13 (2), 2012
Welcome to Volume 13, Number 2 of TOJDE
Welcome to the Volume 13 Number: 2 of TOJDE!
In this issue, 7 notes for Editor and 22 articles one book review of 57 authors from 12 different countries have been published. These published articles are from, Barbados, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, USA and Zimbabwe.
Galina ARTYUSHINA & Olga SHEYPAK
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Impacting Motivation In The Virtual Classroom
Teachers, educational managers and learners must realize that new opportunities are offered by modern on-line communication. A person with basic Internet and Web skills is open to a new world of knowledge, from free Web surfing and self-organized education - through on-line resources and familiarization with Internet culture, its places, sites, search engines etc. - up to a more structured approach.
Keywords: Student Motivation, Virtual Classroom, On-Line Communication, On-Line Teachers.
Abdul Jabbar BHATTI & Nabi BUX JUMANI
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Use Of Libraries In Open And Distance Learning System: Barriers To The Use Of Aiou Libraries By Tutors And Students
This study explores; the library needs of students and tutors of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), utilization level of the library facilities and resources, the problems in the use of library, and suggestions for improvement of library facilities for students and tutors. Data collected from 4080 students and 526 tutors belonging to 15 different regional offices showed that students and tutors needed library for various educational purposes, the regional libraries were not being used much, and both tutors and students were facing various problems such as unsuitable library timing, long distance between library and their residence, non availability of latest journals, non availability of required material, lack of temperature control in the library, insufficient study area, lack of latest books, and inadequate staff. For improving library facility at regional level, the students and tutors suggested to; provide more books and journals, expand library timings, arrange library facility at workshop venues, make arrangements to advertise the resources and services at the library to the students, provide computers and internet service, provide trained staff, and arrange partnership with other academic libraries.
Keywords: Distance Education, Library Resources, Problems in the Use of Library
Fakhrozaman Naeemi HOSSAINY , Mahmud HORMOZI , Hossein ZARE , Farhad SHAGHAGHI & Mohamad Hossain KAVEH
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Designing And Implementing A Situated Learning Program And Determining Its Impact On The Students’ Motivation And Learning
Inability to use knowledge is one of the major problems that university graduates face. Some instructional designers recommend situated learning for the solution. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of situated learning on students' school motivation and achievement. The two main hypotheses are: 1- Situated learning increases learning. 2- Situated learning increases school motivation. Thirty four psychology junior students at Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran participated in the study. Classes were randomly selected for situated learning curriculum and lecture- based curriculum. Lecture-based curriculum was performed in face to face classroom. Situated learning was carried out in blended learning approach. Data was collected by school achievement test and the short form of Mc Inerney and Sinclaier standard motivation questionnaire, before and after interventions. Statistical analysis was done by SPSS software version 15. It was shown that situated learning increased academic achievement (p<0.001) and motivation (p<0.001) in comparison to lecture- based learning and can serve as a good method in instructional programs.
Keywords: Situated Learning, School Motivation, Learning
Mohammad Imam FARISI
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Social Relation Networks In Ut-Online Community Forum
So far, the existence of a virtual community forum has become a reality and social necessity in an era cybertech. It was also viewed as the electronic frontier of 21st century society that was undoubtedly for reorganizing and redefining to awareness of human being, that ways of their perceptions and explorations no longer limited by time, space, and geographic. Since the early decades of the 1990s, the existence of virtual community forum has attracted much attention and interest to the researchers, because it has significance as a social and cultural capital, and as a socio-technological solution for creating a learning community building forces. The UT-Online community forum is a virtual community forum that was built by (Universitas Terbuka) UT in year 2006 to facilitate students to share and discuss various information, ideas, experiences in relation with academic or/and non-academic. This study examines and explains the contents of relation, social ties and structures of social relation networks in UT-Online Community Forum. The results of the study are important to the distance education institutions for building sense of community to DE students.
Keywords: Virtual Community fForum, UT-Online Community Forum; Social Relation Networks, Distance Higher Education.
