17 (3), 2016
From The Editor
Welcome to the Volume 17, Number 3 of TOJDE
Dear TOJDE Readers,
Welcome to Volume 17, Number 3 of TOJDE,
There are 10 articles and 2 book reviews in July 2016 issue. 27 authors write these articles from 7 different countries, which are Ghana, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey and USA.
Neelam VENKATESHWARLU & Ashish AGARWAL
Learner’s Satisfaction: A Case Study on IGNOU’s Engineering Diploma Programme
Abstract: Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system is different from conventional education system. ODL system imparts education through multiple media and techniques to equalize the class room education. Unlike the conventional system, the distant learners (students, adults, employed persons, etc.) may face some problems during their course of study. In this paper authors discuss various problems faced by the ODL learners and propose some good practices to enhance the learner’s satisfaction level. The paper further describes the importance of Engineering programmes offered through ODL for working technicians (ITI certificate holders) and working technical supervisors (Engineering Diploma holders). It also talks about the career opportunities and promotion aspects after the completion of their respective programmes.
Keywords: Keywords: Open and Distance Learning, Working People Education, Engineering Education
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.73591
Glenn J. FORTE, David R. SCHWANDT, Susan SWAYZE, Joan BUTLER & Merrill ASHCRAFT
Distance Education in the U.S.: A Paradox
Over the last several years distance education (DE) class offerings at U.S. universities and colleges have been increasing at a rate of approximately 10% or more per year (Allen & Seaman, 2014). While the effectiveness of DE classes vis-à-vis that of face-to-face (F2F) classes has been sufficiently documented, there are few studies that compare student evaluations of the two class delivery systems. Therefore, we sought to answer the question, is there a significant difference between student evaluations of the Teaching Methods and Styles (TM&S) of DE and F2F classes as measured on a student completed class and instructor survey, examined through the lens of Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory (TDT) constructs of student autonomy, dialogue and structure (1997, 2010, 2012)? Moore maintains that Transactional Distance (TD) is a psychological and pedagogical separation of student and instructor, as well as a geographical one.
The twenty TM&S questions included in the survey data for 765 classes offered from September 6, 2011 to December 19, 2013 were collected and analyzed for classes identified as SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology through SOC 340 Applied Research in the Behavioral Sciences that are offered by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at a Mid-Atlantic Open University. A t-test analysis of variance was conducted and analyzed.
The results of the study indicate that 16 of the 20 TM&S questions returned statistically significant results, 3 of 4 for student autonomy, 8 of 10 for dialogue and 5 of 6 for structure. Three of the TDT construct dialogue/interaction questions and two of the TDT construct structure questions returned medium effect size magnitudes. Three of the TM&S questions associated with the TDT construct autonomy returned statistically significant results with low effect size magnitudes.
Based on the results of the study, we have concluded that psychological and pedagogical separation, or TD between student and instructor is reduced when the DE course structure encourages and requires increased dialogue and interaction.
Keywords: Distance Education, Distance Education Paradox, Transactional Distance and Transactional Distance Theory
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.95102
Jesus TRESPALACIOS & Ross PERKINS
Sense of Community, Perceived Learning, and Achievement Relationships in an Online Graduate Course
The ubiquity of online programs in higher education requires continued focus on designing instructional environments that improve students’ learning. We examine students’ perceptions of sense of community and learning, as well as academic achievement, using grades obtained from a final project and participation in asynchronous discussion forums. Findings indicate a significant correlation between perceived learning and the sense of community connectedness subscale. Although sense of community is closely associated with interactions, the results did not show a significant relationship between the sense of community and the discussions achievement variable. Implications and challenges in implementing activities to foster sense of community in an online learning environment are discussed.
Keywords: Sense of community; perceived learning; achievement; online learning; asynchronous discussions
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.12984
Firat SARSAR & Tarik KISLA
Emotional Presence in Online Learning Scale: A Scale Development Study
Although emotions are not a new topic in learning environments, the emerging technologies have changed not only the type of learning environments but also the perspectives of emotions in learning environments. This study designed to develop a survey to help online instructors to understand students’ emotional statement in online learning environment. This survey focuses online instructors to know and understand what or how their students’ can reflect their feelings and also whether they are able to transfer their emotions in online learning. The last version of the survey has 21 items and 2 subfactors which are “Giving Emotions” and “Receiving Emotions”. The factor analysis results showed that Cronbach Alpha for Giving Emotion was .86, for Receiving Emotions was .79 and for the total survey was .88.
