Folley, Susan (2013) Bridging the gap between face-to-face and online teaching : a case study exploring tutors’ early experiences of teaching online in a UK university 2009-2012. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis explores the early experiences of online teaching of a group of tutors employed by a UK post-1992 University, to tutor a group of students in an online module. Using qualitative case study methodology, and drawing on the theories of Communities of Practice, Learning Cultures and Community of Inquiry, this research reveals that for most of the case-study tutors, teaching online was very different from their normal teaching practice, and some of these tutors were very anxious about the changes. Most of the tutors spoke about teaching online in terms of a deficit model, seeing it as deficient in relation to face-to-face teaching, and often tried to replicate face-to-face teaching practices online. The majority of tutors reported that the aspects they valued about teaching were missing from the online environment, such as nonverbal communication and the dynamics of a live classroom situation. Issues for the case-study tutors included building relationships with students online, time management and workload, and factors relating to role and identity. The research also reveals the importance of peer support in the transition to online teaching, and the value of tutors having experience of being an online student themselves. In addition, the study identifies the strengths and limitations of Communities of Practice and the other theoretical models used when applying them to tutors’ early experiences of teaching online.

Sue_Folley_-_Final_Thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
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