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From the Editor

Author(s): Ugur demiray

Journal: The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education
ISSN 1302-6488

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Greetings Dear readers of TOJDE, TOJDE is appeared on your screen now as Volume 9, Number: 2. This is the second issue of the year 2008. In this issue we published 5 notes for Editor, 12 articles, already … reviews and this time 27 authors from twelve different countries are placed. These published articles are from Canada, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, The United Kingdom, USA and Turkey. “Reflections on screenagers, faculty development and net-supported learning” has been sent from Norway and written by Mike K. MOULTON for Notes for Editor section. He mentioned in his material that strategy for a faculty development program with respect to net-supported learning. Many universities and colleges are struggling with meeting the demands of a rapidly changing world. His reflections are based on experiences from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The Second paper has been sent from South Africa, written by Professor Dele Braimoh which is titled as “lifelong learning through mentoring process and its operational dimensions in society”. His paper analyses the varying dimensions of mentoring phenomenon which may be characterized by flexibility of learning process among different groups of people in any given society. He conclude that mentoring is a useful informal and longlife educational process which is not only cost effective, but can also stimulate personal development, increase productivity and improve performance. The third paper on “Development and Validation Process Of A European Language Portfolio Model For Young Learners”, sent by Dr. Ismail Hakki MIRICI from Turkey. He gave a place that various models are being or will be developed and validated in Council of Europe member States depending on the age of learners and national contexts including ELPs for higher and adult education developed by a number of international NGOs. Similarly, every member state should organize seminars or symposiums to share ideas and broaden their viewpoint concerning ELP development, implementation and dissemination. This can be done through collaboration between Ministries of Education, national contact persons, portfolio developers, academics and teachers. The fourth paper on “QUALITY ASSURANCE IN SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAME OF BANGLADESH OPEN UNIVERSITY: Present Status and Challenges”, written by Zobaida AKHTER, from Bangladesh Open University. This note is second note for TOJDE dealt with Bangladesh Open University. In her paper she mentioned that in the present day in national and international perspectives, quality is the top of most agendas. Quality of education has significant impact and invaluable contribution to the area of development. Recently, the SSC & HSC program of BOU have earned recognition of equivalency with the formal education sector, which has naturally raised the question of quality assurance of these programs By applying the quantitative method, the study has assessed the present status of the quality of SSC & HSC program of BOU and also put some recommendations to meet the challenges for further development. The last notes for editor arrived from Pakistan. Has been sent by Dr. Irshad Hussain and Muhammad Safdar on “Role Of Information Technologies In Teaching Learning Process: Perception of the Faculty”. They mention that students are independent and they can make best decisions possible about their studies, learning time, place and resources. Students are able to work in collaborative and interactive learning environments effectively communicating, sharing information and exchanging ideas and learning experiences with all in the environment. The first article of this issue is coming from USA, from University of the Pacific written by Jace HARGIS on “A second life for distance learning”. His article connects the virtual world to the essential next step in our learning and communicating approach, electracy. Initially, humans utilized an oral mode to communicate, followed by literacy which enabled written information. The Second article is “An Inclusive Approach To Online Learning Environments: Models and Resources”, written by Aline Germain-RUTHERFORD and Barbara KERR, from University of Ottawa, Canada. It deals with to give an answer some of these questions by first exploring the concepts of culture and learning cultures. This will help us to characterize the impact on online learning of particular cultural dimensions. And then present and discuss different online instructional design models that are culturally inclusive, and conclude with the description of a mediated instructional training module on the management of the cultural dimension of online teaching and learning. The third and fourth articles are from Turkey. The third one is on “An evaluation of web based instruction In view of the tutors’ and students’ perspectives”, written by Dr. Yavuz ERDOGAN, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey. The aim of their research is to investigate web based instruction in view of the tutors’ and students’ perspectives. In order to achieve such an aim, face-to-face interviews were carried out with 10 tutors from the e-MBA Master’s Degree Programme at Bilgi University, and with 10 students registered in the same programme. The 4th articles arrived from Zonguldak University, Turkey on “Teaching In Online Courses: Experiences of Instructional Technology Faculty Members” an written by Omur AKDEMIR. Dr. Akdemir tried to