This paper outlines research into the emotional competences that mature, higher education students, undertaking part-time blended learning degrees within a School of Education, value in their tutors. A mixed methods approach was adopted to conduct a detailed exploration of eight tutors’ practice whilst teaching a module, with data gathered from three principal sources. Learners’ perceptions of their experiences were assessed using a questionnaire; interviews with tutors explored their approaches to delivery and considered factors that impacted on quality; and, an analysis of the content and communications in the virtual learning environment provided insight into tutors’ online practice. Goleman’s (2001) Framework of Emotional Competences provided a lens through which to analyse blended tutors’ practices in relation to learner perceptions. The paper proposes a framework of emotional competences that appeared to contribute to tutor effectiveness in this context. This research questions the value of some of Goleman’s relationship management competences, with the proposed framework developed to add further self-management competences. This was due, in part, to the measures evident by some tutors to effectively support these particular learners at a distance. The proposed framework could support recruitment and selection within higher education, and provide a language for discussing further research into blended and online tutors’ emotional competences.
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