The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

E-tutoring in Online Education: the Case of IUL Telematic University

Massimiliano Naldini, IUL - Università Telematica degli Studi (Italy)

Giorgio Cecchi, Univesità Telematica degli Studi IUL (Italy)

Andrea Nardi, IUL - Università Telematica degli Studi (Italy)


In recent years, there has been a need to strengthen and rethink the role of tutors in e-learning and online education [1], where this figure has assumed an increasing importance, particularly following the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in distance education [2]. The tutoring function plays an essential role in online education because the online training requires that students be adequately supported by specialised figures who can provide continuous support, guide them in their study paths, assist them in technological, methodological, and instructional aspects [3]. Here we present the preliminary results of an ongoing research project conducted on tutoring of IUL – Università Telematica degli Studi [4]. Specifically, the research project aims to investigate the composition of the IUL e-tutor community, identifying the actual practices carried out by e-tutors in terms of roles and relationships with their students; in terms of activated teaching and support; in terms of platform tools usage; and in terms of orientation and guidance strategies. In this paper we present the results obtained from the questionnaire that was administered to a group of IUL e-tutors (n. 57). The questionnaire investigates several elements and dimensions: interests, educational and cultural background of the e-tutor; previous professional experiences, perceptions, and expectations about one’s role; disciplinary, methodological, and socio-relational competencies; tutorship styles, practices, and strategies [5]. The answer options for each question in the questionnaire are characterised by a 4-point Likert scale with the following labels: “Frequently”, “Sometimes”, “Rarely”, “Never”. In this study, we focused on how often tutors perform certain tasks. The aim of the study is to evaluate the association between the frequency of carrying out these actions and some sociodemographic and academic characteristics of the tutors via an Ordinal Logistic Regression Model. The results are analysed and discussed.

Keywords: e-learning; e-tutoring; higher education; teaching; online.


[1] Youde, A.: I don’t need peer support: effective tutoring in blended learning environments for part-time, adult learners. Higher Education Research & Development, 39(5), 1040–1054 (2020).

[2] Vegliante, R., Sannicandro, K.: The role of the tutor in the university context and in distance learning: exploratory research. Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society, 16(3), 76–85 (2020).

[3] Ferrari, S., Mauro, I., Messina, S., Raviolo, P., Rivoltella, P.C.: E-tutoring nella didattica telematica. Pratiche di modellamento. Excellence and Innovation in Learning and Teaching - Open Access (2021).

[4] Benedetti, F.: Designing an effective and scientifically grounded e-learning environment for Initial Teacher Education: The Italian University Line Model. Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society, 14(2), 97–109 (2018).

[5] Nardi, A., Cecchi, G., & Naldini, M.: Tutoring in online university education: A Case Study from Italy, 5th International Conference on Higher Education Learning Methodologies and Technologies Online, Foggia, September 13th-15th, 171-173 (2023).



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