17 (4), 2016
From The Editor
Welcome to the Volume 17, Number 4 of TOJDE
Dear TOJDE Readers, welcome to the Volume 17, Number 4 of TOJDE. There are 14 articles and 2 book reviews in the last issue of the year 2016. The articles are written by 37 authors from 14 different countries. These countries are Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom and USA.
Aras BOZKURT, Sarah HONEYCHURCH, Autumm CAINES, Maha BALI, Apostolos KOUTROPOULOS & Dave CORMIER
Community Tracking in a cMooc and Nomadic Learner Behavior Identification on a Connectivist Rhizomatic Learning Network
This article contributes to the literature on connectivism, connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs) and rhizomatic learning by examining participant interactions, community formation and nomadic learner behavior in a particular cMOOC, #rhizo15, facilitated for 6 weeks by Dave Cormier. It further focuses on what we can learn by observing Twitter interactions particularly. As an explanatory mixed research design, Social Network Analysis and content analysis were employed for the purposes of the research. SNA is used at the macro, meso and micro levels, and content analysis of one week of the MOOC was conducted using the Community of Inquiry framework. The macro level analysis demonstrates that communities in a rhizomatic connectivist networks have chaotic relationships with other communities in different dimensions (clarified by use of hashtags of concurrent, past and future events). A key finding at the meso level was that as #rhizo15 progressed and number of active participants decreased, interaction increased in overall network. The micro level analysis further reveals that, though completely online, the nature of open online ecosystems are very convenient to facilitate the formation of community. The content analysis of week 3 tweets demonstrated that cognitive presence was the most frequently observed, while teaching presence (teaching behaviors of both facilitator and participants) was the lowest. This research recognizes the limitations of looking only at Twitter when #rhizo15 conversations occurred over multiple platforms frequented by overlapping but not identical groups of people. However, it provides a valuable partial perspective at the macro meso and micro levels that contribute to our understanding of community-building in cMOOCs.
Keywords: Rhizomatic Learning, connectivism, community tracking, nomadic learner behaviors, massive open online courses, MOOCs.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.09231
Mehmet FIRAT, A. Nurhan SAKAR & Isil KABAKCI YURDAKUL
Web Interface Design Principles for Adults’ Self-Directed Learning
One of the most important features which e-learning tools and environments must possess within the scope of lifelong learning is self-directed learning, which can be considered as a form of self-learning. The aim of this study was to determine, based on the views and recommendations of experts, interface design principles for the development of educational web interfaces that will support the self-directed learning of adults. This descriptive study was conducted with the contribution of 12 academicians specializing in interface design and self-directed learning. Within the scope of the study, new interfaces features were identified based on an evaluation of the literature on interface designs for self-directed learning, and the views of subject experts. Based on the study results, it was determined that interface designs supporting self-directed learning must possess five basic features, which include being user-directed, ensuring variety, being supported by learning analytics, being motivational, and being sharing-oriented.
Keywords: open and distance learning, self-directed learning, adult education, e-learning, interface design
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.47086
Nizar OMHENI, Anis KALBOUSSI, Omar MAZHOUD & Ahmed Hadj KACEM
Annotation-based Learner’s Personality Modeling in Distance Learning Context
Researchers in distance education are interested in observing and modelling of learner’s personality profile, and adapting their learning experiences accordingly. When learners read and interact with their reading materials, they do unselfconscious activities like annotation which may be key feature of their personalities. Annotation activity requires the reader to be active, to think critically and to analyze what has been written, and to make specific annotations in the margins of the text. These traces is reflected through underlining, highlighting, scribbling comments, summarizing, asking questions, expressing confusion or ambiguity, and evaluating the content of reading. In this paper, we present a semi-automatic approach to build learners’ personality profiles based on their annotation traces yielded during active reading sessions. The experimental results show the system’s efficiency to measure, with reasonable accuracy, the scores of learner’s personality traits.
Keywords: Annotations, learner’s personality traits, personality computing, learning personalization, learner modeling
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.43130
Gulten GENC, Emine KULUSAKLI & Savas AYDIN
A Comparative Study on the Motivation and Attitudes of Language Learners of Online Distance and Traditional in-Classroom Education
In recent years, the increase in the use of computer and the internet has led to a change in the traditional concept of formal education today. Distance learning as a more student-centered system has been frequently used at universities. In this context, education has been applied to the individuals consisting of all age groups in accordance with their aspirations, expectations and interest in a more flexible way. This study aims to determine and compare the motivation and attitudes of language learners of online distance and traditional in-classroom education, in a state university in Turkey. Participants were 500 undergraduate university students in various disciplines. About 250 (half) of the participants studied English as a foreign language through traditional in-classroom education whereas the rest of the participants (250) studied English through online distance education in the same university by the same instructors. Two questionnaires (one to evaluate motivation level and one to evaluate attitudes of the participants related to English as a foreign language) and a background information form investigating individual information of the participants were used to collect data from the students of nine faculties at the University (including Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, and Faculty of Medicine). According to the nature of the research, the study used descriptive statistics (frequencies, range, means, and standard deviations), t-test and ANOVA as the statistical analysis methods. All collected data were coded and computerized using the SPSS software and the alpha level for the tests was set at .05. After calculating each participant’s motivation and attitudes scores, their scores were compared to the variables selected for the study and each other. The findings indicated statistically significant relationships between motivation and attitudes of the participants and some individual variables. Some conclusions were reached based on the findings of the research and some recommendations and suggestions were made for future research into areas not covered by this study.
