The effects of Tutors' Comments on Students' Learning at the Open University of Tanzania

Athanas, Patrick (2004) The effects of Tutors' Comments on Students' Learning at the Open University of Tanzania. Masters thesis, The Open University of Tanzania.

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Abstract

This study examines effects of tutors' comments with a particular focus on students' learning at OUT. Objectives of the study were: to assess the nature of comments tutors provide on students' assignments and determine how these comments are able to guide students in their learning. The study also examined the functions of tutors' comments and determined their usefulness and limitations in facilitating effective distance learning. Lastly, the study examined challenges experienced by tutors in providing comments to students' assignments. The research was mainly qualitative in nature whereby it used in depth interviews, and documentary review techniques for data collection. The sample for the study constituted 39 respondents (25 students, 10 tutors, 3 Head quaters management officials and 1 Regional Director). During data analysis, the researcher sorted and examined data, which were assembled under specific categories of main themes. Data under each category were read carefully and any thing, which was found inappropriate was discarded. The study indicates that tutors provide comments of different nature: marks with no words, brief, detailed comments. However, some comments were perceived by students to pose difficult to identify areas of improvement, interpretation, and the way to act upon appeared comments. Perceived usefulness of comments include drawing students' attention on their strengths and shortcomings, arouse of motivation in learning, provision of information and eliciting communication. Some limitations of correspondence tuition that were found out were demoralization of students' interests and engagements, dropping out, exceeding of course completion time and arouse of heightened emotion. Tutors encountered challenges included invisible learners, limited amount of time, lack of accessible communication channels and students' deficiency in communication skills. The study recommends that tutors should provide detailed, supportive and constructive comments to assist student learning. Tutors also need to be trained in theory and philosophy of distance education

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: 300 Social Sciences > 370 Education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > Department of Policy Planning and Administration
Depositing User: Mr. Administrator OUT
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2011 08:10
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2013 09:25
URI: http://repository.out.ac.tz/id/eprint/97

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