Price, Linda; Richardson, John T. E. and Jelfs, Anne
Face-to-face versus online tutoring support in distance education.
Studies in Higher Education, 32(1),
The experiences of students taking the same course by distance learning were compared when tutorial
support was provided conventionally (using limited face-to-face sessions with some contact by
telephone and email) or online (using a combination of computer-mediated conferencing and email).
Study 1 was a quantitative survey using an adapted version of the Course Experience Questionnaire and the Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory. Study 2 was another quantitative survey using the Academic Engagement Form. Study 3 was an interview-based examination of the students’ conceptions of tutoring and tuition. In all three studies, the students receiving online tuition reported poorer experiences than those receiving face-to-face tuition. Study 3 showed that tutoring was seen not only as an academic activity but also as a highly valued pastoral activity. To make online tuition successful both tutors and students need training in how to communicate online in the absence of paralinguistic cues.
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