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Online tutoring skillspixel.gif (807 bytes)

pixel.gif (807 bytes) Building relationships
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ONE OF THE FIRST tasks for the online tutor is to get to know the learners for whom they are going to be responsible. That means:
  • their basic details - name, age, gender and so on
  • their educational and career background
  • what they already know about the subject being covered on the course
  • any constraints, at work or home, that may get in the way of their progress
  • their aims for the course
  • their degree of computer literacy

Of course, it is only right that they should get to know as much about you!

One way of establishing the relationship between tutor and learner is to agree a 'learning contract', defining the parameters for the way you work together. The contract could include the following:

  • the learner's plan for the course
  • the role of the tutor - what can the learner expect of him or her?
  • the methods that will be used for communication and the basis for selecting each method
  • the rules governing communication - times of day, frequency of communication, response times
  • the basis on which the learner's progress will be assessed

Once the tutor has committed to the contract, they must endeavour to keep to it. If they promise to respond to all emails within 24 hours, then they must follow this through in practice. And some thought needs to be given to how cover will be organised in the case of holidays, sickness and other unforeseen absences.

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                                                     Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1999. All rights reserved.                                Last revised 28/6/99