Rethinking Distance Tutoring in e-Learning Environments: A Study of the Priority of Roles and Competencies of Open University Tutors in China

  • Shuang Li Beijing Normal Univeristy
  • Jingjing Zhang Beijing Normal University
  • Chen Yu Beijing Normal University
  • Li Chen Beijing Normal University
Keywords: tutor roles, tutor competencies, e-learning, Open University

Abstract

This study aims to identify the priority of the roles and competencies of tutors working in the e-learning environments where the tutors are experiencing the changes brought by reforming traditional TV and broadcasting university to open universities. The mixed methods, DACUM, non-participatory observation, and questionnaires were used to identify the priority of the roles and competencies of tutors. The findings suggested that the priority of the roles and competencies has significantly changed accompanied to the shift of pedagogy from cognitive behaviorist to social-constructivist and connectivist. Changes in the roles of the instructional designer and instructor were highlighted. Significant differences in perceptions of the importance of the roles and competencies corresponding to learning management and technology use also merit further attention.

Author Biography

Jingjing Zhang, Beijing Normal University

Qualifications
BSc (BNU/Gakugei); MRes (UCL), MSc (Oxford), DPhil (Oxford)

Position
Associate Professor, Research Centre of Distance Education, School of Educational Technology, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University

Academic and Professional BackgroundZHANG Jingjing received her BSc in Computer Science from BNU, an MRes from University College London (UCL), an MSc and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. As an undergraduate, she was awarded 2003 AIEJ Scholarship for a one-year exchange study at Tokyo Gakugei University. At Oxford (MSc, DPhil), she was a Clarendon scholar and a member of Brasenose College (funded by ORS scholarship).
She is now an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education of BNU, specialising in learning and technology. Before joining BNU, she was first trained in Directorate for Education, OECD Paris, and then interned at the Department of Management, the UN headquarters New York.Research InterestsHer early research in machine learning and information visualisation has led to an educational product to analyse university curriculum structure. In the past few years, her research has been involved in work with educationists, sociologists and anthropologists. This has led a change of her research interests initially in machine learning in laboratory settings to social constructivism of learning in real-world settings.
She is now particularly interested in how learning occurs between people engaging in communication that is situated in daily work environments online and offline. As well as to her recent research on the social sciences of learning and technology, she is also interested in the change to varies forms of human relationships in the networked society, such as leadership and trust; the development of open educational resources; the emergence of MOOCs, and the design of knowledge visualization.
Published
2017-04-04
How to Cite
Li, S., Zhang, J., Yu, C., & Chen, L. (2017). Rethinking Distance Tutoring in e-Learning Environments: A Study of the Priority of Roles and Competencies of Open University Tutors in China. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(2). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i2.2752
Section
Research Articles