Posted by: MandyS | June 23, 2013

Reading Price et al. (2007)

Block 2, Week 12, Activity 3: Price 2007

Does the evidence regarding online tuition in Price et al.’s paper fit your own experience of online communication in general and your own experience of online tuition on H800?

One thing that strikes me with this paper is that the comparison is not like with like i.e. there is no comparison of the same students studying both types of module. How can there be a realistic comparison of the difference in tuition if the students have only studied one or the other?  The online tutor might be just as inexperienced with face-to-face, likewise if the student is not experienced with online tuition it is likely they will struggle. I did when I first began H808 but I soon got into the swing of online tuition and I can see the real benefits. If one thinks about it, a face-to-face tutorial is on average a couple of hours. I know from my own experience that this is not a long time to cover what one needs to, even for the most experienced of tutors. In comparison online tuition, is an on-going process which evolves with the discussions. Is not the quality of the tuition down to the individual tutor rather than the medium through which they tutor? There is no online provision for W201 but still the students complain about the tutors and the quality of face-to-face. It may be that students are not as convinced about online tuition simply because it is student-centred and there is less opportunity for students to induce a perhaps preferred didactic approach?

Do you agree with Price et al. that online tuition is a pastoral activity and not a purely academic activity?

Tuition, whether online or otherwise, has to encompass some aspect of pastoral activity. Whether tutors engage with such pastoral activity is very much dependent on the individual tutor. From my own experience, both tutoring and as a student, I would suggest that this can vary considerably.

Do you find that the absence of what the authors call ‘paralinguistic cues’ in an online environment such as our VLE limits the effectiveness of online tuition?

Emoticons are a very useful way of expressing meaning in an online environment so, for me, I would suggest that the absence of ‘paralinguistic cues’ is not a limit to effectiveness. I would argue that the main limiting factor for online tuition is its negative portrayal as a cost saving exercise.

 

 

 

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