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Primary school pupils? emotional experiences of synchronous audio-led online one-to-one tuition

Humphry, Debbie; Hampden-Thompson, Gillian


Debbie Humphry


Understanding the emotional aspects of pedagogical approaches for primary-aged school children engaged in synchronous audio-led one-to-one online tuition is the focus of this qualitative research study. Data are drawn from the process evaluation element of a large randomized control trial of a 27-week, affordable online mathematics tuition intervention that involved 600 pupils spread across 64 schools in England. Focus groups and interviews conducted with pupils and school staff were used to investigate the pupils? emotional experiences of the mathematics intervention, with reference to the pupil?tutor relationship and the online environment. Our findings suggest that audio-led synchronous one-to-one online tuition provides variable and limited access to emotionally positive pupil?tutor relationships. Whilst our study largely supports the argument that synchronous technologies enhance the sense of communicating with a ?real? person (social presence), we conclude that this does not necessarily have a positive effect. We found that the quality of social presence is contingent on the quality of the pupil?tutor relationship. This paper advances our understanding of social presence theory and highlights the need for program developers to facilitate, and tutors, to consider pupil-sensitive collaborative teaching approaches.


Humphry, D., & Hampden-Thompson, G. (2019). Primary school pupils? emotional experiences of synchronous audio-led online one-to-one tuition. Computers & Education, 135, 100--112.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 12, 2019
Publication Date 2019-07
Deposit Date Sep 1, 2023
Journal Computers & Education
Print ISSN 0360-1315
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 135
Pages 100--112
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