2.1 Understanding the skills required of an affiliated guide

The roles and responsibilities of an affiliated guide will vary from relatively simple tasks, such as involving yourself in the online conversation, right through to giving learners encouragement and supporting the course facilitators. The nature of these roles will also vary as the course develops or as new people join. They can be summarised as involving five key stages, drawn from research into e-moderating (Salmon, 2000).

Table 1 Stages of guiding

Skills Affiliated guide role
Motivating Making learners feel welcome by being a friendly presence
Socialising Joining in conversations, encouraging learners to interact and helping to establish a community feeling
Exchanging information Exploring and extending ideas in discussions, bringing in relevant information
Constructing knowledge Encouraging and supporting the learners’ exploration of discussion topics
Developing learning Supporting learners in their critical thinking and their learning reflection
Encouraging further study Suggesting additional study available on OpenLearn or Open University courses

2 Preparing to be an affiliated guide

2.2 Setting out affiliated guide skills