Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Tutoring at a distance, online tutoring and tutoring in Second Life.

By David Hawkridge and Matthew Wheeler


Research into tutoring at a distance has a fairly long history and the functions of tutors in distance education\ud institutions are well understood. Over the past 20 years research into online tutoring has advanced\ud significantly as such institutions have ‘gone electronic’: in this paper we cite published research from the UK\ud Open University. Recently, blogs, wikis and podcasts have arrived to supplement established systems like\ud email, virtual learning environments (VLEs, such as Blackboard) and computer (web) conferencing. Very little\ud research has been published so far, however, on tutoring distant students in three-dimensional multi-user\ud virtual environments (3-D MUVEs). Distance educators may want to ask whether the best practices from\ud tutoring at a distance and online tutoring can be transferred to these environments, which do not resemble\ud VLEs. To clarify what may or may not be feasible in Second Life, the prime example of a 3-D MUVE, this\ud paper will include a live onscreen elucidation through avatars, on a Second Life island created by the\ud Beyond Distance Research Alliance at the University of Leicester. Conference attendees will witness in\ud Second Life examples of what can be done by way of meeting students’ needs for tutoring, and will discuss\ud the opportunities and challenges inherent in asking students and tutors to meet in such an environment

Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2008). Blended learning and online tutoring. Second edition. doi
  2. (2001). Credit where it's due: Assessing students' contributions to collaborative online learning. In
  3. (2009). Developing the Media Zoo in Second Life. doi
  4. (2000). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online. doi
  5. (2002). E-tivities: The key to active online learning. doi
  6. (2003). E–learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. doi
  7. (2007). Face-to-face versus online tutoring support in distance education. doi
  8. (2009). Face-to-face versus online tutoring support in humanities courses in distance education, doi
  9. (1997). H801 students' and tutors' use of the electronic workbook and electronic mail,
  10. (2000). Herding cats through Piccadilly Circus: The critical role of the tutor in the student's online conferencing experience.
  11. (2008). How to connect technology and passion in the service of learning,
  12. (1998). Models of online courses.
  13. (2009). Opportunity and e-quality: Intercultural and linguistic issues in global online learning.
  14. (1978). Seven years of tuition and counselling research at the Open University. Paper presented on Oct. 12 at the Fernuniversitat,
  15. (1999). Technology-supported groupwork in distance learning.
  16. (1978). The use of tutorials in the Open University.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.