11 (3), 2010
Soheila HAFEZI , Ahmad FARAHI, Soheil Najafi MEHRI & Hosein MAHMOODI
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Developing And Validation A Usability Evaluation Tools For Distance Education Websites: Persian Version
The web is playing a central role in distance education. The word “usability” is usually synonymous with functionality of the system for the user. Also, usability of a website is defined as something that can be used by a specific group of people to carry out specific objectives in an effective way, with efficiency and satisfaction. There are some useful usability evaluation instruments of websites in other languages. The aim of this study was to develop a Persian instrument to evaluate usability in distance education websites. This study was a methodology research design.
According to review literature, the main structure of evaluation instrument for usability designed. It was consisted of forty-eight items divided in 8 domains. Each domain was composed of closed multiple choice questions in which an ordinal scale with three values is used (always, sometimes and never) that measures the opinion of the evaluator about the frequency of visiting each item selected in the website.
After that, we used face validity method. It refers to what instrument appears superficially to measure. At the final step, we omputed a formal content validity index (CVI) across the experts’ ratings of each item’s relevance. The content validity index was measured by set of ten experts, who evaluated each item individually. According to CVI, the final version of instrument was composed of 40 questions divided into 8 domains: Navigation, Functionality, Feedback, Control, Language, Consistency, Error prevention and correction, and Visual clarity.CVI score for each phrase was more than 0.75. According to our findings, this instrument has enough validity to apply in evaluation usability of educational websites of Persian distance education websites. However, instrument reliability can be measured in further study.
Keywords: Instrument Development, Validity, Website Usability
Welcome to Volume 11, Number 3 of TOJDE
TOJDE is appeared on your screen now as Volume 11, Number: 3. In this issue it is published 3 notes for Editor, 12 articles, 2 book reviews. And this time, 32 authors from 10 different countries are placed. These published articles are from Barbados, Ghana, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, UAE and USA.
Muhammad AKHLAQ & Shazia MUNAWAR SULEHR
NOTE FOR EDITOR: A Critical Analysis Of Managerial Skills Competencies Of Secondary School Heads Trained Through Distance Mode Of Allama Iqbal Open University
The premise of this article is to analyze the managerial skills competencies of secondary schools heads trained through distance mode of education in Pakistan. For this purpose a sample 300 secondary school teachers and 100 secondary schools head-teachers trained through distance mode and working in the Federal Government Educational Institutions (FGEI) functioning under the administration of Pakistan army. The objectives of the study were: 1) to describe the M.Ed programme of AIOU, 2) to identify the managerial skills competencies of secondary school heads trained through Allama Iqbal Open University, 3) to find-out the managerial problems faced by the secondary school heads of FGEI, 4) to suggest some further suggestion to improve the managerial skills competencies of working heads of FGEI. The study focused the following categories of skills,
Ø interpersonal communication skills,
Ø planning skills,
Ø collaboration/ teamwork skills, (iv) proficiency skills,
Ø organizational skills,
Ø feedback skills,
Ø basic technology knowledge, and
Ø technology access knowledge.
Major recommendations of the study were:
1) the scheme of study of M.Ed of Allama Iqbal Open University program be change as per need of administrator and it should focus be on management and administration,
2) For better performance of heads, an induction course covering all the managerial skills relevant to the job principal-sip should be arranged after each term and to be continue through out the service,
3) the present scheme of study of M.Ed program focus on teaching methodology, one additional semester be included that should cover the management courses and ,
4) as the present study was delimited to the Federal Governmental Educational Institutions to analyze the managerial skills competencies of working heads of secondary schools. One logical avenue for future is to replicate this study on the whole the country to generalize the results.
Keywords: Distance Education in Pakistan, Managerial Skills, Teaching System Of AIOU, Teacher Traininig Programs Of AIOU, M.Ed Program Of AIOU, Duties Of Seconday Schools Heads In Pakistan.
