Friday, August 3, 2007

Guidelines for Online Tutors- Use W.R.I.T.E. for communication

Learn to fill in the blanks that are left when learner is unable to ‘read’ the body language of the teacher to whom he is ‘talking’

Lewis (2000) asserted that it is important that academics master the art of communicating online in both asynchronous and synchronous format and that it is:

“…helpful … (to) engage in … the WRITE way to communicate online.
… that is (W)arm, (R)esponsive, (I)nquisitive, (T)entative, and (E)mpathetic.”

McInnerney and Roberts (2002a) stated that if academics, administrators and students can manage to incorporate Lewis’ concepts into their teaching, when online, then they will increase the ability of all concerned to succeed.

Haight (2002) suggested three ways to reduce student frustration with online learning:

  1. Reassure….students that support is there for them and that any problems they may be having with the technology are common and fixable.
  2. Encourage….students who may be having problems with the material, and offer suggestions that will help their understanding, and
  3. Orient and Facilitate….students by clarifying expectations of behavior and performance while undertaking online study.

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