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Provision Of Research Support Services To Odl Learners By Tutors: A Focus On The Zimbabwe Open University’s Bachelor Of Education (Educational Management) Research Students’ Supervision Experiences
The study examined the ODL learners’ perceptions of the quality of provision of research support services to the ODL learners by tutors. It focused on the Zimbabwe Open University’s (ZOU) Bachelor of Education (Educational Management) research students’ experiences. It was a qualitative multiple case study of four of the 10 Regional Centres of the ZOU. It purposively sampled 40 out of 160 research participants because they possessed desirable research characteristics for this study. The study was deemed significant in influencing tutors and policy makers to consider their research students’ supervision experiences as a basis for improving the quality of services for future research supervision practices and research projects.
The study was guided by a two fold theory namely, thee Facilitation Theory (Nyawaranda, 2005) and the Nurturing Theory (Anderson, Pay and Mac Laughlin, 2006). Both theories advocate for the need of the supervisors to give their students a big heart. In terms of research supervision services offered by tutors the study indicated the time students were offered to meet research supervisors, prompt returns of marked work, and tutor student motivation and counselling as key services.
In connection with the joys about research supervision, the students highly regarded: the manner in which tutors motivated them, tutors guidance in choosing research topic, tutor mentorship during research supervision and provision of workshops to polish up their research skills. In line with the challenges to the provision of research support services, three categories of challenges emerged.
First, student-related challenges included lack of time, lack of money, lack of library facilities, lack of motivation and commitment to do research, lack of adequate theory in the area being researched on and family problems.
Second, supervisor-related challenges included: too little direction, too little practical help given, too few meeting with students, no interest in topics and with students, lack of research skills and experience.
Third institution-related challenges included: lack of adequate statistics and research course sat undergraduate levels, lack of adequate courses in research methods and paradigms, exposure to research skills and experiences to name a few.
In a bid to revamp the provision of research services, students suggested the need to improved library facilities, install computers in the library, hire internet services and photocopy relevant research material to name a few. The study concluded that tutors provided average research support services to ODL learners. Students tended to enjoy research supervision if they are exposed to academically nourishing experiences.
Research support services were undermined by student related, supervisor related and institution related challenges. Students failed to visit their supervisors, libraries and purchase research materials due to lack of money. Students in rural areas do not have access to library facilities in their localities. The study recommended that tutors need to be trained, indicated and staff developed in the research support services area. ZOU needs to set up mobile libraries and internet facilities to service students in remote areas. ZOU needs to move its research support services a gear up by exposing students to time management skills.
Keywords: Research support Services; Tutors Refer to Research Supervisors; Research Students’ Supervision.
Leili MOSALANEJAD , Sakine SHAHSAVARI , Saed Sobhanian & Mehdi DASTPAK
NOTE FOR EDITOR: The Effect Of Virtual Versus Traditional Learning In Achieving Competency-Based Skills
Background: By rapid developing of the network technology, the internet-based learning methods are substituting the traditional classrooms making them expand to the virtual network learning environment. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of virtual systems on competency-based skills of first-year nursing students. Materials and methods: In this quasi-experimental study, 86 freshman nursing students were recruited. Nursing Fundamentals and Skills (including theoretical and practical credits) was decided as the teaching course. The theory and practical contents were taught in one group by conventional method (face to face teaching, demonstration on moulage) and for another by virtual simulation and interactive multimedia. The two groups were the same for the content being taught, the instructor and the final evaluation. Paired t-test and independent sample t-test was used for statistical analysis.
Results: In theoretical exam, the mean score in virtual teaching group was higher than traditional group (P<0.001); however, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the result of objective structured clinical examination.
Conclusions: Using virtual systems is beneficial in enhancing student learning. Both traditional and virtual methods can be used in teaching skills in nursing students; however, it seems that combination of the two can facilitate knowledge transfer.
Keywords: Competency-Based Education; Computer Simulations; Nursing.
Kiran Lata DANGWAL & Shireesh Pal SINGH
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Enhancing Spiritualism In Virtual World
Spiritualism is one word which puts man on the highest plinth of life. Spirituality is the way we find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in life. Spirituality in the virtual World is generally known as Virtual Spirituality. A goldmine of wisdom from all kinds of religious and spiritual philosophies, traditions and practices can be found in virtual World now. Technology and Spirituality together forms the material to which man can incline on to and work for the development of a globe in which war will be considered a taboo and violence a rejected dogma. Therefore there is an urgent nee to made the world a safe place to live in and the spiritual reconstruction can help us in achieving this.
