features from fastrak consulting

click here for the features menu

Online tutoring skillspixel.gif (807 bytes)

pixel.gif (807 bytes) Working with online tools
pixel.gif (807 bytes)
WHETHER THE TUTOR is acting the role of subject expert, coach or assessor, they will be operating in an environment that has its own unique advantages and constraints. Here's just a few suggestions for tutors to consider when working with online tools:

Email
Email will almost undoubtedly be an important means of communication between the tutor and learners. The tutor should:

  • collect the email addresses of all learners
  • organise these into an address group (an 'alias')
  • set up folders to store emails connected with the course
  • keep responses short - where appropriate refer learners to online materials or to other learners
  • create templates for frequently used responses (or set up an FAQ on the course web site)
  • obey the rules of 'netiquette'

Discussion groups
Many courses use discussion groups for asynchronous group communication. The tutor should be prepared to:

  • initiate discussion topics and questions to get things going
  • control discussions that are straying off course
  • act against any misuse of  the forum
  • delete dead topics

Text chat
Synchronous methods take a lot more management and experience. The tutor needs to:

  • obtain agreement on times for the chat
  • establish the rules of communication, not least how the tutor can regain the attention of the group when the chat gets out of control
  • encourage all members of the discussion to contribute
  • tactfully restrain members of the group who are tending to dominate
  • prevent the discussion from straying off course
  • act against anyone breaking the rules, particularly when members are in conflict
  • summarise outcomes at each stage of the discussion

You can probably think of many more rules. If so, please let me know and the list can continue to build.

footer2.gif (845 bytes)
                                                     Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1999. All rights reserved.                                Last revised 28/6/99