Jelfs, Anne; Richardson, John T. E. and Price, Linda
Student and tutor perceptions of effective tutoring in distance education.
Distance Education, 30(3),
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Questionnaire responses of 457 students and 602 tutors were used to investigate conceptions of a 'good tutor.' In each case, factor analysis identified scales that reflected key constructs; cluster analysis identified subgroups with different patterns of scale scores; and discriminant analysis determined the scales that contributed the most to differences among the clusters. Both sets of data yielded conceptions of tutoring that were described as task-oriented and student-oriented, respectively. The students' data yielded an additional, career-oriented conception. The tutors' data yielded two additional conceptions that were described as knowledge-oriented and impersonal, respectively. The distribution of the tutors' conceptions (but not that of the students' conceptions) varied across different faculties, suggesting that tutors from different disciplines have different beliefs about effective tutoring. The study suggests that both tutors and students would benefit from having a better appreciation of the importance of support in facilitating learning
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