Wednesday, May 11, 2005

E-Moderating in On-Line Problem Solving: a new role for teachers?

Panos Vlachopoulos & Ray McAleese
University of Aberdeen
Hilton Campus, Aberdeen, AB24 4FA, Scotland.


( Proceedings of the fourth Hellenic Conference with International Participation ‘Information & Communication Technologies in Education’ 29 Sept- 3 Oct 2004, Athens, Greece)

Within UK higher education there is a great deal of interest in the role of the on-line moderator (e-moderator). Many tutors new to on-line teaching, without the appropriate background or any experience of on-line learning, are now asked to contribute to the development of their institutions’ on-line courses (e.g. Bennet & Marsh, 2002). While the idea of e-moderation appears as a design challenge for tutors and teachers who want to move online, there are many unanswered pedagogical questions regarding the role of the e-moderators and their effectiveness in different learning contexts. This paper reports on issues arising from a pilot study, as part of a Ph.D programme, that tested two different e-moderation styles: ‘Low’ or non-directive style and ‘High’ or directive style. Research on e-moderation was carried out in a Scottish university with a sample of 38 undergraduate students in a problem solving course .The course was taught with a mixed instructional strategy which included an on-line asynchronous discussion system. The research focused on the way moderation style (High and Low) influenced the learners and the process of learning.
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