Examining the Roles of the Facilitator in Online and Face-to-Face Professional Development Contexts

Apr. 02, 2013

Source: Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Volume 21, No. 2, April 2013, p. 225-245.

This article addresses the current gap in understanding of what is entailed in the roles of facilitators, and how those roles might vary by context (i.e., face-to-face or asynchronous online).
The authors drew on Anderson et al.’s (2001) “teaching presence” framework to lay the groundwork for characterizing the role of online and face-to-face facilitators.

Qualitative analysis revealed that although professional development facilitators attended to similar issues irrespective of the context, the actions they engaged in to attend to these issues varied by context.

Further exploration and synthesis of the findings suggests that shifting from traditional face-to-face to online professional development presents several design and instructional tensions that can impact how facilitators carry out their roles to support teacher learning.

The authors conclude by using the findings from this study to present potential design tensions or pedagogical challenges that might arise when facilitators shift from face-to-face to online professional development contexts.

Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Archer, W., & Garrison, R. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in computer conferencing transcripts. Journal of the Asynchronous Learning Network 5(2).

Updated: Jun. 24, 2014