<120> Heritage provides adjunct faculty to tutor the courses. These are experienced K 12
teachers. However, the primary interaction is through the listservs amongst the course
<6> Tutoring is by lecturing staff. An undertaken is given that lecturers will reply to one s
learning activities rapidly. The overwhelming emphasis is on technological and electronic
support. Tutoring takes place in groups at residentials held on the university campus
though these are optional and provision is made to attend these tutorials electronically.
<38> Tutors and distributed experts play a central role in our training approach. Tutors
structure the courses, provide inputs via different media, moderate discussions, facilitate
learning processes, and organize group work and interaction.
<103> Consultants (experts in the field) are used in addition to tutors to engage in
discussions and activities with students.
<106> Each course has a coordinator and a year tutor. Students are also assigned personal
tutors who mark their assignments.
<99> The tutors are all members of the CSALT group at Lancaster. However, in addition
to tutor feedback, group tutoring by the other students is designed into the course.
What Do the Tutors Do?
This author (1998, 102) distinguished between four categories of teaching functions:
organizational, social, intellectual, and assessment functions. An analysis of the interviews
indicates that the tutors at least conduct the following functions which are extracted from the
Organizational functions: structure discussions, pacing, put forward initiatives
Social functions: monitor groups
Intellectual functions: answer questions, guiding students on the Internet
Assessment functions: give feedback to assignments, correct submissions
Further information about teaching functions is presented below:
<54> Depending on the level of involvement of tutors in the courses, they are responsible
for structuring the open and closed discussion in the discussion groups (threaded
discussions). They give answers to questions, monitor groups, give feedback to
elaborations of task assignments, and put forward initiatives. There are specific courses
where the tutoring also focuses on pacing the work of students (keeping track of their
work, start date, end date, etc.). E mail is not the favorite medium, we prefer the
discussion groups to prevent work overload of tutors in their mail box. For certain courses
where BCWS was implemented as groupware, the tutor (next to the content experts) takes
a different role and responsibility.
<66> Tutors give feedback on all questions and comments on e mail and comments in
discussions groups. Assignments for submission commented and corrected by a tutor are
central in tutoring. Most of the courses also have two ore more gatherings during the study
period. We plan to try out the use of machine tutoring in some selected courses in the
future. We also think that videoconferences will be important for discussion on academic
matters in the future.
<62> The tutor is guiding students on the Internet, human tutoring. All students may ask
questions to the tutor and get answers back. Assignments for submission corrected and
commented by the tutor are central parts of the course. There are no group tutoring or