2.3 Teaching as facilitation

The primary role of a tutor is to teach – or tutor – online groups. Another important aspect of that is the role of facilitator for an online group. We can think of teaching as ‘leading’ a cohort of students, where the cohort is learning new skills, whilst gaining knowledge and understanding.

However, the facilitator aspect in this is to create an environment in which it is easy for students to learn as a group as well as achieving something together as a group, learning together as a community. Study materials, which are provided either online or in print by the OU, contain the content that students are expected to learn – the role of the tutor is to facilitate that learning.

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Top tips for facilitating learning

Some top tips for facilitating learning include the following:

  • Maintaining positivity among the group
  • Providing support and encouragement
  • Prompting students to develop their own abilities
  • Building community spirit by encouraging groupwork
  • Engaging in clear and constructive dialogue
  • Providing prompt and constructive feedback.

2.2 Teaching materials

2.4 Staff tutors and module teams