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Online and remote support for learners in time of pandemic

Call for papers


Cathia Papi (TÉLUQ University, Québec, Canada) and Jacques Audran (INSA Strasbourg, France)

During the pandemic of 2020-2021 all teachers have had to switch fully or partly the delivery of their courses to totally or partially online mode. This has raised the question of support provided to pupils and students.

Up to now, the research has shown very moderate enthusiasm among teachers for online teaching and focused mainly on analyzing the reasons of this restraint.

From the improvement of ergonomics to the study of the acceptability of the use of technologies in education and training, most researchers tried to understand the origins of the obstacles to the use of tools, that are widely used in contemporary society, in education (Kellner, Massou, & Morelli, 2010; Marquet, 2012).

The new situation has shown that, in case of emergency, it is possible to use digital technology and to adopt distance or blended education. This, however, is possible not without raising many challenges: work overload and increased stress for teachers (Barroso da Costa et al., 2021) and for learners (Bergeron-Leclerc, Blackburn, and Maltais, 2020; Roux et al., 2021), lack of contact with pupils and students, difficulties in maintaining the educational relationship and its dynamics, etc. Beyond the equipment and the adoption of technologies, the relational dimension that includes participation (Audran & Garcin, 2011), interaction with or among learners (Papi et al., 2018) and support provided to them (Deschênes, 2001, Cartier & Mottier-Lopez, 2017), appears to be a real “challenge” (Alexandre, 2021) on the way to promoting student achievement (Polo & Chaker, 2020).

Online or distance learning presupposes student autonomy that they often have not yet developed (Linard, 2000). Therefore, accompanying (i.e. supporting) learners, ensuring presence (Marmon, 2018; Jézégou, 2010) and some proximity (Paquelin, 2011; Brassard and Teutsch, 2014) through interaction seems to be a necessary condition for overcoming the existing distances (Jacquinot, 1993; Moore, 1993; Peraya, 2014).

By destroying classroom walls (Stockless, 2018), the responsibility to meet learners’ needs has extended from teachers to other actors. In fact, parents have often been on the front line (Carignan, Beaudry & Cohene, 2020) together with the support programs that involve tutors or peers (Carlana & La Ferrara, 2021; Papi, 2013). Likewise, beyond formal education, a number of other educational activities that are normally available onsite and include support have also been offered online (music, dance, etc.).

In this special issue, we want to focus on a topic that has received relatively little attention in research - online and remote support for online learners. When offering distance education, how to maintain or adapt the pedagogical and didactic relationship that characterizes the teaching and learning situation? How to create presence and proximity despite distance? How to arouse interest and promote motivation of learners? What programs, learning scenarios, strategies, activities, tasks to put in place to ensure perseverance and progress? To what extent do the characteristics of learners and subject areas influence the emerging practices? On a theoretical level, are the existing models likely to shed the light on the ways to deal with new situations experienced by pupils and students as well as by teachers, tutors and trainers?

We invite researchers to propose contributions based on empirical studies. These contributions may be based on completed or ongoing experiments and should present the results while situating them in relation to the existing studies and opening perspectives for further research.


Articles may be submitted in French or in English and must comply with the scientific requirements. Proposals for articles must respect the editorial policy of the journal Questions Vives, Recherches en Education ( and the requested submission format ( The proposed articles will be reviewed in double blind by the members of the scientific committee and will be published only after acceptance and possible revisions.

Provisional schedule

  • Mid-May 2021: launch of the call

  • End of June 2021: receipt of the intentions of contribution, return in the course of time and at the latest mid-July 2021

  • September 15, 2021: receipt of articles

  • End of October 2021 : Return to authors

  • Publication planned before the end of 2021.

The contribution intentions and the articles should be sent to the coordinators of the issue Cathia Papi, Jacques Audran, and to the journal


Alexandre, M. (2020). L’enjeu relationnel de la présence en formation à distance, Le Tableau, 9(6),

Audran, J., & Garcin, C. (2011). « Apprendre en ligne, une question de participation ? », Recherche et formation, 68, 63-78.

