Facilitation Matters: Instructor Perception of Helpfulness of Facilitation Strategies in Online Courses


  • Florence Martin University of North Carolina Charltote
  • Chuang Wang University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • Ayesha Sadaf University of North Carolina Charlotte




Facilitation Strategies, Instructor Presence, Online Learning, Instructor Perception, Instructor Connection


Online course facilitation is critical to the success of online courses. Instructors use various facilitation strategies in online courses to engage students. One hundred instructors were surveyed on their perception of helpfulness of twelve different facilitation strategies used in online courses to enhance instructor presence, instructor connection, engagement and learning. Instructors’ timely response to questions and instructors’ timely feedback on assignments/projects were rated the highest in three of four constructs (instructor presence, engagement and learning). For instructor connection, ability to contact the instructor in multiple ways was rated the highest. Interactive visual syllabi of the course was rated the lowest in all four constructs. In the open-ended comments, group projects and synchronous sessions were rated helpful. Descriptive statistics for each of the construct by gender, delivery method, course level taught are presented. Significant differences were found between gender but analysis of variance failed to detect differences between primary delivery method or course level taught.

Author Biography

Florence Martin, University of North Carolina Charltote

I am a Professor in the Instructional Systems Technology program at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. I received my Doctorate and Master's in Educational Technology from Arizona State University. I have a bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Bharathiyar University, India. Previous to my current position, I taught at University of North Carolina Wilmington for seven years. I also worked on instructional design projects for Shooolini University, Viridis Learning, Maricopa Community College, University of Phoenix, Intel, Cisco Learning Institute, and Arizona State University. I worked as a co-principal investigator on the Digital Visual Literacy NSF grant working with Maricopa Community College District in Arizona and with Usability Security with Computing and Information Systems at UNCC. My research focuses on designing and integrating online learning environments (OLE) to improve learner motivation and engagement to achieve effectiveness in learning. I served as the President of the Multimedia Production Division at AECT from 2012-2013 and I am the 2016-2017 president-elect for Division of Distance Education at AECT.


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Faculty, Professional Development, and Online Teaching