INVESTIGATION OF INSTRUCTORS’ READINESS AND USAGE OF DISTANCE EDUCATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY
As distance learning comes across indefeasibly in many aspects of higher education, numerous technologies and applications are being appeared in that area. While many universities began to offer massive online courses (MOOCs), many other have their courses or programs in face to face or blended forms at all levels. Instructors play a major role in distance education applications. Although various technologies, systems and tools (eg. learning management systems) as well as digital materials are being used, instructors’ readiness, and information regarding their current usage of such technologies is crucial.
Research in that field is especially important for the quality of teaching and learning in distance learning applications at higher education.
The main aim of this research is to investigate the instructors’ current use of distance education technologies and their perceptions on distance education applications. This is a descriptive research in which both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Participants of the study were 63 academicians from different faculties at one the four big universities at Ankara, A survey consisting two main sections were sent to participants; i. General information about the department, faculty and current use and knowledge on distance education technologies, and ii. Open ended questions about the opinions of academicians regarding distance education with its applications. Responses were analysed quantitatively reflecting the percentages/frequencies and quantitatively reflecting the main characteristics in using distance education technologies. Results indicated that, if they had basic knowledge and skills in that area, almost all the academicians would want to apply distance learning technologies in their courses.