The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education
From The Editor
Welcome to the Volume 18, Number 3 of TOJDE
Dear TOJDE Readers,
Welcome to Volume 18, Number 3 of TOJDE,
There are 14 articles and 2 book reviews in July 2017 issue. 27 authors write these articles from 11 different countries. These countries are Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine and USA.
Students’ Media Preferences in Online Learning
This study examined students’ preferred media in online learning and its relationship with learner characteristics and online technology self-efficacy. One hundred six college students in a mid-size U.S. university responded to a survey. The frequency analysis showed that students did not necessarily favor rich media over lean media in online learning. They preferred recorded online slide presentations with audio to Internet-based live video lectures in two-way video and audio interactions. Online discussion boards and chat groups were less favored than other types of media. As expected, online technology self-efficacy was correlated with a type of media requiring a relatively higher level of technology skills. The paper presents the results and discusses their implications of the study.
Keywords: Media preferences, online technology self-efficacy, online interaction, higher education.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328925
Serdar BENLIGIRAY & Ahmet ONAY
Analysis of Performance Factors for Accounting and Finance Related Business Courses in A Distance Education Environment
The objective of this study is to explore business courses performance factors with a focus on accounting and finance. Course score interrelations are assumed to represent interpretable constructs of these factors. Factor analysis is proposed to identify the constructs that explain the correlations. Factor analysis results identify three sub-groups of business core courses. The first group is labeled as management-oriented courses. Accounting, finance and economics courses are separated in two groups: the prior courses group and the subsequent courses group. The clustering order of these three groups was attributed to underlying performance factor similarities. Then, the groups are compared by the pre-assessed ratings of course specific skills and knowledge. The comparison suggests that course requirements for skills and knowledge were the latent variables for the factor analysis. Moreover, multivariate regression analyses are employed to reveal the required level of verbal and quantitative skills for the groups. Management-oriented courses are differentiated from others with requiring verbal skills, managerial skills and knowledge more. Introductory courses require quantitative and analytical reasoning skills more than the subsequent courses in accounting, finance and economics. Mathematics course score fails to be a suitable proxy of numerical processing skills as an accounting course performance factor.
Keywords: Business education, course performance, distance education, factor analysis, regression analysis.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328928
Angeliki GARIOU-PAPALEXIOU, Spyros PAPADAKIS , Evangelia (Gelly) MANOUSOU & Irene GEORGIADU
Implementing A Flipped Classroom: A Case Study of Biology Teaching in A Greek High School
The purpose of this study was to investigate the application of the model of the “flipped classroom” as a complementary method to school distance education in junior high school Biology. The “flipped classroom” model attempts a different way of organizing the educational process according to which the traditional methods of learning at school and studying at home are interchanged, the learners’ active involvement is supported, their autonomy is reinforced, ICT is utilized and learning occurs partially by distance (blended learning). We performed an action research implementing flipped classroom in Biology teaching in a class of 17 students attending the1st year of junior high school. The educational platform used was the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS). The findings were evaluated qualitative rather than quantitative, and can provide evidence about the prevailing situation. During the action research, it became evident that time management in the classroom was improved. Furthermore, it was observed that students’ involvement in the educational process was also improved. Students had already familiarized themselves with the cognitive aspect of the lesson before entering the class and they considered the learning process as an individual affair which does not only depend on the teacher. The implementation of digital activities accomplished by distance led to taking action and initiative and finally to active learning. School distance education combined with the radical development of ICT can be complementary with the use of various methods, like the “flipped learning”, and give a new perspective and potential to the limited choices of conventional education in the Greek educational system which is worth further investigation.
Keywords: School complementary distance education, blended learning, flipped classroom, junior high school Biology, photosynthesis, LAMS (Learning Activities Management System).
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328932
Elif Bugra KUZU DEMIR, Baris MERCIMEK, Nihal DULKADIR YAMAN & H. Ferhan ODABASI
How Do the Faculty Members Go for Trolls? A View from An Emerging Country
This paper focuses on the findings of an exploratory, qualitative phenomenological study and investigates opinions and evaluations of faculty members about trolls encountered in social media and mass medium. The research was carried out in Anadolu University in Turkey. A total of 18 faculty members from 9 faculties in 12 different departments responded to 4 interview questions. Faculty members' views on trolls were elicited through 2 rounds of semi-structured focus group interviews. Findings were based on content analyses of interview transcripts. Results are presented in four categories which emerged from perceptions, strategies, incidences and feelings. Trolls’ aims and their success in doing so when it comes to the research group are discussed. This research concludes that purity, hazard and intelligence of trolls are still dubious facts for the Anadolu University faculty members.
