18 (1), 2017From The Editor
Welcome to the Volume 18, Number 1 of TOJDE
Dear TOJDE Readers,
Welcome to the Volume 18, Number 1 of TOJDE,
There are 15 articles and a book review in this first issue of the year 2017. These articles are written by 37 authors from 9 different countries. These countries are Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey and USA.
Katherine J. JANZEN, Beth PERRY & Margaret EDWARDS
Building Blocks: Enmeshing Technology and Creativity with Artistic Pedagogical Technologies
Using the analogy of children’s building blocks, the reader is guided through the results of a research study that explored the use of three Artistic Pedagogical Technologies (APTs). ‘Building blocks’ was the major theme that emerged from the data. Sub-themes included developing community, enhancing creativity, and risk taking. The discourse of the paper centers on how selected APTs stimulate interaction, create social presence, and help develop community in the online post-secondary classroom. Additional findings are discussed and implications are presented.
Keywords: Creativity, technology, e-learning, artistic pedagogical technologies, creative arts-based learning, social presence, social interaction.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285705
Muge ADNAN, Filiz KALELIOGLU & Yasemin GULBAHAR
Assessment of a Multinational Online Faculty Development Program on Online Teaching: Reflections of Candidate e-Tutors
Teaching online requires different skills, roles and competencies for online instructors compared to teaching in traditional learning environments. Universities should offer ongoing support in various forms to help academic staff through their online journey. This paper provides insights into a multinational faculty development program for teaching online, elaborating on results of expectancy and satisfaction surveys. From a local program to a subproject within the Swiss National Science Foundation Project Scopes, e-Tutor aimed at expanding competencies in online lecturing and providing OER material for training colleagues. Designed in the form of a descriptive case study, this research was conducted with 34 attendees of e-Tutor. Data was collected using an e-learning readiness and expectancy questionnaire, and open-ended questions after the program to measure satisfaction. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the survey data and content analysis for open-ended data. Participants considered e-Tutor a well-planned and targeted program with good theoretical and practical balance. Duration of such courses, opportunities for adaptation to real-life situations, and localization of the content are areas to be explored further. For future studies, it would also be interesting to see whether participants can apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills to create efficient online learning environments.
Keywords: Professional development, faculty development, e-tutor, e-learning, online teaching and learning.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285708
Problems Experienced in Evaluating Success and Performance in Distance Education: A Case Study
The need for distance education is increasing due to such reasons as keeping up with the changing social conditions, meeting the learning needs of the individuals and enabling them to be lifelong learners. In addition to many advantages distance education provides, it also has certain restrictions. One of these restrictions is the problems encountered in evaluating students’ success and performance. The purpose of this study is to examine the viewpoints of lecturers regarding the evaluation process of academic success and performance of those students who are attending to online distance education program and to compare lecturers’ views on assessment and evaluation practices carried out in face-to-face classroom environment with those online assessment and evaluation practices. The study was a case study and the data of the study were collected from the lecturers who lectured in a distant education program of a state university. Based on the findings of the study, the problems that lecturers have in evaluating the success and performance of the students in online distance education and possible solution suggestions for these problems are presented.
Keywords: Distance education, assessment and evaluation, success, performance.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285713
The Role of Self-Efficacy in Predicting Use of Distance Education Tools and Learning Management Systems
This study aims to investigate the role of self-efficacy in predicting students’ use of distance education tools and learning management systems (LMSs). A total of 124 undergraduate students who enrolled in a course on Distance Education and selected using convenience sampling willingly participated in the study. The participants had little prior knowledge about distance education tools and LMSs. Therefore, they received instructions from the researcher over the course of a semester. The study proposed a research model based on the Technology Acceptance Model that has been widely used to predict user acceptance and use. Structural equation modelling was used to test the research model against the data collected through questionnaire surveys. Pretest-posttest results suggested that the students had significant learning by participating in the instruction. The results of the main analysis also suggested that self-efficacy positively affects perceived ease of use, while usefulness and ease of use perceptions positively affect attitudes toward using distance education tools and systems. Implications are provided along with limitations of the study discussed.
Keywords: Distance education, self-efficacy, authoring tools, learning management systems
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285715
Fatima Shehu KABIR & Abdullahi Tukur KADAGE
ICTs and Educational Development: The Utilization of Mobile Phones in Distance Learning Education in Nigeria
The demand for education in Africa has been on the increase. Thus, there is the need to identify more affordable ways of improving access to learning. For many decades, Open and Distance Education mediated by ICTs has been used to improve access to education. But in developing countries ICTS have been full of challenges of cost, and lack of appropriate infrastructure creating the notion of “digital divide”. At the same time, we are now witnessing an unprecedented explosion in the number of mobile telephones globally, and in Nigeria. This technology, which is arguably the commonest means of communication, could play a pivotal role in extending the possibilities for teaching, learning, and research in distance educational institutions. Numerous studies have shown success stories of mobile learning in the developed world. This paper makes a case for implementing mobile learning in Nigeria by showing a number of successful Mobile Learning initiatives. The study also identified challenges that need to be addressed in order to sustain and succeed in the implementation of mobile learning in Nigeria.
