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Author(s): Ugur DEmiray

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

Volume: 12;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2011;
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ABSTRACT
Greetings Dear readers of TOJDE,TOJDE is appeared on your screen now as Volume 12, Number: 1. In this issue it is published 4 notes for Editor, 13 articles, 2 book reviews. And this time, 34 authors from 11 different countries are placed. These published articles are from Cayman Islands, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey, USA and Zimbabwe.The first Notes for editor arrived from USA, written by Kevin YEE and Jace HARGIS. They focused on “SNAPP:Graphing Student Interactions in a Learning Management ystem”. They mentioned that SNAPP works on multiple LMS’s, including BlackBoard, WebCT Vista, WebCT CE, Sakai, Moodle, and Desire2Learn. The software is free to download and requires Internet access to perform its functions.The second notes for editor is titled as “THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISTANCE EDUCATION IN NIGERIA: Challenges and Prospects” which is written by Muyiwa ADEYEMI, from Olabisi Onabanjo University, NIGERIA. In Nigeria, Africa, the introduction of this form of learning programme, is relatively new and therefore pose some challenges to all stakeholders in the education industry. In trying to meet up with the enormous demands for formal education, Nigerian government established some institutions for distance learning. These included the National Teachers Institute (NTI), the National Open University (NOUN) among others. Therefore, this paper examined the historical development of this programme and particularly in Nigeria, the theories and philosophies of distance education “Creativity and Teaching Competency of Prospective B.Ed Teachers” is the third paper for “Notes for Editor” section of TOJDE’s in this issue. It has written by F. L. ANTONY GRACIOUS and P. ANNARAJA from St. Xavier’s College of Education (Autonomous) Palayamkottai, INDIA. The present study Creativity and Teaching Competency of prospective B.Ed teachers was probed to find the relationship between Creativity and Teaching Competency of Prospective B.Ed Teachers. Data for the study were collected using self made Teaching Competency Scale and Creativity Scale. The investigator used stratified random sampling technique for selecting the sample. The sample consists of 242 Prospective B.Ed Teachers. For analyzing data; 't' test and Pearson's product moment co-efficient were the statistical techniques used. Finding shows there was no significant relationship between Creativity and Teaching Competency of prospective B.Ed teachers.The fourth notes for Editor written by Dhirendra SHARMA From University Institute of Information Technology Himachal Pradesh University, INDIA and Vikram SINGH, from Department of Computer Science and Engineering Ch. Devi Lal University, INDIA on ICT In Universities of The Western Himalayan Region In India: Performance Analysis. The paper presents a comparative analysis of a live project study carried out to understand the impact and performance of ICT initiatives taken by the Universities located in the Western Himalayan Region of India. A basic four-tier framework has been used to carry out this study. Accordingly, a pre- structured questionnaire on ICT initiatives, status and accomplishments, 117 questions divided in 18 groups, was prepared and given to the Head of the Department (HOD) of ICT in the Universities, who along with his technical team, supplied the feedback on a five- point scale. In each of the groups, one question was related to performance (as performance indicator) which was identified and thus another special group ‘S’ was created with 18 responses.The first article is from Iran, on “The Utilization of Web-Based Technology As Predictor of Faculty Insights of Support For The Implementation of Elearning” written by Hamed GHAEMI from the University of Tehran, IRAN. This study investigates the level of implementation of web-based instructional technology (WBIT) by the in-teaching faculties of English Language departments as factor related to faculty perception of institutional mechanisms and its partial significance as condition supporting the implementation of e-learning in university education. Using a sample of 160 in-teaching faculties at selected Islamic Azad Universities (IAU) across Iran, faculty perceptions of support mechanisms were examined. The findings of the present study reveal that factors such as stages of apprehension about using WBIT and levels of use offer a justification of the perception variations. Making a profile of faculty WBIT utilization is predicted to provide insight for the development of strategies and administrative practices vital for eLearning to succeed in university education.The Second article is on “Content Analysis Of Research Projects Submitted By Undergraduate Students (2000-2009) At The Zimbabwe Open University: Implications for Quality Assessment”, written by Caleb KANGAI, Richard BUKALIYA, Farirai MUSIKA and Mapuranga BABRA From Zimbabwe Open University, ZIMBABWE. This study was part of a series of studies, into issues of quality, currently being conducted at the ZOU by the present authors. The present study aimed at developing a systematic approach towards quality assessment of students’ research work. A content analysis of 400 research projects submitted by ZOU undergraduate students between 2000-2009 was undertaken applying both conceptual and relational analysis. Conceptual analysis was based on a checklist of six concepts: research questions, research paradigm, research design, data collection instruments, data form, procedures for data analysis and presentation and sought to establish the status of students’ research work, its gaps and areas of saturation. Relational analysis was conducted through the