needed to confidently and effectively facilitate online learning. It is designed to provide you with:

  • the experience of being in the students' shoes;
  • the opportunity to think about, practice and develop your online facilitation skills with other new and experienced online facilitators;
  • the opportunity to deepen your learning as you synthesize your observations, reading and online activities in your journal.

Like the face-to-face Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW), where participants plan and teach "mini-lessons", in FLO you will facilitate a short learning activity (often referred to as a "mini-session") for your fellow FLO participants. Depending on the size of the class, facilitation is done individually or in small groups, and involves using online tools such as forums, wikis and polls.

Feedback from past FLO participants indicates that this hands-on practice was key to their enjoyment of the course and the synthesis of their learning. We hope the same holds true for you!

In a nutshell, this is what you will be doing in this course:

  • facilitate, or co-facilitate, a pre-designed learning activity on a given topic;
  • integrate adult and online learning theories and principles into activities you facilitate;
  • experiment with a variety of learning-facilitation techniques and strategies;
  • give and receive constructive feedback;
  • work in online teams;
  • reflect on, and plan how to apply, what you have learned to other courses and contexts.