Keywords: Spiritualism, Virtual World, Online Technology
Lori KUPCZYNSKI , Marie-Anne MUNDY & Gerri MAXWELL
Faculty Perceptions Of Cooperative Learning And Traditional Discussion Strategies In Online Courses
Due to the recent developments in technology, distance learning and education questions regarding the best teaching methods for the virtual classroom have emerged. Thus, it becomes increasingly necessary to examine how these methods translate into the virtual classroom. This qualitative case study examined how instructors of online courses perceived the effectiveness of proven traditional teaching methods as well as cooperative learning strategies in the virtual classroom. The five selected faculty members, all of whom held terminal degrees, were selected through purposeful, convenient sampling as well as snowball sampling, or chain sampling. Findings revealed that although all five informants had been working in online learning contexts with their students for two years and more, two of the informants still had not adapted in their own understanding about how to maximize the online learning context and were unable to apply their understanding of traditional instruction to the context of online learning. The two informants who were younger and less experienced than others had adapted well in implementing cooperative learning to maximize online learning. Finally, one informant was able to take her instruction to a more complex level and became the facilitator of learning through employing extensive use of student facilitators.
Keywords: Cooperative Learning, Online Learning, Discussion Board, Case Study, Learning Context.
Figen UNAL-COLAK & Ozlem OZAN
The Effects Of Animated Agents On Students’ Achievement And Attitudes
Animated agents are electronic agents that interact with learners through voice, visuals or text and that carry human-like characteristics such as gestures and facial expressions with the purpose of creating a social learning environment, and provide information and guidance and when required feedback and motivation to students during their learning experience. The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of the use of pedagogical agents in learning materials designed in multimedia on the achievement and attitudes of students. A general evaluation of the research findings indicate that the use of multimedia software developed by using pedagogical agents positively affects student achievement and attitude. The achievement of the students who worked with the software significantly increased, but no significant difference in terms of different pedagogical agents was observed. The comparison of the student’s attitudes revealed no significant difference in terms of different pedagogical agents, yet the attitudes regarding “bearing human features” showed positively significant difference for the software with body shot of a real person. As it is seen in the unstructured interviews with the participants conducted during and after the experimental process, it should be stated that the students had positive attitudes towards the software and the use of pedagogical agent and expressed their liking.
Keywords: Animated Pedagogical Agent, Distance Learning, Animated Interface Agent, Turkey.
F. L. Antony GRACIOUS & F. L. Jasmine Anne SHYLA
Multiple Intelligence And Digital Learning Awareness Of Prospective B.Ed Teachers
The present study Multiple Intelligence and Digital Learning Awareness of prospective B.Ed teachers was probed to find the relationship between Multiple Intelligence and Digital Learning Awareness of Prospective B.Ed Teachers. Data for the study were collected using self made Multiple Intelligence Inventory and Digital Learning Awareness 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 Multiple Intelligence and Digital Learning Awareness of prospective B.Ed teachers.
Keywords: Multiple Intelligence; Digital Learning Awareness; Prospective B.Ed Teachers
Gina G. BERRIDGE, Samantha PENNEY & Judy WELLS
eFACT: Formative Assessment Of Classroom Teaching For Online Classes
As online degrees and programs increase in number and popularity so does the need for excellence and quality in the programs and courses offered. Becoming more scholarly in online course delivery, especially in the evaluation or assessment of those classes is essential for teaching and learning.
This paper explores the pilot of an evaluation of student learning through anonymous feedback at mid-semester in seven online courses. Electronic Formative Assessment of Classroom Teaching (eFACT) is a process of gathering anonymous student feedback through a faculty consultant using e-mail. This process gives the online instructor the opportunity to make changes to the delivery of the course while the class is in session. Instructors felt they gained useful and meaningful information and were able to make changes in their delivery format midway through the semester. Student learning was helped through the use of online features that made the class more social and interactive. Perceived or real communication issues with the instructor and classmates hindered student learning. Although often citing the “nature” of online learning, the social aspect of learning seemed to be missing for many students. Assessments measures like eFACT can elicit detailed perceptions of student learning while the class is in session. It can affect the quality of the delivery method of the course by giving instructors immediate feedback as students reflect on their learning midway through the course.
