Global Advanced Research Journal of Educational Research and Reviews (GARJERR) ISSN: 2315-5132

March 2013, 2(3): pp. 070-076

Copyright © 2013 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Blending traditional face-to-face tutoring with internet based tutoring services: constraints and benefits to (ODL) students and tutors

Stephen Mwenje and John Mapfumo

Regional Quality Assurance Coordinator (Zimbabwe Open University)

Sabbatical scholar (Zimbabwe Open University)

*Corresponding author Email

Accepted 04 March, 2013


Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has forced many Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems in developing countries particularly in Sub Saharan Africa to adopt tutorial delivery modes characterized by wholesome importation of e- learning packages with hopes of achieving developed countries’ success stories of increasing access, quality and affordability. However, it seems these African (ODL) systems are experiencing challenges in adjusting their tutorial delivery modes in order to accommodate e-learning technologies in a ways that suit their local conditions. It is critical to find out how (ODL) systems in Africa are coping with these constraints without compromising the needs of their local students who may still have to depend on face-to- face tutorials. This paper sought to find out the views of 415 stratified randomly selected Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) students and 102 tutors on how traditional face to face tutoring can be blended with Internet based tutoring. A case study methodology was used to gather and analyse data. The interview and the questionnaire were used as data collection instruments. The results show that both face- to- face and Internet based tutoring have strengths and weaknesses. While the application of each of the modes had barriers, students and tutors were positive about blending face- to- face with Internet based tutoring. The study recommends that face to face tutoring continue to be given high priority in (ODL). However, management of face to face tutorials must meet students’ expectations. The study recommends that development of Internet based tutoring infrastructure and e- course materials be a priority in (ODL). Internet based tutoring must be implemented considering student’s socio-economic backgrounds. Implementation of Internet based tutoring services must be facilitated by (ICT) skills development programmes for both tutors and students and extra incentives for tutors.

Keywords: Face-to face tutoring, Internet based tutoring services.



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