Moderation Models

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From Dolors Reig at

Overview of Models

"Each model presents a different way of conceptualising the learning and facilitation interactions and provides useful techniques, and each has made a significant contribution to the research fields of online learning and computer-mediated communication." (

Gilly Salmon’s Five Stage Moderation Model

"Salmon’s fives stages are

  • Stage 1: Access and motivation
  • Stage 2: Socialization
  • Stage 3: Information Exchange
  • Stage 4: Knowledge Construction
  • Stage 5: Development

Each stage calls for different e-moderating skills requiring participants to master certain technical skills and steps learners through a logical process of induction before deeper level interactions occur. Students learn through participation and engagement. Motivation is the key, and so is the provision of a conducive structure and environment."

Source: Five stage model for e-moderating - by Gilly Salmon, at

Collison, Elbaum, Haavind and Tinker’s Facilitation model

"appropriate communication interventions by the moderator can move students forward and facilitate (but should not lead) their understandings."

Paulsen’s Function model

"Paulsen maintains that moderators should identify their preferred pedagogical style, based on their philosophical orientation, their chosen moderator roles, and their preferred facilitation techniques. Moderator roles can at times vary. Facilitation functions are classified under headings of organizational, social and intellectual facilitation."

Hootstein’s ‘Four Pairs of Shoes’ Model

"Hootstein proposes a model in which the e-learning facilitator or moderator “wears ‘four pairs of shoes’ - acting as instructor, social director, program manager, and technical assistant”. In the instructor role the instructor guides the learning in a problem-centred learning environment, offering insights and assisting learners. As a social director they create and foster a collaborative environment. A program manager directs the agenda. And as a technical director they “assist students to become comfortable with systems and software and prepare learners to resolve … technical difficulties that may occur”." (

More Information

  1. Managing Groups and Teams/How Do You Build High-performing Virtual Teams?
  2. Effective Online Facilitation - Australian Flexible Learning Framework guide