Keywords: Distance Education, Assessment, Student Evaluations
Language Learning In Second Life: American And Turkish Students’ Experiences
There have been several attempts to integrate Web 2.0 technologies including podcasts, weblogs, wikis, and virtual 3D communities into language education thus far. Second Life, a virtual 3D community, might create unique opportunities for language learners specifically in the following ways: As a source of authentic interaction with target language speakers, a venue for language classes, and an autonomous study opportunity for learners. In this context, this study reports Second Life experiences of American students learning Turkish as a foreign language in the University of Florida, the USA and of Turkish students learning English as a foreign language at Gazi University, Turkey. The interviews demonstrated that both groups of students regarded Second Life as a contribution to authentic interaction with native language. Furthermore, the experiences indicated Second Life served as a good bridge for cultural competence and an inevitable tool to foster less threatened learning experiences despite challenges encountered on the way.
Keywords: Web 2.0, Virtual Communities, Second Life, Language Learning.
Onias MAFA & Enna Sukutai GUDHLANG
Examination Management As A Way Of Achieving Quality Assurance In Odl Institutions: The Case Of Zimbabwe Open University
An examination is an important component of any institution that educates people. It is a form of assessment used to measure the students’ understanding of the concepts and principles they would have learnt. Zimbabwe Open University, an Open and Distance Learning institution has been setting its own examinations for the academic programmes offered. Through examinations, ZOU students are encouraged to take an active role in analysing and questioning the things they would have learnt.
This paper discusses the examinations management at ZOU with a special focus on the setting, administering, marking right up to the publication of results. It will also discuss the challenges that ZOU is facing in conducting examinations. It will finally emerge with some valuable practical suggestions on how ZOU can improve on its examination management and thereby achieve quality assurance in all its programmes. The investigation adopted the qualitative methodology and a case study design to generate data to address the questions which guided the study.
The purposively sampled sample was drawn from ZOU’s National Centre, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North Regions. The sample consisted of manager -examinations, manager- quality control, chairpersons of departments from different faculties, programme leaders, programme coordinators, regional quality coordinators, regional administrators, and students who were in their second year of study. Face-to-face interviews were used to generate data from manager -examinations, manager- quality control, regional quality coordinators and regional administrators.
Data from chairpersons of departments from different faculties, programme leaders, programme coordinators, second year students were generated through focus group discussions. Major findings were the management of examinations at ZOU enhances quality assurance, cited activities which contributed to quality assurance included setting of examination items for the item banks, tight security in the transporting of examination items to and from the regions, residential marking, active invigilation.
Participants were aware of activities that compromised quality assurance such as uncommitted invigilators, incomplete examination, lack of clarity on instructions, lack of security and non-confidentiality of examination items, timetable alterations. Some of the challenges that were mentioned by participants were unrealistic deadlines set by academic registry regarding marking, delays in dispatching of Personal Identification Numbers to newly admitted students, welfare of invigilators during invigilation, and the need for communication between invigilators and other relevant authorities if the need arise when the examination is in progress.
Some of the recommendations arrived at were that faculties should hold periodic workshops on examination management, induction of new staff members who deal with examination management, adopting ICT in the dispatch of examinations to regional centres and networking of the National Centre and the regional centres to facilitate communication and generation of student Personal Identification Numbers.
Keywords: Zimbabwe Open University, an Open and Distance Learning.
Serap Samsa YETIK, Halil Ibrahim AKYUZ & Hafize KESER
Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions About Their Problem Solving Skills In The Scenario Based Blended Learning Environment
The purpose of this study is to determine how to react everyday lives problems in general. In the study, a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was used. The study group consisted of 37 students who were registered for Teacher Experience Course of Computer & Instructional Technologies Education in their 8th semester. In order to collect data The Problem Solving Inventory, a 6 point likert scale with 35 items was used. The scale was completed by the participants both at the beginning and at the end of the 8th semester. In the study as an online learning environment, MODDLE which is a learning management system was used. At the beginning of the semester students who would go to the public primary institutions once a week were randomly assigned to one of the five schools. In the study, participants were given scenarios once a week, totally 8 scenarios and wanted to generate solutions for these problems. Scenarios and solutions were discussed at the face to face courses, semiweekly and gave feedback to them about their solutions by the researchers. At last week, the period of Teaching Practice and generated solutions according to presented problems were assessed, and participants were wanted to respond the scale again. Descriptive statistics and t-test statistical technique were used to analysis of data. The result of the study indicated that there is a significant difference in favour of average points of posttest.
Keywords: Scenario Based Learning, Blended Learning, Problem Solving, Perceived Problem Solving Skills.
