ONLINE COURSE FACILITATOR PROCESS
Changes have been made to the online facilitator process effective Spring 2014. Details of the revised process follow.
What are facilitators and why does my course need them?
Online classes should foster a student-instructor relationship that surpasses the minimal level of interaction afforded by a face-to-face lecture class that enrolls hundreds of students. Research into the optimum online “learning community” recommends that the ratio between students and an instructor should be no greater than 25:1. To achieve this, sections of courses larger than 25 should be supported by additional teaching resources, such as graduate assistants, graders, discussion leaders, etc. At Ohio University we refer to these assistants as course facilitators.
Facilitator = an assistant to the faculty member teaching an online course
with more than 25 students
Facilitators work with faculty much like graduate students assist in a campus-based class. Primarily facilitators assist faculty with grading, managing discussion board use, responding to email questions, and other duties as assigned by the instructor.
A large section can be effectively divided into smaller, interactive “learning community” groups with the addition of facilitators
The recommended process is that each facilitator is assigned a group of 25 students and manages the entire group, under the supervision of the instructor of record. The instructor, however, determines the facilitator’s role and supervises facilitator performance as best suited to the course.
How do I find a facilitator?
eLearning OHIO manages a process to help you identify possible facilitators, provide facilitator training, and process pay for their facilitation work.
When should I add a facilitator?
- 25 students: a facilitator may be added, following the OHIO process, when an online course has more than 25 students.
- For example: a course with 40 students may include the instructor of record and 1 facilitator.
- 50 student option: a facilitator must be added when an online course enrolls more than 50 students.
- For example: a course of 60 students must include 1 facilitator, assigned at least 10 students, in addition to the instructor of record.
- 20 Students: In alignment with UCC guidelines, certain writing courses require a facilitator be added after 20 students are enrolled.
- For example: a J course of 35 students must include 1 facilitator, assigned 15 students, in addition to the faculty of record.
How many facilitators will I need for my course?
- First 25 Students: The first 25 students are always considered to be “assigned” to the instructor of record without the addition of a facilitator.
- After the First 25: The optimum recommendation is that a facilitator is assigned to each group of no more than 25 students beyond the initial group of 25.
- For example: a course with 75 students would have two facilitators. The instructor of record would be assigned the first 25 students, and each facilitator would be assigned 25 students.
- 50 Student Option: if following this option (see above), a facilitator is assigned to each group of no more than 25 students beyond the initial group of 50.
- 50 Student Max-Single Course: A facilitator cannot be assigned more than 50 students—or two groups of 25—in a single course.
- 100 Student Max-Per Term: A facilitator cannot be assigned more than 100 students across multiple courses in any single term.
Who can be a facilitator?
- All facilitators must complete the OHIO Online Facilitator Training prior to serving as a facilitator. Facilitators beginning work for the first time after January 1, 2014 will be paid by eLearning OHIO only if they have completed training successfully. This training, held online, will be offered at least once each semester.
- Other required qualifications are determined by the instructor of record and the approval to hire a specific facilitator must be signed by the faculty member, the department chair or school director, and eLearning OHIO. A minimum of a master’s degree in a field related to the assigned course is recommended.
- Many departments find this to be an opportunity for graduate students to gain online experience while earning some money. If a graduate student receives an assistanceship, the total work time (assistanceship and facilitation) can not exceed 20 hours per week.
- The individual must be eligible for employment by Ohio University.
- The facilitator must have access to a high speed Internet connection and computer with appropriate software and browser configurations for the duration of the course.
- The facilitator must agree to secure copies of textbooks and other instructional materials at no cost to eLearning OHIO.
- The facilitator must agree that s/he will not modify, abstract, reuse or repurpose course content. The intellectual property rights of the course shall be treated as described in the Ohio University Policy and Procedure 15.015: Copyright and, for University-Sponsored Educational Materials, Ohio University Policy and Procedure 15.006.
What will the facilitator earn?
- The facilitator will earn $94 per student student assigned in a 3-credit-hour class, within the max limits listed above. Rate will be adjusted accordingly for classes that are more or less than 3 credit hours.
- Payment will be calculated based on the assignment of students at the close of day 3 of the course.
- Payment will be made following standard OHIO payroll processes and procedures.
- eLearning OHIO will process the contract for payment.
- If a facilitator is being contracted for an Athens Online course, eLearning will work with the academic unit to determine an account number to which the stipend will be charged.
What if I don’t know of anyone qualified to be a facilitator in my course?
- eLearning OHIO maintains a list of individuals who have facilitated online courses in the past, or those who are trained to do so. If you need help to identify a facilitator, email firstname.lastname@example.org
When do I get started to add a facilitator(s) for my course next term?
INSTRUCTOR OF RECORD:
- Now, identify your facilitator(s) or contact eLearning OHIO for help to do so.
- Notify eLearning OHIO if the facilitator has not completed training, so he or she may be registered in the facilitator training course.
- No later than a week before class starts, contact facilitator(s) with information about what you expect, expected method and frequency of communication, etc. The instructor of record is responsible for supervision of facilitators and continued communication with them throughout the term.
- By the Monday before the start of class, provide the completed Online Course Facilitator form to eLearning OHIO. Any changes in enrollment between day 1 and day 3 will be evenly distributed between all facilitators unless otherwise designated.
How do I inform eLearning OHIO of who will be a facilitator in my course so payment can be processed?
Submit the completed document to eLearning OHIO:
- If you are combining more than one section of the course into one Blackboard delivery section, please provide the section #s of all sections in which the facilitators will participate.
- If any section of the course is scheduled for Athens Online, you must provide an account number from the academic unit to which the facilitator pay for students in that section will be charged.
- List all facilitators that will be serving in your course on one sheet, with OHIO ID and email address. (use two sheets if necessary)
- Also list the number of students that will be assigned to each facilitator—the total cannot equal more than the seating cap for your class (any adjustments for actual enrollment will be made proportionately from the numbers listed)
- On the 2nd page, check all facilitator duties that apply—adding any that aren’t listed under the last item. Page 2 contains information regarding what will be expected of the facilitator; copy the completed page and provide a copy to each facilitator.
- You may email the completed form, VIA YOUR OHIO.EDU ADDRESS with a copy sent to the additional party listed on the signature line. If mailed from your ohio.edu address and copied to the additional party, this method will be considered a substitute signature. Send to email@example.com. You may send the completed form, with signatures, via campus mail to: Online Facilitators, Haning Hall 101.