Anadolu University Open Education Faculty was established in 1982-1983 academic year. Since then, the printed materials have been used as the basic educational technology. Besides printed materials, radio and television technology have been used as the supportive technologies. Computer Technology Aided Learning has also added to the system since 1993.
at the Open Education Faculty?
Alkan points out the major assumptions for distance education as follow:
For these various reasons use of television has been increasing from day to day by a large audiences. It makes television inevitable in the practice of distance education field in Turkey as a developing country. From the point of the faculty, television broadcast can reach a large audience across the country through its national network. The faculty can also make use of newer, synchronous technologies or use interactive technologies such as teleconferencing, internet services, etc. Using of these technologies should take into account the target community. In other words, the best technology to provide all individuals equal opportunities is radio-television technology. This is the main reason that television, a more advantageous technological tool than radio with its audio-visual facilities, is being used non-stop and is improving in each project of the Open Education Faculty.
Television, which has an important place in mass communication, has a significant role in distance education with its special position, the way of presentation and qualities peculiar to itself.
Technological developments in the
field of communication can be adapted in the field of education as it is
adapted to many fields of life. Thanks to the new technologies available
in this field and the advantages they provide, television can already be
seen as an outdated tool. Yet as long as the opportunities it provides
still keep its validity, television technology is not far from the new
developments. Thanks to its special features, television in distance education
fulfills the functions mentioned below:
Of these special features, perhaps the most important one is that television is a very familiar and attractive source from the point of view of buyers. It is also part of our daily life.
As a result of developments in communication technologies, the price of radio and television sets are dropping and their being part of our daily life has made these tools necessary in the field of education (Kaymas, 1999, p.76).
Information transferred through of television is different from traditional education methods with respect to the audio-visual presentation. Explanations related to the subject and examples can be presented visually, so the learner gets motivated, his/her desire for learning increases, and therefore learning and remembering become easier.
Allowing thousands of people spreaded a large and distance geographic regions to receive the same program at the synchronous time, television broadcast helps overcome the problem of inequality and imbalance among the regions by providing equality in opportunities.
Television transfers the events or processes through a time process peculiar to itself. In fact a process that might require a long operation can be broadcasted with main points in a short period of time. Television may grant positive motivation such as attracting the learner’s attention to a certain point or arousing attention with the movements of the camera’s coming close, going away, and reflecting details.
Invisible or virtual objects, today, can be animated with different expression methods such as cartoon films. It enables distinguished instructors to reach a large mass of students at the same time. The most distinctive specialty of television is its ability to present information to the student which other tools cannot. This is an important opportunity for students who were unable to study at a university at in other educational institutions. (Bates, 1998, p. 215). Education methods, such as lecture, demonstration, and experimentation which are present in traditional education, are accepted in a different view in distance education. By using the screen as a laboratory, it is normally possible to demonstrate experiments which are too difficult to show to the students through all its phases (Gokce, 1997, p. 239).
Television is an effective tool in expressing abstract concepts or ideas. Abstract concepts are usually produced and conveyed with words. Besides this, in making an abstract concept concrete, the role of animation and visual experimentation is very important. The limitation here is how to combine the text, which is involving information, with moving views, animation, concrete ideas, utterance and objects like pictures. Television in the learning process could be helpful in understanding abstract ideas directly (Bates, 1998, 215-217). Television is especially useful for lessons like geography, because it enables us to see whatever possible to see (Turan, 1994, p. 160).
Though production is a complicated
process, the cost per person is low. (see Potashnik-Capper, 1998 for the
cost comparison of distance education tools) All these features point out
the superiority of television in the presentation of information. Besides
these advantages, television has some serous disadvantages too which are
One of the important disadvantages of television that it does not provide instant feedback. It’s too hard to capture the viewers reactions about the program. For this reason, the producer does not have a chance to control if the program is not watched by the viewer. In the meantime, broadcast television isn’t interactive. So that participating of the viewers are getting low. Producer never forget these important disadvantages when producing an educational television program.
IN WHAT PROJECTS HAS TELEVISION BEEN USED?
The projects which the Open Faculty Education used television as an educational technology are;
Year of 1999-2000 two-year-higher education programs
Local Public Administration
Banking and Insurance
Television programs prepared and produced for this project are given in Table 1.
The number of programs
Duration of Programs
Bachelor of Arts Programs
Lecture Programs 755 514
Preparation for exams 60 30
Preparation for exams (live) 30 30
Two-year- higher education Departments
Lecture Programs 529 360
TOTAL 1374 934
* Information from Anadolu University, Radio and TV Production Center
Besides these televised broadcasts, learners can buy videotapes of these programs if they apply to the faculty. Videotapes of lectures are sent to his/her address on demand. For such demands students pay a fixed price.
