Exploring Students’ Perceptions on Effective Online Tutoring at a Distance Education Institution
Keywords:Distance learning, e-Tutor, Online learning, Online support, Student support, Technology
Online or e-tutoring is a component of e-learning that involves teaching in an online setting where the e-tutor provides support to a small group of students, which can increase confidence, improve topic comprehension and develop critical learning skills. To enhance e-tutoring in the Department of Financial Accounting at the University of South Africa, this study examined student perspectives or evaluations on the effectiveness of e-tutoring in a distance learning environment, as well as the challenges encountered during its implementation. The study adopted a quantitative design where online questionnaires were used as data collecting instruments. A total of 3,837 questionnaires were completed by students who indicated their willingness to participate in the study. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data. The major findings revealed that e-tutoring has enhanced students’ learning options in financial accounting modules, through the provision of assistance and the promotion of interactive classrooms. The study revealed that students expressed a need for increased training for e-tutors to enhance their abilities in supporting academic goals, while technological challenges such as bad internet and internet cost were identified as significant barriers to successful e-tutoring. Recommendations include promoting e-tutoring in higher education institutions to support students’ academic endeavours, providing regular training for e-tutors to handle technical content and overcome technological challenges, and establishing effective communication channels to facilitate student-tutor interactions. These measures aim to improve teaching and learning in the online environment, fostering a supportive and engaging experience for students.
Copyright (c) 2023 Prince Chukwuneme Enwereji, Annelien van Rooyen, Alet Terblanche
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