Online Instructors Faculty of mentorship and support

Fiona Kent


Past research has shown that peer support helps improve several areas of faculty activities such as research, teaching, and technology competencies. Using a mixed method design, this research study investigated resources available to faculty as they teach or prepare to teach online at a large midwestern university. In addition, the study explored the nature of peer interactions that exists between faculty who taught or planned to teach online. The determinants of such interactions as well as the benefits and challenges involved in initiating and maintaining the interactions were examined. Findings from this study have implications for the development and implementation of training and support programs intended for faculty as they learn to teach online.

An assessment of education websites from a perception – orientated design principles perspective

Jasper Jennings


The research was conducted in two steps by means of evaluating educational websites as to visual perception theories. The first step involved developing an evaluation form in concert with designated visual perception theories. These theories are namely as; Gestalt Theory, Brunswik’s Probabilistic Functionalism, Marr’s Computational Model of Vision, Neuropsychological Theory, Constructivist Visual Perception Theory, Theory of Direct Perception and Ecological Optics. The second step involved assessments of websites with educational contents by the use of that evaluation form. The second step saw the analysis of 10 educational websites for primary school level, with the use of “Web based Evaluation Form for Educational Contexts”, 5 of which were developed in Turkish and another 5 in English. Assessment of the websites was carried out with the participation of 16 field experts. Research exposed that analyzed websites had major deficiencies in terms of their conformity to design principles. However, English websites received higher scores from design principles as compared to Turkish sites. The research yielded some critical conclusions through assessment of design principles employed up in the analyzed websites as to selected dimensions, i.e. page layout, color, typography, visuals, animated graphics, navigation and browsing, and content and functionality.

Five easy ways of incorporation into an asynchronous, web – based course, theories and models in adult learning

Natalia Fox


Asynchronous, un-facilitated web-based courses, in which the learner interacts with a computer in order to learn some very specific content, can and should include best practices of adult learning theories and models. The purpose of this qualitative study was to utilize the case study format to provide an example of an un-facilitated, asynchronous web-based course, which includes several best practices from adult learning literature. The case study involves an online course which is distributed to learners who are employees of a Fortune 500 company. These employees are located in divisions all over the world. The course is mandatory for employees who need to access a specific enterprise-wide web application. The intent of the researcher is to provide a possible set of guidelines and best practices for individuals who are tasked with creating such an interactive, web-based course.

Evaluation of the Turkish Open Education Learner Support Systems

Eve Brown


This study examined the support service needs and preferences of distance learners studying at the Turkish Open Education System (OES) through a questionnaire. The questionnaire included a broad array of questions to collect data about participants’ demographic information, their perceptions about the importance and accessibility of available support services, and their support service needs at different stages of their study. It also included open-ended questions to allow participants to comment on factors that are most assistive and most impeding in their distance learning experience, and also to allow them to offer suggestions for improving and/or expanding the existing learner support services.

The results of this study revealed that several areas of support services need improvements in order to support OES students effectively in their learning experience. Particularly, the affective support needs of OES students are largely unmet. A large needs gap was identified for five of the six affective support services included in the questionnaire. The largest needs gap was for the counseling services to promote student motivation. Moreover, a large needs gap was identified for two of the ten cognitive support services included in the questionnaire. These were face-to-face academic counseling and communication with course instructor. In addition to affective and cognitive support services, a greater needs gap was identified for one of the six systemic support services, which is orientation to the course media/delivery format.