Ana GARGALLO-CASTEL, Luisa ESTEBAN-SALVADOR & M. MARZO-NAVARRO
Are New Technologies Influencing The Academic Results Achieved By Students? An Exploratory Study
The purpose of this study is to analyze the application of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) within tertiary education in a Spanish University. We analyze the results of a new initiative developed by the University of Zaragoza through an innovative project for a virtual campus called ‘Anillo Digital Docente’. Data relating to the degree of WebCT’s use is analyzed, as well as the academic results achieved by the students using it. These results are compared with the results achieved by other students studying in a traditional teaching setting. Several conclusions are drawn from this comparison: firstly, on how effective these technologies are within regulated university education; and secondly, on how beneficial the extension of its application would be to other educational areas.
Keywords: Icts, Academic Results, Development; Educational Policy; University
Hasan KARAL, Ayça ÇEBİ & Yiğit Emrah TURGUT
Live Authority In The Classroom In Video Conference-Based Synchronous Distance Education: The Teaching Assistant
The aim of this study was to define the role of the assistant in a classroom environment where students are taught using video conference-based synchronous distance education. Qualitative research approach was adopted and, among purposeful sampling methods, criterion sampling method was preferred in the scope of the study. The study was carried out during the spring semester of the 2008-2009 academic years. A teaching assistant and a total of 9 sophomore or senior students from the Department of City and Regional Development, Faculty of Architecture, Karadeniz Technical University, participated as subjects.
The students included in the study sampling were taking lessons from the Middle East Technical University on the basis of synchronous distance education. Among the qualitative research methods, case study method was used and the study data were obtained from the semi-structured interview and observation results. Study data were analyzed with descriptive analysis methods. Data obtained at the end of the study were found to support the suggestion that there should be an authority in the video conference-based synchronous distance education. Findings obtained during the interviews made with the students revealed that some of the teacher’s classroom management related responsibilities are transferred to the assistant present in the classroom during the synchronous distance education. It was concluded at the end of the interviews that a teaching assistant’s presence should be obligatory in the undergraduate synchronous distance classroom environment. However, it was also concluded that there may not be any need for an authority in the classroom environment at the postgraduate education level due to the profile and expectations of the student, which differ from those of students at lower educational levels.
Keywords: Video Conferencing, Synchronous Distance Education, Role of Assistant
Mehran FARAJOLLAHI, Hosein ZARE, Mahmood HORMOZI, Mohammad Reza SARMADI & Nahid ZARIFSANAEE
A Conceptual Model For Effective Distance Learning In Higher Education
The present research aims at presenting a conceptual model for effective distance learning in higher education. Findings of this research shows that an understanding of the technological capabilities and learning theories especially constructive theory and independent learning theory and communicative and interaction theory in Distance learning is an efficient factor in the planning of effective Distance learning in higher education. Considering the theoretical foundations of the present research, in the effective distance learning model, the learner is situated at the center of learning environment. For this purpose, the learner needs to be ready for successful learning and the teacher has to be ready to design the teaching- learning activities when they initially enter the environment. In the present model, group and individual active teaching-learning approach, timely feedback, using IT and eight types of interactions have been designed with respect to theoretical foundations and current university missions. From among the issues emphasized in this model, one can refer to the Initial, Formative and Summative evaluations. In an effective distance learning environment, evaluation should be part of the learning process and the feedback resulting from it should be used to improve learning. For validating the specified features, the opinions of Distance learning experts in Payame Noor, Shiraz, Science and Technology and Amirkabir Universities have been used which verified a high percentage of the statistical sample of the above mentioned features.
Keywords: Distance Learning; Effective; Model; Learning Theories; Information And Communication Technology.
