An optional, voluntary aid for individuals seeking an objective self- or peer-assessment of their facilitation of online courses.

An Instrument to Assess Online Facilitation

The "Assessing Online Facilitation" instrument (AOF) is for online course facilitators to objectively evaluate their facilitation for strengths and areas for improvement. Facilitators may choose to offer the AOF to others to guide a peer evaluation of their performance in the online classroom.

The AOF recognizes the different roles of an online facilitator, as outlined by Berge (1995), Hootstein (2002), and others.

  • Pedagogical: Guiding student learning with a focus on concepts, principles, and skills.
  • Social: Creating a welcoming online community in which learning is promoted.
  • Managerial: Handling organizational, procedural, and administrative tasks.
  • Technical: Assisting participants to become comfortable with the technologies used to deliver the course.

There are many criteria that influence student satisfaction and learning in any course, including online courses. Recent publications have included criteria specific to online courses. The Project Team identified criteria from many sources and categorized them in the framework of the four roles of an online facilitator.

Criteria were further divided into intervals. Facilitation tasks vary throughout the course (Mandernach, et al 2005). The intervals selected by the Project Team included

  • "Before class begins"
  • "During the first week"
  • "Throughout the course"
  • "During the last week"

Each page of the assessment instrument represents one interval of the course facilitation and contains criteria organized by category type: Pedagogical (P), Social (S), Managerial (M), or Technical (T). The remainder of the page is the Comments area.