A.M. Berruecos-Vila

Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México (MEXICO)
In August 2015, the new administration of the Distance Education Office (DEO) conducted a diagnosis of the institution’s experience with the online courses (OC). The results obtained showed that, even though online courses were mandatory since 2010, very few academic coordinations were complying with it, faculty were not really adopting the LMS implemented since 2008 and the OCs and the teachers’ performance were not well evaluated by students. On their hand, teachers expressed that the instrument applied for their online performance evaluation was designed for face-to-face courses and that they were not trained to handle online environments. The now called Technology-Mediated Teaching and Learning Office (DEAMeT in Spanish), decided, amongst other important issues, to design an online tutoring training program for faculty members following the Jesuit pedagogical paradigm. We first conducted a survey amongst the teachers who were tutoring OCs at that moment, in order to understand, on one hand, their perception and beliefs on their work and the ways they were conducting it and, on the other hand, their perceived needs to improve their task. The Program is to be held in three different stages, all of them online: The first one (15 hours), is intended to teach faculty on the instrumental and pedagogical use of the new institutional LMS (Brightspace bt D2L), but emphasizing on its communicational tools and the tracing of the students’ performance over the OC. The second one, the online tutoring training itself (50 hours). The Community of Inquiry (CoI) model proposed by Garrison, Anderson and Rourke in 2000 is the theoretical foundation of this program. It contains 4 modules: The online teaching and learning environments (OTLE), in order to bring faculty’s mindset closer to the OTLE logics, an introduction to the social, cognitive and teaching presences and the main OTLE / F2F differences. At the second module, the Teaching Presence is to be reviewed in order for faculty to understand their organizational, discourse facilitation, direct instruction and assessment functions as online tutors. The third module is entirely dedicated to Communication in online settings (social and academic feedbacks, forum moderating, etc) and the fourth is a review of their tasks during the different moments of the online course. Every teacher following this program will have a “virtual classroom for practice” available during the three stages, where they will be able to integrate their learning evidences and, by the use of an ePortfolio, their learning reflections (metacognition). The third stage is the “hands-on” phase: Once they start tutoring a real online course, DEAMeT will follow their performance (shadow-tutor), will guide and feedback them during a 16 weeks period. It is at the 7th week of tutoring that DEAMeT will ask students to complete a survey in order to have their feedback on the online tutoring performance of their teachers. To promote the exchange of experiences and thoughts about their tutoring tasks, a community of practice forum will be available all along this stage. We will conduct a pilot during Spring 2020 and launch this program during the Summer in order to have full-trained teachers for Autumn 2020 and to measure the impact of the e-tutoring training on the significant online learning experiences by students.