Week 8: Planning your Online Facilitation – Winter 2020


This module is devoted to working to plan your upcoming Online Facilitation Assignment. When facilitating in the online environment it is important to have a plan in place, and to be proactive about addressing any facilitation issues that may arise. The development of an online facilitation plan helps to promote thorough preparation and ensures careful consideration of the factors that might affect facilitation success. Your online facilitation plan will outline the specific activities that need to be undertaken and will provide a roadmap for your facilitation experience. Through simple yet thoughtful planning, you are more likely to have a successful online facilitation experience.*1

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed this module you should be able to:

  • Work to plan your online facilitation experience as part of your Online Facilitation Assignment

Topic 1 – Online Facilitation Planning

When planning your online facilitation experience, it is recommended that you consider the steps, tasks, and resources needed prior to your online facilitation, during your online facilitation, and after your online facilitation (Adapted from Facilitating Learning Online – Fundamentals, 2018).

The online lesson facilitation plan template is posted in Moodle. 


List any specific steps or tasks that you need to complete in preparation to launch your online module. Consider the following:

  • Review the online module that you are facilitating to familiarize yourself with the content of the module.
  • Refer to the learning outcomes in the online module to help you decide on the readings and activity that you would like to include in your online facilitation experience.
  • Once you decide on the readings and activity that you would like to include, discuss how you will facilitate the module.
  • Determine if you need any additional tools set up to support your activity (i.e. you may want to setup a discussion forum, wiki, Google Docs, or other tools to support your activity).
  • Think about how you will summarize the activity. Think about a way to help your peers synthesize their learning.

During Facilitation

Brainstorm a detailed list of the tasks and strategies that you want to remember during facilitation (For example, drawing on your experiences in this course, think about what your facilitator has modeled in their communication, facilitation of the asynchronous discussion, tracking participation, etc.). You may want to use the following weekly format:

  • Sunday (before your module starts)—Plan for a strong, clear start to your module. Ideally, you should post a welcome message by Sunday evening. Provide clear instructions, timelines, or other expectations.
  • Monday—Ensure strong facilitator presence early. If there are student posts, respond – acknowledge, encourage, re-direct if needed. If there are NO posts, post a message that provides a nudge and/or check for understanding,
  • Tuesday-Thursday—Maintain an active presence and utilize a variety of online facilitation strategies as needed. Organize your group members to provide support, as you decide is necessary, throughout the week.
  • Friday—Wrap things up and remind your peers to provide you with feedback.


Think about the follow-up steps you will need to take as your peers complete your online module.

  • After your module has finished, encourage participants to provide feedback by the weekend.
  • Complete your own reflection individually before the next week begins.

You may want to create a table similar to the one below to document your online facilitation plan:

Stage of Online Facilitation Required Steps/Tasks Required Resources Facilitation Activities/Strategies Responsibilities of Group Members
During Facilitation
Post Facilitation

Learning Activity 1 – Sharing of Online Facilitation Plan

Please work  to develop an online facilitation plan that outlines the steps, tasks, and resources needed prior to your online facilitation, during your online facilitation, and after your online facilitation. Share your online facilitation plan with your instructor by the end of the week so that they can provide you with feedback prior to the start of your online facilitation experience.


*1 This unit is adapted from FLO Fundamentals: Planning & Facilitating your Session by Royal Roads University and released under a CC BY SA 2.5 license. Retrieved from “https://oer.royalroads.ca/moodle/mod/page/view.php?id=1106”

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