Matti J. HAVERILA
The Biggs And Moore Model In E-Learning: The Role Of Motivation And Collaboration As Moderators
The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a research conducted to evaluate the effect of e-learning experience on students’ perceived learning outcomes, and more specifically the role of motivation and collaboration as moderators between the e-learning experience and the learning outcome. The perceived learning outcome was measured with whether the students perceived to learn more in e-learning vis-à-vis traditional learning context.
The participants came from an undergraduate course at Tamk University of Applied Sciences in Tampere, Finland. The Biggs and Moore learning model indicates that the process variables (motivation and collaboration in this study) have a mediating role. It was found out in this study, however, that these process variables have a moderating role rather than mediating role.
Specific recommendations for the practitioners are provided, and implications for educators are discussed. Finally suggestions for further research on e-learning are provided.
Keywords: E-Learning Experience, Biggs And Moore Learning Model, Learning Outcomes, Motivation, Collaboration, Moderating Variables
First Time Online Learners’ Perceptions Of Support Services Provided
The number of online continuous education and training initiatives continues to increase in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and by extension, the number of adult learners who are unfamiliar with the peculiarities of the online teaching and learning environment. The extent to which these learners can derive maximum benefit from these initiatives depends on the rate at which they can adapt to the new circumstances and, as a result, function effectively in this type of teaching and learning environment. To this end, while supporting learners is recognized as a critical success factor little has been explored or documented specific to the Caribbean-SIDS context.
The purpose of this study therefore was to describe the support services provided first time online learners in the context of Caribbean-SIDS and examine what if any benefit learners derived from them through their perceptions of these services.
The findings reveal that participants’ overall perception of the support services was high. They also reveal that although participants’ awareness of ongoing support services was variable, their rating of the need for and importance of this type of support was also high. The findings suggest that providing support for first time online learners in the context of Caribbean SIDS positively impacts their performance in the online teaching and learning environment.
Keywords: Learner Support; First Time Online Learners; Small Island Developing States (SIDS); Human Resource Capacity Development; Online Teaching And Learning.
Murat Pasa UYSAL
The Domains For The Multi-Criteria Decisions About E-Learning Systems
Developments in computer and information technologies continue to give opportunities for designing advanced E-learning systems while entailing objective and technical evaluation methodologies. Design and development of E-learning systems require time-consuming and labor-intensive processes; therefore any decision about these systems and their analysis needs systematic and structured guidance to lead to better decisions. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) techniques are applicable in instructional technology-related research areas as well as in other academic disciplines. In this study, a conceptual domain model and a decision activity framework is proposed for E-learning systems. Instructional, technological, and administrative decision domains are included in this model. Finally, an illustrative example is given to show that AHP is an effective MCDA method for E-learning-related decisions.
Keywords: E-learning, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis
Kadriye UZUN & C. Hakan AYDIN
The Use Of Virtual Ethnography In Distance Education Research
3D virtual worlds can and have been used as a meeting place for distance education courses. Virtual worlds allow for group learning of the kind enjoyed by students gathered in a virtual classroom, where they know they are in a communal space, they are aware of the social process of learning and are affected by the presence and behaviour of their fellow students and tutor.Traditional ethnography has been adjusted to virtual environments and much research on this issue has been carried out under the umbrella of virtual ethnography. The increase in diverse Internet applications can be pointed out as the cause of this inclination and increase.
In this study, the authors explain the method of virtual ethnography in detail, inform about data gathering instruments such as participatory virtual observation, online and offline (face to face) interviews touch upon ethical questions related to field studies and highlight the elements that call for attention in the use of virtual ethnography in distance education studies.
Keywords: Distance Education Researches, Virtual Worlds, Virtual Ethnography, Online Participant Observation.
Michael K. BARBOUR, Angelene McLAREN & Lin ZHANG
It’s Not That Tough: Students Speak About Their Online Learning Experiences
K-12 online learning is growing in Canada and elsewhere in the world. However, the vast majority of literature is focused on practitioners and not on systematic inquiry. Even the limited published research has largely excluded the perspectives of students engaged in virtual schooling. This study examines secondary student perceptions of components of virtual schooling that were beneficial and challenging.
Students largely enjoyed their virtual school courses and found the synchronous classes, the technology, and the ability to control their own learning as positive aspects of their experience.
