Blended Learning and Online Tutoring : Planning Learner Support and Activity Design book cover
2nd Edition

Blended Learning and Online Tutoring
Planning Learner Support and Activity Design

ISBN 9780566088414
Published March 28, 2008 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Blended learning provides the flexibility to accommodate the varied requirements of pedagogies, disciplines and levels of course, together with the needs of a wide variety of learners. However, anyone concerned with the integration of online tutoring to support students appropriately may need to reassess current practice. This book adopts a pragmatic and common-sense approach to blended learning by situating the use of online media within a well-grounded teaching and learning strategy. It provides practical ideas for the successful implementation of blended strategies, including good practice in both asynchronous and synchronous tutoring, appropriate assessment design for developing successful blended learners, and innovative approaches to professional development for distance tutors. It is illustrated with a wide variety of examples and comments from students and practitioners in both distance and campus-based environments in 13 different countries. Since the first edition was published in 2006, there has been great interest in Web 2.0 technologies and their potential for use in an educational environment. This second edition has therefore incorporated many new examples of good practice, making use of a combination of tried and tested tools as well as blogs and wikis for supporting students. There has also been a recent rise in the use of activity-based learning and interest in its potential for supporting students in distance and online environments. The new edition incorporates many new exemplars of learning activity design in Part Three, to illustrate approaches to the development of critical, independent learners.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction. Part 1 Approaches to Blended Learning: Tutor-mediated support - reflecting on present practice; Tutors' perceptions of effective intervention; Blended learning and pragmatism; Blended learning and pedagogy. Part 2 Online Tutoring: Supporting students using asynchronous tools - forums, wikis and blogs; Handy techniques for moderators - online asynchronous groups; Supporting students using synchronous tools - chat, audio conferencing and the rest; Handy techniques for moderators - online synchronous groups. Part 3 Developing Independent Learners - Activity Design: The experience of blended learning; Course design for blended learning; Developing e-investigators; Developing e-writers; Developing e-communicators and collaborators; Staff development for blended learning. Appendix 1: Blended learning case studies; References; Index.

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Dr Janet MacDonald was Learning and Teaching Coordinator for the Open University in Scotland, with particular responsibility for blended e-learning and tutor-mediated support. She has first hand experience of being both a distance student and tutor, and now provides both online and face-to-face staff development for others, including a course for online moderators. Her doctorate was on online course design and assessment, and she has directed a variety of studies in this area, most recently in the area of appropriate blended strategies for supporting students.


'An excellent and practical guide for novices and experienced practitioners alike...the author has done an outstanding job in explaining all the concepts and termonologies...I strongly recommend this book as a powerful resource for anyone looking for an encouraging yet pragmatic read on blended learning...The global perspective enriches the content and makes it invaluable for course designers and tutors alike to gain a realistic understanding of what blended learning and supporting students is all about. Stella Lee, Athabacsa University, Edmonton, Canada, Open Learning 'The applause now is just as great”she needs a second edition, but has not cut much of value from the first...Macdonald does a great job in helping to provide that focus and encouragement to step back, by her still thoughtful approach to the theory and practice of being an online tutor. The first edition was very good value as well as being important”this one is even better (not least as the price is unchanged). British Journal of Educational Technology 'Overall, this is an accessible book which can be recommended for teachers and staff developers new to blended learning and online tutoring and those who are more experienced and wish to review and develop their practice. The additions in the area of learning activity design in part III are particularly helpful in updating the text.' Dr Deborah Lee, Nottingham Trent University Reviews of the first edition: 'This book is a pragmatic and useful guide for educational and training practitioners new to blended learning and online tutoring. Janet MacDonald's experience as a student, tutor and staff developer in e-learning, gives this guide an authenticity and provides advice that can be directly applied in practice. ...This is a book that meets the needs of its target audience and represents an up-to-date practical and pragmatic introduction to blended learning for tutors and trainers.' Industrial and Commercial Training 'For a b