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Robson, Linda; Cook, Lynda; Habgood, Nicolette (2016)
Publisher: IATED
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: LB2300, LC5201, L

Classified by OpenAIRE into

ACM Ref: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION
There is limited research into the personal qualities that adult learners value in their tutors within blended learning contexts. This paper takes steps to address this gap. Of significance, the paper explores tutor practices contributing to their effectiveness by considering learner perspectives. An Andragogical Model is proposed for effective blended learning to meet the needs of adult learners studying part-time, vocationally relevant degrees at a distance. The research is based at a ‘post 1992’ university in the north of England at a time when there was financial constraint and increased marketisation of Higher Education, with other providers, such as Further Education colleges, encouraged to deliver degrees. A mixed methods approach was adopted to conduct a detailed exploration of eight tutors’ practice with data gathered from three principal sources. Interviews with tutors explored their approaches to delivery and considered factors that impacted on quality; students’ perceptions of their learning experiences were assessed using an attitude survey; an analysis of the content and communications in the virtual learning environment provided insight into tutors’ online practice. All the tutors investigated as part of the research were located in the School of Education. The paper argues that the predominant approaches to teaching, learning and assessment adopted by tutors were congruent with some of the Andragogical Model’s six core principles (Knowles et al., 2015) due to the vocational nature of the courses investigated. The Andragogical Model provided an analytical lens and drove the development of the proposed Model for this context, which contains the same six core principles. This analysis was valuable as it provided a number of factors to operationalise the Model, which can support practice for tutors and HE institutions in similar contexts. Further, this analysis highlighted a number of tutor skills, qualities and competences that appeared influential in meeting the needs of adult learners in this context.
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    • Hixenbaugh, P. (2006). 'Relationships and retention'. Academic Exchange Issue 4 Summer (2) Owen, M. (2002). 'Sometimes You Feel You're in Niche Time' The Personal Tutor System, a Case Study. Active Learning in Higher Education 3, pp7-23.
    • (3) Stephen, D E, O'Connell, P. & Hall, M. (2008). 'Going the extra mile', 'fire fighting', or laissezfaire? Re-evaluating personal tutoring relationships within mass higher education. Teaching in Higher Education 13, (4) pp449-460 (4) Thomas, L. (2012). Building student engagement and belonging in higher education at a time of change: final report from the what works? student retention & success course. Retrieved from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/What_works_final_report.pdf (accessed 18/01/15) (5) Wilcox, P. Winn, S, & Fyvie-Gauld, M. (2005). 'It was nothing to do with the university, it was just the people': the role of social support in the first-year experience of higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 30 (6), pp707-722.
    • (6) Thomas, L. Storan, J. Wylie, V. Berzins, K. Harley, P. Linley, R. & Rawson, A. (2009). Review of widening participation strategic assessments Ormskirk: Action on Access, Retrieved from http://www.actiononaccess.org/resources/reports (Accessed 18/01/15) (7) Atkinson, S P. (2014). Rethinking personal tutoring systems: the need to build on a foundation of epistemological beliefs BPP University Working Papers. London BPP University (8) Dobinson-Harrington, A (2006). Personal tutor encounters: understanding the experience Nursing Standard. .20, (50) pp35-42 (9) Wheeler, S. & Birtle, J. (1993).. A Handbook for Personal Tutors. Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education Ltd. & Open University Press.
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