Students also found the lack of a sense of community, working during their asynchronous class time, and the asynchronous course content to be challenging; and made suggestions for improvement to each, along with advice to future virtual school students.
Keywords: Canada, Distance Education, K-12, Online Learning, Virtual School
Inegbedion, JULIET & Adeyemi JULIUS
Cost Drivers In Distance Education: The Values In Nigerian Universities
Distance university education has come a long way in Nigeria. It started as a dual mode and today has both the dual and single modes. However, the system has been faced majorly with the challenge of inadequate funding. This has hampered the success rate of the system. Therefore for the purpose of appropriate utilisation of the available fund, it is necessary that the knowledge of the unit cost of cost drivers is gained. This will help in re-directing and prioritising the available fund. To meet this purpose, five research questions were raised and answered. Descriptive survey research design was used. Checklist served as the instrument used to obtained data from the sampled institutions. The data collected were analysed using econometric formulas and charts.
The findings revealed that cost drivers in Nigerian distance education programmes have not attained adequate unit costs. High enrolment and proper planning before commencement of programmes were recommended.
Keywords: Unit Cost, Enrolment, Expenditure And Annual Fixed Cost
Manas RANJAN PANIGRAHI
Capacity Building Of Teachers Through Distance Mode Using Teleconferenceing As An Innovative Tool
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a national programme to the goals of Universalization of Elementary Education in India. Distance Education Programme (DEP) plays a major role in providing technical support to the states in building capacity among institutions and people at national, state, district and sub-district levels to design, develop, produce and deliver distance learning inputs and materials in a recurrent manner. Rajasthan Council of Primary Education, Jaipur and DEP-SSA, IGNOU, New Delhi has organized 07 content based teleconferences during the period January, 2005 to October, 2005 for the capacity building of elementary school teachers. The main Objective of the study was to find out the effectiveness of the capacity building of teachers through distance mode using teleconferencing as an innovative tool.
Method: the researcher was used survey method under descriptive research for investigating the impact of teleconference programmes organized on different topics and areas. Sample: The sample consists of 4775 elementary school teachers as participants from the different learning ends of the Rajasthan were selected for the study. Tools: The DEP-SSA, IGNOU developed structured opinionnaire/feedback format to know the effectiveness of teleconference programme. Data analysis: The collected data were tabulated and analyzed with the percentage techniques and it is presented in table. Finding: Most of the teacher respondents agreed on the positive contribution of teleconferencing towards capacity building of teachers.
Keywords: Distance Education, Teleconferencing, Teachers’ Capacity Building, Univerzalisation of Elementary Education,
Tugba Yanpar YELKEN, Figen KILIC & Caner OZDEMIR
The Strategic Planning (Swot) Analysis Outcomes And Suggestions According To The Students And The Lecturers Within The Distance Education System
In recent years, strategic planning has become one of the subjects that many institutions work on to ensure the intuitions’ appropriate management based on realistic results. Therefore, this planning has to be taken into account and should provide planning direction on the bases of its results. Basically, the manager of strategic planning, leadership and strategic thinking and to act to help planners designed the tools, processes and concepts is a group. At the same time, the organization of the development and effective strategies will help to place.
The purpose of this research is to provide SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and to present new suggestions based on the opinions of students in the distance education system. In this work, we have applied Survey Method. The study group has consisted of 70 students and 11 instructors of Mersin Vocational School of Higher Education (MVSHE). All the data was surveyed during the spring semester of 2009. In the development of the questionnaire, a relevant literature has been investigated. Also, expert opinion has also been provided for the survey materials and survey articles. The questionnaire is finalized according to the expert’s opinion. The questionnaire was applied in the internet environment to both the students and the instructors. The outcomes of the survey have been evaluated quantatively along the direction of the survey’s fundamental question: “What are your views on strategic planning (SWOT) of distance education?” The suggestions have been made about the distance learning education based on the findings of the survey.
Keywords: Distance Education, Strategic Planning, SWOT Analysis
Gülfem SEZEN BALCIKANLI
Social Networking In Physical Education: Undergraduate Students’ Views On Ning
It was the aim of this study to investigate physical education undergraduate students’ views on the use of social networking, one of the most typical representations of Web 2.0 technologies. In order to do so, the researcher, who was the instructor of the class, entitled “Fair Play Education in Sport”, introduced Ning and its educational aspects to her students with a 50-minute presentation prior to the study. Following this, the students were encouraged to use this networking for 15 weeks in parallel with their class. During this application, the researcher helped the students to make the best use of Ning in educational settings. Upon the implementation, the researcher interviewed the students (n=19) in five groups on the basis of the questions prepared and piloted earlier. The interviews demonstrated that the students enjoyed using social networking in educational settings.