The Project of Western Europe
This project, put into action by the Open Education Faculty in 1986, was designed for Turkish Citizens living in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Austria. Thanks to the project carried out for the purpose of rendering higher education for Turkish Citizens living abroad, learners there have chance to study Business Administration and Economics for a license degree, and Foreign Trade and Tourism for a pre-license degree.
In this project, television programs about the courses are posted to the learners as a videotape together with other materials. Thus, students are given a chance to make use of these materials in their own convenience.
The Project of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
This project is carried out with the purpose of presenting higher education to the Turks living in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and covers all the license and pre-license programs of Open Education Faculty. Television programs are conveyed to the students via television broadcast. Anadolu University does not give academic counseling for the reason that distance between two the countries. Such services are given through only teleconferencing interactively. Teleconferencing was put into practice in the academic year of 1999-2000. A total of 8 hours of advisory is given twice a week, by getting together students in the Open Education Faculty’s office in Nicosia. All students there are able to have an interactive communication. Thus an synchronous technology was first started at the Open Education Faculty in this project.
The Radio and Television Broadcasting Center which has two well-equipped television and two sound studios containing out-door shooting equipment (OBV, 6 ENG cameras, light and sound sets, prompter etc.) established in 1982 at Anadolu University. It makes possible all sorts of television productions with its own digital edit units, graphic, decoration, animation, archive and planning, and videotape copying departments. The center has also computer, sound and maintenance, and repair laboratories. It employs highly distinguished and experienced producers graduated from a higher education institution or got an MA degree from one of these institutions. In the departments of the center, in-service training is carried out periodically. In addition, produced programs have been revised during observation meetings in the center and the suggestions for improving the productions are put into practice.
PRODUCTION PROCESSES and MEDHODS of PRODUCTION OF TV PROGRAMS
Producing and broadcasting television programs are highly expensive. It is an easy work for an subject expert to keep talking in front of the camera. Additionally, this way does not mean for using television ineffectively as being an educational medium always. At the beginning, every unit had its own television program. Yet, with the adoption of the view that an educational television program must use all the opportunities of television, the process of television production was, in that time, re-evaluated and different methods were accepted. In the present process, groups of experts, formed for each project, have been reviewing the existing television programs, and deciding on the renovation of the programs that have become invalid in content or in the way of presentation. The content and the form of the program to be revised or reproduced have been determined with the cooperation of the expert group, a director and a scriptwriter. After deciding what unit or subject needs to be adapted for television, the production has been realized.
For the planning of a more reliable and effective media, and for the purpose of meeting the expectations of a changing student profile, we formed a new structure within the Open Education faculty- “Distance Education Planning Unit” (DEPU). A group of experts in their fields in this unit has begun to act to reform television programs as well as all technologies. DEPU has considered each project separately, and in the first stage it aims at determining the all objectives the students are supposed to gain. In accordance with this decision, DEPU first settles the order of information and then decides the means of tools it will be presented. And in the next stage, the established content is transformed into teaching material ( books, television programs, web page etc.) The productions which the students have not received yet, and are still in progress, are planned to be presented to the learners in coming years. During this process, a media production director (MPD), who is also in charge of television programs, is generally responsible for media conception, planning and development. The MPD, who receives academic counseling during the production process, evaluates the produced material together with Project Coordinator and the Teaching Conception Directory, and if necessary, reproduces the materials. The studies of this group cover all the projects at the Open Education Faculty. With this respect, it has been aimed at increasing the influence of television as well as all materials and meeting the demands of the learners in a better way. (Personal communication, February 2000, DEPU presidency) At Open Education Faculty nearly 200 programs have been produced annually. Production elements mentioned below are used in the present production process:
1. Using people
Announcer / Speaker
2. Using visual production opportunitiesGraphic materials (pictures, photographs, maps, tables, diagrams, caricatures, illustrations, written texts etc.)
Making use of real events (documents): (places, processes, procedures)
Making use of objects (real or model)
Making use of archive (image archives gathered from different sources)
Broadcasting of the television programs of the Open Education Faculty has been realized by means of TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Institution) under the approval of the Counsel of Ministers. Prior to each academic year, the Open Education Faculty requests broadcasting time from this institution, and the hours suitable for the demands are reserved for the Open Education Faculty broadcastings. Broadcastings are shown on TRT 4, an educational channel, everyday during 24 weeks in that academic year. Day-time broadcasting which lasts 3 hours during weekday is re-broadcasted at nights. There is no repetition of the weekend broadcast on television.