Keywords: emotional presence, scale, online learning
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.87040
Agatha Gifty LARSON & Michael OWUSU-ACHEAW
Information Needs of Distance Learners: A case of Winneba Study Centre, University of Education, Winneba. Ghana.
The study focuses on the information needs of distance learners of the Winneba Study Centre of the University of Education, Winneba. The main objective was to investigate the information needs of this group of students who live far away from their host institution and have minimal interaction with their tutors. The study was a survey and made use of a questionnaire as research instrument. The target population consisted of all distance learners of the Centre; this includes the Diploma and Post Diploma students numbering 1,029 as at 2014/2015 academic year. A sample size of 206 representing 20% of the population was selected through random sampling. The questionnaire was analyzed using frequency tables and percentages. Findings of the study were that distance learners depend solely on the course materials and lecture notes as the only source of information due to their tight schedule. They were also not using libraries to support their learning and other academic activities as they lacked searching and library use skills. Furthermore, it was found that the learners prefer print format to electronic format and lack of time and inability to search for information are some of the hindrances to their information utilization. Based on the findings, it was recommended among other things that, tutors should endeavour to give assignments that would require the use of libraries, efforts should also be made by library management in partnership with distance education administrators to run mobile library services, instruction on library use, negotiate for space in public and school libraries to keep library materials for use by the learners and also provide instruction on how to access and use both print and electronic resources in libraries.
Keywords: Distance Education, Distance Learners, Information Needs, Libraries, Information, Winneba Study Centre,
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.09269
Mehmet KAHRAMAN & Abdullah KUZU
E-Mentoring for Professional Development of Pre-Service Teachers: A Case Study
This study focused on supporting the professional development of information technologies pre-service teachers with the help of e-mentoring. The e-mentoring program was conducted in four basic phases such as preparation, matching, interaction and finalizing. In the study, the data were collected via researcher journals, semi-structured interviews held with the participants, focus-group interviews and reflection reports written at the end of the program. The data collected were analyzed with the software of Nvivo 8 and divided into themes for presentation.
The duration and frequency of interactions and the communication tools preferred differed from one matching to another. In addition, the interactions revealed gains professional development in terms of such areas as sharing knowledge and experience, guidance and goal setting, knowing more about the university and adaptation, easily access to counseling, developing self-confidence, developing communication skills, social and affective support, keeping one’s knowledge updated and reinforcement.
It was seen that besides the formal education given to the participants, the e-mentoring application had positive influence on their professional development as well. The e-mentoring program helped students, academicians and graduates share their knowledge and experience with each other and develop their social networks. The participants had the opportunity to view their career as a whole and received guidance regarding the career processes.
Keywords: Keywords: E-mentoring, personal guidance, pre-service teachers, professional development
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.19973
Zari Sadat SEYYEDREZAIE, Behzad GHONSOOLY, Hesamoddin SHAHRIARI & Azar Hosseini FATEMI
A Mixed Methods Analysis of the Effect of Google Docs Environment on EFL Learners’ Writing Performance and Causal Attributions for Success and Failure
This study investigated the effect of writing process in Google Docs environment on Iranian EFL learners’ writing performance. It also examined students’ perceptions towards the effects of Google Docs and their perceived causes of success or failure in writing performance. In this regard, 48 EFL students were chosen based on their IELTs writing test scores. During the treatment, the students were taught how to write a formal five-paragraph essay in the class, but they were supposed to practice writing process and give feedback to their peers’ essays through Google Docs. At the end of the treatment phase, the participants received another sample of IELTs writing test (posttest). Moreover, 20 participants were interviewed for their perceptions regarding the causes for their success and failure and the influence of Google Docs on their writing performance. The analysis of a Paired-Sample t-test revealed that Google Docs played an effective role in improving students’ writing performance. In addition, the analysis of interview revealed that the students perceived both internal and external causes for their success and failure; but in case of failure, internal factors were cited more often than external ones. Also, it was revealed that students generally showed positive attitude towards the implication of Google Docs as a factor leading to success in their writing performance.
Keywords: Attribution Theory, Google Docs, Blended Learning, Writing Performance
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.34418
George Boon Sai TEOH, Agnes Liau Wei LIN & Kathy BELAJA
Which Aspects of the English Language do Distance Learners Find Difficult?
