12 (1), 2011
Kevin YEE & Jace HARGIS
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Snapp: Graphing Student Interactions In A Learning Management System
One of the more vexing problems in teaching fully-online classes concerns the development of community. As Rovai (2001) identified, online courses must combat feelings of isolation and impart a sense of personal and individual attention. To create a sense of belonging and togetherness, instructors typically need to surmount numerous technological hurdles inherent in online delivery, not least of which is the inescapable conclusion that the one factor most basic to the formation of community-face to face interaction-is by definition absent in an online class. Many new tech-based teaching tools have been developed in an attempt to ameliorate the digital alienation and promote interaction, such as discussion boards, synchronous chat rooms, and emerging media like wikis, blogs and podcasts, as well as virtual worlds, such as Second Life. As the frequency of interaction grows, so does the sense of belonging to a learning community (Dawson, 2008).
NOTE FOR EDITOR: The Development Of Distance Education In Nigeria: Challenges And Prospects
Distance Education as an alternative to the traditional face-to-face education has been seen as the teaching-learning process in which students are separated from the teachers by a physical distance, which is often bridged by modern communication. It comprises all patterns of student-centered learning process in which the teacher has limited role.
In Nigeria, Africa, the introduction of this form of learning programme, is relatively new and therefore pose some challenges to all stakeholders in the education industry. In trying to meet up with the enormous demands for formal education, Nigerian government established some institutions for distance learning. These included the National Teachers Institute (NTI), the National Open University (NOUN) among others.
This paper therefore, examined the historical development of this programme and particularly in Nigeria, the theories and philosophies of distance education, the challenges and prospects of the programme in the country.
Keywords: Distance Education, Distance Education Development, Management, Challenges and Prospects.
F. L. ANTONY GRACIOUS & P. ANNARAJA,
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Creativity And Teaching Competency Of Prospective B.Ed Teachers
The present study Creativity and Teaching Competency of prospective B.Ed teachers was probed to find the relationship between Creativity and Teaching Competency of Prospective B.Ed Teachers. Data for the study were collected using self made Teaching Competency Scale and Creativity Scale. The investigator used stratified random sampling technique for selecting the sample. The sample consists of 242 Prospective B.Ed Teachers. For analyzing data; 't' test and Pearson's product moment co-efficient were the statistical techniques used. Finding shows there was no significant relationship between Creativity and Teaching Competency of prospective B.Ed teachers.
Keywords: Teaching Competency, Creativity, Prospective B.Ed teachers
Dhirendra SHARMA & Vikram SINGH
ICT In Universities Of The Western Himalayan Region In India: Performance Analysis
The paper presents a comparative analysis of a live project study carried out to understand the impact and performance of ICT initiatives taken by the Universities located in the Western Himalayan Region of India. A basic four-tier framework has been used to carry out this study. Accordingly, a pre- structured questionnaire on ICT initiatives, status and accomplishments, 117 questions divided in 18 groups, was prepared and given to the Head of the Department (HOD) of ICT in the Universities, who along with his technical team, supplied the feedback on a five- point scale. In each of the groups, one question was related to performance (as performance indicator) which was identified and thus another special group ‘S’ was created with 18 responses.
In order to assess the respective performance and impact, a standard statistical analysis was carried out in terms of the weighted mean and the correlation (Pearson’s) coefficient (CC). The findings of the study are:
Ø A dynamic academic leadership and a properly trained skilled human resource yield better performance and impact leading to effective problem solving capability, research output and actual placements. This aspect is being implemented in most of the universities effectively and the performance is found to vary from one to another university
Ø For most of the groups the CC, with the ‘S’ group, was found to be significant, indicating a positive ICT- based performance in the universities (iii) The universities, to a greater extent, have been found to act as nuclei towards creating skilled professionals with enhanced core competence.
Keywords: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Initiative, Status, assessment, performance, efficiency, Impact of ICT.
