A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR EFFECTIVE TUTORS AND TUTORING WITHIN A BLENDED LEARNING CONTEXT
The University of Huddersfield (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:This paper reports the findings of research that explored the practices of tutors in blended learning contexts. It investigated the skills, qualities and competences, particularly emotional competences, contributing to tutor effectiveness with the exploration including analysis of learners’ perceptions of their quality. A mixed methods approach was adopted to conduct a detailed exploration of eight tutors’ practice with data gathered from three principal sources. Interviews with tutors explored their approaches to delivery and considered factors that impacted on quality; students’ perceptions of their learning experiences were assessed using an attitude survey; an analysis of the content and communications in the virtual learning environment provided insight into tutors’ online practice. The research is based at a ‘post 1992’ university in the north of England and within an education disciplinary area. A conceptual framework is proposed for understanding the data generated in the form of a model of the observed tutor beliefs and practices. This represents an interpretation of effective practice in a particular cultural context and this framework may also be useful in understanding other instances of blended learning. The Model has three dimensions, which include higher order ‘concepts' - constructivism, care/nurture and instrumentality, together with ‘lower level’ factors, which are provided to operationalise the three broad conceptual areas. Further, the model suggests qualities and skills of effective tutors and tutoring in the context under investigation, which could support lecturers, course leaders and managers in delivering successful blended learning programmes.
Keywords: Blended learning, adult learning, emotional competences, constructivism.