A Blended Learning Model For Teaching Practice Course
The aim of the present study is to introduce a blended learning environment and a model for pre-service teaching practice course in English Language Teacher Training Program at Anadolu University. It is supposed that providing a blended learning environment for teaching practice course would improve the practice and contribute to the professional growth of pre-service teachers. Since it will increase the contact hours among students and university supervisors and facilitate peer feedback among pre-service teachers, which in turn, create a productive learning environment for them. Thus, the present paper aimed at providing a blended learning model for teaching practice courses at teacher training institutions and give impetus for the researchers or instructors who would like to implement blended learning in their own teaching environments. Additionally, the present study intends to contribute expanded understanding to the way blending the learning environments, and contribute additional understanding to the knowledge base about the implementation of blended learning for a teaching practice course. Finally, through illustrating a blended learning environment for teaching practice course, it is hoped that this study might contribute to the growing body of knowledge of blended delivery and blended learning in higher education.
Keywords: Blended Learning, Teaching Practice, Teacher Training
Profile of The UWI Distance Learners: The Implications For Online Curriculum Development, Teaching And Learning At The University
The purpose of this study was to create a more recent profile of the UWI distance learners as a follow up to a study undertaken in 2000, and, based on the profile created, discuss the implications for online curriculum development, teaching and learning at the University. Data on four descriptive characteristics were collected from UWI distance students in two courses in the B. Sc Management Studies degree programme. Comparisons were made with trends in the field spanning the last decade as well as with a 2000 research and development project which examined the use of ICTs and highlighted the critical components necessary for the introduction of full online teaching and learning into the UWI’s distance education programmes. The findings of the present study suggest that there has been no significant change in the demographic, motivational and experiential characteristics of the UWI distance learner over the past decade. They also suggest a new trend in the inhibitory characteristics during this period.
Keywords: Profile, Demographic, Motivational, Experiential, Inhibitory, Online Learning Media Tools, Virtual Classrooms.
Demystifying Virtual Communities of Practice: A Case Study of IBM
The purpose of this proposed research study is to empirically explore the nature of virtual communities of practice (CoP) in a global organisation within the context of its International Corporate Volunteer (ICV) Program. This study investigates whether and how the use of virtual CoP evolves and becomes embedded within this organization.
Following the logic of inductive research, a qualitative case study will be proposed here, to gain insight on the extent to which virtual CoPs can be utilized. For this purpose, a global business organisation that established a partnership with a Canadian non-profit organisation and implements a corporate volunteer program is proposed.
Although previous studies confirmed the important role that the quality of dialogue plays in the cultivation of effective communities of practice this study shows that despite the quality of exchanges, virtual CoP are not necessarily utilized due to some alternative channels of communication.
Beatrice K. AGYEMANG & Perpetua DADZIE
Providing Information Communication Technology Support To Distance Education Students: A Case Of The University Of Ghana, Legon
A study to investigate the current state of Information Communication Technology policy of the University of Ghana Distance Education (DE) programme and the extent of awareness and use of ICTs in general by the DE learners was carried out. The survey methodology was adopted using questionnaire and interview instruments. Respondents were made up of 120 DE students, the coordinator of the DE programme, and 5 workers at the DE unit. The questionnaires were distributed to all the 120 students while the workers responded to a semi-structured interview. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics (percentage frequency distribution and examining relationships).
The main findings of the study revealed that there was a policy statement on providing ICT-based support to the DE learners; however, this policy has not yet been implemented. Most of the DE students were fully aware of ICT and majority of them use the internet across the regions. The students had positive attitude towards ICTs in that they deemed it necessary in the course of their studies and were willing to pay for ICT services. The main barriers identified that could affect the usefulness of the various ICTs were electricity, cost and accessibility. The study recommends among others, the forging of partnerships between distance education programmes and ICT companies, the networking of DE centres and the use of diverse ICT facilities, among others.
Keywords: Distance Education, Information Communication Technology, University Of Ghana
Abdullah KUZU & Mehmet FIRAT
Determining The Navigational Aids Use On The Internet: The Information Technologies Teacher Candidates’ Case
The Internet users who fail to cope with navigation may generally face various problems such as disorientation, distraction, low motivation and abondenment of information retrieval. Therefore, navigational aids are frequently used in today’s Web browsers and Web sites to help users navigate on the Internet. However, it is asserted that navigational aids are still not thoroughly understood and effectively used by Information Technologies Teacher candidates. The purpose of this research is, therefore, to determine the navigational aids use by Information Technologies Candidate Teachers during information retrieval process on the Internet. A three-section survey was developed for this purpose. In this survey research, Information Technologies Teacher Candidates’ use of navigational aids in Web sites and Web browsers, and the reasons for low use of navigational aids were investigated. The findings of the study revealed that the teacher candidates did not use bookmarks, Web maps, RSS and atom feeds sufficiently. Moreover, it was found out that the use of navigational aids by teacher candidates show variations according to the average Internet use.