The Utilization Of Web-Based Technology As Predictor Of Faculty Insights Of Support For The Implementation Of Elearning
This study investigates the level of implementation of web-based instructional technology (WBIT) by the in-teaching faculties of English Language departments as factor related to faculty perception of institutional mechanisms and its partial significance as condition supporting the implementation of e-learning in university education. Using a sample of 160 in-teaching faculties at selected Islamic Azad Universities (IAU) across Iran, faculty perceptions of support mechanisms were examined.
The findings of the present study reveal that factors such as stages of apprehension about using WBIT and levels of use offer a justification of the perception variations. Making a profile of faculty WBIT utilization is predicted to provide insight for the development of strategies and administrative practices vital for eLearning to succeed in university education.
Keywords: E-learning, Web-based instructional technology (WBIT), Faculty insight, Implementation of WBIT
Caleb KANGAI , Richard BUKALIYA, Farirai MUSIKA & Mapuranga BABRA
Content Analysis Of Research Projects Submitted By Undergraduate Students (2000-2009) At The Zimbabwe Open University: Implications For Quality Assessment
This study was part of a series of studies, into issues of quality, currently being conducted at the ZOU by the present authors. The present study aimed at developing a systematic approach towards quality assessment of students’ research work. A content analysis of 400 research projects submitted by ZOU undergraduate students between 2000-2009 was undertaken applying both conceptual and relational analysis. Conceptual analysis was based on a checklist of six concepts: research questions, research paradigm, research design, data collection instruments, data form, procedures for data analysis and presentation and sought to establish the status of students’ research work, its gaps and areas of saturation. Relational analysis was conducted through the use of a model that sought to assess the methodological appropriateness and methodological quality of the research projects.
Major findings of the study revealed a clear distinction between research methodologies applied by students in the faculties of Arts & Education, Commerce & Law and Social Sciences and those applied by students in the faculty of Physical Sciences. Most research projects in the faculty of Physical Sciences, in the department of Agriculture, were quantitative by nature, guided by relational research questions and hypotheses. These studies used simple experiments to collect numerical data through the use of tests and observations, applied statistical analysis of data and presented data through the use of statistical tables. Almost all studies in the same faculty, in the department of Geography, were case studies and employed mixed methods. Most research studies from the faculties of Arts and Education, Commerce and Law and Social Sciences were qualitative, employed the descriptive survey research design, used questionnaires and interviews and used both quantitative and qualitative techniques to analyse, and present research findings. However, a significant number of projects across faculties did not identify the research paradigm.
The present study established a growing trend, amongst qualitative researchers, towards the use of mixed methods. Relational analysis revealed that students’ projects demonstrated a high degree of methodological appropriateness and methodological quality.
Appropriate linkages were established between research questions, data collected and the methods used in data collection, analysis and presentation. The use of mixed methods also enhanced the quality and appropriateness of the research methodology. However, The confinement of students’ projects to descriptive surveys and to simple experiments reflected limited knowledge and low- level research skills in both research students and perhaps their supervisors.
The relational analysis model employed in the present study was found to be very useful in the quality assessment of students’ research projects. Research students and their supervisors can use this model to assess quality of their own research work. The study recommends that developers of teaching and learning materials should develop courses and materials that adequately equip students with the right knowledge and skills required for research.
There is also need to evaluate the current courses that prepare students for research work. These courses are:
Ø Introduction To Research Methods
Ø Statistics For Educational Research And
Ø Computer Application In Educational Research
Guiding Students To Answers: Query Recommendation
This paper reports on a guided navigation system built on the textbook search engine developed at Anadolu University to support distance education students. The search engine uses Turkish Language specific language processing modules to enable searches over course material presented in Open Education Faculty textbooks. We implemented a guided navigation engine by using query log mining to our application. It makes use of previous users’ sessions to help students find information they are looking for by using fewer queries. We used item-based similarity to do query recommendation.
This paper describes the search application, query expansion and evaluation of the system over existing query logs. We show that our system suggested relevant queries with a success rate of 85%.