Keywords: Mobile devices, distance education, open and distance learning (ODL), mobile learning, learning technologies.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285716
Gulfem GURSES & Basak KALKAN
Reading Open Education in the Age of Mankind: Reproduction of Meaning in the Derridean Sense
The rapid change in the communication technologies plays a significant role in the transformation processes of societies. The studies studying the industrial revolution in two phases inform us that the first phase of the revolution involved a revolution in machinery while the second phase saw a revolution in technology. Fast forwarding to the twentieth century, however, one of the areas that has been affected greatly from the said technological revolution is education. The structural changes in education are essential for a new educational process that is consistent with a heterogeneous student population and independent of time and space. In this respect, the new education system in information age has been come to be called open and distance education. In the 21st century, when the information age gave way to the human age, we see learner oriented education system. Putting the learner at the center of the educational process, this particular system puts an end to binary opposition between the subject and object. Having aimed at identifying students’ perception of open and distance education system -being the educational technology of the twenty first century-, the present study has been conducted with 69 students that were presently enrolled to the Anadolu University Faculty of Open Education and entitled to the certificate of honor. A metaphor analysis method was employed within the scope of this study. In order to evaluate the students’ perception of open education system, this study adopted a "phenomenological method" as its qualitative research method as it seemed to be more suited to its purpose. In order to identify the students' perception of open education system, they were given a semi structured questionnaire form that contained the following statement “Open Education is like ………… Because it is ………………” and asked to convey their thoughts by focusing exclusively on a single metaphor. The answers from the participants were recorded by a camera, transcribed and analyzed through the spreadsheets created on an excel table. The participants of the study came up with 69 valid and 45 different metaphors regarding the concept of open education. Such metaphors were aggregated under 7 different conceptual categories. At the end of the study, it was established that the students enrolled to the Open Education System regarded open education as a means to access to information.
Keywords: Open education, distance education, metaphor analysis, Derrida, students’ perceptions.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285717
Aysun BOZANTA & Sona MARDIKYAN
The Effects of Social Media Use on Collaborative Learning: A Case of Turkey
The social media usage has penetrated to the many areas in daily lives of today's students. Therefore, social media can be effective tool to support their educational communications and collaborations with their friends and also faculty members. This study aims to determine the effects of social media on collaborative learning. For this purpose, a theoretical model is proposed based on comprehensive literature review. Using an online questionnaire, data are collected from the students of one of the largest university in Turkey. Structural equation modelling is employed as the major statistical analytic technique. The theoretical model is supported by the findings significantly. The findings indicate that perceived ease of use is a predictor of perceived usefulness and both of these have impact on social media use of students for educational purposes. Social media usage improves peer interaction and course engagement of students and also students’ interaction with faculty members. Finally, peer interaction and course engagement have positive significant effect on collaborative learning. The results of the study might be helpful to students and educational leaders in their efforts to create initiatives to support, promote, and encourage the implementation and usage of social media in blended learning classes and provide adequate training for teachers to increase social media adoption.
Keywords: Social media, collaborative learning, structural equation modeling.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285719
Rouhollah MAHDIUON, Davoud MASOUMI & Maghsoud FARASATKHAH
Quality Improvement in Virtual Higher Education: A Grounded Theory Approach
The article aims to explore the attributes of quality and quality improvement including the process and specific actions associated with these attributes – that contribute enhancing quality in Iranian Virtual Higher Education (VHE) institutions. A total of 16 interviews were conducted with experts and key actors in Iranian virtual higher education. A constant comparative analysis was adopted to construct a grounded theory model. Drawing on the experiences and perspectives of key actors and experts closely associated with quality in e-learning, a paradigm model for quality improvement in virtual higher education institutions was developed. The model articulates causal conditions, action/interaction strategies, consequences, contextual factors and intervening environments. Interestingly, quality of learning, i.e. deep learning was the core phenomenon in quality of virtual higher education institutions.
