The 21st century tutorial

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    56 Downloads (Pure)


    The main challenge for Open University (OU) Tutors using online Tutorial approaches is the need for a good level of interaction with and between students. Currently Blackboard ™ Collaborate branded as OULive is the tool used by the OU to allow students and tutors to engage in 2 way (synchronous communication) online activities. Online Tutorials built around a “whiteboard” centric tool lack the range of visual cues between Tutor and Student group which are available in a face to face Tutorial situation. The lack of visual and to an extent aural cues require the Tutor to take a different approach to the organisation of the Tutorial and to look for ways to replace the cues that are lost in the online world. This paper seeks to explore how online tutorials are utilised on the Open University course TU100 My Digital Life to encourage student engagement in the tutorial activity and will discuss how the authors’ use the OULive Tool to engage students in online learning activities. The paper aims to discuss the solutions developed through experience of delivering synchronous tutorials over a number of years and tries to provide some guidance to fellow practitioners. The paper will conclude by identifying that good preparation is essential, that problem solving activities in breakout rooms engage students and that there is a need for staff development to link theory with practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL2015)
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-910810-71-2
    ISBN (Print)978-1-910810-70-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • e-learning
    • distance learning
    • synchronous communication
    • breakout rooms
    • problem solving activities


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