The Learning Satisfaction, Attitudes, and Grades of E-Tutees Receiving Online English Tutoring

The Learning Satisfaction, Attitudes, and Grades of E-Tutees Receiving Online English Tutoring

Chiung Wei Huang (Graduate Institute of Learning and Instruction, National Central University, Jhongli City, Taiwan) and Eric Zhi Feng Liu (Graduate Institute of Learning and Instruction, National Central University, Jhongli City, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2015070102

Abstract

One-on-one online English tutoring provides equal educational opportunities for students living in remote areas. This study examines the learning satisfaction, attitudes, and grades of e-tutees receiving online English tutoring. Ten e-tutees and ten e-tutors participated in the study. The study found that the e-tutees were satisfied with their one-on-one online English tutoring and that they performed well on online English tests. In addition, evaluations made by e-tutors show their e-tutees learning attitudes were positive. Online English distance education not only overcomes the limitations of space and time but also facilitates e-tutees' learning and development.
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1. Introduction

When it comes to after-school learning opportunities, a wide gap exists between students in rural areas and those in urban areas. Students in rural areas must contend with inconvenient transportation, economic difficulties, a lack of environmental resources, and a serious dearth of qualified teachers. In order to diminish this gap in educational opportunities between urban and rural areas, in 2006 the Ministry of Education initiated the “On-line Tutoring Service Project for Middle and Elementary School Students in Remote Areas” (Weng, 2011). The MOE later expanded this program to include students in rural areas from Nantou County to Northern and Southern Taiwan. The program also provides university students with one-on-one tutoring via the Internet, using the latest information and communication technology to give e-tutees advice on academic or everyday issues (MOE, 2013). Improving the academic performance of disadvantaged students has been a major administrative effort emphasized by Taiwanese educators (Chen, 2008).

The online English tutoring program for after-school students improves their learning resources by providing information communication technology and access to web services (MOE, 2013). With the active assistance of the Ministry of Education, for this study, “B” Elementary School, together with a Digital Opportunity Center located on an offshore island, joined the online tutoring program. “B” Elementary School is located in a remote area where computer equipment is scarce. The after-school online tutoring program helped resolve both the geographical and technological limitations of the e-tutees. Besides, hardware and software systems in online English tutoring have been developed well.

The number of online courses continues to grow in higher education (Song & McNary, 2011). In the USA, online education has experienced an explosive growth rate over the past few years and 4.6 million students were enrolled in online (Bolliger & Halupa, 2012). Online tutoring is widely available not only in the USA, but also in northern Taiwan. For this study, the online e-tutees’ learning needs were delivered in English. Information technology can be an effective tool for language teaching. To be effective, distance language programs must be carefully planned on the basis of a clear understanding of learner needs (Doughty & Long, 2003).

Currently, the majority of research described in the literature has focused on the asynchronous mode of instruction, with very little discussion on the issues related to online synchronous instruction (Chen, Ko, Kinshuk & Lin, 2005). Language learning from a distance presents unique challenges (Andrade & Bunker, 2009). Few studies have explored issues related to English learning performance in the context of either online tutoring or online training programs. Furthermore, research focusing in particular on synchronous online language teaching and learning is still missing (Chen, Wang, Wu, Levy, 2008). Consequently, this investigation may influence the quality of online English tutoring because it uses quantitative research accompanied by qualitative methods to examine the research questions. The results of this study contribute to bridging theory and practice in the instructional and academic community.

1.1. Purpose of the Study

With the above research goals, this study attempted to examine e-tutees’ learning satisfaction, e-tutees’ English learning attitudes, and e-tutees’ English grades in online English tutoring.

1.2. The Research Questions

  • 1.

    What are the levels of learning satisfaction among e-tutees in online English tutoring courses?

  • 2.

    What learning attitudes do e-tutors assess about their students in online English tutoring?

  • 3.

    What are e-tutees’ English grades in online English tutoring?

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