Keywords: Motivation, attitude, language learning, distance education
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.44090
Online Metacognitive Tasks for EFL Distance Learners
Online courses have benefited from the adequate use of digital tools and resources that allow learners to be the center of their own learning process. More often online instructors not only aim at what students have to individually do but learners are also engaged in interacting with the educational community by means of a variety of ubiquitous learning (u-learning) resources that can be accessed anywhere and at any time. This article proposes a debate on the importance of providing interactive scenarios among students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Higher Education when registered in online courses. Without communicative activities, the successful production of any foreign language is not complete since knowledge building and the understanding of the foreign language, either in written or spoken form, are the key points of an adequate performance of communicative competences. The findings of this study will provide information about useful u-learning tools and evaluation tasks for the adequate performance of communicative competences required in a foreign language online course.
Keywords: autonomous learning, collaborative learning, communicative competence, distant learning, EFL, u-learning
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.60563
Veysel DEMIRER & Cagdas ERBAS
Trends in Studies on Virtual Learning Environments in Turkey between 1996-2014 Years: A Content Analysis
This study aims to review studies on virtual learning environments in Turkey through the content analysis method. 63 studies consisting of thesis, articles and proceedings published in Turkish and English between 1996-2014 years were analyzed. It was observed that "Second Life" was mostly preferred as the virtual learning environment. Literature review and quantitative research methods were mostly preferred in the studies respectively. Most of these studies used surveys to collect the data and sample size in most studies was between 31-100 participants. Mostly, participants were undergraduate students, and purposive and convenience sampling method were preferred in the studies. The data was mostly analyzed using quantitative descriptive analysis method. The most studied variable was academic achievement and the least one was the cognitive load. The studies yielded varying results owning to their study purposes and showed that virtual learning environments fostered student academic success, diminished the cognitive load by concretizing the concepts and ensured social and collaborative learning. The findings of this study might guide researchers aiming to employ virtual learning environments in their educational studies.
Keywords: Virtual learning environments, research trends, content analysis
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.45497
Mohammad Reza SARMADI, Mehran FARAJOLLAHI, Bahman SAEIDIPOUR & Mehrdad AHMADIFAR
The Impact of Lecturers’ Thinking Styles on Students’ Creativity in Distance Higher Education
The purpose of this study was to investigate the group creativity on thinking styles in
distance education based on collaborative learning. Sample included 120 students from
three intact classes of the College of education were selected as the participants for the
main study. The instruments of measurement were the thinking styles inventory and the
creative product semantic scale. Using the factorial quasi-experimental design, impact of
thinking styles in the group creativity was tested. The results of the present study showed
that male students tended to prefer the legislative thinking style more than the female
students. There was no significant difference between male and female students in the
overall creative ability. In addition, this study found that there was no significant
association between the average group member creative ability and the overall group
creative performance. The findings also supported Sternberg’s argument that ability is
different from style.
Keywords: Thinking styles, distance learning, group creativity.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.87234
Lin B. CARVER & Carol TODD
Using Blogging Software to Provide Additional Writing Instruction
Classroom teachers sometimes struggle trying to find time during the typical school day to provide the writing instruction students need to be successful. This study examined 29 fifth through twelfth grade classroom teachers’ survey responses about their perception of the effectiveness of using an online blogging tool, Kidblog, to plan and provide writing instruction for a struggling writer through survey responses and reflective journal entries. In addition, qualitative data from 16 of the 29 teachers were collected through their journals. After eight weeks of using the blogging tool, teachers perceived the tool to be more effective than they had originally thought it would be. The teachers reported that they were able to evaluate their individual student’s writing progress to determine next steps in writing instruction. They perceived that student engagement with the writing process increased during the study. Additionally, using an online format encouraged teachers to incorporate other online tools into their instruction. However, barriers to using the blogging tool were also identified. Teachers reported that they would have liked the opportunity for more face-to-face interaction with their students and they also indicated that students may need strong keyboarding skills to effectively use the Kidblog tool. Additionally, prior to implementing the tool, teachers identified practice should have been provided for the teachers, as some found the blogging software difficult to use.
