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ERIC Number: EJ852067
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1492-3831
Tutoring Large Numbers: An Unmet Challenge
Lentell, Helen; O'Rourke, Jennifer
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, v5 n1 Apr 2004
Open and distance learning (ODL) is increasingly being regarded as a viable policy option for developing countries with limited educational resources for buildings, books and trained teachers, seeking to increase accessibility for large numbers of learners in education and training opportunities. Advocates of ODL as an appropriate solution to development issues tend to emphasise the hardware and software (curricula, materials and media of instruction and delivery, and especially ICTs) rather than the learning support needed. This paper presents a research agenda, rather than research findings on learner-support in situations where tutor-student ratios are high. The authors argue that there is a need to rethink some underlying assumptions about tutoring that are implicit in many established models of ODL that assume relatively small tutor-to-student ratios. Because it is unrealistic to assume that there will be small student-to-tutor ratios in many contexts, especially in the developing world, the authors suggest the need to research viable alternative learner support models that will provide ongoing support and feedback to large groups of learners. If ODL cannot meet the needs of large cohorts of learners, then it is in danger of becoming yet another exported Western approach that consumes large amounts of resource at the initiation stage, yet fails to be sustainable in the long-run.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; United Kingdom