Brassard, C., & Teutsch, P. (2014). Proposition de critères de proximité pour l’analyse des dispositifs de formation médiatisée. Distances et médiations des savoirs (5).

Barroso da Costa, C., Alioum, A., Doyon, E., & Loye, N. (2021). Covi-19 : les enseignants sont épuisés et stressés, La Conversation.

Bergeron-Leclerc, C., Blackburn, A., Maltais, D. (2020) Covid-19 : la détresse des étudiants universitaires est bien réelle, La Conversation,

Carlana, M., & La Ferrara, E. (2021). Apart but Connected : Online Tutoring and Student Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic, HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series,

Cartier, S. C., & Mottier-Lopez, L. (2017). Soutien à l’apprentissage autorégulé en contexte scolaire : Perspectives francophones, Québec : PUQ.

Carignan, I., Beaudry, M.-C., & Cohene, K. (2020). L’enseignement-apprentissage à la maison en période de pandémie en mettant sa casquette de maman-enseignante-chercheure : un défi de taille, Formation et profession, 28 (4), 1-11.

Denis, B. (2003). Quels rôles et quelle formation pour les tuteurs intervenant dans des dispositifs de formation à distance ?, Distances et savoirs1(1), 19-46.

Depover, C., De Lièvre, B., Peraya, D., Quintin, J. & Jaillet, A. (dir.) (2011). Le tutorat en formation à distance. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgique : De Boeck Supérieur.

Deschênes, A-J. (2001), L’encadrement-programme aux études supérieures en formation à distance à la Télé-Université, Journal of Distance Education, 16 (2), 1-22.

Jacquinot, G. (1993). Apprivoiser la distance et supprimer l’absence ? ou les défis de la formation à distance, Revue française de pédagogie, 55-67.

Jézégou, A. (2010). Créer de la présence à distance en e-learning : Cadre théorique, définition, et dimensions clés. Distances et savoirs, 2(2), 257-274.

Kellner, C., Massou, L., & Morelli, P. (dir.) (2010). (Re) penser le non-usage des tic, Questions de communication, (18).

Linard, M. (2000). L’autonomie de l’apprenant et les TIC. Actes des Deuxièmes rencontres Réseaux Humains/Réseaux Technologiques, Poitiers24, 41-49.

Marmon, M. (dir.) (2018). Enhancing Social Presence in Online Learning Environments (chapter 5). IGI Global.

Marquet, P. (dir.) (2012). Les non-usages des TIC. Modélisations, explications, remédiations, Recherches et Éducations,

Moore, M. G. (2013). The theory of transactional distance. In Handbook of distance education (pp. 84-103). Routledge.

Papi, C. (dir.) (2013). Le tutorat de pairs dans l’enseignement supérieur. Enjeux institutionnels, technopédagogiques, psychosociaux et communicationnels, Paris : L’Harmattan.

Papi, C., Angulo Mendoza, G. A. Brassard, C., Bédard, J.-L., & Sarpentier, C. (2018). L’interaction en formation à distance : entre théories et pratiques. TransFormations (17),

Paquelin, D. (2011). La distance : questions de proximités. Distances et savoirs, 4(4), 565-590.

Peraya, D. (2014). Distances, absence, proximités et présences : des concepts en déplacement, Distances et médiations des savoirs, 8.

Polo, C., & Chaker, R. (2020). Accompagner la réussite, Distances et médiations des savoirs, (30).

Roux, J., Lefort, M., Bertin, M., Padilla, C., Mueller, J., Garlantézec, R., Pivette, M., Le Tertre, A., & Crépey, P. (2021). Impact de la crise sanitaire de la COVID-19 sur la santé mentale des étudiants à Rennes, France.

Stockless, A. (2018). Le numérique en éducation : apprendre en ouvrant les murs de la classe. Médiations Et médiatisations1(1), 3-5.

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