Keywords: K-12writing instruction, blogging, struggling writers, Kidblog, technology, and writing tutoring
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.53394
Yunus ALYAZ & Zubeyde Sinem GENC
Digital Game-Based Language Learning in Foreign Language Teacher Education
New technologies including digital game-based language learning have increasingly received attention. However, their implementation is far from expected and desired levels due to technical, instructional, financial and sociological barriers. Previous studies suggest that there is a strong need to establish courses in order to support adaptation of game-based learning pedagogy through helping teachers experience digital games themselves before they are expected to use them in teaching. This study was conducted to investigate educational digital games in foreign language teaching, to identify the determining reasons behind the pittfalls in applications and to explore the contribution of a serious game to the development of professional language skills of pre-service teachers. Pre- and post-tests were applied to measure the contribution of the game to the development of their language skills. In addition, a game diary and semi-structured interviews were used to elicit information about the problems pre-service teachers had and their perceptions on the whole process. The analysis of the data illustrated that there was great improvement in pre-service teachers’ professional language skills and attitudes towards using these games while teaching in the future. This is important in foreign language teacher education in terms of enhancing digital game-based language learning pedagogy for teachers.
Keywords: Digital game-based language learning, DGBLL, serious games, foreign language teacher education, German learning
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.44375
Evaluating Learners’ Ability to Use Technology in Distance Education: The Case of External Degree Programme of The University Of Nairobi
The study was aimed at investigating the students’ ability to use technology for distance education with specific reference to the University of Nairobi’s External Degree Programme. To achieve this, one specific objective was formulated: To find out the student teacher’s readiness to accept and utilize technology for learning purposes in relation to their work experience. The study design used was cross- sectional survey with a well -constructed questionnaire. The study population was 500 External Degree Students of the University of Nairobi who were final year students in the Bachelor of Education (Arts) by distance mode. The study sample of 217 was reached at by the use of a sample table provided by Krejcie and Morgan,(1970). Simple random technique was to identify the 217 respondents. A total of 110 questionnaires were filled and returned by respondents who were school teachers in Kenya. A non-probability sampling technique (purposive) was used to select the cohort under study, that is, the final semester students in the External Degree programme of the University of Nairobi. The results from the pilot study were used to prove content validity as instrument reliability was determined from the internal consistency of responses from the questionnaire after the pilot study. The findings from the study revealed that majority of teachers 19(50%) who had a work experience between 6 to 11 years were able to gather information from the internet for learning purposes. It was also learnt that as number of years for work experience increased (21 years and above), the ability to gather information from the internet decreased drastically. When respondents were asked of their ability to troubleshoot computers, all categories of work experience showed low ability. All percentages were less than 50% with the work experience brackets of 21 and above years recording 22.2% as the highest percentage. Finally, when respondents were asked about their feelings towards using computers for their additional research and education, the work experience brackets of 21 and above years overwhelmingly 6(67.7%) enjoyed working with computers. It was therefore concluded that any institution aiming at introducing e-learning in their institution should assess students’ technology literacy levels and prepare them in advance before the launch of e-learning.
Keywords: e-Learning, Wedusoft, distance learning, distance education, e-learning uptake, information literacy
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.18587
Fathia LAHWAL , Ajlan S. AL-AJLAN & Mohamad AMAIN
A Proposed Framework Between Internal, External and Pedagogy Dimensions in Adoption of Interactive Multimedia e-Learning
This study about interactive multimedia e-learning aims to improve our understanding about the dynamics of e-learning. The objective is to critical evaluate and better understand the interrelationships in the proposed framework between internal, external and the pedagogy dimensions in adoption of interactive multimedia and e-learning. It develops a tool to measure creative user adoption of interactive multimedia and e-learning services by using Partial Least Squares algorithm as the method of estimation and the major analytical tool in this study. Finding of a small scale data sampling of students in United Kingdom indicate that the proposed measurement framework is an acceptable fit with the data. Overall, the findings supply a precise tool for measuring creative user adoption of interactive multimedia and e-learning services, providing further insights for researchers and may provide to guide research and practice in interactive multimedia and e-learning by using communication media.
Keywords: External, Internal, Pedagogical, Multimedia and E-Learning
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.29870
Caroline T. SUMANDE, Carmencita L. CASTOLO & Benilda Eleanor V. COMENDADOR
The ICT Level of Confidence of Course Specialists in Distance Education: The Polytechnic University of the Philippines Experience
This study intends to assess the ICT needs of the course specialists at Polytechnic University of the Philippines under the Open University System (PUP-OUS) which may be the basis in conducting training on the different applications such as word processing, electronic spread sheet, presentation software, YouTube and etc. for the successful implementation of the community Learning Management System (LMS) endeavor in the University.
