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IH Certificate in

Online Tutoring

Welcome to the International

House Certificate in Online Tutoring

We hope you are looking forward to starting the course. Below is some information that you should
read before the course starts to ensure that you are well prepared. Once the course has started, your
tutors will be your main point of contact, but if you have any questions before then, please feel free to
contact me, Tanya, at ihotti@ihworld.com

Best of luck with the course!

The course is designed to train experienced English language/modern language teachers and trainers in
techniques and approaches to online tutoring for language education, and to provide them with the skills
required to become tutors for student-oriented and teacher-oriented courses in VLEs. In addition, we
aim to raise awareness of opportunities for skills transfer and the need to acquire new skills in online
tutoring as opposed to face-to-face tutoring.

The course consists of 4 modules of input varying in length. The modules are spread out over a 5-week period. There
is a further one week period for you to finish off tasks and put together your final assessment portfolio. During this
wrap up week there is no additional input.

Module One: Setting the right climate

In this module, we explore the importance of establishing and sustaining a supportive community on an
asynchronous course. It begins with introductions and an icebreaker before then moving on to look at the
role of the online tutor and looking at how a teacher’s skills are adapted from the face to face classroom to
online environs. The module discusses the importance of factoring in climate setting as part of course

This module lasts seven days.

Module Two: Basic tutoring skills

In the first group task of the course this module familiarises participants with key terminology surrounding
asynchronous platforms. We look at techniques for monitoring our students in the online environment and
how to ensure participants are involved. We’ll also look at how to craft messages and the reasons for
sending them. Towards the end of this module there is a chance for an optional synchronous session with
one of the tutors.

This module lasts ten days

Module Three: Synchronicity

Module three compares the difference between synchronous online learning and asynchronous. As well as
guided input, the participants will work together to explore a synchronous platform of choice. Participants
will also be asked to design and present a task either to their peers or as part of an optional online meeting
that takes place during the module.
This module lasts ten days

Module Four: And in summary

We bring down the curtain on the course by looking at one of the hardest asynchronous skills to learn –
weaving. We end the input by taking stock of what we have covered and discuss how this might fit into any
online plans we or a school might have

This module lasts seven days.

End of course

There is no input for ‘week 6’ of the course though the course remains active as people finish off their final
task and get their portfolio ready for final assessment.

Structure and assessment

The course is run entirely online by qualified online tutors. There are a few optional synchronous meetings
led by tutors and participants. These are not compulsory but you are strongly encouraged to take part to
make the most of the course. There are also a few collaborative tasks which require you to work closely
with other participants.

Participants submit a course portfolio comprising a set of compulsory tasks to be externally moderated.
These are usually one practical and one reflective task per module of the course

This is a pass / fail course with success being determined by both successful completion of portfolio tasks
and contributing to a minimum of 80% of the course.

Time commitment

A minimum of 50 hours over 5 - 6 weeks, including online and offline work. The course is usually broken
down into 5 phases with approximately 1 - 2 hours’ work per day, but the timetable is flexible.

IH Certificate in
Online Tutoring

Code of Conduct - Please read this carefully

All communication online will be monitored by the course organisers.

In using the online communication facilities, course participants must follow the rul es of Netiquette
supplied below as part of the course.

Course participants must refrain from:

• using CAPITAL letters to shout in emails and postings;
• use gratuitously insulting or offensive language to criticise other course participants or their work.

The following forms of behaviour are considered to be oÀffensive by the management of IHWO:
• the use of any language or term which could cause offence to any group or individual, be
discriminatory in any way, or violate any laws;
• the airing of any view which causes offence to any group or individual;
• forwarding messages or inserting links in messages to websites or other content which contains
illegal or offensive materials (such as pornography, hate sites, etc.).

The organisers reserve the right to remove any posting deemed offensive or discriminatory, and the
right to block access to users who are in contravention of this code of conduct.

What do you do if you find something ovffensive?

Wait and relax. Read it again. Was it meant how you first read it? It is easy to misinterpret posts.
Especially if the poster posted in a hurry without reading through their post. If you feel comfortable
challenge the statement. Calmly and rationally explain why you feel it was offensive. Resist the
temptation to ‘flame’. If not, or if the behaviour continues, bring it promptly to the attention of a tutor.
It is likely that course participants will read many of the posts before either or both of the tutors have
the chance. Don’t assume that everything you read on the site is ‘OK’ by IHWO or the tutors.


International House World Organisation takes no responsibility for the content of any postings under
the auspices of the IHWO Online Courses, for any defamation of character or the transmission of any
other material deemed offensive or illegal in any respect.

