PROS AND CONS OF VIRTUAL TUTORING: AN EXPERIENCE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CADIZ
Universidad de Cádiz (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Nowadays we are undergoing a process of change and adaptation called European Higher Education Area. The traditional teaching is subjected to a process of forced adaptation to new generations of students for the role of new information technologies and communication technologies (CITs), and teachers need to adapt to new understandings of teaching and the student becomes a student-user. The teacher is not limited to transmit knowledge but assumes the role of guide in the process of student learning. In this context, the creation of collaborative environments is essential for the student-teacher communication.
We analyzed, therefore, the role of e-tutoring, as a key element of the new model of education where the role of traditional tutoring is much broader and more flexible, adding and encompassing many more functions and objectives.
In this sense, we will describe the experiment carried out in a series of courses focusing on economics, taught in Degree in Business Administration, Degree in Finance and Accounting, Diploma in Business Studies and Degree in Marine Science. The only common denominator is the use of Moodle as a resource management system of the Virtual Campus of the University of Cádiz (UCA).
On the other hand, the virtual tutoring has many advantages highlighting its flexibility and the use of different types of resources: forums, glossaries, chats, FAQ (Frequently Asked Question), which energize learning and are attractive to students.
The experience of implementing the virtual tutoring in various subjects and degrees will be discussed in detail. We explain why they have used one or other depending of the nature of the subject by observing the degree and frequency of use, questions about the requirement and utility of e-tutoring and making a comparison with the traditional tutoring.
Aware of the drawbacks and limitations associated with this model compared to traditional model, such as direct and immediate interaction between student-teacher, the explanation through graphs constructed step by step, the difficulty in explaining exercises, we propose the use of a new element and seldom used but highly added value for the virtual tutoring: virtual whiteboard using Microsoft Netmeeting. We examine the advantages of the e-tutoring in terms of flexibility of space and time.
Finally, we will provide evidence of the use of e-tutoring during the academic year 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.
Keywords: E-Tutoring, traditional tutoring, virtual whiteboard.