Keywords: Internet Technologies, Navigational Aids, Information Technologies Teacher Candidate
Ronak ETEMADPOUR, Mona MASOOD & Bahari BELATON
Information Visualization And Proposing New Interface For Movie Retrieval System (Imdb)
This research studies the development of a new prototype of visualization in support of movie retrieval. The goal of information visualization is unveiling of large amounts of data or abstract data set using visual presentation. With this knowledge the main goal is to develop a 2D presentation of information on movies from the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) as our movie search engine. The aim is to amplify the perception of users over the retrieval environment while preserving the output quality at an acceptable meaningful level. Visualization ideas deal with visualization of information seeking results. These visualization techniques have been collected from the literature on how to map the results of the information retrieval process. We propose a 2D visual interface for mapping collections of movies and exploration of their related information to maximize density of needed information in a single page. For this purpose, we introduce a movie categorization scheme to help users in navigating through the movies information.
The traditional style (interface) of clicking a link to view details of documents in most of the search engines like the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) as our movie search engine to find information is very uninteresting and tedious. This is because when clicking a particular link the user’s focus is shifted to the new page, and if the information presented is not to their interest, they will need to switch back to the movie’s search results. The key contribution is thus a reasonable mapping result of a query on an actor/actress movie database displayed in just one page that can amplify visual perception of retrieved movies. This theory of data graphics interface focuses on maximization of the density of useful pertinent information with respect to users query in a screen page. This method of grouping of information needs some data extraction algorithms by parsing and crawling the IMDB web pages that are useful to retrieve important movies information. Our graphical-based visualization provides a correct understanding of information that users can view information without reading them. A qualitative experimental test comparing the classic (traditional) interface of the IMDB and visual interface was conducted.
Keywords: Visualization, Retrieval System (IMDB), 2D Visual Interface, Contribution, Extraction Algorithm, Experimental Test, IMDB Movies’ Information Visualization
James O. BARBRE III,
Borderless Educational Practices In The Development Of Commerce
Commerce transcends the boundaries of nations. With so many people involved, a common approach and articulation is necessary to advance the interests of commerce for everyone involved. This paper addresses online MBA (Master of Business Administration) degrees and the nature of its presence alongside the more traditional face-to-face MBA program. While the MBA was not originally a global phenomenon, the development of so many online programs has made it one. Through this analysis, the MBA is first situated historically with subsequent challenges that have encouraged and/or forced it to go undergo changes in its structure over the last several decades. The approach to this analysis utilizes the lens of neo-realistic principles for organizational effectiveness at the international level.
The conclusion(s) argue that both types of formal education form a symbiotic relationship as higher education’s end goal is to better inform the workings of the business environment in ways that are consistent and stable across national borders and across the globe. The framework of operation in commerce requires training that is situated within the culture from which that training occurs, but also requires that, in order for more seamless business relationship to develop; this form of education is not strictly located within that same cultural framework. The creation and propagation of commerce requires that both forms of education be employed in complimentary ways. The final result is not the program(s) itself, but the business practices they are designed to enhance.
Keywords: Education, International, Ordering Principles, Unit Characteristics,Hegemon
Salam ABDALLAH & Jamal DOUGLAS
Students’ First Impression Of Second Life: A Case From The United Arab Emirates
Emerging 3D virtual worlds such as Second Life can offer students with opportunities to enhance learning using rich collaborative asynchronous media. Virtual worlds are believed to impact the future of higher education and therefore, universities across the world are immersing themselves inside virtual worlds to establish a unique learning and research environments. This research examines the viability of Second Life as an educational platform from the perspective of a group of students in an Islamic society context. The students were attending one of the universities in the United Arab Emirates. The analysis indicates that students experienced both positive and negative aspects of Second Life. The results do encourage further experimentation in this positive novel way for learning.
