Design and Development of the E-Learning Services in the Open Education System in Turkey


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M.E. Mutlu, Ö. Özöğüt Erorta, R. Yılmaz, “Design and Development of the E-Learning Services in the Open Education System in Turkey”, EADTU- Working Conference 2005 Towards Lisbon 2010: “Collaboration for Innovative Content in Lifelong Open and Flexible Learning”, Rome, 10-11 November 2005.

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Design and Development of the E-Learning Services in the Open Education System in Turkey

  1. 1. Design and Development of the E-Learning Services in the Open Education System in Turkey Assistant Prof. Dr. M. Emin Mutlu Inst. Özlem Özöğüt Erorta Inst. Ruşen Yılmaz EADTU- Working Conference 2005Towards Lisbon 2010: “Collaboration for Innovative Content in Lifelong Open and Flexible Learning” Rome, 10-11 November 2005
  2. 2. Anadolu University Open Education SystemAnadolu University Open EducationFaculty, possessing the Economics andBusiness Administration programs, wasestablished in 1982 to perform distanceeducation in Turkey.The demand for the open educationfaculty where 29,000 students wereregistered in the first year has graduallyincreased and it has become a giganticinstitution having around 1,000,000enrolled students and where more than200,000 students are registered every year.
  3. 3. Anadolu University Open Education SystemIn 1993, distance education expanded and separated intothree faculties as Faculty of BusinessAdministration, Faculty of Economics, and OpenEducation Faculty, and it was named as Anadolu UniversityOpen Education System.Open Education West Europe Programs were developedin1997 in order to provide distance education services tothe Turkish citizens in the West European countries and itshead office was established in Cologne.Anadolu University is a dual-mode university.
  4. 4. Anadolu University Open Education SystemThe basic instructional services at Anadolu University OpenEducation System can be stated in three groups as student officeservices provided by the head office and its affiliates, academicfacilitator services organized by the academic facilitationcoordinatorship, and face-to-face examination servicesorganized by the computer research and application center.Units designing, developing and producing the distance educationmaterials are composed of the book design unit where the printedmaterials are designed and developed, radio-television productioncenter where the TV programs are designed and developed, testresearch unit where the exam questions are prepared, thecomputer based education unit which is responsible for thedesign, development and publishing of the instructional software.
  5. 5. Distance Learning Services in the Open Education SystemAnadolu University is in Eskişehir which is located in thecentral part of Turkey. Its more than one million students areliving in various cities of Turkey having 81 cities. Studentsenrolled in the Open Education system can use the officeservices, academic facilitator services and exam servicesin their home without leaving from their home.
  6. 6. Office ServicesOffices responsible for the studentaffaires have been established in theAnadolu University Open Educationsystem in order to allow studentsenrolled in Business Administration,Economics and Open EducationFaculties to perform their affairswithout going to the center.As of 2005, 88 offices in 80 cities and in Lefkoşa (Nicosia ) andCologne serve to the Open Education Faculty students. More than400 people work in the head office and the offices in the cities.
  7. 7. Face-to-face Academic Facilitator ServicesAcademic facilitator service is one of the most importantelements of the Open Education System. The basic aim of thisservice which is supported by many universities in Turkey is toget the instructors specialized in their subject areas and studentstogether, and promote interaction to encourage better learning. Academic facilitator services are given in evenings or at week ends by more than 600 instructors in the university campuses in 67 centers where university rectorships exist.
  8. 8. Examination ServicesOpen education faculty exams are held on the samedates and in the same hours in the whole country.Anadolu University Computer Research andApplication Center (CRAC) is responsible for theexecution of the examinations without any problem.The examinations are conducted threetimes a year using more than 5,000buildings and more than 50,000 roomseach time. More than 250,000 people arecharged in every examination period.
  9. 9. Development of the Distance LearningMaterials in the Open Education System The coursebooks, TV programs, exam questions and the instructional software that will be delivered to the students enrolled in the Anadolu University Open Education System are developed in the units of the university specialized for these purposes.
