From e-tutor to e-facilitator: 4 things to un-learn

E-tutoring and e-facilitating are terms that are frequently used interchangeably, yet it’s important to differentiate because they are based on different paradigms.

E-tutors – just like tutors – work at universities or other formal education organisations. A (e-)tutor might also help you with learning to play guitar, or a new language, etc. Tutors provide direct instruction and help students with their practice. In a more formal context they prepare for assessment as well. In this environment we talk about ‘lessons’, ‘tutorials’ or ‘courses’. The learners are called ‘students’.

On the other hand, e-facilitators – just like facilitators of face-to-face workshops – have a much more complex role. They act as guides and encourage participants (avoid the term ‘student’ because it is misplaced here) to take initiative and tap into their own experiences to solve problems. There is no formal assessment. Usually the focus is on empowerment and building the skills to empower others.

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