How to become an online facilitator


This course will introduce you to the skills required of facilitators on open online courses and, in particular, how to support learners online.

What is a facilitator?

A facilitator is an experienced person who supports learners during open online courses. A facilitator will encourage conversation, ensuring that all learners are able to contribute and communicate in a positive and collaborative way.

Although open online courses can attract a large number of learners, many don’t engage with other learners in discussion areas and forums. Facilitators are tasked with promoting social learning opportunities, engaging with the learners to pose open questions, threading together discussions and moving the discussion forward to develop and deepen the learners’ learning and social learning skills. Facilitators, depending on the course, may be supported by affiliated guides and/or guides.

Benefits of being a facilitator

You should become a facilitator 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 facilitation rather than teaching or subject knowledge.

From being a facilitator you will:

  • gain informal recognition for your skills and experience
  • enhance your CV
  • engage with new pedagogy
  • develop leadership and management qualities
  • improve your communication and social skills
  • increase your confidence and motivation
  • enjoy a sense of fulfilment and personal growth.

Course structure

For this course you are asked to do four things:

  1. 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.
  2. Build a reflective learning log of working through this course in Activity 1.
  3. Set your objectives for starting to be a facilitator in Section 4, Activity 10.
  4. Complete the end-of-course assessment in order to gain recognition of successfully completing the course.

Learning outcomes