Richardson, John T. E.
Face-to-face versus online tutoring support in business studies courses in distance education.
International Journal of Management Education, 7(3),
Research has suggested that distance-learning students may rate their tuition less favourably when it is provided online rather than face-to-face. The experiences of students taking business studies courses by distance education were compared when tutorial support was provided conventionally (using limited face-to-face sessions with some contact by telephone and email) or online (using both computer-mediated conferencing and email). The Course Experience Questionnaire and the Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory were administered in a postal survey to students taking one of three business studies courses with the Open University. The students who received online tuition rated their workload as more appropriate. Otherwise, there were no significant differences between the students who received faceto- face tuition and those who received online tuition, either in their perceptions of the academic quality of their courses or in the approaches to studying that they adopted. Provided that tutors and students receive appropriate training and support, course designers in business studies can be confident about introducing online forms of tutorial support in campus-based or distance education.
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