Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Importance of Tutor Support in Distance Learning
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Like any other student, students of online courses also need constant tutor support in distance learning to keep themselves involved and motivated. In a physical classroom, the students can maintain eye contact with their teachers and ask questions promptly in case of a doubt; in contrast a distance learning student and teacher are physically away from each other. In such a scenario, using the technology available for imparting education effectively is the most critical factor. Technology now exists that allows teachers and students to communicate in real time.
Distance education also requires changes in behavior for both the teacher and the learner. The successful student develops persistence and self-motivation. The successful distance education teacher becomes fluent with new technology and develops new instructional styles for the benefit of the students.
Can Constant Tutor Support in Distance Learning be Ensured?
In earlier days, teachers involved in distance learning used to interact with their students through telephone, faxes or letters. The turnaround time between the student submission of work and the teachers corrections was relatively slow. However, today with the latest technology being employed for distance education courses, and the successful multimedia interactions between teachers and students, the communication is almost in real-time and sometimes even in real-time. Efficient tutor support in distance learning is largely dependent on how fast a distance education instructor can get familiarized with the technology being employed, devise new teaching methods, and manage student expectations.
Right Guidance Allows Distance Education Students to Perform Better
With the right amount of support from their teachers, distance learning students can perform as well as, if not better than on-campus students. The distance learning instructor has to ensure that his students are constantly involved in the course; the teachers have to encourage dialogues, debates and discussions amongst themselves and their students to ensure that the online students do not feel neglected or lonely. The virtual classroom has often been misconstrued to be a lonely place; however through high activity and collaborative learning, the virtual classroom can be turned into a think-tank of sorts which encourages freedom of thought and expression.
Through being enthusiastic and involved himself, any instructor can lend the right tutor support in distance learning courses. There is opportunity as well for individuals who wish to focus solely on providing tutoring to distance learners. Familiarity with technology, coupled with a genuine interest in the students' lives brings enthusiasm towards teaching, and sensitivity towards the students' backgrounds can help a distance education tutor a great deal.
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