Keywords: Quality improvement, e-learning, learning quality, grounded theory and virtual higher education.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285720
Unal CAKIROGLU, Fatih ERDOGDU, Mehmet KOKOC & Melek ATABAY
Students’ Preferences in Online Assessment Process: Influences on Academic Performances
In the constructivist approach, various self-assessment techniques are being developed to enable students to assess themselves in the learning process. The purpose of the study is to investigate relation between students’ preferences in assessment process and students’ performances. The study was conducted with 67 sophomore students enrolled in Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technologies at a State University. The study was carried out in “Measurement and Evaluation in Education” course. At the beginning, Moodle LMS was used to define the preferences of students about their own assessment criteria (discussion, quiz, assignment and viewing of course content). Throughout the process, students were received the course instructional package in the classroom. Then they were asked to fill the assessment activities on the LMS. Students’ actual performances in online activities in terms of their preference about assessment criteria was calculated as students course achievement scores. The mean value of the scores and the standard deviation were guided us to divide the participants into three groups (unsuccessful, moderately successful, successful) considering their means and standard deviations. Then, the preferences of students and their academic achievements were associated in each group. As a result, various criteria were come to front in both successful and unsuccessful groups. Surprisingly, none of the students preferred viewing course content and participating in discussions as the highest assessment criterion. Besides, it was found that all the students in successful group preferred viewing course content as lowest assessment criterion. The results indicated that, there were no prominent criteria in the relations between the preferences of students about assessment process and the academic performances. However, most of the students in unsuccessful group performed better in assignment although they did not preferred the assignment as the highest assessment criterion. At the end of the study, we noticed that while considering the criterion in the assessment process, taking students’ perspectives and preferences into consideration motivated students positively and had somehow related to their academic achievements. Thus, it is hoped that the study can provides an insight to future studies to enrich assessment activities with giving responsibilities to students in learning, especially in assessment process.
Keywords: Students’ preferences, assessment, online learning, moodle, academic achievement
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285721
Martin Alonso MERCADO-VARELA , Jesus BELTRAN, Marisol Villegas PEREZ , Nohemi Rivera VAZQUEZ & Maria-Soledad RAMIREZ-MONTOYA
Connectivity of Learning in MOOCs: Facilitators’ Experiences in Team Teaching
The role of facilitators in distance learning environments is of substantial importance in supporting the learning process. This article specifically discusses the role of the facilitator in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), which are characterized by their stimulation of learning connections. The study analyzes the experiences of 135 facilitators in hybrid courses (cMOOC + xMOOC) where the following are explored: (1) the strategies used by the facilitators to encourage learning connections, (2) the challenges they faced in their activities, and (3) the basic skills required. A mixed method was used with a convergent design, through the application of a questionnaire qualitative and quantitative data were collected simultaneously. It was found that the collaborative construction of knowledge is the most widely used strategy to promote learning connections in MOOCs and that its design is the biggest challenge that facilitators faced while carrying out their activities.
Keywords: MOOC, connectivism, distance facilitators, open educational resources, open education movement.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285812
A Conceptual Framework of Virtual Interactive Teacher Training through Open and Distance Learning for the Remote Areas English Teachers of Bangladesh
Since we are living in the information age and the importance of the need for communication among people of different cultures is increasing day by day in the globalizing world, people need to learn the languages of different cultures, particularly English, which is the common language of this global communication. This need for learning English requires trained qualified teachers of English. A scan of those who are teaching English in schools of Bangladesh reveals that most of them are very limited in both English skills and teaching methodologies for English. This situation is exacerbated when one moves into the rural areas. Most of the teachers are staying far away from the teachers’ training colleges and also for different constraint like administrative, financial, time constraint and were also unable to receive any training due to family problems. So Distance Education has a great demand to them. ICT is an effective media of distance education. For many years, universities with a significant commitment to distance and open education institutions have been at the forefront of adopting new technologies to increase access to education and training opportunities. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is an umbrella term that includes all technologies for the manipulation and communication of information. Bangladesh Open University (BOU) is till now belonging to the second generation of distance education model but due to the enhancement of technology in Bangladesh, BOU can proceed further. The main purpose of this study is to identify a suitable technology for developing a virtual interactive teachers’ training program for the disadvantaged English teachers of Bangladesh. Respondents were selected through random sampling and data were analyzed using both descriptive statistics and quantitative themes. From the opinion of the secondary English teachers their access and acceptability on ICT was identified and also a need analysis was done. It is hoped that the result of this study will encourage the policy makers to implement new ODL approaches for the training of disadvantaged rural English teachers.
Keywords: Open and distance learning (ODL), Bangladesh Open University (bou), virtual interactive teacher training.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285813
Airton ZANCANARO, Carolina Schmitt NUNES & Maria Jose Carvalho De Souza DOMINGUES
Evaluation of Free Platforms for Delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
For the hosting, management and delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) it is necessary a technological infrastructure that supports it. Various educational institutions do not have or do not wish to invest in such a structure, possibly because MOOCs are not yet part of official programs of universities, but initiatives by a particular teacher or a research group. Focusing on this problem, this study seeks to identify platforms that make it possible to create, host and provide courses free of charges for the offeror; find in the respective literature, the basic requirements for MOOC platforms and to evaluate the platforms based on the raised requirements. In order to identify the platforms, information was sought in scientific articles and websites dealing with the comparison of platforms and listing the existing MOOC providers. For the definition of evaluation requirements, there was a search in the Web of Science and Scopus databases, looking for the term "Massive Open Online Courses". After applying some filters, 62 works that address platforms and technology were selected for analysis. As a result there is the identification of six platforms that allow the free supply of courses, the proposal for 14 requirements for reviewing them and a frame containing the evaluation of the identified platforms. This assessment is important since it brings knowledge as a basis for selecting a platform that is the most suitable one in terms of the chosen structure and method to store, manage and deliver courses in MOOC format.
