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5 Reasons to Add a Facilitator to E-Learning

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 14:36 -- Robert

By: 
Robert Stickle
March 26, 2012

Are you looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of e-learning; consider adding a facilitator to your program. That’s right, a facilitator for e-learning. Why would we want to introduce a facilitator into e-learning? E-learning is designed to allow individuals to take courses on their schedule. It is a way to reach large numbers of people quickly and cost effectively, so why insert a facilitator into it. Wouldn’t that just undo all of the benefits? In this article we are going to explore 5 reasons why facilitated e-learning boosts the value of the traditional e-learning experience.

1. A facilitator can ensure that the lesson is not only taken but understood and learned. Through discussions and activities that the facilitator designs, they can ensure that each participant is not merely going through the motions of taking the content but that they actually understand the material and can apply it. The facilitator can help bridge gaps that an individual student is having in making a connection to the course and how it would be applied in their work environment.

2. A facilitator creates additional accountability for those taking the course. Often people are so busy doing the tasks on their list that the training they are supposed to do falls to the bottom of the list. We all know that if something spends enough time on the bottom of the to-do list it simply disappears, that is human nature (or maybe human survival in today’s environment). A facilitator can ensure that it doesn’t stay at the bottom of the to-do list. The facilitator ensures that progress is actually being made towards the learning objectives. They establish timelines for learning activities to be accomplished and ensure that they are met. Through group (class) discussions that the facilitator arranges, the participant has further accountability to the group.

3. Social learning is a hot new topic. But is it really? If you think about it, we have always engaged in social learning. Human beings learn best from each other. We share stories and experiences that bring the facts and knowledge to life and make it stick in our minds. It’s not that we can’t learn independently but when we come together and share our experiences related to the materials we can gain insight and make connections on how to apply the knowledge. As we make these connections our retention increases as well as our level of understanding. With facilitated e-learning we get the best of both worlds.

4. More complex topics can be undertaken in a flexible and cost effective e-learning environment. Because there is a facilitator that participants can turn to for further clarification, more complex topics are now possible through the e-learning environment. The facilitator also has the ability to conduct group discussions, assign homework/assignments, or have participants make presentations. In essence, the facilitator acts as the catalyst to bring knowledge, experience and technology together into a dynamic social learning environment representing the best of both worlds; the flexibility and value of e-learning and the dynamic interactions of social learning.

5. A facilitator also acts as a resource for the participants of the course, both during the course and afterwards. Facilitators should be subject matter experts in their field and in the course they are facilitating. Throughout the learning experience the participants now have someone that they can turn to when they have a question or need clarification. Not only does this support the learning but it communicates to the participants that this material is important.

Facilitated e-learning is a great way to extend and add extra value to e-learning while still maintaining the restricted budgets for training that exist in the current economic environment. To learn more about facilitated e-learning and how to apply it, visit our site.

Robert Stickle is a Certified Project Manager and COO of BizXcel Inc.