ERIC Number: ED339349
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jun
Mediation in Distance Learning: An Investigation of the Role of Tutoring.
Burge, E. J.; And Others
Four Ontario universities with extensive distance education programs were surveyed to obtain information on the nature and extent of the interaction that exists among tutors, students, and peers in undergraduate distance education programs. A total of 84 tutors and 447 students completed the questionnaires, which elicited information on the physical demographics of tutors and students, the role of the teacher, the impact of tutoring activities on students, the relationship between teachers and students in distance education, and their recommendations for future interactions in distance education. Analyses of their responses indicate that the communication process in distance education tutoring is uneven; i.e., while communication often exists in one direction, from tutor to student, it may be nonexistent between students. Also indicated were a cold educational environment, little affective support, and a sense of isolation among students. It was also found that tutors thought they had a wider impact at all levels than their students thought they had. It is concluded that adult learners bring strong commitment to their learning as well as experience and wisdom, positive qualities that could be utilized more effectively. A framework and model for future distance education experiences that redefines the teacher's role and emphasizes the interactive aspects of distance education concludes the report. Data are presented in both narrative and tabular formats, and the teacher and student questionnaires are appended together with instructions for coding the responses. (80 references) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.
Note: Some pages printed on colored paper.