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Facilitating Online Course

If you are (or will be) involved in supporting students who are studying in online, distance or blended learning formats – this course may be of interest to you:

  • Would you like to learn more about how to get your students participating, engaging and interacting online without the benefits of face-to-face meetings?
  • Do you want to know what tips and tricks can be used to motivate students to engage with the resources and each other?
  • Are you looking for help to develop a feeling of community amongst your online students?

If you answered “Yes”  to any of these questions, then help is at hand. 

We have developed a Facilitating Online course to enable you to do all of the above. The course runs totally online, and gives you the chance to both experience an online course from the students' perspective and also experiment with some of the tools and technologies that you may want to use in the future with your students.

The course will run for five weeks, and your commitment would be to spend approximately five hours per week engaged in a mixture of activities using the various tools available, ultimately resulting in the redesign of one of your current face-to-face teaching sessions, to make it suitable for the online environment (or the creation of a new online activity). Each week will also include a short live group discussion via UniConnect.

This course is a non-credit bearing staff development course, with no end assessment. It is not intended to be too arduous or time consuming; it is the first stage in developing your abilities to successfully facilitate online communities, whilst being mentored in a supportive, collaborative environment. However if you want/need to meet the DLS Grid for online delivery (not design), then providing you complete all activities on the course, run your planned activity after the course has finished, evaluate this, and send this evaluation to us, we will send you a certificate to confirm you meet the DLS criteria for online delivery.


Further information about the course:

- The course runs for five consecutive weeks entirely online, there is no face-to-face attendance requirement.


- The course week runs from a Thursday to the following Wednesday to allow the full week to work on the tasks.

This was at the request of previous participants. On the last day of the week, Wednesday we host a live webinar to discuss the week's activities, so we expect the weekly tasks to be completed prior to attending the webinar.


- We expect you to commit approximately five hours a week to the course. The five hours a week is generally flexible for you to work around your current commitments, however there are a couple of things to take into consideration:​​​


- ​​The only synchronous time is a weekly webinar which is on each Wednesday (a different time each week so not as to exclude anyone), which we would like people to attend live if possible. However we do understand people have other commitments, so we record the webinars. If you can’t make one of the live sessions, then we expect you to watch the recording.


The five hours will need to be spread over the week according to the requirements of the tasks so it wouldn't work well if you wanted to do all your five hours on one particular day. We may for example ask you to post on a discussion board by the third day in the week, then respond to comments by the fifth day etc, so it helps if you can check the course most days, but when you do that each day is completely up to you.


It is important you keep up with the work on the course as there is group work in some of the weeks. If you are unable to contribute to the group work, then you will not get the full learning experience, and will be letting your group members down.


- The course team is made up of three people: Sue Folley (Academic Development Advisor) from CLS, whose remit  is to advise staff on the edagogic use of learning technologies, and who has a MSc in Multimedia and eLearning and an EdD focusing on the tutor experience of online teaching; Stephen White (Senior Lecturer) from HHS, whose current remit is to support staff in HHS who are teaching online, and who also has the MSc in Multimedia and eLearning as well as extensive experience of teaching online himself; and Richard Skowron (Learning Technologies Support Assistant) who is currently on placement in CLS to support staff with learning technologies. He will be helping support staff use the technologies on the course, as well as assisting with the monitoring of the online activity.


- You will be expected to design an online activity as part of the course, so you may want to give some thought about what this may be before starting on the course. You will be expected to carry out this online activity after the course, so please choose something which is achievable in practice. This can be carried out with students who are currently on a blended or face-to-face course (rather than wholly online) but must contain an online element which can be facilitated, and if you are not carrying all elements out online, you will be expected to reflect on this in your evaluation and explain how you would have approached this if you were teaching on a wholly online course.


- As part of the course you will experience the use of a variety of tools. You will also be asked to join a Yammer network. Yammer is a social networking tool, but it will be a closed group so only accessed by and visible to the members of the course.

If you have any further questions about the course, please email Sue Folley:


If you have any feedback, suggestions for improvement or spot any errors on this page, please email further details to:, thank you.