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E-TUTORSHIP AND DUAL-CAREER OF STUDENT-ATHLETES: A PEDAGOGICAL CONCEPTUALIZATION FROM THE RESULTS OF AN ITALIAN CASE STUDY

E. Isidori1, A. Sánchez Pato2, A. Decelis3

1University of Rome Foro Italico (ITALY)
2Catholic University San Antonio of Murcia (SPAIN)
3University of Malta (MALTA)
Nowadays tutorship is a key factor for the success of university courses for dual career student-athletes. An effective tutorship system for the athletes has to motivate and help them solve the problems they face as university students in completing the tasks they are required to carry out. Mentors and tutors have to positively influence the student-athlete to personal motivation and self-encouragement, providing advice and sharing knowledge and experiences with her/him. Through the mentor’s and tutor’s help, student-athletes has to experience a comfortable learning environment based on low pressure and self-discovery.

Tutorship systems for the student-athlete has to be the result of a systemic interaction among different agencies and strategies oriented towards the empowerment of specific, adaptable, flexible and personalized learning environments based on effective education models. These learning environments have to help the student-athlete develop problem solving skills, and discover how to better understand things, learning autonomously and in a critical way.

The new learning and tutoring tools provided by Web 2.0 allow mentors and tutors of student-athletes to share knowledge and open contents with them, and to create learning communities that foster interpersonal communication and give them support.

In light of this background, we have analyzed a specific case study of two groups of student-athletes who are following a bachelor’s degree course in sport sciences in an Italian university, utilizing qualitative research tools to collect data (mainly survey and interview). One of the two groups has been provided with a tutorship environment rich in support and helping from online learning and tutoring tools. The second group was used as a control group and provided with no online and based-on-web tutoring, but just a face-to-face support.

The results from our study have shown that the student-athletes provided with a tutoring environment based on Web-based communication and e-learning tools were more satisfied and enjoyed the course and its e-tutorship system more than those who were not provided with the same online support and assistance. In conclusion, we have stressed the question of the necessity to rethink and re-conceptualize the tutorship for the dual career of student-athletes in light of a new pedagogical model capable to utilize and transform all new forms of mobile, tablets and social network learning into effective e-tutoring environments.