The findings of the study were the following: Increasing student-student and teacher-student interaction, enhancing student motivation and classroom climate, sharing materials with the instructor and students, making use of students’ interests and needs, and making learning process more interesting and permanent. The research concluded that social networking could be used in PE classes effectively.
Keywords: Web 2.0, social networking, PE students.
Fatma EKICI, Izzet KARA & Erhan EKICI
The Primary Student Teachers’ Views About A Blended Learning Application In A Basic Physics Course
In this study we present an overview of the undergraduate blended Physics course that has been supported by the Moodle platform. The course that has been applied is a basic physics course for primary student teachers. The aim of Moodle is to create an online learning environment which helps students to have a virtual space where they can share knowledge through different kinds of supervised activities, chats and forums. Students have to enter Moodle and they have participated activities that have been offered by the instructor after the lesson every week. After the study, results have shown that teacher candidates using Moodle processing have positive thoughts about the course. In the study, it has been emphasized views of prospective primary teachers about MOODLE in some subjects of physics. Students are challenged to doing research. Prospective teachers tend to use this method in their professional life; therefore, it is recommend that offering challenging possibilities to them about their using. It is recommended that this application is become widespread in education (especially higher education in Turkey).
Keywords: Moodle, Prospective Teachers, Physics, Constructivism, Learning environments
M. SHANMUGHAM & S. KISHORE
Integration Of Prior Learning And Assessment In The Ignou Community College System For Skill Development
The Open and Distance Learning (ODL) has come to stay as an alternative mode to meet the higher educational requirements of diverse groups. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), a system leader in India, plays a major role in giving access and equity, besides maintaining and coordinating standards of distance education in the country. IGNOU has started Community College Scheme in the year 2009 to impart skills to school drop-outs, unskilled workers, unorganized sector and industrial workers. The success of IGNOU Community Colleges lies in their ability to evolve need-based programmes and incorporate the essential academic flexibility in the instructional methods. Prior Learning and Assessment (PLA) method is widely acknowledged the world over as a tool to enhance skill development at the work place.
This work proposes a model forthe integration of PLA method in the IGNOU Community College Scheme to bring the desired academic flexibility for skill development. Thus, applying the proposed model, this article also attempts to evolve a working model curriculum at the levels of Base-Line workers, Assistants and Supervisory level workers and Above Supervisory level workers. The integration of PLA with community Colleges is expected to enhance academic flexibility and thus promote skill-based human resources though ODL system in the country.
Keywords: Open and distance Learning; Community College Scheme; Prior Learning and Assessment; Skills; Skill Development
Sindhu P. NAIR
Towards Understanding The Successful Learner: A Case Study Of IGNOU
The growth of enrolment in the ODL system has been considerable. However, another parameter of significance in the context of Open and Distance learning is the learner success rate. While enrolment rates have been very encouraging in distance education, the pass-out rates haven’t been similar. There is a need to focus on the dynamics involved after a learner enrols himself in an OU and what drives him to stay focussed and complete his academic pursuit successfully or alternatively what holds or slows his academic progress and eventually makes him drop out. The study highlights that there are both institution-based (that is OU-based) and learner-centric factors that could facilitate learners to successfully complete their studies. There are both controllable and uncontrollable factors that affect the OU learners’ success rate. This study attempts to capture the learner-centric factors and OU-related factors that have facilitated the learners to successfully complete their study.
The paper delves into those key aspects or factors which would have facilitated the passed out learners in successfully completing their programmes in the open system. The findings are of direct interest, both from an institution perspective and that of a distance learner. It provides inputs to the Open and distance learning system, towards formulating appropriate strategies that further facilitate learners to successfully pass out. Also the findings serve as indicators/guide rules for any learner in the open system.
Keywords: ODL system, OU learners’; learner-centric, IGNOU.
