Online learning students may encounter adjustment difficulties particularly in the early semesters. Students with lack of computer literacy and related educational background might result in withdrawal from the course of study prematurely. The current research was carried out to investigate tutor’s feedback as a means to empower online learning students, including to build autonomy, help-seeking initiatives, and connectivity. The qualitative descriptive analysis was conducted on 135 students’ comments given in three different online classes. Data was collected by a set of open-ended questions provided at the end of the online tutorial sessions. Data analysis adopted thematic analysis. Three main themes were identified, including independent learning, connectivity, and help-seeking initiatives. Meanwhile, an emerging theme was identified, namely solitary learning styles. The findings indicate that tutor's feedback played an important role in empowering students. Individual feedback helped students understand independent learning more comprehensively, build connectivity with tutor and institution, and find possible solutions for each problem they met. Students with solitary learning styles, however, preferred feedback that pointed out the weaknesses or inappropriate answers they submitted. In addition, they showed lack interest in other feedback given by the tutor.
Rahmat Budiman, Universitas Terbuka, Indonesia
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