“The demands on online tutors are much greater than those on face-to-face tutors in terms of roles, partly because the tutor is a more intense focus for relationships, than in face-to-face environments, where course administrators, and other staff, are more accessible, and partly because of the technology issue.” (McKenzie-D 2000a)
The teaching/learning settings, the constraints of the environment, status of the learners and the tutor, and the pedagogical model must all be understood in order to provide an effective online learning experience for students.
Identify the learner:
McCarthy (1980) described students as innovative learners, analytic learners, common sense learners or dynamic learners. The key to your success as an online tutor is to identify the type of learner the tutee is, and to design your method of teaching accordingly.
- look for personal meaning while learning and draw on their values while learning
- enjoy social interaction and are cooperative
- want to make the world a better place
- want to develop intellectually and draw on facts while learning
- are patient and reflective
- want to know " important things" and to add to the world's knowledge
Common sense learners...
- want to find solutions and value things if they are useful
- are kinesthetic, practical and straightforward
- want to make things happen