This is also a review of the current practices of the course specialists in the use of ICT to better facilitate teaching and learning process through the LMS or the PUP Open University eMabini Learning Portal. This particularly identifies various training programs that may be considered in order to successfully implement the system. Internally, the quality and success implementation of a certain program can be best determined if both of the faculty members and students had maximized its utility and made a gratifying experience afterwards. The overarching research questions – Are the Course Specialists (CS) confident to utilize the LMS in teaching? Are they aware of various eLearning strategies that may help geographically dispersed learners? And what is the extent of eLearning utilization for instructions by the CS? Though a high percentage of course specialists are fully competent with computer applications such as word documents, PDF documents, email, multi-media presentations, e-learning tools for submission of requirements, assessment of students performance, and other systems integrated in handling OU Cyber classes, still the meager percentage of responses stating, “using these systems but need further practice/training” or “not aware of the application” can be alarming for PUP Open University’s goal to achieve pure online implementation in the next few years. This study concludes to create a long-term vision for the future of DE system in the University to best serve its clientele, “the DE students.”
Keywords: ICT Level of Confidence, Course Specialists, Distance Education, eLearning Utilization, Learning Management System
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.25498
Carmen Ricardo BARRETO & Jorge Mizzuno HAYDAR
Pedagogical Intercultural Practice of Teachers in Virtual Enviroments
This paper presents some of the results of the project "Training and Development of Intercultural Competency of Teachers in Virtual Enviroments", carried out in the Colombian Caribbean region. It was performed in three steps: 1-diagnosis, 2-training, and 3-analysis of the pedagogical practice. The article shows the results of the third stage characterized by using a qualitative approach base on a cooperative action research design. The study was performed in ten Colombian Caribbean higher education institutions (HEI) offering virtual programs. In these institutions, six cases were selected, which correspond to teachers who had participated in the two previous stages. The stage here reported aimed at analyzing and assessing virtual teachers' practice in virtual learning environments. Data were collected from each case’s Virtual Learning Environment, and they were analyzed by using documentary analysis of the teacher’s pedagogical practice. This analysis was performed by the participant teachers, the researcher, and external expert. Results show a changing process of intercultural conception both in the design and in the implementation and evaluation. In order to overcome some weaknesses observed, it is necessary to train the teachers not only in the intercultural education but also in topic such as curricular design and educational technology.
Keywords: Virtual Learning Environment, Intercultural Competencies, Intercultural Pedagogical Practice, Virtual Education, Distance Education
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.24492
Improving Curriculum through Blended Learning Pedagogy
This paper is a study of blended learning pedagogy in open and distance learning (ODL), involving two universities in Southeast Asia, STOU Thailand and UT Indonesia. The purpose of this study is to understand the issues related to the implementation of blended-learning pedagogy. Existing theories in Distance education (DE) specifically interaction and communication theory proposed by Holmberg (1995), autonomy and independence theory based on the work Wedemeyer (1981) and Moore (1994) and community of inquiry (CoI) model contributed by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) are detected to provide a general picture on how practices in teaching-learning provisions and DE theories may inform each other. Qualitative case study was employed to optimize my understanding of the blended learning phenomena gathered through semi-structured interview and documentary analysis. Whilst they operated in different educational settings, these two universities shared similarities. They have developed blended learning pedagogy to promote students’ learning classified into three dimensions: printed learning materials, F2F sessions, and online learning. Printed materials, however, may be identified as a major one and online learning have been regarded as strategic policies for further development. They have been equipped with their VLE; the use of VLE helped these universities to provide two-way traffic communications. They have been involved in developing internet-based instruction to widening access and to meet challenges for better future.
Keywords: open and distance learning, blended learning, curriculum improvement
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.72654
Reviewed By Can GULER
REVIEW: Open Educational Resources: Policy, Costs and Transformation
This book presents 15 case studies contributed by researchers and policy makers. The Open Educational Resources (OER) implementations are expressed through different point of views. This book focused on three themes: policy, costs and transformation. Policy theme is related to the establishment of priorities for supporting the decisions made by an institution or organization. Costs theme explores the funding of OER, particularly in the sense of cost effectiveness. Transformation theme provides examples that demonstrate how OER can be used in ways that go beyond replication of current teaching and learning models. The editors in the Introduction elaborately describe these three themes.
Reviewed By Recep ONDER
REVIEW: e-Learning Systems, Environments and Approaches Theory and Implementation
E-learning systems have been attainable for years with their different options and flexibilities. These systems provide opportunities like flexible structures with respect to time and space, personalization of learning and sharing of adaptable learning experience. With these features, e-learning systems gain places in the education environments. In this context, we reviewed the book “E-Learning Systems, Environments and Approaches: Theory and Implementation” edited by Pedro Isaías, J. Michael Spector, Dirk Ifenthaler and Demetrios G. Sampson (2015) which included theoretical knowledge on the e-learning technologies and contributed to the literature with experimental implementation examples in the education environments.