use of a model that sought to assess the methodological appropriateness and methodological quality of the research projects.The third articles are from Anadolu University, Turkey. The third one is on “Guiding Students To Answers: Query Recommendation”, conducted by Ozgür YILMAZEL, from Anadolu University, Department of Computer Engineering, Eskisehir, TURKEY.His paper reports on a guided navigation system built on the textbook search engine developed at Anadolu University to support distance education students. The search engine uses Turkish Language specific language processing modules to enable searches over course material presented in Open Education Faculty textbooks. We implemented a guided navigation engine by using query log mining to our application. It makes use of previous users’ sessions to help students find information they are looking for by using fewer queries. We used item-based similarity to do query recommendation. This paper describes the search application, query expansion and evaluation of the system over existing query logs. We show that our system suggested relevant queries with a success rate of 85%. The 4th article arrived from GREECE, which is prepared on “Blogs In Distance Education: An Analysis of Physical Educators’ Perceptions of Learning”, written by Maria MAHERIDOU, Panagiotis ANTONIOU, Thomas KOURTESSIS and Andreas AVGERINOS from Department of Physical Education and Sport Science Democritus University of Thrace, GREECE. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical educators’ perception of learning toward three blog courses, carrying on during an eight week period, in order to enhance their professional development and their skills in effective teaching. In each blog a different cooperative teaching method was applied (STAND, COOP and ICL). Participants were fifty four (n=54) physical educators who teach in elementary and secondary schools of different Greek regions, with an experience of 1.67 to 21.75 years. The fifth article which is entitled as “Predictor of E-Learning Development and Use Practices in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of NWFP, Pakistan”, written Senior Ghulam Muhammad KUNDI and Allah NAWAZ, from Department of Public Administration Gomal University, PAKISTAN. This research reveals that perceptions about educational technologies are very significantly related with and predict the criterion variable of ‘Problems of eLearning’ but surprisingly, the ‘prospects of eLearning’ are very nominally associated with and predicted by the predictor.The results of the research provide to discuss scenarios to explain the services needed and report on the present discussion about reforming organizational structures and adjusting IT infrastructure to create the future eUniversity. “Some Structural Changes on The Way Towards eUniversity”, send by Wolfram LAASER, Former “Akademischer Direktor” at Centre of Media and IT, Fernuniversität in Hagen, GERMANY.The seventh article titled as “Pre-Service Students’ Class Standings and Their Perceptions of Distance Education”, written by Allan E. YOUNG, Teacher Education Department, College of Business at the University CAYMAN ISLANDS (UCCI). The study revealed that pre-service teachers at the beginning stage of their program were significantly more satisfied, overall, with distance courses and programs, than those at the end of their program. Students near the beginning and middle of their program rated grading and timely return of assignments, a sense of accomplishment, and willingness to take additional distance courses, significantly higher than those who were at the end of their program. However, the opportunity to know others in the distance class, although rated low, was higher for students at the end of their program. The study revealed that those in education should plan programs that will address the idiosyncrasies at all levels, thereby resulting in satisfaction on the part of student teachers.The eight article is come from Malaysia. Titled article is on “Students’ Decision Steps In Meta-Cognitive Learning in Free Online Groups (METAL-FROG): A Case Study”, written by Kinsley Ng SEN FA, School of Social Sciences, University Science Malaysia and Firuz Hussin from Department of Instructional Technology Faculty of Education, University University Malaya, MALAYSIA. This paper only presents a part of the findings under the pro-learning behaviors sub-theory. We found striking similarities between the model proposed by latane & darley (1971), five essential steps to a pro-social response in an emergency, and our research subject. The model which explains the course of a pro-social decision was borrowed and modified as surrogate theory to explain the online discussion response of the students. The insights help educators to better understand what holds students back from fruitful online peer diologic discussion.The 9th article is arrived to us from Greece and written by George S. MOUZAKITIS from e-Learning Think Tank Team, GREECE and Nazime TUNCAY, from Near East University, Nicosia. NORTH CYPRUS TURKISH REPUBLIC on “E-LEARNING and Lifelong Learning”. This paper connects e-learning educational/training courses delivery with lifelong learning (LLL). It will further analyze certain factors from the professional and educational point of view and provide recommendations on how to accelerate the implementation of LLL supported by e-learning. The article is which numbered as 10, again from IRAN. Article is entitled as “Investigating Agricultural Instructors' Attitudes Toward E-Learning in Iran”, written by Davoud MOHAMMADI, Seyed Mahmoud HOSSEINI and Hossein Shabanali FAMI From Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, College of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran, IRAN. The purpose of this study is to explore agricultural instructors’ attitudes toward e-learning usage. A descriptive–correlation survey approach was used in this study. Accordingly, 