investigate the experiences of faculty members teaching online courses. A convenience sampling was used to select the instructional technology faculty members to investigate their experiences in online courses. Semi-structured interviews with faculty members teaching online courses were used as the primary source to collect data about the experiences of faculty members in online courses. Results of the study showed that faculty members' interest in using technology and the amount of time available to them for online course design affected the quality of online courses. Collaborative learning is well suited to online learning environments built around threaded discussion. Research frameworks have developed around these practices providing methodological guidance for examining learning as a collective endeavor within the boundaries of a course. Understanding how to use the powerful learning techniques involved in collaborative learning in an online context is imperative. The major concerns are centering on the following questions: What is Collaboration? Why choose collaboration as a strategy? What collaboration tools are commonly used online? This paper will also examine the techniques used to facilitate good collaboration and the proper implementation of collaborative online discussions. The focus is based on the importance of collaboration in online instructions mentioned in the fifth article came from Philippines and written by Aldwin G. LAURON titled as Fostering collaboration to enhance Online instruction The sixth article which is entitled as “Perceptions Of Course Coordinators and Course Writers For Developing Distance Learning Material”, sent and written by Muhammad IMRAN YOUSUF, Muhammad Nadeem ANWAR and Muhammad SARWAR from University of Sargodha, PAKISTAN. Their paper attempt to research is to better understand and draw perceptions of course writers and course coordinators towards the process of developing distance learning material. For developing good self-instructional material cooperative efforts among course development personnel are essential. The study indicates the areas where contradiction is found among perceptions of a sample of seventy course coordinators and seventy course writes of Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan through a self developed questionnaire covering preparation, implementation and execution aspects of course development process. The seventh article is came from Ethiopia on “Stakeholders Perceptions And Concerns On Open And Distance Education In The Higher Institutions: The Case Of Eastern Ethiopia”, written by Yilfashewa SEYOUM. The study intended to investigate the perceptions of stakeholders of Open and Distance Learning in the Eastern part of Ethiopia. His study attempt to examine the perception of stakeholders (Tutors & coordinators) in open and distance education with particular reference to the eastern region of Harargie.30 tutors and 10 program coordinators were consulted and considered as subjects of the study. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed in the data treatment and analysis.The 8th article is arrived to us from Bangaldesh. The article which is entitled “New Trends In Legal Education At Bangladesh Open University”, which is written by Nahid FERDOUSI, School of Law. Her paper presents the new academic trends in Bangladesh Open University by distance learning Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree and modern aspects of the legal education at School of Law in Bangladesh Open University. Her study concludes Bangladesh Open University has taken this challenge by new trends in legal education through distance learning system which can play an important role in providing a new opening law degree for who could not afford to go to the conventional university. Next and the ninth article article is written by Nesrin OZDENER, Marmara University, Turkey and H. Muge SATAR, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. Their paper is entitled as “Computer-Mediated Communication In Foreign Language Education: Use of Target Language and Learner Perceptions”. Their study was conducted as an additional practice to the foreign language lessons with the participation of 60 students. Task-based language teaching principles were taken as basis in preparation of the teaching materials in the study, in which text and voice chat applications among the Computer-Mediated Communication Technologies were used. According to the results of the study shed light on the strategies that can be used in computer-mediated communication technologies valuing the experiences and perceptions of the learners. The tenth article is also from Bangaldesh again and written by K. M. Rezanur RAHMAN, Sadat ANWAR and Sharker Md. NUMAN from School of Science and Technology, Bangladesh Open University. Paper is titled as “Enhancing Distant Learning Through Email Communication: A Case of BOU”. The presented survey has been carried out to understand the present status of Internet knowledge among the learners and their views for possible introduction of e-mail communication as supporting tool for learning. BOU’s available infrastructural facilities for providing Internet support have been investigated. Furthermore, possible solutions have been pointed out to provide e-mail facility to the learner in a cost effective way. The study resulted that BOU should take initiative to utilize the above tools as additional educational technology for distance learning. The eleventh article arrived from Nigeria, which is titled as “Development of An E-Learning Web Portal: The Foss Approach”, written by Azeta A. A., Oyelami M. O. and Ayo C. K. This paper provides an overview of e-Learning and the