  10. 10. Development of the Course BooksThe course books are prepared in the way toallow self-study, and they are pressed using themost up-to-date instructional technologymethods and providing the basis for theInternet and TV programs, and thendistributed to the students.The number of books which were redesignedand pressed in the Anadolu University DistanceEducation system has exceeded 500. Around 5million books are delivered to the studentsevery year. More than 1,000 subject areaprofessors write and edit the books.
  11. 11. Production of the TV ProgramsAll the radio and TV programsare developed in the OpenEducation Faculty Radio andTelevision Production Centerand they are broadcast in thenational TRT channels (only theexam preparation programs arelive broadcast ).Nearly 200 experienced, specialized andtrained personnel work in the productioncenter.
  12. 12. Production of the TV ProgramsNearly 5,000 TV programs have beendeveloped since the establishment of theOpen Education Faculty. The TVprograms are broadcast 24 weeks per year,37 hours per week, and 888 hours peryear. The programs are broadcast at leasttwice in a year.The radio programs are broadcast in TRTRadio 1. The number of the broadcastradio programs is 400.
  13. 13. Development of the Exam QuestionsThe questions asked in the Open Education exams are prepared by the TestResearch Unit. Every year, for each course, the subject specialists are askedto prepare questions. Those questions are scientifically checked by anothersubject area specialist after being technically controlled. When the scientificediting of the questions is complete, they are edited by the subject writerand they get approval for printing.All the questions to be asked in the exam areassessed and evaluated scientifically. It isthrough this process that more than 20,000questions are asked to students in theexaminations without any error.
  14. 14. Production of the Instructional SoftwareThe Computer Based EducationUnit (CBEU) was found in 1989 in theAnadolu University Open EducationFaculty to investigate and apply theeducational opportunities that stemfrom the developments in thecomputer technology and widely useof the computers.The design and publishing of the allpractices and the maintenance of thepublished courses and the servicesprovided are achieved by the CBEU.
  15. 15. Production of the Instructional SoftwareTwenty-five specialists work full time inthe CBEU as instructionaldesigners, graphic artists and animationspecialists. Moreover, 25 students fromdifferent majors at the AnadoluUniversity work half time in the CBEUto perform jobs in relation tovoicing, graphics, animations andscenario development. More than 250 teaching personnel working in different departments at the Anadolu University provides support in the instructional software design and development process as subject area specialists, editor, instructional designer, vocalization and animation specialists.
  16. 16. Transformation of the Traditional Open EducationServices and Materials into the E-Learning ServicesThe learning efforts of the every student getting instruction via theopen education method in our country should be supported bytechnology as much as possible without leaving them on their own forstudying. For this reason, the traditional products and services of theOpen Education Faculty are designed and developed parallel to thedevelopments in the Internet technology so as to be published in theInternet.A period where the instructional content is gradually digitized hasstarted in the Open Education system since 1999. The coursebooks, television programs, academic facilitator services, examquestions, office services, computer aided instructional software aretransformed into products and services in the virtual environment suchas e-book, e-television, e-facilitator service, e-exam, office-web, and e-practice respectively.
  17. 17. e-BookThe electronic book service was put into practice in the 2003-2004academic year so that students have the chance to read them in theInternet environment when they have not got the books yet. Theelectronic books were delivered in PDF format in the mentionedacademic year but they were transformed into Flash Papertechnology in the 2004-2005 academic year so that students nothaving the PDF reader could access them.The name of the electronic book application has become e-bookwhen all the e-learning services have been combined in the e-Learning Portal.
  18. 18. e-BookThe units in the PDFformat coming from theIndex Service, which is asub-unit of the BookDesign Unit, aretransferred into FlashPaper and added into thee-book section of thecourse in the e-Learningportal. 2,178 units for173 courses are deliveredvia the Internetenvironment.
  19. 19. e-TelevisionE- Television is a service that gives the students the opportunityto record the TV programs of the open education systemcourses in their computers and watch them more than once.The delivery of the television programs in the Internet wasstarted in the 2003-2004 academic year. This practice mademuch more sense when developments in the fast Internet accessoccurred in Turkey in 2004.
