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Evaluation Of Tele Tutorial Support In A Remote Programming Laboratory

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Virtual and Distance Experimentation

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.584.1 - 9.584.13

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Paper Authors

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Klaus Rütters

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Bernardo Wagner

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Andreas Böhne

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2426

Evaluation of Tele-tutorial Support in a Remote Programming Laboratory

Andreas Böhne, Klaus Rütters, Bernardo Wagner

Learning Lab Lower Saxony (L3S), Hanover, Germany {boehne, ruetters, wagner}


Laboratories allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge in a situated context. Many students only work and learn successfully in such a complex laboratory setting when they get instructional support from a human tutor. This support is provided by a local tutor in classical local laboratories. To provide such support in a remote lab as well, we developed a web based lab environment, which supports synchronous tele-tutorial assistance by a human tutor. To evaluate synchronous tele-tutorial support we conducted a controlled experiment with 19 electrical engineering students. The students worked in groups of two or three on a remote programming experiment, while a tutor assisted them with the synchronous communication tools video conference, text chat and desktop sharing. Regarding this lab setting, our research questions were: Has synchronous tele-tutorial support the potential to provide a high quality of instructional support? Which communication media are most useful for such a lab setting? Does self-directed as opposed to teacher-directed learning lead to better task successes and student motivation? Therefore, all student groups were remotely assisted by a human tutor and either exposed to a self-directed or a teacher-directed setting. We measured students’ initial knowledge, use of the different communication media, consulting effort, contentedness with tele-tutorial support and students’ motivation, and analyzed task success. The results of our study show that the students were content with the remote tele-tutorial support. Students rated audio chat and desktop sharing as most useful and video picture of the tutor and text chat as less important. Contrary to our expectations there was no statistically significant difference between the motivation and the task success of students working in the self-directed setting and students working in the teacher-directed setting.


A major goal in engineering education is that students acquire problem solving and creativity strategies so that they become able to construct technical systems. Such strategies can be learned by working on small problems and construction assignments in a problem-based learning environment. Laboratories are a typical example of a problem based learning setting. They allow applying and testing theoretical knowledge in practical learning situations, in which students

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Rütters, K., & Wagner, B., & Böhne, A. (2004, June), Evaluation Of Tele Tutorial Support In A Remote Programming Laboratory Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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