Keywords: Trolling, social media, faculty members, computer-mediated communication.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328935
Loyalty, Trust, Satisfaction and Participation in Universitas Terbuka Ambiance: Students’ Perception
Factors affecting the loyalty of students in Universitas Terbuka are investigated in this paper. The aim was to elucidate how all the variables such as trust, satisfaction and participation interrelate with one another. Loyalty was the dependent variable; trust, satisfaction and participation were the independent variables. Data were accumulated using instruments in the form of questionnaires. The population was students registered in the first semester of 2014. Respondents were taken purposively from 22 of 37 regional offices throughout Indonesia, representing the western and middle part of the country; 1,099 questionnaires from respondents were finally completed and processed. Two hypotheses were established and then assessed. Statistically, factor analysis, correlation and multiple regression were thoroughly utilized to comprehend the interaction and behavior of all variables engaged. The results showed that loyalty is significantly influenced by trust, satisfaction, participation and interaction between the independent variables. However, three out of four interaction variables contributed negatively to loyalty. Besides, the variances of independent variables, including their interactions, explain 60% of loyalty’s variance.
Keywords: Loyalty, trust, satisfaction, participation.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328937
Initial Perceptions of Open Higher Education Students with Learner Management Systems
Learner management systems (LMS) are used in open education as a means of managing and recording e-learning facilities as well as improving student engagement. Students benefit from them to become active participants in the decision-making process of their own learning. This study aims to investigate the initial perceptions of students experiencing the LMS for the first time in the Open Education System of Anadolu University with the purpose of identifying the effective and ineffective aspects of it from their perspective and their demands and suggestions for how to improve their the engagement in the system. To do this, an interpretive qualitative case study research design was used in order to focus on individual contexts and perceptions formed within those contexts. According to the findings, students were found to have highly personalized and customized user habits and engagement levels with the LMS depending on their varying ages, occupational statuses, IT capacities, and educational backgrounds. In terms of their satisfaction with the LMS, the quality, quantity and variety of content in LMS was found to have a major influence on their initial perceptions of satisfaction.
Keywords: Learner management systems, distance education, learner satisfaction, higher education, educational change.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328939
Turgay ALAKURT & Salih BARDAKCI
Seeing Google through the Eyes of Turkish Academicians
With its new variety of IT products and services created in the last decade for students, teachers and schools, Google has changed the face of education. Google technologies that can be used completely free of charge via a single account in any device offer innovative alternatives to meet the needs of education. These technologies also help continuously improve digital competencies of students and teachers. On the other hand, criticisms against the monopolization of the company as well as its privacy and transparency policies have been increasing. In the light of these developments, the current study aims to examine academicians’ metaphorical perceptions related to Google. The study was designed based on metaphorical analysis as a method of qualitative research. The study group was comprised of academicians working at education faculties of four state universities located in the middle west of Turkey. The data were collected through a closed web-based questionnaire consisting of open-ended questions. Results revealed that large majority of the academicians have a positive perception of Google. A group of participants also views it as a threat. Results offer important insights about the academicians' perceptions of Google and how and why they make use of Google products.
Keywords: Google, Google services, academician, metaphor
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328940
Christopher Yaw KWAAH & Gabriel ESSILFIE
Stress and Coping Strategies among Distance Education Students at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana
This study was designed to identify the causes of stress and coping strategies adopted among distance education students at the College of Distance Education in the University of Cape Coast. A total of 332 diploma and post-diploma final year students in 2014/2015 academic year were selected from two study centers using random sampling procedure to respond to self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire which was adapted to suit the study context was pre-tested to ensure that it elicited valid response. The results of the study showed that ‘academic workload’, ‘high frequency of examinations’, ‘financial problems’, family/marriage problems’ were the major causes of stress among the students. The study also found some statistical significant differences between married and unmarried students with married students feeling more stressed with ‘financial problems’ and ‘family/marriage problems’ than unmarried students. Students used multiple strategies, mainly praying/meditating, self-distracting activities such as watching TV and listening to music to cope with stress. Other important stress coping strategies were emotional and instrumental support from family, friends and lecturers. The study recommended among others that the need for the counseling unit at College of Distance Education of UCC to organize frequent stress management programs for students and assign academic counselors to students.
