Approaching expertise in facilitation of asynchronous online discussions in college courses
This study describes common online facilitator strategies of seven expert online facilitators and compares these facilitators' decision-making processes to general strategies and characteristics of experts in other domains. Specifically, this study focuses on how expert online facilitators decide to communicate with discussion participants for the purposes of increasing participant knowledge and skills in college-level online courses. Seven expert online facilitators -- identified by authoritative figures -- detailed their decision-making and composition process. Common facilitation strategies emerged from the interview data and contextual information. These common strategies were compared with characteristics and strategies of experts in other domains. Analysis of the data indicates that the participating facilitators: (a) share common decision-making strategies, and (b) demonstrate characteristics that align to characteristics of experts in other domains.