7 (4), 2006
Welcome to Volume 7, Number 4 of TOJDE
I am pleased to inform you that in the 7th year of TOJDE is appeared on your screen now as Volume 7, Number: 4. Very much thanks to all of you and TOJDE editorial members once more that we managed to publish TOJDE 25th time, since January 2000.
NOTE FOR EDITOR: Comparative Analysis of Virtual Education Applications
The research was conducted in order to make comparative analysis of virtual education applications. The research is conducted in survey model. The study group consists of total 300 institutes providing virtual education in the fall, spring and summer semesters of 2004; 246 in USA, 10 in Australia, 3 in South Africa, 10 in India, 21 in UK, 6 in Japan, 4 in Turkey. The information has been collected by online questionnaire sent to the target mass by e-mail. The questionnaire has been developed in two information categories as personal information and institutes and their virtual education applications.
The Field Study as an Educational Technique in Open and Distance Learning
The main characteristic of Distance Learning is that the student is taught and learns without his tutor’s physical presence in the classroom. The opportunity for a direct (face to face) communication between all members of the educational group [tutor counselor (TC) and students] in Distance Learning is offered by the Tutorials/Contact Sessions (CS). Although these CSs are not compulsory, it is estimated that they are of high importance, since among other things, they help in clarifying difficult to understand points and they also help in the cognitive subject becoming more fully comprehensible by the student (Holmberg 1995).
For the discussion of the various issues at the CSs many different educational techniques within the framework of adult education such as teamwork, short lectures, debates, questions and answers, case studies, simulations, role play, etc are used in combination. These are techniques raising the student’s interest, facilitating his/her participation in the learning process and developing interaction between TC and students and between students themselves. They also create a learning and research environment; encourage the students to work in a group and to learn by acting (Kokkos 1998).
One of these educational techniques is the field study, which is the subject of this paper. To this day, no research has been carried out for the possibility of implementation of this technique in Distance Learning nor have any results of such implementation been studied. This paper comprising of three parts contains a general presentation of the field study as a teaching technique in the first part while in the second part the successive stages of development of this technique in Distance Learning are analyzed. Finally, in the third part the students’ views of Hellenic Open University on this technique are presented.
Keywords: Field study; Hellenic Open University; Distance Learning; tutorials/Contact Sessions (CS); Educational Techniques
S. ARULCHELVAN & D. VISWANATHAN
Role and Effectiveness of Electronic Media in Higher Education-With Special Reference to Tamilnadu
Radio has been the most economical, long-standing and the most widely present among various electronic media. Despite the arrival of various media options, radio continues to remain as one of the dominant media among the public. Reports confirm that it has supported educational programs in a wide range of subject areas in many different countries.In this context, a research study was conducted on the patterns of radio listening among different categories of students such as urban and rural, male and female, distance and regular modes, English and other mediums of various branches of study. Examining notions on the possession, purpose, place, frequency, timing and duration of usage of radio programs in higher education in general and specific educational channel in particular, the study has assessed the outcomes indicated by user-satisfaction on radio. Findings of the study revealed that there is inadequate knowledge among students about the existence of educational radio. Opinions on program quality suggested a number of improvements to be made in order to enhance the reach of the media. The suggestions include the need to make the programs more interactive, localized and curriculum-based.
Keywords: Educational Radio; Gyanvani; Listening pattern; Awareness of Radio; Possession of Radio; Mode of study, Anna University
Yavuz AKPINAR & Huseyin SIMSEK
XLearning Object Organization Behaviors In a Home-Made Learning Content Management System
This study designed, implemented and evaluated a learning content management system to facilitate creating both standard based and free style learning objects. The system, BULeCoMas, also enabled users to tag learning objects with usage data and tools supported with components accommodated under a Global Activity Center, are Global Task Pool, Experience Repository and Learner Record Repository. This study examined whether the experience in information technology use affect e-learning object authors’;
Ø use of assets,
Ø organization of assets and
Ø embedding of instructional elements into their content authoring.
The system, enabling common standards of reusable learning objects, was tested for ease of use with thirty-four novice and experienced preservice teachers. The participants found the system easy to use in general, novice and experienced information technology users were able to develop learning objects similar in size and features. The study suggests some further work for using the same system in collaborative learning object authoring.
Keywords: Elements of Learning Object; Learning Object; Content Management System
Mohammad Habibur RAHMAN
Developing Course Materials for Open and Distance Learning: BOU Perspective
Developing course materials for Open and distance learning is a continuous process. A variety of staffs with a wide range of expertise are involved in producing a distance education course. That means a team of academics involved in distance education will be responsible to develop each program. The material development strategies for each subject is centered on the team approach to compare teaching techniques for traditional and distance learning and emphasize the need for planning and the role of each team member. Coordinator, authors, referee, instructional designers, editors (structural and style editor), graphic artists, and media specialists are included in the team. Sometimes times they meet together and to discuss and finalize the ultimate layout of a course book. This paper discusses how to design and develop distance learning course materials and how Bangladesh Open University (BOU) adopted a team approach in developing its formal programs.
