Changing tutor roles in online tutorial support for Open Distance Learning through audio-graphic SCMC.
JALT CALL Journal, 3(1-2)
The use of synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) tools such as audio-graphic conferencing to provide tutorial support in Open Distance Learning (ODL) settings brings with it changes in roles and relationships between tutors and students which need to be researched to gain an insight into the learning experience of those teaching and being taught through the medium. In this paper we will report on a study of language tutors new to audio-graphic conferencing after they spent a year providing online tutorial support for a new beginners' Spanish distance learning language course. We will present how the tutors compare the online and face-to-face environments and how they perceive their roles as online tutors. We conclude that the success of tutorials in an audio-graphic environment depends on the individual tutor: their personality, warmth, and ability to communicate and manage learning become more relevant in the new environment; and that therefore training that goes beyond the technical and pedagogical and includes these aspects is required.
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