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Patrick Andrews

Online tutorials from a tutor's perspective

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Saturday, 9 Dec 2023, 12:10

As a tutor, it is very helpful to have responses from students during the tutorial.

A few students in recent tutorials have put on their cameras and it is good to see them.  Many students say how my having my camera on helps them to feel more part of the group and reminds them that they are being engaged with in real time.  However, I recognise that there are good reasons why some students might not want their cameras on.

It is good to hear students' voices, at least at the beginning of the tutorial and I do think this also makes everyone feel that we are involved in a collective endeavour.  However, much academic work is done in a written format and use of the text chat option seems reasonable for many tutorials.  It is also quite advantageous in that many people can post at the same time.  It is helpful if students write messages like "This is helpful/I don't understand/I get this/ How is this relevant" in the chat box so I can know their reactions and what they think they are learning.

What can be difficult is to teach with is when students do not give any kind of feedback/response during a tutorial.  This means that the tutor is not clear whether the students are following or whether what is being discussed is too basic.  Just a few comments in the text box or empjis are much appreciated by tutors.

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Patrick Andrews

Use of video in online tutorials

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When we first started using online tutorials (Elluminate), advice was to avoid the use of webcams because the quality was not good enough.  However, I recently saw an OU document recommending the use of webcams by the tutor and I have been switching it on recently.  Student response seems to be quite favourable with comments like "It is good to put a face to the name and voice", which slightly surprised me as most of the time I focus on the whiteboard, slides and chat.  However, if it makes a difference to how students feel about the experience, I am very happy to have my webcam on.

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