In e-learning, we have all heard different names for teachers depending on the role they play: tutor, counselor, facilitator, mentor, motivator, coordinator and their role can be very different. We will explain the main functions of these teachers below which are always within the framework of e-learning training
1) GUIDE THE STUDENT: for some students this will be their first online training. Make sure you guide them from the beginning to the end so that they can see the advantages and benefits of this learning modality. Show them the steps, ranging from how to use and access the tools, to how to organise themselves in order to successfully complete the evaluation of the course.
2) FACILITATE LEARNING: the key function common to all these teachers is the effort they must make to be innovative in their teaching methodologies without imitating what has been done previously in the classroom. Being an expert in your subject is no longer enough. You have to know how to transfer your knowledge and experience in a different way in the classroom and in the online format. Thus, for e-learning training, teachers should take advantage of existing tools to make courses more dynamic, by encouraging the use of different resources and activities: reading, audiovisuals, gamification or other practical exercises that help to maintain interest and encourage self-learning.
3) MOTIVATE: as an e-learning teacher, you should reinforce the emotional part of learning so that students remain interested and have a good attitude towards learning from the beginning to the end of the course. To do this, we would recommend, for example, that you provide your students with clear course objectives and a timetable with deadlines. Don’t forget to also provide them with feedback that will serve as both learning and support, which will help them to feel guided during the learning process on their own, something that often causes some students to drop out of the course. It is also important to respect their learning speed so that they can experience one of the main benefits of online training: flexibility.
4) ENERGISE: depending on the duration of the course, energising will be key to the success and satisfaction of the students. Generate a direct discussion with your students to solve their doubts or provide feedback in a friendly and trusting environment. A good time to inform them about the communication channels they can use to get in touch with you is at the beginning of the course. The most common options are tools such as chatting or videoconferencing for individual tutorials.
5) MODERATE: just as it is necessary to encourage participation, it is also necessary to moderate all those discussions that are generated in group debates and forums to take advantage of collaborative learning among students. Create an atmosphere of discussion that leads to reflection and sharing of ideas so that students can feel involved in their learning process. Don’t forget to always ensure that it is a space of respect and non-judgmental listening, so that everyone can feel free to express their opinion. Introduce new concepts, encourage discussion and give feedback on interventions to reinforce participation.
6) FOLLOW UP on students’ progress in an environment of flexibility, familiarity and respect, taking into account individual differences: participation in forums, content, connection times, number of logins, etc. Make sure you also make contact on an individual level to monitor progress, motivate and ensure completion of the online course.
7) EVALUATE the students following the criteria previously mentioned in each of the modules of the syllabus. Correcting and providing feedback according to the activity carried out by the students will be essential for their motivation and as a way of confirming whether or not the knowledge has been mastered correctly.
In short, the teacher of an e-learning course will be in charge of organising the agenda, sharing knowledge, creating a stimulating environment for student participation, monitoring, answering questions and evaluating. All these tasks may seem overwhelming, especially if you have a large number of students, but nowadays they are made easier thanks to e-learning platforms (LMS), such as evolCampus, where all this course activity is centralised, saving time and effort for teachers and administrators.