The Indonesia Open University (Universitas Terbuka or UT) face-to-face tutoring program for in-service teacher training is intended to improve teacher trainees' course completion rates. The university has attempted to intensify trainees' motivation to participate in the tutoring by increasing the contribution of tutorial performance to the final course grade. Very few studies have been conducted to find evidence that the tutoring program is positively associated with the learning outcomes of the trainees. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the fidelity and quality of the implementation of the tutoring program, assessing the effect of success in the program on students' results in the final course examination, and estimating the relationship of key tutor characteristics with these outcomes.
This study employed both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Information on program implementation was largely observational or interview-based and data on program results consists of the teacher trainees' test scores on tutorial and final examination. Finally, overall joint analysis of these bodies of data is undertaken on the basis of the results of telephone interviews with the key stakeholders and their interpretation of the quantitative data. The study was conducted at the UT regional center of Serang involving teacher trainees, tutors, and the center administrators as interviewees and four sample courses related to Social Sciences, Mathematics, Sciences and Indonesian.
Findings of the study suggested that the center has implemented the tutoring program with relatively high fidelity. However, these results were not strongly associated with trainee achievement on the final exams, in other words the quality of the tutoring program was low. There is a substantial difference between the average of trainees' tutorial scores and that of the final examination results. The correlation between the trainees' tutorial results and their final exam scores is very small but positive and significant in overall sampled courses. Partial correlation analysis between tutors' specific characteristics shows that the association of trainees' tutorial scores and final exam results is significant in the group of trainees guided by tutors holding a Master's degree and in those instructed by university affiliated tutors. The mean difference analysis between groups defined by tutor characteristics showed that the trainees guided by tutors with a Master's degree did substantially and significantly better than those instructed by tutors with only a Bachelor's degree, but there is no significant difference between the groups defined by tutors' professional affiliations.
The local key stake holders interpreted that different characteristics and scoring systems between both assessments may contribute to the weak correlation between tutorial score and final exam results. Tutors and the Center Administrator added that lack of trainees' preparation and poor reading habits may be factors correlated to the trainees' low average on the final exam. There is an indication that the heavy weighting of the tutorial's as part of the final grade contributes to the trainees less intensive preparation for the final exam. Interpreting the impact of tutors' specific characteristics on trainees' final exam achievement, almost all interviewees agreed that tutors with a Master's degree have better knowledge and teaching experience. The trainees were not concerned with their tutor's professional affiliation as long as the tutors had mastery of the course contents, good teaching methods, and could motivate trainees to study. The center administrator expressed that no significant impact of tutors hired from the university and those recruited amongst secondary school teachers was a result of strict recruitment and continuous tutor performance monitoring and evaluation.
Based on the findings, I recommend that UT revisit the proportional contribution of the tutorial score to the trainee's final grade. I also recommended that in hiring new tutors, candidate with a Master's degree educational level or higher should be given priority. Recruiting tutors amongst secondary school teachers should continue as long as continuous and rigorous selection and performance evaluations are conducted.
|Advisor:||Easton, Peter B.|
|Commitee:||Iatarola, Patrice, Jeong, Allan, Milligan, Jeffrey A.|
|School:||The Florida State University|
|Department:||Educational Leadership & Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Distance education, Face-to-face, Indonesia Open University, Inservice, Teacher training, Tutorial, Tutoring|
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