Online learning: affiliated guides
This course will introduce you to the skills required of affiliated guides on open online courses and, in particular, how to support learners online.
What is an affiliated guide?
An affiliated guide is a person who will work with the course’s Lead Educator (academic author) during presentation of the course to support both the facilitators and the learners. Affiliated guides will join in the chat and engage with learners’ conversations that have been encouraged by the facilitators, therefore helping the learners to contribute and communicate in a positive and controlled way. Depending on their knowledge and experience, affiliated guides will also be allocated discussions by the Lead Educator in order to create and support exciting conversations and comments where both affiliated guides and learners can explore and extend ideas.
Although open online courses can attract a large number of learners, many don’t engage with other learners in discussion areas and forums. Affiliated guides are tasked with engaging with the learners in a friendly, informal way to pose open questions, threading together discussions and supporting the facilitators in moving the discussion forward to develop and deepen the learners’ learning and social learning skills.
Benefits of being an affiliated guide
You should become an affiliated guide if you are keen to motivate and encourage other learners, and can use your own organisational and communication skills to support their learning – particularly within an online environment. The focus of this role is on support and conversation rather than teaching or subject knowledge.
From being an affiliated guide you will:
- gain informal recognition for your skills and experience
- enhance your CV
- engage with new pedagogy
- improve your communication and social skills
- increase your confidence and motivation
- enjoy a sense of fulfilment and personal growth.
For this course you are asked to do four things:
- Work through the materials in Sections 1, 2 and 3, carrying out the activities. These should be done for your own benefit and will not be assessed. In some cases you may find it useful to share your ideas or try out things in practice; however, this is not essential.
- Build a reflective learning log of working through this course in Activity 1.
- Set your objectives for starting to be an affiliated guide in Section 4, Activity 10.
- Complete the end-of-course assessment in order to gain recognition of successfully completing the course.