TUTORS´ INFORMATION LEVEL AND THEIR STANDPOINT ON ESSENTIAL TUTORIAL COMPETENCES FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION
In order to approach the theme of tutoring for the distance education modality (DE), it is necessary to consider the several concepts of scholars in that area of expertise about the subject and also use them to infer many other ones. A possible inference is to understand that the tutorial system is part of a structure of systems designed to support learners; another one is to realize that the pedagogical practice may reveal the essential competences that the tutor practices more, or is proficient in, during his daily tutorial practice. Thus, the present research aimed at studying the distance education (DE) at a preparatory course to university admission exams, Pré-vestibular Social Teorema, situated on the campus of Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro in Campos dos Goytacazes- RJ, Brazil, trying to identify the essential competences for the tutoring task and the tutors´ standpoint regarding their professional activity. A field survey was carried out using a semi-structured questionnaire. The data were quantitatively analyzed allowing to learn some of the causes for the tutors´ professional motivation, and also to know their critical point of view and expectations. It was observed that most of the interviewed tutors had previous DE practice either as a student or as a tutor, besides the training that they received before starting the tutorial activity, and this experience had a positive effect on the tutorial practice. The tutors were very motivated to work with DE and reported to be glad to be tutors and they were interested in searching for continuous upgrading of the activity. Although some difficulties are encountered, the tutors face them positively believing that mistakes and failures can help to open new perspectives and lead to different and innovative attitudes.