Facilitator Guide for live online classroom

**UPDATE** This document has been updated as of May 2020 to reflect my refreshed design.

This is a free Lightbulb Moment resource – a blank facilitator guide, session plan, lesson plan (or whatever name you want to use!) that you may wish to use as a starting point for your live online sessions, virtual classrooms and webinars.

Click here for the Word document.

Main facilitation section

What you can see in the main part of the document is:

  • Space for the slide thumbnail
    • Easier to update and add slides than change slide numbers
    • Easy visual reference when delivering
    • Doesn’t replace a print or screen of the slides with any detail on it that you might need
  • The facilitator column with script/information for delivery and key question points
    • It’s up to you what is right for your team in terms of the amount of ‘script’ that is on the document. Good facilitators will use this as a guide and life to their delivery
    • The questions in red help experienced facilitators highlight the important question point
  • The producer column is great for if you have someone in a host or more technical support role
    • Even if delivering content solo, I use this column to hold technical information, such as links or questions to paste into the chat window, tabs/pods to select and so on
    • You could re-purpose this column to be for co-delivery too
  • Technical and interaction notes as screen-grabbed icons of the software system
    • This makes it very quick and easy to process the input from the attendees – the chat icon tells me to say “Please type your response in chat” or the tick/check/cross/X tells me to ask for the response this way. It cuts down the need for this to be scripted
    • Ensuring that there is lots if meaningful, varied interaction will hold people’s attention and assist with their learning
  • Time on slide might seem strange to plan down to the 30 seconds – it’s not set in stone, but is an aide to know if something is a quick statement versus an interactive discussion
  • Having the elapsed time in minutes is helpful to keep on track
    • I have this in minutes and hours so that it doesn’t matter what time I start the session, I don’t have to mentally think “Oh, it says 10.27am, but today I started at 2.00pm…”

Opening pages

The first few pages contain some useful elements of design:

  1. A one page overview to help when planning initially and for trainer’s/facilitators to get a feel for the session
  2. An Adobe Connect specific table to help ensure planning and building of rooms and materials is correct
  3. The last section is a legend and icons to copy and paste into the document

Yours!

Please use this document as you see fit and update as you need to.

It would be great comment your thoughts, adaptations and changes that might help other people.

You can also read more about the evolution of my lesson plans to get to the guide you see here. 

 

4 thoughts on “Facilitator Guide for live online classroom

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  1. I like to have prepared on my guide the dial-in details to copy and past in the chat area as well as some hyperlinks that I have already identified. It helps, especially when you are alone to facilitate to have this at hand. Thanks, that’s a great template, easy to use.

  2. Great resource Jo, it is amazing how helpful this is to work with, either on a webinar or in a virtual classroom!

  3. Three weeks ago, I became part of the task force that would move my institution’s classroom education online. I had been curating resources for weeks, knowing this might come. One of those resources was this facilitator guide.

    I work in a trade school where students alternate between theoretical classes for half a day and practical field training the other half. We have campuses in four US states. Classroom hold between 40 and 80 students where 6 feet of separation would be impossible to implement, where our field facilities are big enough to spread students out in small groups.

    We had 5 days to adapt the instructional materials for online delivery, train instructors and moderators to use zoom for this delivery. I was able to implement the guide and we focused on the moderators. We wanted to make this transition as easy as possible to the instructors, so they would just present using the slide decks they always use with the notes they are familiar with. However, moderators were selected from different departments of the institution. Mostly tech-savvy staff with little experience in the delivery of education. So we got rid of the facilitator column and called them moderator guides.

    We made moderators responsible for welcoming student into the environment, solving technical problems or referring to IT helpdesk, registering attendance, monitoring the chat for questions to pass on to the instructor, summarize answers by students to questions the instructor poses, posting links to videos shown in the presentation, and showing polls (rarely used in the first weeks.)

    In practice, I do not think moderators pay too much attention to these guides as they quickly got into a routine. As instructional designers, we keep producing them for future lessons, to a. support a unified delivery by different instructor/moderator teams in different locations; and b. to support training of new moderators in the near future. It also helps us standardize our design. Certain elements need to be completed for each lesson in each course. The moderator guide is not only an element of that, it reminds us of many of the other elements we need to complete.

    In all, I am happy I had this resource in my back pocket and in the forefront of my mind when the taskforce kicked off, and it helped my team to structure the design for the changes

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