Teaching online vs. face to face teaching seems like it would be quite different in many ways. Having never taught a course online, what I would find challenging is building relationships with students and using these relationships to get students to “buy into” what I am teaching. Having taught most of my career in Junior high this is one of the most important parts of the job, the better the relationships, the harder students will work for you in class and the better behaved the students will be. As students get into high school and beyond the importance of these relationships would lessen and students should be more self motivated to want to achieve and better suited for an online courses.
While the pedagogical role is very important I would also consider the technologist role as equally important. It is of utmost importance that students feel comfortable with the online format and technology if they are to have success in class. Facilitating participation in class can only be achieved when all students are able to manage the technological aspects of the assignments. I can relate to this first hand, in the first online class I took last year I struggled and put in many hours just trying to figure out what would be considered easy to someone with average digital literacy.
In my teaching practice the pedagogical role is definitely the most important. Implementing instructional strategies, designing appropriate lessons that motivate students and meeting the needs of many different learners are all critically important. So it looks like the most important instructor role for online and face to face teaching is basically the same.
One way the pedagogical role would be different online than face to face is that in an online format the course would be made beforehand and changes based on the needs of the students would be limited. In face to face teaching these changes can be made on the fly and it would be easier to adjust to the varying needs of the students.