E. Salman, A. Fattum

The Arab Academic College for Education - Haifa (ISRAEL)
An effective and successful learning program requires the lecturer and the students to establish effective communication which allows for interaction in three dimensions:
(1) academic-educational interaction
(2) interpersonal-social interaction and
(3) co-operative interaction.

In an online distance-learning teaching model, the lecturer is responsible for the success of students’ knowledge construction process, through social and authentic learning activities, and by providing prompt and relevant feedback for students on the course website, concerning target social and academic activities.

An awareness of students’ needs at the academic, social and cognitive levels will increase the lecturer’s ability to respond and help students, and can thus significantly reduce student failure. Moreover, responsiveness to students’ needs may greatly increase student involvement in the learning process which, in turn, would contribute to the success of the students, the course and the lecturer.

In order to provide the necessary awareness to the lecturer, it is important to understand how students perceive the role of the lecturer in a distance-learning course.

The proposed research was carried out on students who attend graduate studies in three colleges of education during the years 2013-2014.

The study was designed to examine the views of these students concerning the role of the lecturer in a full distance learning course. It aims to provide empirical insights into some pertinent aspects for running full distance learning courses, which can help improve educational practice.

The participants were 180 students who attended at least two full distance learning courses. Research will use a quantitative research approach. Data was collected through an online survey questionnaire sent to users via email. The study used two statistical methods for data-processing: descriptive and referential, as well as content analysis. Results of each method of analysis is meant to confirm those of the other. Data was analyzed using SPSS 17 statistical package.

The context of the study:
In recent years, higher education institutions, including educational colleges, have increasingly adopted the distance learning method. In our college, about 50 full distance learning courses are taught annually. These courses are mostly given in the Master degree program. Hence it is important for us as an academic institution to learn about the perception of the students about the role of the lecturer in the full distance learning courses, and to learn about the degree of satisfaction with these courses with regard to: content, instructor, technology and interaction between the various components of the course. Through this study, we expect to gain insights that would allow us to improve the delivery of the distance-learning courses offered at our college.