Teacher or Tutor: A Tenuous Line In Distance Learning Teaching
This research paper analyzes the nature of tutorial work in Distance Learning (DL). It uses as a key reference official documents from the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) (BRAZIL, 2007), i.e. to describe both the functions of the tutor and the evaluations that tutors from the Center for Distance Higher Education, State of Rio de Janeiro (CEDERJ), implement within their own teaching and evaluation practices. This study contextualizes the research by addressing theoretical issues related to teaching in distance education, which involves several professionals, including the tutor. The paper shows that there is a lack of terminology to define the role of the tutor within Distance Education (DEd) – a field which is becoming increasingly complex and more difficult to define. It explains that, although the tutor is recognized as having a significant and specific role in distance learning courses, he or she is still a professional without a professional profile- the latter of which is evidence of a proven educational background and having a certain role within distance learning. This research paper also reveals the growing need to carry out further studies that highlight the teachers’ roles, their professional portfolio, and more importantly, their teaching performance and teaching style in DL. It analyzes the answers to the questionnaire that was given to 38 tutors from CEDERJ/UERJ in the undergraduate course in Pedagogy. Finally, it concludes that all participating tutors considered themselves as teachers, even though they were not recognized as such by the institution they worked for.
Distance learning, Tutorials,Teaching
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