Keywords: Stress, distance education students, causes of stress, stress coping strategies.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328942
Hasan TANIS & Ian BARKER
E-Mentoring at A Distance: An Approach to Support Professional Development in Workplaces
The rapid growth of technology has had a significant effect on educational activities. As a result of this growth, a shift has taken place from a behaviorist teaching style to a constructivist perspective which enables adult learners to build up knowledge collaboratively. Mentoring, a valuable tool within the constructivism approach, can offer a two-way knowledge-sharing environment in which participants can adopt what they learn into their workplaces through a process called transformative learning. Mentoring has now embraced technological advances so that participants can contact each other with synchronous and asynchronous communication tools such as Skype and e-mail respectively. This research project was conducted in a governmental company as a case study in order to study how the participants of mentoring understand their roles, and how they perceive these roles when communicating through Skype and e-mail. The project culminates in suggestions for a new e-mentoring model for practitioners. One of the findings in the research shows that the understanding of the mentoring relationship is diverse, and most participants have confusion about the different meanings of coaching, mentoring and consulting. However, almost all the participants agree that mentors should have a strong position to foster transformative learning in a mentoring process. Although transformative learning has not occurred in the relationships, Skype is a supporting technology for mentors to complement e-mail dialogs by clarification, and building up a trusting relationship. Moreover, some mentors often take an active role to manage and control the relationships as a leading position, but mentees mostly support this action by asking good questions and initiating meetings. Additionally, e-mail is used as a storage tool to review previous conversations, and it is used to re-schedule and initiate online meetings. Lastly, the researcher reflects on the implementation process as practical implications for other practitioners who would like to implement electronic mentoring in workplaces.
Keywords: Online education, e-mentoring, computer mediated communication, professional development, workplace learning.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328944
Shesha Kanta PANGENI
Issues in E-Research: Log In/Out Virtual Fields
Evolution of technology and its tremendous use in education has changed the ways of educational services in higher education around the world. There is worldwide access to higher education through virtual learning environments. This is a new avenue for 21st century education and within a short time, it has been able to establish new culture of learning i.e. e-learning or online learning. As a result, e-learning has been the greater field for educational research. In this context, this paper focuses on methodological issues of the Internet mediated research (e-Research) with particular focus on virtual fields. Paper explores and discusses on possible sources of data, methods of data collection, process of analysis and ethical issues to adopt research with virtual fields. In doing so, the purpose is to reveal answer to the question: how do e-Researchers deal with methodological issues related to collecting data, determining data sources, data analysis/interpretation, and ethical considerations? Paper presents examples from the Internet mediated empirical studies. Conclusion of the paper is that e-field or cyberspace is an avenue for modern researchers. Researchers are supported with various Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools for field access, data collection, analysis and interpretation. However, they need to pay full attention to deal with major issues such as locating and gaining access to virtual/Internet-mediated fields, selecting e-participants and working with them, and using varieties of ICT tools for data collection, analysis and interpretation.
Keywords: e-Research, virtual field, e-participant, e-data collection, cyber ethics.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328946
Marisela CASTILLO, Yolanda HEREDIA & Katherina GALLARDO
Collaborative Work Competency in Online Postgraduate Students and Its Prevalence on Academic Achievement
The purpose of this research was aimed to establish a relationship between the level of collaborative work competency and the academic performance of students in an online master’s degree program. An Ex-post-facto investigation was conducted through a quantitative methodology and descriptive analysis. A collaborative competency checklist was designed to evaluate 46 teams in order to estimate their collaborative work competency level. This competency was assessed through interactions and performance, registered in discussion forums. Results confirmed a positive correlation between high level of collaborative work competency and academic achievement. Didactic recommendations of this study included collaborative learning activities as one way to promote useful academic and personal skills development. For future research, experimental approaches could be applied to get higher level of certainty about collaborative competency benefits.
Keywords: Collaborative work, team work, online course, higher education.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328949
Exploring Graduate Students' Perspectives towards Using Gamification Techniques in Online Learning
Teachers and educational institutions are attempting to find an appropriate strategy to motivate as well as engage students in the learning process. Institutions are encouraging the use of gamification in education for the purpose of improving the intrinsic motivation as well as engagement. However, the students’ perspective of the issue is under-investigated. The purpose of this research study was to explore graduate students’ perspectives toward the use of gamification techniques in online learning. The study used exploratory research and survey as the data collection tool. Forty-seven graduate students (n = 47) enrolled in an instructional technology program studied in a learning management system that supports gamification (TalentLMS). The average total percentages were calculated for each survey section to compose the final perspective of the included students. The results showed a positive perception toward the use of gamification tools in online learning among graduate students. Students require effort-demanding, challenging, sophisticated learning systems that increase competency, enhance recall memory, concentration, attentiveness, commitment, and social interaction. Limitations of the study are identified, which highlights the need for further research on the subject matter.
