What should the tutor’s role be? - Fleksibel utdanning Norge

Tutors are often happy to take on different roles during a study trajectory. From surveys, we know that contact with the tutor is very important for the students in flexible study programmes (15) and in general (16). In addition to early clarification of expectations, it is therefore also important to clarify responsibilities between the tutors, so that the participants’ expectations are properly addressed.

Some questions that can be asked during the planning process follow below. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but it is important to bear them in mind.

Useful to consider:

  • Who should have follow-up responsibility for the students – and in what areas?
  • Should the tutors divide the students among themselves or have joint responsibility?
  • When and through what channels should tutors be available to students, and how should this be communicated?
  • What form should the follow-up of students take? Assessment and comments on assignments, one-on-one or group supervision, answers to direct questions, moderating discussion forums, participation in discussions?
  • Should the tutors be present in student groups in the digital learning arena?
  • Should tasks be divided among the tutors so that some supervise the students and some ensure that the learning arena content is up-to-date, or should everyone have the same responsibilities and rather assign different times?

The expectations of the tutor may be different online than for face-to-face teaching, for example in terms of response time. For many, experience of using social media is likely to reinforce the expectation of almost immediate response, and they may easily become dissatisfied if it takes a while to get feedback.

The amount of inquiries combined with an expectation of rapid feedback can lead to a large workload for the tutors. Here, the tutor (and possibly the institution) must clarify mutual expectations and obligations at the start of the programme.


  1. 15

    For example, Kristiania University College (2021) Quality Report 2021, https://www.kristiania.no/contentassets/0037a3fad61e46119009615ecf8e06a0/hk_kvalitetsrapport_2021.pdf and Rønning, W. (2013) Nettskolestudenter – motiver, mestring og ambisjoner, published by NTNU for Flexible Education Norway.

  2. 16

    For example Damsgaard, H. L. (2019), Studielivskvalitet: Studenters erfaringer med og opplevelse av kvalitet i høyere utdanning, Universitetsforlaget.

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