Classroom Management and Facilitation

Organizational and procedural measures to keep a class to move along.

I post my selection of the tips from Ko & Rossen, Chapter 11: Classroom Management and Facilitation combined with tips from my own experience. Is my intention to recommend these tips to the online courses I’m managing.

1. Record Keeping and File Management

  • On your own computer, create folders that reflect your course structure with subfolders for course content, Lectures, readings, videos, exercises.
  • Make sure your students specify how to identify the assignments files and mail subject, for example: first name + last initial + assignment name/number.
  • Set up folders for student assignment and messages in your email program and filter incoming messages to any folder automatically.
  • Take notes on the contribution of individual students
  • Create a shared spread sheet on Google docs with other teachers to record students participation.

2. Manage Communication and Manage Your Workload

  • The course primary announcement area will be Twitter
  • A good habit is to make regular announcements on a weekly basis.
  • Ask students to first post a question in the appropriate discussion forum and wait 24 hours for a replay before attempting to email the instructor

3. Encourage Student Participation

  • Create smaller groups of 5-6 students for the purposes of discussion topics and projects.
  • Specify a number of participation activities as required and graded.
  • Use online testing with automatic grading for at least one-third of your assessments.
  • Make at least one individual assignment with a small project group. Consider students use a peer-review rubric to evaluate themselves and other group’s members.
  • One third of the participation grade will be based on the student participation in the discussion forums.
  • Maintain a pattern of frequent visits to the online classroom (at least 2-3 times/week).
  • Prepare a FAQ of questions based on your experience.

4. Balance between Student and Instructor Centered Activities

  • Use Web 2.0 tools to allow students to generate content (Concept Maps, diagrams, short videos or podcast, etc.)

5. Foster Asynchronous Discussion

  • Start the major topic threads yourself
  • Address students by name and encourage students to signal topics and clarify responses.
  • Establish a pattern of frequent response to at least 2-3 times/week (best short but frequently activity)
  • Don’t try to respond to every posting. Encourage students to interact with each other, not only with you.
  • Provide feedback that stimulates higher-level thinking, like “What are the implications of your statement?”, “Does anyone want to add to/dispute/verify that?”.

6. Establish Instructor Facilitated Synchronous Communication

  • Limit each session to a maximum of 1 hour (20-30 minutes of the topic presentation, 20-30 minutes of discussion). Announce the time limit at the start.
  • Post the topics or agenda in advance.

7. Planning Team Teaching Online

  • Team teaching online requires even more advance planning than the face-to-face option.
  • Ask students to send any emailed queries to both instructors.


Published by

Jaime Oyarzo Espinosa

Jaime Oyarzo Espinosa - Profesor Honorífico de Investigación Universidad de Alcalá Honorary Professor of Research University of Alcalá, Spain Instructional Designer Lund University Education, Sweden Dirección de proyectos e-Learning (América Latina, Africa) Me interesan los proyectos que vinculan innovación y aprendizaje con ayuda de la tecnología. Especialmente si tienen como objetivo una transformación personal, organizativa y de desarrollo económico para la región involucrada. Blog (Spanish): Blog (English):

3 thoughts on “Classroom Management and Facilitation”

  1. This is a great list! I wonder – did you find any of these more striking or interesting than the others? did anything here surprise you?

  2. Wow! Great list! I am definitely going to be using some of these tips in my next class.

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