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E-tutoring in synchronous and asynchronous environments

Mark Childs, Centre for Academic Practice, University of Warwick

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The ANNIE project (Accessing and Networking with National and International Expertise) was a two-year project undertaken jointly by the University of Warwick and the University of Kent at Canterbury, and ran from January 2001 to March 2003. The project aimed to enhance students' learning experience in Theatre Studies by enabling access to research-led teaching and to workshops led by practitioners of national and international standing. Most of the participating academic staff and students had little or no experience of educational technologies and the participating universities have no developed distance-learning infrastructure. The ANNIE project was therefore initiating the development of expertise and technological support for remote access to experts within the departments. Various technologies were used to achieve this, particularly videoconferencing, CMC and the Internet. Throughout the project close to 20 activities took place, involving lectures, performance-based workshops, vivas, seminars and tutorials, as well as two distance-learning based modules. This paper will review the different forms of e-tutoring that took place, and examine the advantages of using these, the difficulties faced in using them and solutions adopted to overcome these difficulties.

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