Comparative Research on Tutors Management in Open and Distance Education between UK and China

  • Xiaoqian LiuEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Perspectives on Rethinking and Reforming Education book series (PRRE)


In modern distance education, the role and status of teachers are different from that of traditional teachers. With the development of modern distance education, a new career, distance education tutors, appears. There are five different kinds of teachers in the Open University of China: course-charging teachers who are responsible for the course construction; course lecturers who are lecturing the course online in the course construction process; course coordinators who coordinate the relationship between course-charging teachers and tutors; class advisors who are in charge of students and are also called tutors. Tutors are teachers who are predominant between course-charging teachers and students. They instruct, guide and supervise students, and help them complete their learning tasks online and offline. Tutors are now taking a different approach to creating a rich learning environment by using problem-based instructional strategies to build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in learners (Baran et al. 2011). They are changing the traditional teaching methods, teaching ideas, and attitudes to teaching while establishing new perspectives of learning (peer collaboration, guidance, and problem-based learning), which play an important role of improving the quality of distance education and promoting the development of distance education. However, most Chinese distance education institutions find it challenging to define and unify the standards of the roles, jobs and responsibilities of tutors so as to evaluate what the tutors do, and measure their workloads and train them better. This paper presents research carried out to identify the jobs and responsibilities, and competence of tutors of distance education institutions in the UK, their training and managing the tutors. The paper presents findings based on a comparison between Chinese and UK approaches to distance education with a view to offer guidance on good practice for the management of tutors of distance education in China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Experimental CollegeOpen University of ChinaBeijingChina

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