Keywords: Question Expansion, Query Recommendation, Indexing, Searching, Metadata Generation, Information Retrieval
Maria MAHERIDOU, Panagiotis ANTONIOU, Thomas KOURTESSIS & Andreas AVGERINOS
Blogs In Distance Education: An Analysis Of Physical Educators’ Perceptions Of Learning
The flexibility of open and on line learning in meeting different kinds of needs in a variety of ways and the need for planners to make appropriate choices, taking a number of factors into account indicates the need to find out more about the evaluation of teacher training through on line distance education. In recent years web 2.0 technologies such as blogs enable sharing and collaboration between geographically remote users and offer the opportunity for new forms of student-centered pedagogic practices. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical educators’ perception of learning toward three blog courses, carrying on during an eight week period, in order to enhance their professional development and their skills in effective teaching. In each blog a different cooperative teaching method was applied (STAND, COOP and ICL). Participants were fifty four (n=54) physical educators who teach in elementary and secondary schools of different Greek regions, with an experience of 1.67 to 21.75 years.
Data was collected using an online questionnaire after the education programme was completed. Overall, participants’ responses in the perceived learning questions supported the benefits of use asynchronous web 2 tools in distance education programmes. Their perception of learning using blogs appears to be positively increased regarding the regulation of the applied cooperative procedure.
Keywords: Distance Education, Blog, Learning, Physical Education
Ghulam Muhammad KUNDI & Allah NAWAZ
Predictor Of E-Learning Development And Use Practices In Higher Education Institutions (Heis) Of Nwfp, Pakistan
One cannot predict the details of future but one can surely prepare for it. Researchers in eLearning are capitalizing on the user-perceptions as possible predictor of the user-attitudes towards the development, use, problems and prospects of eLearning in their institutions. This application is founded on the psychological fact that a human’s attitude depends on his/her ‘belief’ or ‘perceptions: meaning given by the individual’ about the thing used. That is, if eLearning users perceive educational technologies favorably, they are more likely to speedily adopt digital tools than those who misperceive or under-perceive them.
This research reveals that perceptions about educational technologies are very significantly related with and predict the criterion variable of ‘Problems of eLearning’ but surprisingly, the ‘prospects of eLearning’ are very nominally associated with and predicted by the predictor.
Keywords: Perceptions; Educational Technologies; eLearning Development; Use; Problems and Prospects
Some Structural Changes On The Way Towards Euniversity
In the past eLearning has been introduced by many public universities however a concise IT-strategy was not followed during implementation. Different learning platforms were acquired by different departments and no systematic approach was set up to give support for course development, eTutoring or upgrading and archiving of electronic files. Although contemporary learning management systems had some administrative functions incorporated these data were not integrated with the rest of the universities administrative system. The need to work on integrated solutions offering most of the universities services with "one face to the customer" became obvious. The paper will discuss scenarios to explain the services needed and report on the present discussion about reforming organizational structures and adjusting IT infrastructure to create the future eUniversity.
Keywords: Euniversity, IT-Strategy; Learning Management Systems
Alan E. YOUNG
Pre-Service Students’ Class Standings And Their Perceptions Open and Distance Education
The efficacy of distance education programs has been in the minds of those who do not view distance learning as being as good as face-to-face (FTF) instruction. Questions abound regarding this type of delivery, however, this method is growing in popularity especially among individuals who are much older and those who would like to leverage technology. School districts and traditional universities are now embracing this method in one form or the other. Although there is increasing popularity, there is still one unexplored area of distance education. One such area is the relationship between students’ academic standing and their perception, specifically in the area of teacher education.
The study revealed that pre-service teachers at the beginning stage of their program were significantly more satisfied, overall, with distance courses and programs, than those at the end of their program. Students near the beginning and middle of their program rated grading and timely return of assignments, a sense of accomplishment, and willingness to take additional distance courses, significantly higher than those who were at the end of their program. However, the opportunity to know others in the distance class, although rated low, was higher for students at the end of their program. The study revealed that those in education should plan programs that will address the idiosyncrasies at all levels, thereby resulting in satisfaction on the part of student teachers.
