Support And Social Activities In Internet-Based Distance Education


In this study, it is aimed to propose practical suggestions through determining the state of support activities and social activities among internet-based educational programs in distance education. In line with this aim, students’ and instructors’ views related with support activities and social activities practiced in the programs within internet-based distance education models applied in Mersin University Mersin Vocational Schools were gathered. 502 students and 30 instructors participated in the study. The quantitative data was collected through surveys, and the qualitative data was gathered through interviews. Frequencies and percentages were used to analyze the categorical data. Moreover, the qualitative data was analyzed via content analysis. According to the findings of the study, students needed to get support about education directives, career guidance, technical equipment, and personal problems. The most frequently visited sources to get support by students are teachers, secretariat, and administrative units. However, students did not consider the supports they got from these units as sufficient. According to most of the students and instructors participated in the study, being involved in social activities was so prominent specifically to provide motivation for students. However, it seems impossible to be engaged in social activities in distance education due to the nature of distance education. Students generally regarded themselves as unsocial, and they considered provided social interaction environment as insufficient. Students and instructors expressed that they mostly interacted through social networking sites. Further, they stated that the social environments they mostly faced with each other were final exams and graduation ceremony.

KEYWORDS: Distance Education, Internet-Based Learning, Support Activities, Social Activities.