Gestión de la acción tutorial en la Universidad Chilena

Imagotipo CRIEDO
Any: 2019

Chilean universities have developed tutorial action programs for some years, focusing on new students given the profile of the new generations that is generally characterized by having difficulties in academic adaptation and dropping out from higher education prematurely. The challenge to implement and develop tutorial action programs, depends on a set of management procedures [design, planning, coordination and evaluation] that guarantees strategic results, and allows tackling the most recurrent problems of higher education organizations: desertion, grade failure, low terminal efficiency and low graduation rates.

In this context, the main goal of this doctoral thesis is to analyze the different management plans and programs of tutorial action implemented in Chilean universities. This goal was achieved by defining the main features of the tutorial actions; the identification of applied management functions for the development of the tutorial action, the analysis of the evolution of the phenomenon in Chilean universities, and by the analysis of the elements that favor or hinder its management.

To characterize the main features of tutorial action in Chilean universities, this thesis used a mixed research approach with multiple integration design [DIM], used multi-case studies and it was developed in two phases: i) pre-field stage in Spanish universities [to establish a frame of reference for the object of study], and ii) in-depth analysis of the phenomenon and its management in Chilean universities.

In both stages, in-depth interview was used as a mean of data collection, as it provides specific descriptions of how institutional managers perceive the development of tutorial action management with a direct and profound vision that placed the researcher in a privileged observation position.

The pre-field study involved the participation of nine relevant agents, with experience in leading and developing tutorial action, from six different Spanish universities that belonged to the autonomous regions of Valencia, Catalonia, Aragon and País Vasco. Next, in the field study in Chile, forty-seven subjects that had a relation with tutorial action management from seventeen Chilean universities were interviewed. With this number of participating universities, a proportion of the four out of five macro regions established by the Ministry of Education [Norte Grande, Norte Chico, Zona Central, Zona Sur] was achieved.

Additionally, in the field study stage, a questionnaire was answered by 226 tutors that belonged to 13 out of the total number of institutions participating in this research. This was done in order to establish the state of development of the tutorial action in the Chilean universities and to compare their results with the perceptions obtained from the institutional administrators regarding management. In general, the results of this study allowed us to understand that in the current context of higher education in Chile, the tutorial action as an educational intervention is at a starting point, which conditions the conceptualization of it and therefore, its management and development.

In addition, the results show us: i) a model of tutoring linked to the first year of university curriculum that is under the guidance of peer tutors; ii) three forms of organizational structures with different complexity that support the tutorial programs; iii) different levels of involvement from authorities [central and local] and academic staff; iv) political, cultural, organizational and technical-pedagogical achievements and changes, that would allow greater integration of the tutorial action within universities; and v) problems in the consolidation of managerial tools [planning and evaluation], used in the development of the tutorial action.

* This Doctoral Thsesis has been financed by the Formation Human Capital Trainging Program – Chile Scholarship, of the National Comision of Cientific and Tecnologic Investigation CONICYT, by Extempt Resolution N° 7067/2014.

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