H. Bouslama

Virtual University of Tunis (TUNISIA)
Over the last years there has been a growing demand for e-learning and online courses mainly because of the flexibility e-learning offers to busy professionals seeking to acquire life skills and achieving professional development in a global workplace characterized by mobility. In this respect, the Virtual University of Tunis, a public university devoted to promoting e-learning, has developed a number of online courses and e-training programmes for academic and continuing education. The challenge facing e-learning course delivery through tutoring learners was basically to maintain learners’ motivation and reduce the number of drop outs, which is due partly to the learners’ feeling of isolation in a virtual learning environment compared to an instruction in a face to face setting. The advent of WEB 2.0 tools enabled a wide access to a diverse range of resources and social media that could be integrated in online courses to enrich content, bring interaction and foster motivation.The study will focus on one of the English courses offered by the VUT namely Connect, Communicate, Collaborate, an interactive online English course addressing busy adult learners wishing to improve their English communication skills. It aims at developing strategies for professional communication which are vital for interacting efficiently and fluently in English. This paper is a case study analysis of the course and aims at exploring and evaluating the tutoring tools used and their impact on learners’ motivation. First, it presents the course content and its main objectives. Then; it introduces the VLE and the web2.0 tools integrated onto the platform to facilitate the learning process and enhance interaction in a distance course. Finally, it reflects on learners’ attitudes with regard to the tools used.