175 instructors in 64 agricultural education centers are asked to answer questionnaires for investigating their attitudes. Data were collected by mailing the questionnaire. After statistical analysis, the results demonstrate that instructors have positive attitude toward using e-learning as a teaching assisted tool. Intrinsic incentives and motivators for acceptance of e-learning are important than extrinsic incentives and motivators. Based on the findings, this research proposes guidelines for developing e-learning environments in agricultural education.In article 11 mention about “The “Community Services” Course Through Distance Education: Evaluation of Primary School Students”, written by A. Nurhan SAKAR and Oznur OZTURK, from Anadolu University, Open Education Faculty, Eskisehir, TURKEY. Their article mention that following the Bologna Process, Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK) adopted a resolution and changed the curriculum of teacher training higher education institutions. This curriculum revision introduced a new course called ‘Community Service’ which aims to raise students’ awareness of their responsibilities as individuals to the community in which they live. Through this course, students are expected to realize individuals can make a difference by volunteering to share their knowledge and skills with the community. This study presents one application of Community Service course. This application is of interest because it was researched whether the course achieved its aim by evaluating the satisfaction level of primary school students at whose schools English survey courses given within the scope of Open Education Faculty Distance English Language Teaching (DELT) Program.Article 12 was about ”Managerial Perception of Education in The Educational Non-Governmental Organizations”, written by Mehmet Metin ARSLAN, from Kirikkale University, TURKEY. The aim of this research is to determine the educational NGO managers’ perceptions of education and distance education in the city of Kırıkkale. The sample of this qualitative research, which has been conducted on a case pattern basis, comprises managers from 13 educational non-governmental organizations in the province of Kırıkkale. Data were collected by the researcher himself through direct contact and interview with the participants. The interview form was developed based on the opinions from experts in the field. The concordance between the sentential codifications was checked by an independent observer and the researcher in order to ensure data reliability.The last but not least article 13 again from Anadolu Universiy. On “Opinions Of Elementary Level EFL Learners on The Use Of Weblogs” , written by Ilknur ISTIFCI, Anadolu University, The School of Foreign Languages, Eskisehir, TURKEY. The aim of this study is to find the opinions of elementary level EFL learners on using weblogs and distance education. The subjects of the study were 10 Native speakers of English in London and 15 Turkish EFL learners who are learning English in the School of Foreign Languages. Turkish EFL learners created a class blog and every week they were given assignments by their class teacher. They wrote paragraphs and they gave and receive feedback on their writing in terms of content, vocabulary and grammar by their classmates and by native English speakers in a virtual environment. This procedure lasted for 6 weeks. At the end of 6 weeks, students were given an evaluation questionnaire and they were asked to write their opinions about using weblogs. They were also interviewed by their teacher and the opinions of the students were categorized. Findings indicate that the students found the idea of weblogs as a distant learning tool motivating, enjoyable and encouraging.Two books are reviewed in this issue. The first book was about “Instructional Design For Teachers: Improving classroom practice” written by Alison A. Carr-Chellman, reviewed by Reviewed by Reviewed by Yavuz Akbulut, Anadolu University, TURKEY. Instructional design for teachers (ID4T) provides us and particularly K-12 teachers with a practical instructional design model. The contents of the book guide the readers through step by step and easy-to-use directions with an emphasis on encouraging current and effective us of ID principles. The application of the model is not too highly analytical and detailed, which protects the teacher from losing sight of the overall learning context. The illustrated ID process further adapts the classroom teachers to more learner-centered implementations through framing questions, common errors, relevant heuristics and examples. These can also help classroom teachers to be more cognizant of learner diversity in formal educational settings whose learning outcomes are predetermined by authorities that are beyond the reach of classroom teachers and learners.The second book is about “Educational Technology In Practice Research and Practical Case Studies from the Field” edited by Edited by Wanjira KINUTHIA and Steward MARSHALL and reviewed by Ozden SAHIN-IZMIRLI, Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Dear readers, you can reach us online either directly at http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr or by visiting Anadolu University homepage at http://www.anadolu.edu.tr from English version, clicking on Scientific Research button and than goes 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 tojde@anadolu.edu.tr Hope to stay in touch and meeting in our next Issue, 1st of April 2011Cordially, Prof. Dr. Ugur Demiray Editor-in-Chief Anadolu University Yunusemre Campus 26470-Eskisehir TURKEY Tel: +90 222 335 0581 ext. 2521 or 2522GSM: +90 542 232 21 167 Fax: +90 222 320 4520 or Emails: udemiray@anadolu.edu.tr or udemiray33@gmail.comURL: http://home.anadolu.edu.tr/~udemiray URL: http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr
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