Keywords: Distance Learning, Class-Standings, Academic Standing, Pre-Service Students
Kinsley Ng SEN FA & Firuz Hussin HUSSIN
Students’ Decision Steps In Meta-Cognitive Learning In Free Online Groups (Metal-Frog): A Case Study
What prompts the students to respond in online dialogic discussion? Why some students chose to fall out? This case study through the lens of phenomenography observation attempts to explain the five decision steps of students to respond in Meta-cognitive Learning in Free Online Groups (MetaL-FrOG) discussion. It presents a part of a research project by the name of Triarchy Perspective on Meta-cognitive Learning in Free Online Groups. The research setting was online learner community on the platform of Free Online Group web intended for post-graduate students enrolled for the paper Psychology of Learning in Faculty of Education, University Malaya, Malaysia. Preliminary study revealed three factors contributed to MetaL-FrOG success: Motivation, Cognitive Resources and Pro-learning Behaviors.
This paper only presents a part of the findings under the Pro-Learning Behaviors Sub-theory. We found striking similarities between the model proposed by Latane & Darley (1971), Five Essential Steps to a Pro-social Response in an Emergency, and our research subject. The model which explains the course of a pro-social decision was borrowed and modified as surrogate theory to explain the online discussion response of the students. The insights help educators to better understand what holds students back from fruitful online peer diologic discussion.
Keywords: Social Learning, Online Collaborative Learning, Community Of Leaning (Cop)
George S. MOUZAKITIS & Nazime TUNCAY
E-Learning And Lifelong Learning
It is supported that the object of education is to provide results. Hence, it is of crucial importance to economic development globally. In our era, globalization is a highly disputable event with strong persuasive arguments and equally solid disagreements. The impact of globalization in our everyday activities has been increased. In parallel, technological developments have contributed considerably to dramatic changes in economic, social and educational sectors. Globalization trends and technological developments demand from enterprises and educational organizations innovative ways of business practices and educational delivery in order to cope with the real market demands. Educational planners and policy makers have been trying to design new curricula in an attempt to adequately prepare the workforce to meet the current market requirements. Yet, the anticipated results have not been attained mainly because traditional educational systems proved to be inadequate to link the supply of knowledge and skills with the contemporary needs. This paper will connect e-learning educational/training courses delivery with lifelong learning (LLL). It will further analyze certain factors from the professional and educational point of view and provide recommendations on how to accelerate the implementation of LLL supported by e-learning.
Keywords: Economic/Technological Development, E-Learning/Lifelong-Learning, Globalization, Adult Learning
Davoud MOHAMMADI, Seyed Mahmoud HOSSEINI & Hossein Shabanali FAMI
Investigating Agricultural Instructors' Attitudes Toward E-Learning In Iran
With the rapid changes in all types of learning and teaching environments, there is a need to implement electronic learning (e-learning) to train students with new technologies. However the trend of using e-learning as learning and/or teaching tool is now rapidly expanding into education. Although e-learning environments are popular, there is minimal research on agricultural instructors' attitudes toward these kinds of learning environments. The purpose of this study is to explore agricultural instructors’ attitudes toward e-learning usage. A descriptive–correlation survey approach was used in this study. Accordingly, 175 instructors in 64 agricultural education centers are asked to answer questionnaires for investigating their attitudes. Data were collected by mailing the questionnaire. After statistical analysis, the results demonstrate that instructors have positive attitude toward using e-learning as a teaching assisted tool. Intrinsic incentives and motivators for acceptance of e-learning are important than extrinsic incentives and motivators. Based on the findings, this research proposes guidelines for developing e-learning environments in agricultural education.
Keywords: E-learning; Attitude; incentives; Agricultural instructors.
A. Nurhan SAKAR & Oznur OZTURK
The “Community Services” Course Through Distance Education: Evaluation Of Primary School Students
In 2006, following the Bologna Process, Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK) adopted a resolution and changed the curriculum of teacher training higher education institutions. This curriculum revision introduced a new course called ‘Community Service’ which aims to raise students’ awareness of their responsibilities as individuals to the community in which they live. Through this course, students are expected to realize individuals can make a difference by volunteering to share their knowledge and skills with the community. This study presents one application of Community Service course. This application is of interest because it was researched whether the course achieved its aim by evaluating the satisfaction level of primary school students at whose schools English survey courses given within the scope of Open Education Faculty Distance English Language Teaching (DELT) Program.