Keywords: Developing Course Materials; Open and distance learning, BOU
Anil K. DIMRI & Anil Kumar MISRA
Training Programmes for Distance Education Professionals: An Analytical Assessment
Present paper seeks to analyze the impact of training programmes on distance education professionals of Indira Gandhi National Open University, (IGNOU). The objective of the paper is to identify the training needs of Distance Education Professionals to manage distance education affairs of IGNOU, to evaluate the effectiveness of existing training programmes, to develop a feasible training and professional development model for distance education Professionals (DEPs) and to suggest initiatives in existing training for the skill development of DEPs for effective career growth and development. Attempt has been made to apply statistical tools such as skewness, kurtosis, regression and correlation on a different set of variables to assess the impact of the training programmes on DE professionals such as teachers and academics. While addressing the objectives of the study it is revealed that some of the indicators have opened up scope for improvement. Nevertheless trainees have expressed mixed reaction on the quality of training pgrammes with respect to content, methodology and effectiveness. Based on the analysis a workable training model has also been suggested where emphasis on the Common Training Approach (CTA) has been given besides, work specific training. For the over all professional development of DEPs a suitable training strategy has been worked out which ensures training at different strata that includes primary, secondary & tertiary level considering the experience & job requirements of the professionals.
Keywords: Training, Distance education professionals, Teachers & Academics
Ozgul Polat UNUTKAN
A Study of Pre-School Children's School Readiness Related to Scientific Thinking Skills
The purpose of this study is to compare school readiness of children who had pre-school experiences and children without such experiences on the basis of scientific thinking skills. This comparison is held in terms of variables of age, gender, and socio economic status. The questions of the study in relation to the purpose of the study are as follows:
Ø Does pre-school education variable influence primary school readiness of pre-school children in terms of scientific thinking skills?
Ø Does age variable influence primary school readiness of pre-school children in terms of scientific thinking skills?
Ø Does gender variable influence primary school readiness of pre-school children in terms of scientific thinking skills?
Ø Does socio-economical status variable influence primary school readiness of pre-school children in terms of scientific thinking skills?
Coming Out of the Darkness of The Past
Technology is helping to reduce the education gap between developed countries and those that are still developing. The following article gives one example of an innovative teacher training project where a western university, in Rome, Italy, is selflessly showing their African counterparts, in rural Rwanda, how to become fully autonomous in training their future generations.
Schrum and Hong (2002) state that “learners throughout the world are demanding educational opportunities in an ‘anytime and anywhere’ format and institutions are responding by devoting substantial resources to develop online distance learning.” This assertion is fast becoming the reality in every corner of the globe where the teaching profession is using technology to bring education to people and places that might never have imagined receiving its benefits little more than a decade ago.
Such examples include teachers working with blind children in Chile on “a project called Hyperstories which exposes blind children to a learning methodology that uses 3D sound interactive software to help them construct cognitive structures that represents their surrounding space” and “aims to move these disadvantaged blind children from darkness to what they call ‘aural’ vision” (Gourley, 2004).
This metaphor of technology bringing people from darkness into the light can be applied to many other contexts where professionals in the field of education are giving rather than taking from the developing world and offering hope that we can indeed create a world of shared resources and international unity, rather than division, in the future.
The benefits of technology are now helping to rebuild Rwanda, the beautiful ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ and ‘Gorilla’s In The Mist’. Unfortunately, just over a decade ago, this densely populated, tropical nation became synonymous with less beautiful things such as ethnic cleansing, genocide and refugee crises.
The war was bloody and divisive and further hindered an already impoverished nation’s progress. Yet, slowly this beautiful country, in the highlands of east Africa, is successfully emerging from centuries of colonial oppression and internecine fighting to take its first steps towards becoming part of the 24/7 digital age of education.
Soner YAVUZ & Inci MORGIL
Identification of Gas Components in Lighter by Gas Chromatography: An Experiment for the Undergraduate Instrumental Analysis Laboratory Which Can Be Used With Distance Learning Applications
In the applications of instrumental analysis lessons, advanced instruments with the needed experiments are needed. During the lessons it is a fact that the more experiments are performed, the more learning will be. For this reason, experiments that do not last long and should be performed with more simple instruments and that increase students’ attention with current events should be developed. It is thought that there is only propane gas in lighters used in daily life. However, in fact, in certain ratios, there are also other gases having similar structure besides propane gas. For these reasons, the identification of gas components in lighter has been thought. To enlighten this situation a simple experiment design has been planned.
