New Approaches. New vision: Capturing teacher experiences in a brave new online world

Catherine Jones, Norah Jones, Michael Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper is an exploration of how a group of tutors involved in a major e‐learning project reacted to developing and teaching in this environment for this first time. All were experienced face‐to‐face teachers but had different levels of experience in using technology. Our aim was to capture their individual views on working in an online environment. The import of this cannot be under‐estimated, as different views on learning influence the role and potential of technology in an e‐learning environment.

As the research is an exploration in understanding the impact that e‐learning can have on the role of the teacher, it seemed appropriate to frame the work in a grounded theory approach and to deal with themes as they emerged. The data for the paper are the product of focus groups, questionnaires and observation. The sample for data collection was the total population of tutors in seven institutions involved in the delivery of the course. The questionnaire captured tutors’ profiles (experience of information technology, e‐moderating, e‐learning, gender, college, module taught), their personal online tutoring style, their opinions on pedagogy and the student learning experience, training and development issues and general reflections on being an online tutor. The initial findings reveal varied reasons for becoming involved with online learning and a wide variety of styles for interacting online with students. All respondents were keen to keep an element of face‐to‐face teaching in their modules and felt it was difficult to gauge depth of learning without ‘normal face‐to‐face interactions at some point’. A number of staff felt that e‐delivery is much more difficult than they envisaged and challenged them in ways that face‐to‐face teaching did not. Materials and approaches that work well in a classroom environment are not always effective online. Tutors faced challenges in both design and delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-56
Number of pages11
JournalOpen Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • blended learning
  • role of teachers


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