Distance education brought practicality and flexibility to the learning process, allowing the student to enter online courses (undergraduate, graduate, specialization, technicians, technologists, free, among others) and study from home, setting their own schedules. In this context, it is essential that educators are prepared to transmit content effectively and with quality — and this is precisely the objective of distance learning monitoring.
And you, do you already know exactly what an EAD monitoring is and how important it is for the progress of a distance course? To find out the answer to these and other questions on the topic, keep reading the post!
How do EAD courses work?
Distance learning courses have become an increasingly present reality in the lives of young people and adults who want to prepare for the demands of the current market. Ensuring flexibility to the student, who can study wherever he wants — just have a computer with internet access — and whenever he wants, without the need to travel to the educational institution.
Among the main advantages of distance learning courses are:
- excellent cost-benefit ratio (there are no costs with daily transportation to the college and no extra expenses with food, etc);
- development of skills valued by the job market (such as initiative, self-discipline, motivation, commitment, among others).
In general, it can be said that the main aspects of an EAD course, in addition to the syllabus, are the student himself, the didactic material and tutoring, as we will see later.
What are the main elements of an ODL course?
Distance learning students certainly have an important benefit that we have already mentioned: being able to set their own schedules without having to be tied to the schedules determined by the institution.
Working students, for example, can dedicate themselves to the course according to the time they have free. In all cases, this advantage, however, needs to be faced with a lot of focus and responsibility — after all, it is necessary for the student to know how to deal with this freedom with maturity, achieving good results.
It is also necessary to demystify once and for all the false impression that the distance learning student is not charged and that their attendance and participation are not monitored. On the contrary: teachers and tutors (as we will see later) can know which classes have been fully attended by the student, which contents have been accessed, among other aspects.
Distance learning courses take place in a virtual learning environment, a platform to which only registered students and, of course, teachers and tutors have access. All classes, handouts, books, various teaching materials (such as slideshows etc), forums, chats and exercises are concentrated in one place for the entire duration of the course.
Finally, another fundamental aspect related to distance learning courses is tutoring, that is, distance learning monitoring. It ensures that all students receive the attention they need during the learning process, eliminating any doubts and allowing them to absorb all course content in the best possible way.
This distance tutoring is done by qualified tutors. Counting on these tutors, the educational institution shows that it values and takes the teaching and learning of its students seriously, who will learn more efficiently and, therefore, will present satisfactory performances.
Who are the EAD tutors?
As we have already mentioned, tutoring is a very important element of distance learning courses. Distance learning tutors are responsible for it , professionals whose function is to transmit the entire online course in an attractive way for students — that is, promoting engagement between them and the content and facilitating the learning process — and with quality.
These tutors must always be present in the academic life of the EAD student, clearing their doubts, supporting their learning process, motivating them and identifying possible difficulties, working on them with the student. In this way, it can be said that they act as pedagogical mediators and interpreters.
Now that you are familiar with the distance learning tutor concept, you are probably wondering who the professionals who perform this function are and what is the difference between them and teachers, right? In fact, tutors are also teachers. To be a tutor, you need, in addition to higher education:
- be attending or have already attended a postgraduate course or;
- have at least one year of teaching experience in basic or higher education.
What is the importance of the EAD tutor?
Distance learning tutors are well trained and of great help in the virtual teaching environment. Among its main roles is advising groups of students, on an individual basis. As they provide distance tutoring, they must always be able to indicate the best paths to be followed in the learning process.
Another very important role of distance learning tutors is to ensure the immersion of students in a stimulating environment for the absorption of content. This is because, even with all the practicality and flexibility promoted by distance education, it is necessary to ensure that the student is not just following the course in an “automatic” way, without engaging in or viewing it as training.
It is a fact that distance education provides participants with greater independence in relation to face-to-face teaching. Even so, it is up to tutors to ensure that learning is taking place in the best possible way, stimulating the student’s desire to go beyond what is proposed, thus ensuring a complete training process.
In this way, it is also a role of tutors:
- knowing how to use new technologies to create different styles of knowledge transmission;
- promote the participation of its students in debates held in the platform’s discussion forums;
- to stimulate the interaction in general between the participants of each course — breaking once and for all that perception that in an EAD course there is no contact with other students or collaborative learning;
- assist student learning in the virtual environment, even helping those who may have difficulties with the platform and its operation;
- offer feedback, facilitating the construction of knowledge.