Complaints procedure

In the event of a Candidate having a complaint over the way a course is being run or with the final grade
received, they must submit this in writing, first of all to the course tutor and then, failing a satisfactory
outcome, to IHWO: IHWOAssessment@ihworld.com. The complaint and/or portfolio will then be
investigated by the IHWO teacher training coordinator and, as a final recourse, by the Director of the
Affiliate Network. All complaints will be resolved within 90 days of the receipt of the initial letter.

IH Certificate in
Online Tutoring


IH World takes issues of intellectual property, copyright and plagiarism very seriously.

Course participants should ensure that they do not at any point, even through omission, present work
that is not entirely their own. If participants wish to use external sources, it is required that participants
cite their sources clearly, correctly and fully. This is the authors’ and publishers’ legal right. This is
especially true if participants intend to quote from a source. However, participants should reference any
source that may have a bearing on their thinking, or the work they have produced.

Disregard of this expectation may result in a ‘fail’ result being recorded for your course, and possibly
legal proceedings as well.

The same holds true if you wish to quote or reference any material from this course, elsewhere.
International House World Organisation and its authors are the sole owners of this information and it
must be properly attributed, every time you wish to make use of it.

Further participation in the course is considered to indicate that the participant in question both
recognises and accepts the following conditions as binding.

- I undertake to present only my own work throughout the course.

- I understand that any sources I use throughout the course must be properly referenced.
- I understand that failure to do so may result in a fail result on the course.

On behalf of IHWO.

Studying online

Some advice for doing an online course:

1. Stay current.
• Courses are organised into units or modules, each designed to focus on an aspect of the course
and to take about a week.
• One of the most effective ways of learning is through interaction with others, working on the
current “week” means maximising this interaction with other learners.
• Your tutors will tend to focus their attention and comments on current weeks over past weeks.
• While many weeks do build on topics of past weeks it is rarely necessary to have fully completed
one week before starting the next.

2. Log on as ovften as possible.

• Even if you only have a few minutes, it’s worth logging on, even if you only read a couple of posts.
It often happens that someone else has answered the question that has been turning over in the
back of your mind.
• It keeps the course current in the back of your mind, even if you have a really busy day and no
time to “work” on the course, logging on keeps the material in mind and “on the back burner”.
• Reading a couple of posts at every opportunity reduces the number (which can become daunting)
you (may feel you) have to read and process before you can start work.

IH Certificate in
Online Tutoring

3. Post o ften, post first.

• Many people find they have a tendency to wait before posting, posting first allows you to ask
questions, and or focus the discussion on what interests you.
• Don’t feel every post needs to be a definitive essay on the topic. In fact, if everyone waits for a
“good” participant to post something that sounds like “the be all and end all” on the topic, others
are frequently left with merely agreeing.
• Posting increases the interaction and thus the benefit for all participants.
• Posting your own ideas before reading others can broaden the discussion on a topic, it’s really
easy to read something and say yes I agree. “Be original.”
• “It makes the tutors earn their money! ;)”

4. Don’t feel you have to read (absolutely) everything (in detail).

• It’s not unusual for threads to go off topic, or become an exchange of anecdotes. While there is
value in these, they are probably not key to the course. If you are pressured for time, skip them.
You can always come back later.
• Extra reading can be fascinating and very useful, but with some courses, trying to read everything can
just be too much, take a note of it and you can always read it later, even after the course is done.

5. Ask questions
• The tutors really are there to help. Most of them remember doing the course and probably
remember experiencing some of the same problems you might be having now.
• Other ‘students’ might have the answer. IH schools are lucky enough to have one of the most
experienced and best-qualified teachers in the business. Most of whom are more than happy to
help and share their experience and knowledge.
• OTTI courses are tried and tested, but they are also under constant development and always being
updated. You can contribute to this process, and make the course better for yourself, your course
mates and everyone else who takes the course.

6. Get in touch, Stay in touch.

• If you do have any problems with the course don’t hesitate to contact a tutor or your course
manager directly. Most questions can be dealt with through the forums but if you want direct
feedback and input from tutors, they are more than happy to give it.
• Sometimes unavoidable situations arise that might seem to make completing the course
impossible. For example, a timetable change that means you no longer teach the right kind of
classes. While this is the exception rather than the rule tutors will try and develop a work around
solution to enable you to complete the course.

About this advice: This advice was compiled and edited by tutors. It is based on the experiences of both
tutors and students of IH and other virtual learning environments.