Keywords: Online learning, Virtual Worlds, Culture sensitivity, Technology Adoption
Muhammad Ajmal CHAUDRY & Fazal-ur-RAHMAN
A Critical Review Of Instructional Design Process Of Distance Learning System
Instructional design refers to planning, development, delivery and evaluation of instructional system. It is an applied field of study aiming at the application of descriptive research outcomes in regular instructional settings. The present study was designed to critically review the process of instructional design at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU). It was survey study. Population of the study consisted of 120 academicians of different academic department of AIOU. Survey was conducted through questionnaire for academic staff. It was revealed that need assessment is not done before conceiving the outlines of a course. Also the course did not contain sufficient activities, picture and illustrations. It was also found that did not confirm the course objectives. The study recommended that proper of the course writers for distance learning may be arranged.
Keywords: Instructional Design, Distance Learning, Instructional Model, Allama Iqbal Open University
Serhat KOCAKAYA & Selahattin GONEN
The Effects Of Computer-Assisted Instruction Designed According To 7e Model Of Constructivist Learning On Physics Student Teachers’ Achievement, Concept Learning, Self-Efficacy Perceptions And Attitudes
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a Computer-Assisted Instruction designed according to 7E model of constructivist learning(CAI7E) related to ‘‘electrostatic’’ topic on physics student teachers’ cognitive development, misconceptions, self-efficacy perceptions and attitudes. The study was conducted in 2006–2007 academic year and was carried out in three different classes taught by the same teacher, in which there were 79 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade university students, in central city of Diyarbakır in Turkey. An experimental research design including the electrostatic achievement test (EAT), the electrostatic concept test (ECT), physics attitude scale (PAS) and self-efficacy perception scale (SEPS) was applied at the beginning and at the end of the research as pre-test and post-test. After the treatment, general achievement in EAT increased (P<0.05), but not all of subgroup. Difference between pre-test and post-test both knowledge and application levels of cognitive domain was found significant (P<0.05), but not in comprehension level. This result showed that using CAI7E in teaching electrostatic topic was very effective for physics student teachers already learned this topic in several physics course to reach knowledge and application levels of cognitive domain. Analysis of electrostatic concept test (ECT); CAI7E changed students’ misconceptions related to electrostatic and electric field positively (P<0.05) and additionally change was found in SEPS (P<0.05). It was also found out that there was no change about students’ attitudes towards physics (P>0.05).
Keywords: Evaluation Methodologies, Improving Classroom Teaching, Interactive Learning Environments, Simulations; Teaching/Learning Strategies.
Reviewed By Alev ATES
REVIEW: The Blended Learning Book: Best Practices, Proven Methodologies, And Lessons Learned
“What Works” in large corporate e-learning programs with the goal of identifying the best practices, lessons learned, and repeatable methodologies that others can use? As the author, Josh Bersin stated, this book is the result of this work, looking for answers to that question. Before introducing the book, I’d like to introduce the book’s author. Josh Bersin is president and CEO of Bersin & Associates, a leading research and advisory services firm in enterprise learning and talent management. He spent 25 years in product development, product management, marketing and sales of e-learning and other enterprise technologies at companies (Bersin & Associates, 2010; LT, 2010).
Reviewed By Cengiz Hakan AYDIN
REVIEW: The Perfect Online Course: Best Practices For Designing And Teaching
Serim (2007) was entitled his report on establishing online learning policies as ʻnew gold rushʼ to emphasize the worst reason for moving towards online learning that has been experienced all over the world especially since late 1990s. According to Serim ¨The temptation to reduce highly skilled professionals with scripted, mass delivered ʻcontentʻ as a means of reducing costs and/or maximizing profits is a contender for the worst reason¨ (p.13).