Videotapes prepared according to broadcasting time are sent to TRT, Ankara. In the serials, besides the lecture programs, there are also programs such as News from Anadolu University and short programs. The Open Education Faculty television broadcasting covers a 3-hour broadcast reserved by another institution. During this time, there may be broadcasting of several lectures of the same department one after the other. Not to bore students and enable them to get ready for the next lecture, a new project was set up in this academic year. That is; between the lesson programs are sprinkled three minute-short programs. With these programs, which are generally documentary, it has been aimed at giving a cultural education as well. For this broadcasting year, nearly 70 short programs have been prepared.
Here is the Open Education Faculty
television broadcasting hours:
Every weekday: 10:00 a.m. - 13:00 p.m. On Saturday 18:00- 21:00, on Sunday, 18:00-22:00.
Broadcasting days and hours of these programs are gathered in a broadcasting booklet and are sent to the learner at the beginning of the academic year. The broadcasting program is also available on the web page of the Anadolu University which is http://www.aof.anadolu.edu.tr/a11.html
Live television broadcasts of the Open Education Faculty have been executed in the Open Education Faculty studios by means of a transponder rented from TRT. (Personal communication, February 2000, Anadolu University, Radio and TV Production Center, The Presidency of Broadcast Planning and Coordination Unit).
Pettit, in his article titled “Learning To Swim Alone” which is about the learner support systems, points out that all distance education course elements can give learner support (Pettit, 1998, p. 259). According to his view, it is natural to use television, a multifunctional tool, in providing student support. Gibson emphasizes that giving support service to the students, though expensive, is a significant factor in passing from information to learning. (Gibson, 1998, pp. 247-249) Rowntree remarks that learners face some difficulty and problems in their own environment while they are learning and he also states that they may feel worried because of this. He lists these problems as feeling of being unable to learn on his own, fear of failure, and feeling like an outsider due to being outside of the faculty atmosphere. (Rowntree, 1994, p.218) In short, while experts emphasize the importance of learner support, they also give emphasis to the need of individual support. With this respect, television at Open Education Faculty has a characteristics of a massive support system rather than individual one. It can be said that television at the Open Education Faculty is in a supplementary position for basic support services as well as for the content.
Role of Television Programs
Television programs at the Open Education Faculty give the following services for the purpose of learner support:
Supporting Role of Television Programs for Exams
In teaching, television can be used interactively or one-way. In one-way teaching, by producing the programs beforehand, they can be delivered as videotapes or television broadcast. Contrary to this, interactive television strengthens the effect of teaching by allowing the participation of the audience. Live broadcast is a good way of broadcasting from the point of gaining interaction. Keeping this in mind, the Open Education Faculty has started two new practices in the academic year of 1998-1999.
First, from the results of mid-term and final exams processed by the Information Process Center, 10 lessons that learners have had difficulty with, were chosen. At the first stage, questions answered incorrectly for the chosen lessons were selected, and television programs, where these questions are replied by the experts, have been prepared and broadcasted. The second practice is live broadcast. In this practice, lessons decided by the Information Process Center were announced to the students before broadcasting and informed that questions could be given either by fax or telephone before or during the broadcast. Learner participation for the two-hour programs lasted five days during the weekdays was huge. The same practice was carried out for a total of 10 lessons in March and September for the academic year of 1999-2000. Live broadcasts will continue for the same period and the number before final and make-up exams in the Open Education Faculty in the future.
The aim of the ten-minute program, known as “News From Anadolu University” which added into the television programs since 1998, is to inform students and provide in them with a feeling of belonging to this faculty. The program, which is broadcasted once every two weeks for this purpose, is repeated throughout the two weeks. The content in this program is fixed during their usual meeting agenda by the news group preparing the program. The parts within the programs are as follow:
It has been observed that this program has reached its goals. For instance, after the announcement of the test exam on the Open Education Faculty web page, the number of the visitors to this web page increased and more questions about this exam were received. (Personal communication, February 2000, Anadolu University, Radio and TV Production Center, The Presidency of News Team)
FUTURE of THE TELEVISION AND OPEN EDUCATION FACULTY'S RUNNING
Sherry states that research consistently shows that television motivates the learners by attracting him/her and increases the interest in the learning process (Sherry, 1996, p. 337). Taking into consideration this and the opportunities television has provided, the use of television as a supportive educational tool at the Open Education Faculty will continue in the coming years as it has been since the first year. Especially with the studies started by the DEPU, it has been aimed at using television more effectively and meeting the expectations of the students by planning the television together with the other materials.
The Open Education Faculty need to use television for many purposes. Turksat satellite, and developed telecommunication systems are being used, when necessary, for the Open Education Faculty services by renting.
In the coming years, besides record on tape broadcasting, live television broadcast and teleconferencing are expected to continue growing. Thus live programs and teleconferencing can be realize by means of these developing technologies.
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