This paper reports the findings of a research carried out on distance learners at the School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia. The research aimed to identify the aspects of the English language which distance learners found difficult to learn. A total of 512 students who enrolled in the JUE300 English II course responded to the quantitative questionnaire. Findings indicate that the distance learners reported that speaking, vocabulary and grammar were aspects they found most difficult when learning the English language. Based on the findings, the researchers made several recommendations for designers and instructors of English language learning courses in distance education. The course designers should 1) be aware of the particular needs of the distance learners 2) increase the number of contact hours via teleconferencing sessions or traveling to regional centres to meet the students and create opportunities for students to learn, interact and seek answers to their queries in the target language 3) guide and motivate the students to spend sufficient time on reading and enriching their vocabulary, practicing their communication skills and learning grammar.
Keywords: Distance Education, English Language, aspects
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.19593
Munazza AMBREEN, Ambreen HAQDAD & Wajid A. SALEEM
Fostering Self- Regulated Learning through Distance Education: A Case Study of M. Phil Secondary Teacher Education Program of Allama Iqbal Open University
Self-regulated learning (SLR) has been recognized as a pivotal antecedent of students’ effective learning and academic achievement. A self-regulated learner can independently and effectively plan for learning , choose and use appropriate learning strategies and reflect and monitor learning progress. Self- regulated learning, for learners in general and for distance learners in particular, is inevitable for effectual learning process. Present study was focused to explore upto what extent distance education system is successful in fostering self-regulated learning among learners at higher level. An attempt was made to highlight the strategies used to foster self-regulated learning and students perceptions about effectiveness of these strategies. Views of teachers of distance education system were also sought to disclose their level of sensitivity, awareness and preferences for endorsement of self-regulated learning among students. Students of MS/M.Phil Secondary Teacher Education enrolled in Spring 2011 were taken as sample for the study. Focus group discussion and interviews were used as the tool for data collection. Data analysis revealed that teachers were very concerned about development of the skills required to regulate one’s own learning among students of MS/ M.Phil program. Students considered the self learning activities, assignments, presentations and reflection activities as very effective ones for transforming them into self-regulated learners. Moreover teachers were familiar with the potential factors that influence learners’ ability to self-regulate their learning, in this context they suggested that more interactive course material and technology based assessment exercises can prove to be remarkable milestones on way to this destination.
Keywords: Self- Regulation, Learning, Monitoring, Reflecting, Distance Education
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.89562
Meltem KUSCU & Hasan ARSLAN
Virtual Leadership at Distance Education Teams
Globalization being one of the most popular terms of recent years is considered as a factor changing the operation styles of the companies. Companies and universities opened up to the world with the globalization and as a result of it, they had the opportunity of being a world brand. Now, some companies have affiliated companies in almost every country. Well, if we think about time and place difference how do these companies lead the affiliated companies in various locations of the world? This question resulted in the new leadership approach, virtual leadership.
The process of distance learning beginning with newspaper advertisement appears as virtual learning now. A number of companies and universities provide distance learning classes and in-service training in virtual platform via Internet. These trainings provided independently from time and space are conducted in a country and worldwide sometimes. If we consider individuals in different time and environments as virtual teams, dealing with these virtual teams is the duty of virtual leader.
The purpose of this study is to examine virtual leadership perception of distance learning teams. Three trivets are in question for distance learning teams. The first one is the academicians lecturing the second one is the students and the third one is coordinator and technical support team. Perceptions of virtual leader of the said three groups were examined individually in this study.
Keywords: Distance Education, Virtual Teams, Virtual Leadership
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.79230
Reviewed By Nejdet KARADAG
REVIEW: Technology Integration and High Possibility Classrooms: Building from TPACK
This book consists of 8 chapters, appeals teachers who want to understand technology integration to education and how it looks like in action in classrooms. High Possibility Classrooms (HPC) models are examined by case studies in different educational settings.
Reviewed By Gamze TUNA
REVIEW: Intelligent and Adaptive Educational-Learning Systems: Achievements and Trends
Adaptation of technological developments to the education systems has been caused changes in educational environments. One of the influential components in this change is artificial intelligence applications. Educational learning systems (ELS) become intelligent with the use of artificial intelligence techniques. Also, they can include adaptability to meet user needs. Intelligent and Adaptive Educational-Learning Systems (IAELS) defined by book editor as “ELS that include some kind of intelligent and adaptive functionality”.