30 most important factors in managing and moderating
the online learning environment
1. Be prepared, well in advance.
2. Become familiar and proficient at the use of the technology – practice in advance.
3. Be prepared for technology failure – have a backup option (email, fax or telephone).
4. Create a policy on communications.
5. Provide an overview of timetable, procedures, expectations and decision-making norms where appropriate.
6. Create a friendly, social environment.
7. Encourage participants to introduce themselves.
8. Prepare new students in advance and allow them to set the pace.
9. Model appropriate online behaviour.
10. Model online intellectual discourse.
11. Set clear objectives for the session.
12. Build relevancy into the materials.
13. Contribute your own special knowledge in a collaborative fashion – don’t lecture.
14. Value participation.
15. Promote healthy and respectful social interactions.
16. Try different communication styles
17. Be objective.
18. Make sure participants are comfortable with the system – hold practice sessions.
19. Create opportunities to sustain discussions and interactions.
20. Encourage participation through use of questions and probing.
21. Facilitate discussion – present conflicting opinions, or ask open-ended questions.
22. Ask a lot of questions, and review answers or comments providing summary comment.
23. Accept ‘lurkers’, reluctant or timid students – help to draw them comfortably into discussion.
24. Take note of students who don’t participate during the first session and contact them privately to determine why.
25. Don’t rely on offline materials – bring them into the online environment for discussion.
26. Be responsive – remedy issues as they arise, help participants with information overload.
27. Be flexible in schedule to accommodate student direction, need and interest.
28. Maintain a non-authoritarian style.
29. Recognize and deal with appropriate and inappropriate student input.
30. Enable students to experience the moderator role for themselves.