About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6334-6342
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

DEVELOPING A TRANSACTIONAL PRESENCE AMONGST ADULT LEARNERS IN BLENDED LEARNING CONTEXTS: AN EXPLORATION OF THE SKILLS, QUALITIES AND TRAITS REQUIRED OF THE TUTOR.
A. Youde, F. Marsden

The University of Huddersfield (UNITED KINGDOM)
This paper examines the practices of tutors in blended learning environments and investigates the factors affecting success, including recognised and desirable competences, and in particular, emotional competences. Blended courses typically involve significant online delivery and support but include some face-to-face contact. Through the analysis of eight experienced tutors in blended contexts, successful tutoring is judged from a wide perspective, including analysis of literature, student perceptions of the support and guidance they have received, interviews with relevant tutors and analysis of online content and discussions.

The paper provides an assessment of the tutor’s approaches to delivering modules on vocationally relevant degrees, via blended learning, for part-time adult learners. The analysis is underpinned with reference to Transactional Distance Theory (Moore, 1997), the notion of a Transactional Presence being developed (Shin, 2002), empathic tutoring (Holmberg, 1989), and meeting the needs of adult, work-based learners. The tutor’s approach to teaching, learning, assessment and student support are explored and analysed including consideration of essential skills, qualities and traits required for a successful blended student experience.

In considering the qualities required of blended tutors, the research seeks to explore why some tutors can motivate and encourage students in online environments and why others demotivate and even alienate. To understand this phenomenon further, the research explores the influence of a tutor’s emotional competence on the success of the teaching and learning experience. The initial premise of the research was that tutors exhibiting higher levels of emotional competence will develop a transactional presence as perceived by their students.

Eight tutor’s approaches to a blended unit of study were researched. Data was gathered from four principal sources; tutors completed the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT); semi-structured tutor interviews explored factors that impacted on the quality of their tutoring; student questionnaire and attitudinal survey (n=72) which outlined their perceptions of the tutor; and document analysis of online content and interactions.

The research uncovered some unexpected results as the most emotionally competent tutors and those with strong technical skills were not perceived by students to have developed a transactional presence. Where a transactional presence was apparent, tutors had previously taught their students and this supports the notion that personal relationships between tutors and peers are important and develop over time. This was clearly apparent from the student voice in the research. Further key tutor competences and qualities identified were to be organised, empathic, be experienced in blended learning delivery, and provide a structured learning environment with clear goals.
@InProceedings{YOUDE2012DEV,
author = {Youde, A. and Marsden, F.},
title = {DEVELOPING A TRANSACTIONAL PRESENCE AMONGST ADULT LEARNERS IN BLENDED LEARNING CONTEXTS: AN EXPLORATION OF THE SKILLS, QUALITIES AND TRAITS REQUIRED OF THE TUTOR.},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {6334-6342}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Youde AU - F. Marsden
TI - DEVELOPING A TRANSACTIONAL PRESENCE AMONGST ADULT LEARNERS IN BLENDED LEARNING CONTEXTS: AN EXPLORATION OF THE SKILLS, QUALITIES AND TRAITS REQUIRED OF THE TUTOR.
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 6334
EP - 6342
ER -
A. Youde, F. Marsden (2012) DEVELOPING A TRANSACTIONAL PRESENCE AMONGST ADULT LEARNERS IN BLENDED LEARNING CONTEXTS: AN EXPLORATION OF THE SKILLS, QUALITIES AND TRAITS REQUIRED OF THE TUTOR., EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 6334-6342.
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