open source domain as well as discusses how open source can be used to speedily realizes the development of an e-Learning application in a web environment using an adaptive process. Specifically, the authors described their preliminary experiment of implementing an open source e-Learning platform by adapting free PHP source code and MySQL database to suit an electronic class bulletin board. The authors have developed an e-Learning class bulletin board that facilitates virtual interaction of students and lecturer in an academic environment. This work is unique and makes special contributions to knowledge in terms of developing an e-Learning class bulletin board through the use of FOSS, it also adds some components (Home, Chat and Attachment) to the original source code downloaded from the Internet. Next article is which numbered as 12, from Egypt. Article is entitled as “A Service Oriented Architecture to Integrate Mobile Assessment In Learning Management Systems”, written by A. M. RIAD and H. A. El-GHAREEB, from Mansoura University. Their paper presents a proposed LMS that integrates mobile assessment within LMS. An automated mobile assessment is presented. Utilizing SOA to integrate Web services and software agents in LMSs highlighted the unlimited advantages of Web services and its capabilities to facilitate software agents’ integration within systems. LMS should be thought of as a collection of stateless Web services. SOA provides a fine granularity and modularity that solves many integration problems, but adds complexity to systems design. SOA is a design pattern that helped enterprises overcome integration obstacles, and gain agile and interoperable advantages within architectures. Pedagogical advantage of added process is mainly facilitation of assessment process by presenting mobile assessment, thus encourage learners to assess learning. 13th paper from Turkey which is titled as “the effect of web-based project applications on students’ attitudes towards chemistry”, written by Inci MORGIL, Hatice GUNGOR SEYHAN, Evrim URAL ALSAN and Senar TEMEL., from Hacettepe University, Faculty of Education, Department of Chemistry Education. Their paper discusses that students perform intensive web-based applications during their education. In this study, the effect of web based project applications on students’ attitudes towards chemistry has been investigated. Using paired-samples t-test has compared pre- and post-test results of attitude scale and a statistical difference has been found. Also a relationship between students’ attitudes and performance has been examined by using regression analyze. The last and 14th article is titled as the social arena of the online synchronous environment and written by Zeina NEHME, Prince Mohammad University, Al Khobar, SAUDI ARABIA. This paper directed to faculty members who are already teaching synchronously online or who would like to start teaching synchronously online. It provides best practices, ideas, tips and tricks, and insights to foster successful learning experiences online and ways to think about online synchronous teaching differently than as a mere replicate of traditional campus-based instructional activities. There are two book reviews in this issue. The first book is Web-Based Learning: Theory, Research, and Practice, edited by Harold F. O'Neil, Ray S. Perez, within this framework the book addresses several important issues, including: the primacy of learning as a focus for technology; the need to integrate technology with high standards and content expectations; the paucity of and need to support the development of technology-based curriculum and tools; the need to integrate assessment in technology and improve assessment through the use of technology; and the need for theory-driven research and evaluation studies to increase our knowledge and efficacy The second book review is on Access and Equity: Challenges for Open and Distance Learning and edited by H.P. Dikshit, Suresh Garg, Santosh Panda and Vijayshri. New Delhi, Kogan Page India. To address the issue of access and equity from four different, yet related, perspectives—ODL system: imperatives and responses; curriculum, pedagogy and programmes; research, training and quality assurance; and appropriate technology—international scholars met and shared their experiences recently in an international conference hosted by IGNOU. With their long experience in open distance learning, the editors have collated in the present volume, the best practices and experiences of distance educators the world over, for effective social intervention and national development. It is hoped that contemporary and future practitioners of ODL will benefit from the critical analyses of various issues and initiate further debate and reflections in all areas of concern. In the other sections are again in the same format as usual as TOJDE’s presenting style. News and some announcements are placed in this issue too.Dear readers, you can reach us online either directly at or by visiting Anadolu University homepage at from English version, clicking on Scientific Research button and than go to the Referred Journals. To receive further information and to send your recommendations and remarks, or to submit articles for consideration, please contact TOJDE Secretariat at the below address or e-mail us to Hope to stay in touch and meeting in our next Issue, 1st of July 2008 Cordially,Prof. Dr. Ugur Demiray Editor-in-Chief Anadolu University Yunusemre Campus 26470-Eskisehir TURKEY Tel: +90 222 335 0581 ext. 2521 or Direct: +90 222 GSM: +90 542 232 21 167 Fax: +90 222 320 4520 or Emails: or ugdemiray@hotmail.comURL: URL:

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