The Role Of The Socio-Cultural Context In Designing Appropriate Support Services And Enhancing Interaction In Distance Education In Turkey

Salih USUN

Understanding the socio-cultural context is the key to developing appropriate support systems for distance learners. The socio-cultural context in Turkey is a critical ingredient in the development of Turkish distance education programmes, in which two elements of Turkish culture - patronage and an oral tradition - seem to play a significant role. The main aim of this study is to determine the role of the socio-cultural context in designing appropriate support services and enhancing interaction in the Turkish Distance Education System, namely, the Open Education Faculty (OEF). The study firstly introduces the technologies and socio-cultural context of the OEF then presents for consideration the influence of that context in designing appropriate support services and enhancing interaction; and finally provides a number of suggestions to enhance learner support and interaction according to the prevailing socio-cultural context.

KEYWORDS: Socio-Cultural Context; Learner Support; Interaction; Distance Education; Open Education Faculty; Turkey