Keywords: MOOC platforms, MOOC, requirements, free platforms.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285814
John STEELE , Eric J. NORDIN , Elizabeth LARSON & Daniel MCINTOSH
Multiple Access Points within the Online Classroom: Where Students Look for Information
The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of information placement within the confines of the online classroom architecture. Also reviewed was the impact of other variables such as course design, teaching presence and student patterns in looking for information. The sample population included students from a major online university in their first year course sequence. Students were tasked with completing a survey at the end of the course, indicating their preference for accessing information within the online classroom. The qualitative data indicated that student preference is to receive information from multiple access points and sources within the online classroom architecture. Students also expressed a desire to have information delivered through the usage of technology such as email and text messaging. In addition to receiving information from multiple sources, the qualitative data indicated students were satisfied overall, with the current ways in which they received and accessed information within the online classroom setting. Major findings suggest that instructors teaching within the online classroom should have multiple data access points within the classroom architecture. Furthermore, instructors should use a variety of communication venues to enhance the ability for students to access and receive information pertinent to the course.
Keywords: Information placement, classroom design, online classroom, student preference.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285815
Can MIHCI & Nesrin OZDENER DONMEZ
The Need for a More Efficient User Notification System in Using Social Networks as Ubiquitous Learning Platforms
While carrying out formative assessment activities over social network services (SNS), it has been noted that personalized notifications have a high chance of “the important post getting lost” in the notification feed. In order to highlight this problem, this paper compares within a posttest only quasi-experiment, a total of 104 first year undergraduate students, all of which are prospective ICT teachers, in two groups. A formative assessment system in the ubiquitous learning context is delivered over an SNS in both groups. In the first group, the SNS has been used for the entire assessment task. In the second group, the questions have been delivered and responses were received over mobile phone “SMS” messages, while the SNS was used solely for providing feedback. The cases were compared in terms of voluntary participation rates and academic success. Both response rates and academic success have been significantly higher in the SMS group. When asked their reasons for not responding to questions; the SNS-only group frequently reported “not noticing the questions being sent”. This may indicate a flaw in message design for using social networks as LMS's. Sensible use of push-messages is advised.
Keywords: Ubiquitous learning, formative assessment, LMS design, social networking.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285816
A Re-Evaluation of Mobile Communication Technology: A Theoretical Approach for Technology Evaluation in Contemporary Digital Learning
We live in an age of continual technological development. Rapidly developing technologies have found use in nearly all aspects of life. As such, it is understandable that technology has also infiltrated the field of education. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has provided us with the technical underpinnings for distance and lifelong learning. Our understanding of learning has shifted in accordance with the capabilities of technology in such a way that we have had to re-think our approach to learning as a whole. Connectivism is one such approach which aims to re-consider learning within the scope of our relatively new, networked social structure. The Theory of Connectivism relies heavily on what we are technically capable of, and therefore it is also important that we re-evaluate our approach to the technology we use in learning. Due to these aforementioned shifts in our approach towards learning, this study aims to provide a theoretical framework for the re-evaluation of the technology we utilize in connectivist learning; more specifically, how to evaluate our perception of mobile communication technology. A combination of the Technology Acceptance Model and the Media Naturalness Theory is proposed for the evaluation of user perception of mobile communication technology, and the implications of possible outcomes of this re-evaluation are discussed with regards to connectivist learning and education as a whole.
Keywords: Connectivism, communication technology, media naturalness theory, technology acceptance model, mobile technology, m-learning, u-learning
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.285817
Reviewed By Harun BOZNA
REVIEW: Research on E-Learning and ICT in Education
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have had a substantial impact on current society. The way we communicate, work and entertain has changed deeply. Education is one of the fields where ICT applications have been used expansively over the years. Educators have recognized the importance of digital materials since the early days of computers and believed that these materials can be easily managed and distributed to learners to improve the quality of education via multimedia, hyper media and interactivity.
The advent of the Internet and the web has given the opportunity to educators to distribute the digital learning materials and support new forms of web-based learning. Accordingly, the development of e-Learning systems, which support sharing of digital learning material and facilitating communication between learners and educators, has become a vital issue in education platforms.