Keywords: Distance Learning, Community Service Course, Distance English Language Teaching Program (DELT).
Mehmet Metin ARSLAN
Managerial Perception Of Education In The Educational Non-Governmental Organizations
The aim of this research is to determine the educational NGO managers’ perceptions of education in the city of Kırıkkale. The sample of this qualitative research, which has been conducted on a case pattern basis, comprises managers from 13 educational non-governmental organizations in the province of Kirikkale. Data were collected by the researcher himself through direct contact and interview with the participants. The interview form was developed based on the opinions from experts in the field. The concordance between the sentential codifications was checked by an independent observer and the researcher in order to ensure data reliability. The coefficient of concordance between the observers was calculated as .87 for the sociopolitical perceptions dimension of education and .90 for the perceptions regarding the position and importance of the organizations, which were included in the present research, in the system. Participant confirmation method was used for the validity of the data. Some remarkable results of the research are as follows: The participants
Ø failed to relate the aims of educational organizations to the general public,
Ø basically engaged in aid-oriented activities,
Ø expected aid from the government,
Ø tended to look at education and its problems from an economic viewpoint,
Ø neglected the philosophical and scientific dimensions of the problem, and
Ø made individual assessments with no relevance to the social context.
Keywords: ivil Society, Non-Governmental Organizations, Perception of Education
Opinions of Elementary Level EFL Learners on The Use of Weblogs
Technology is an indispensable part of our lives and education cannot be taught without it. Since technology is in every part of our lives, foreign language education also makes use of the new technology. By the use of the Internet, virtual classrooms and materials are easy to access and learning takes place beyond the boundaries of the classrooms. Weblogs or blogs are one of the tools that are used to teach language skills in EFL courses and students have a chance to reflect on what they wrote in the blogs.
The aim of this study is to find the opinions of elementary level EFL learners on using weblogs and distance education. The subjects of the study were 10 Native speakers of English in London and 15 Turkish EFL learners who are learning English in the School of Foreign Languages. Turkish EFL learners created a class blog and every week they were given assignments by their class teacher. They wrote paragraphs and they gave and receive feedback on their writing in terms of content, vocabulary and grammar by their classmates and by native English speakers in a virtual environment. This procedure lasted for 6 weeks. At the end of 6 weeks, students were given an evaluation questionnaire and they were asked to write their opinions about using weblogs. They were also interviewed by their teacher and the opinions of the students were categorized. Findings indicate that the students found the idea of weblogs as a distant learning tool motivating, enjoyable and encouraging.
Keywords: EFL Learning; Weblog; Writing; Interaction; Learner Autonomy, Distance Education, Technology, Educational Tools.
Reviewed By Onur DONMEZ
REVIEW: New Science Of Learning: Cognition, Computers And Collaboration In Education
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have pervaded and changed much of our lives both on individual and societal scales. PCs, notebooks, tablets, cell phones, RSS feeds, emails, podcasts, tweets, social networks are all technologies we are familiar with and we are intensively using them in our daily lives. It is safe to say that our lives are becoming more and more digitized day by day.
Welcome to Volume 12, Number 1 of TOJDE
TOJDE is appeared on your screen now as Volume 12, Number: 1. In this issue it is published 4 notes for Editor, 13 articles, 2 book reviews. And this time, 34 authors from 11 different countries are placed. These published articles are from Cayman Islands, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey, USA and Zimbabwe.
Reviewed By Yavuz AKBULUT
REVIEW: Instructional Design For Teachers: Improving Classroom Practice
The key to successful learning in most formal instructional settings is effective instructional design (ID). Instructional design for teachers serves as an organized source of directions, which can help classroom teachers to integrate available resources to improve students’ acquisition of the instructional goals. The book is consisted of 151 pages (+xvii) covering eight chapters which address a commonsense model of instructional design to guide K-12 teachers during their unique instructional settings, and during their adaptation from a behavioral approach to a more student-centered approach.