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The problem with e-learning – what about tutor skills?


Peter Miles continues our inquiry into the obstacles to success with elearning, by considering tutor skills.

I have been working as an online tutor for over two years on the National Professional Qualification for Headship. The key aim of this programme is to develop leadership skills in potential headteachers. I am also responsible for a team of online tutors.

I agree that one of the key issues in e-learning is the lack of design skills. The E-learning field in education is too dominated by ICT specialists with a focus on the technical rather than, in this instance, people who know how to help people learn about leadership.

However, my key point is that I have yet to find in this debate in the training zone any mention of how tutoring online requires different skills to tutoring face to face. Many of our tutors, some of whom are highly regarded face to face tutors, find the online tuturing role very difficult. The online world is for them messy and confusing and demands of them different skills.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has been successful at developing a team of skilled online tutors.

Peter Miles


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