Keywords: Laboratory Instruction; Computer-Based Learning; Gas Chromatography; Instrumental Methods; Distance Learning
Terhemba Nom AMBE-UVA
Interactivity in distance education: The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Experience
The paper represents a study of students’ experience of interactivity in distance education programmes at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Through surveys and focus groups with students, facilitators, and administrative support staff, we found out that interactivity is a key determinant of student success rate. Majority of the students are workers in the urban areas who combine “work and learn” which is the motto of NOUN. The survey showed that majority of the students depended on their facilitators as key resource persons and on their peers or study groups both for required and voluntary interactivity to reinforce their learning. This was able to reduce loneliness, boredom and loss of community experienced in distance education. Because NOUN has not completed its Repository, Production, Distribution, and Administration Headquarters (REPRODAhq) and equipped the study centers with up-to-date technological facilities, this frustrated accessibility that is dialectically linked to interactivity.
Keywords: Interactivity; Distance Education; NOUN; Accessibility
Bahar BARAN & Kursat CAGILTAY
Teachers' Experiences in Online Professional Development Environment
This qualitative study aims to explore teachers’ opinions on traditional professional development (PD) courses and their experiences from an online course. 10 teachers from a private school participated in an online professional development (PD) course. After completing the course, they evaluated their PD experience. A focus group discussion and individual interviews were performed to collect data. The teachers determined the problems in traditional PD courses and online PD courses. They generally emphasized the lack of practice in both traditional and online PD courses. Further, abundance of theoretical concepts and context independent examples are determined as other problems. They proposed that PD programs should be developed together by both academician and expert teacher.
Keywords: Teachers; Professional dDevelopment; E-learning; Experience
A. Seda YUCEL
E-Learning Approach in Teacher Training
There has been an increasing interest in e-learning in teacher training at universities during the last ten years. With the developing technology, educational methods have differed as well as many other processes. Firstly, a definition on e-learning as a new approach should be given. E-learning could shortly be defined as a web-based educational system on platform with Internet, Intranet or computer access. The concept of e-learning has two main subtitles as synchronized (where a group of students and an instructor actualize an online conference meeting in a computer environment) an asynchronized (where individuals actualize self-training in computer environments). Students have access to the course contents whenever they want and communicate with their peers or teachers via communication tools such as e-mail and forums. In order the distance learning system to succeed in e-learning, the program should be planned as both synchronized and asynchronized.
Keywords: E-learning; an instructor; Teacher Training
Virtual Universities for African and Arab Countries
Internet development in Africa is constrained by poor telephone infrastructure, low international bandwidth and high dials up tariffs levied on internet users. This means in Africa we find actually app. 1% of worldwide internet users whereas population share of world population may be around 13%. Nearly half of the internet users are concentrated in South Africa. Another one percent of world users is located in the Middle East.
Therefore it is understandable that Africa and the Arab world are latecomers in developing net based educational systems. However today donor organizations put strong emphasis on creating Virtual Campuses for African States (EC, Word Bank) and Mediterranean countries or plan to incorporate selected African States to other institutional arrangements (Commonwealth of Nations, UNESCO).
In what follows we will discuss five of these projects differing in scope, structure and funding namely the Virtual African University, the Avicenna Project, the Virtual Arab University, the Syrian Open University and the proposal for a Virtual University for the Small States. From the analysis of the respective projects some tentative conclusions will be derived.
Keywords: Developing Countries; e-Learning; Virtual Universities; Distance Education
Reviewed By Prof. Dr. Murat BARKAN
REVIEW: 2nd International Open and Distance Learning (IODL) Symposium
As the 2nd International Open and Distance Learning (IODL) Symposium is now drawing to end, I would like to thank you all for your outstanding speeches, distinguished presentations, constructive roundtable and session discussions, and active participation during the last five days.
Reviewed By TOJDE
REVIEW: Advanced Method in Distance Education: Applications and Practices for Educators, Administrators and Learners
Courses and programs being delivered at a distance require a unique set of professional competencies. Whether using synchronous or asynchronous methods of instruction, systematic instructional design can help stimulate motivation, increase interaction and social presence, and authenticate learning outcomes. Principles of adult learning, including self-directed and student-centered learning approaches are emphasized in these Advanced Methods in Distance Education: Applications and Practices for Educators, Administrators and Learners. It is designed to be theory to practice, with readers gaining the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful in teaching or training using technology-mediated instruction. Major sections include: Foundations of Teaching and Learning at a Distance, Adult Learning, Instructional Design, Technology Knowledge and Skills, Administrative Issues, and Future Directions.