What skills are required to support e-Learning?

Supporting e-Learners requires good pedagogical skills as well as good technical skills.

If you are an ICT professional providing e-Learning support your expertise will be in the technical aspects. You will however need an understanding of the pedagogical aspects to be able to provide the support required.

The roles involved in supporting e-Learning include the following:

  • e-mentor - e-Learning experienced advisor
  • e-facilitator - manages, guides, motivates and creates dialogue with participants
  • online facilitator - the same as e-facilitator
  • buddy - peer support
  • e-Learning champion – promoter of e-Learning

The ability to identifying the skills needed by the participants should not be overlooked.

The skills needed for each of these roles varies slightly depending on the context in which you are undertaking the task. For example, an e-Learning champion might be required to promote e-Learning at board meetings. On the other hand a Union Learning Representative (URL) could promote e-Learning amongst colleagues.

A buddy is generally somebody who has already undertaken e-Learning and who has agreed to support others through the process. You will need to build a network of these people. Ideally at the completion of each e-Learning programme there should be one or two individuals who have stood out as suitable buddies. Support will need to be provided to help them feel comfortable with their new role.

How can you gain the skills to support e-Learning?

The Training Foundation is an example of an organisation that can provide a range of learning and development opportunities for those involved in e-Learning. These include:

  • developing learning strategies
  • learning needs analysis & design and development  of classroom, e-Learning or blended solutions
  • delivering and facilitating learning

You may feel that for those supporting e-Learning that the focus should be on the softer skills needed. There are many websites that provide examples and details of how to gain soft skills.

These soft skills are also important if you are providing technical support for e-Learning. You will need to actively listen to the problem and be able to communicate the solution.

Mentoring may provide a method of developing your soft skills. Do you know somebody who you can identify as strong in soft skills? Would they be able to mentor you?

Also to help you with the answers to these questions, you could look at the Supporting e-Learning category in the e-Learning Readiness Tool.

Courses, Qualifications and Alternatives

Back to the Trainer readiness page

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