Development Of Usability Criteria For E-Learning Content Development Software
Revolutionary advancements have been observed in e-learning technologies though an amalgamated evaluation methodology for new generation e-learning content development tools is not available. The evaluation of educational software for online use must consider its usability and as well as its pedagogic effectiveness. This study is a first step towards the definition of criteria for evaluating e-learning tools. A preliminary user study involving a group of pre-service instructional designers, observed during their interaction with e-learning tools, is reported. Throughout the study, specific usability attributes of these e-learning tools were identified. Participants were assigned to rate the importance of functional and pedagogical competences proposed during the criteria development phase. The findings of the study revealed 31 evaluation criteria under the headings of technical, media, and assessment competences. Among the groups of benchmarks proposed and rated by the users, assessment was considered as the most important one while technical and media features were even.The following step was actual implemention of the usability criteria into evaluation of fifteen leading software used in e-learning across the world. Mostly, tools were observed as having limitations in terms of capabilities. Comparing to the other software, Captivate, Softchalk, and Lectora were regarded as outstanding tools by the participants. Following the discussion on the limitations of the study, some implications for further research were proposed.
Keywords: Usability, Pedagogic Usability, Web Based Learning, Content Development Tools
Epistemological Beliefs And Metacognitive Strategies Of Elt Pre-Service Teachers In Distance And Formal Education
The epistemological beliefs in learning process have been investigated from different aspects in relation with many variables in literature. Such beliefs are defined as individuals’ beliefs regarding knowledge and learning. As another related, popular concept, the metacognitive strategies are identified as the strategies used to control the process of obtaining knowledge.
Thus, it is seen that both of them are employed to make learning more effective. Within this framework, the aim of the present study was to determine the epistemological beliefs and metacognitive strategies of the pre-service teachers in the distance and formal education English Language Teaching program and to investigate whether there was any difference/ were any differences between them. To collect data, “Epistemological Belief Scale” developed by Schommer (1990) and translated and validated by Deryakulu and Büyüköztürk (2002) and “Metacognitive Strategy Inventory” which was adapted for university students by Yıldız, Akpınar and Ergin (2006) were used. Then through the descriptive method they were analyzed.
As a result of study, it was determined that there was a significant relationship between the epistemological beliefs and metacognitive strategy use of ELT pre-service teachers in both formal and distance education programs.
Keywords: Learning, Epistemological Beliefs, Metacognitive, Metacognitive Strategy
Muhammad Asif CHUADHRY & Syed Manzoor Hussain SHAH
Impact Of Managerial Skills Learnt Through Ma Educational Planning Management Programme Of Aiou On The Performance Of Institutional Heads
Management provides formal coordination in an organization for achieving pre-determined goals. The educational manager particulary performs his duties by using different planning and management techniques. These techniques are equally important for the manager of other sectors. The present study was focused on the impact of managerial skills learnt through MA EPM programme on the performance of the heads. Following were the objectives of the study .to assess the contribution of the programme towards the learning of the heads of educational institutions.
Ø To identify the managerial skills and competencies of Educational Managers and heads trained through EPPSL Department of the Allama Iqbal Open University.
Ø (ii) To evaluate the effectiveness of the programme and its impact on the skills of the MA EPM graduates.
Ø (iii) To analyze the performance of EPM graduates working as heads in their respective institutions.
A questionnaire for graduates was developed for those working as institutional heads in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. There were 58 educational institutionl heads who have their master degree in EPM .The data obtained was organized, tabulated, and analyzed by using descriptive statistics means of percentage method in numbers of tables in order to find out the impact of the skills of the MA EPM programme. The finding and conclusions of the data indicated that the impact of the skills on their performance. Majority of the heads were agreed that the programme was beneficial for them. It was recommended on the basis of the conclusions that the selection of the resource person should be on merit; quality of books might be improved; and there should be a separate course for educational budgeting. It was also recommended that this programme should be compulsory for the institutional heads. There might be upgradation of the course.
Keywords: Managerial skill, Graduates, Planning and Management, Planning skills, Institutional Heads Introduction.
Reviewed By Martha A. BROWN
REVIEW: The Restorative Classroom: Using Restorative Approaches To Foster Effective Learning
For the past four decades, teachers, administrators and restorative justice advocates have been engaged in a movement to introduce and establish restorative practices in schools in order to transform the current negative, punitive environment into a climate that cultivates emotional development, social skills and academic achievement. Dr. Belinda Hopkins' most recent book, The Restorative Classroom (2011), is perhaps most significant contribution to the movement to date.