Keywords: Gamification, graduate student, online learning, game element, perspective, technique.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328951
Cloud Computing Technologies in Writing Class: Factors Influencing Students’ Learning Experience
The proposed interactive online group within the cloud computing technologies as a main contribution of this paper provides easy and simple access to the cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) system and delivers effective educational tools for students and teacher on after-class group writing assignment activities. Therefore, this study addresses the implementation of the most commonly used cloud applications, Google Docs, in a higher education course. The learning environment integrated Google Docs that students are using to develop and deploy writing assignments in between classes has been subjected to learning experience assessment. Using the questionnaire as an instrument to study participants (n=28), the system has provided an effective learning environment in between classes for the students and the instructor to stay connected. Factors influencing students’ learning experience based on cloud applications include frequency of interaction online and students’ technology experience. Suggestions to cope with challenges regarding the use of them in higher education including the technical issues are also presented. Educators are therefore encouraged to embrace cloud computing technologies as they design the course curriculum in hoping to effectively enrich students’ learning.
Keywords: Cloud computing, Google Docs, user satisfaction, user preference, interaction, learning styles.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328954
Vasyl KOVALCHUCK & Iryna VOROTNYKOVA
E-Coaching, E-Mentoring for Lifelong Professional Development of Teachers within the System of Post-Graduate Pedagogical Education
The research considers the readiness of teachers and postgraduate pedagogical educational establishments to use e-coaching and e-mentoring which can provide continuous professional development of teachers. The use of theoretical methods of systematization and comparison of scientific statements, experience in implementing e-coaching, e-mentoring has identified the possibility of using e-coaching and e-mentoring in postgraduate pedagogical education in continuous professional development of teachers. Monitoring and questioning have proved the idea that teachers require the new content of postgraduate education for their own professional development. They are interested in mastering new technologies, delivering master-classes and demonstration lessons. The results of the discussion in focus groups including representatives of the administration of educational establishments, teachers and lecturers of postgraduate pedagogical educational establishments are shown in the SWOT-analysis. The experts confirmed the need and possibility of the e-coaching and e-mentoring implementation in postgraduate pedagogical education. The major risks of e-coaching and e-mentoring implementation in postgraduate pedagogical education are e-coaches’ and e-mentors’ training and ICT competence. The Internet services, e-coaching and e-mentoring applications and programs are able to provide continuous professional development of teachers. The educational and professional e-coaching and e-mentoring programs require further studying in postgraduate pedagogical education.
Keywords: е-Coaching, e-mentoring, postgraduate pedagogical education, professional development of teachers, ICT.
DOI : 10.17718/tojde.328956
Reviewed By Yildiz TERZIOGLU
REVIEW: Call Teacher Education: Language Teachers and Technology Integration
As the title suggests, Simone Torsani’s book sets out to bridge the gap that exists between the theory and the practice about the integration of technology in distance language learning. The book is comprised of ten chapters with two sets of aims which are raising teachers’ awareness to computer-assisted materials and procedures about the integration of technology in distance language teaching. The chapters are structured to address different topics such as Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) training activities, designing a computer assisted language learning course and processes in Computer Assisted Language Learning Teacher Education (CTE) for the internet. Above all, the technologically skilled teachers are associated with “the mythological character of Daedalus” in the introductory section (p. xvi). The book calls for all teacher trainers to put themselves in language teachers’ shoes in order to see computer-assisted language learning not independent from the language acquisition theory. Therefore, language teachers need to implement and practise developing online materials to address their learners’ linguistic difficulties.
Reviewed By Marium DIN
REVIEW: Inspiring the Secondary Curriculum with Technology: Let the Students Do the Work
This book is about how teachers can inspire their students to use technology for their subjects. It is not about what softwares or hardwares can be used in secondary curriculum. It is about how teachers can inspire students to use apps found in their personal devices like smartphones and tablets efficiently and responsibly in their subjects. It is not to ban the technologies or devices to classroom but to motivate students to utilize these technologies. The students should be engaged to use technology for their school subjects’ learning apart from entertainment and socialization. This book is to harness the power of students’ technology knowledge and skills in their lessons. The writers have clarified the fact that this book is not about teaching databases, spreadsheets or word processing. It is not important for the teachers to have technical knowledge of some particular technologies related to that subject but more important is that how they teach and advise their students to use technology responsibly and efficiently in their subjects. This book is to inspire the students to use the technology as a problem-solving tool through hunting the internet for open-source softwares, download applications and solve the problem.