manifesto for teaching online | part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh

I keep bumping into the  manifesto for teaching online | part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh.

It gets me thinking even from the title … am I a facilitator of learning or a teacher  [or educator or instructor] ?


For the last few years I have used facilitator of learning or something like that to describe myself.

Facilitation has boundaries, I set up some form of contract (more than just the paper) – with my learners, they have responsibilities and roles as do I.  (often there is a third party – the people who pay for or accredit what ever is being learned).  As a good facilitator I try to get the right amount of this contract explicit so that we are able to function well.

This much translates to the role of a teacher. My facilitation experience gives me a good understanding of what makes a good contract/boundaries.

So what do I think is the difference? I think it is the content expertise I bring. In my teaching I still use skillful facilitation but I also bring knowledge. My facilitation skills guide me in how to use ( and sometimes skilfully not use) what I know to help learners learn.

The idea of a teacher also suggests some from of group with shared responsibility.   Learning can be very individuated,  I might talk about what I learned or my learning. Teaching has the possibility to highlight the communal or institutional that might be in play.

Oddly enough I seem to prefer ‘educator’ at the moment …

[and to those who had a part in getting the manifesto together – thank you]



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