  20. 20. e-TelevisionMore then 600 programsbelonging to 70 coursesare delivered in the e-television which is in theOpen Education e-Learning portal.Each program lastsaround 20 minutes.
  21. 21. e-Practice The main instructional material in the Open Education programs is the coursebook. The students are responsible for the information in the books for the examinations. Students need software that can reinforce what they have learned from the books, increase their problem solving skills and prepare them for the exams more effectively.
  22. 22. e-PracticeThe preparation of the Internetbased practice software involvestwo processes as design andproduction. Half of the totalproject period is used for designand the other half is used forproduction. The contribution ofmany experts is needed in everystep of the design andproduction services.In the 2005-2006 academicyear, 758 unit practice softwarefor 50 courses are presented tothe students in the OpenEducation e-Learning Portal.
  23. 23. e-ExamIn the Open Education System, internet-based trial exams exist sothat students can prepare themselves for the exams and see theirreal performance before the real exams. This practice started in1999 and was named as ‘e-exam’ in the open education e-learningportal.For the e-exam practice, the CBEU cooperates with the TestResearch Unit. In the e-exam practice, more than 11,000 questionsfor 123 courses are placed in the question bank and they areupdated every year. The practice receiving the highest demand in thee-learning portal is the e-exam.
  24. 24. e-ExamThe examinations involvequestions randomly selectedfrom the question bank, andthe time period for the examalso appears on the screenwhich is exactly the same timeperiod given in the real exams.Students can pass to theevaluation section when theyfinish the exam in the givenperiod. The correct answers ofthe questions do not appear inthe evaluation part, but thenumber of questions answeredby the students, the number ofcorrectly answered questionsand the students’ performancefor the units are listed.
  25. 25. e- Facilitator Service The e-practice software that is published in the Open Education e-Learning Portal has an asynchronous academic facilitator service. The facilitator service was started as a pilot project for 24 courses that have practice software in May of 2005. Each course has an academic facilitator and a moderator. Students send their questions by accessing the lists of the units in the e-facilitator link and then they send their question after choosing the related unit from the unit list. If their question involves a formula, they send their question after placing them in a file.
  26. 26. e- Facilitator ServiceA student can access tothe questions asked bythe other students andthe answers given by thefacilitators. Theacademic facilitatorservice is performed bythe course editors.This practice which wasstarted for 24 courseswill continue for 50courses in the 2005-2006academic year.
  27. 27. Office-Web ServiceThe services used by the open education students viathe open education offices can be accessed by them viathe Internet. Using the Office-Web service provided bythe Computer Research and ApplicationCenter, students can learn their exam results, see theirtranscripts, learn the books they need to buy from theoffices, and make changes in their examination centerand identity information.
  28. 28. Publishing of the e-Learning ServicesThe Open Education e-Learning Portal is published from the CBEUserver center. Every year, information about the enrolled open educationstudents is loaded to the open education e-learning portal database andstudents are given the chance to access the e-learning services just afterthe registration using their Turkish Republic identity number.The contents and services in the OpenEducation e-learning portal are publishedvia three servers having 32 operators.TTNET, which is a national Internetnetwork, is used in order to publish via theInternet lines having bands of 34 Mbps.The lines of ULAKNET, which is theNational Academic Internet Network ofthe university and having 70 Mbps are alsoused for this purpose.
  29. 29. Publishing of the e-Learning Services A technical support team is on duty in order to make the Open Education e-learning Portal available for 24 hours, to maintain it and back it up, and respond to students’ technical support demands that come from them via e-mail or telephone. Today, 15% of the students enrolled in the open education use the e-learning services regularly, and this ratio increases every year. The studies conducted so far indicates that the final grades of the students who used the e-learning services are 19% higher than the ones who did not use them.
  30. 30. Conclusion Rapid changes in the Internet technologies has promoted the creation of new opportunities in the field of distance education, and has allowed the professors to give instruction taking students’ individual differences in their learning styles and capabilities into consideration. Redesigning the traditional elements of the Open Education System in the Internet environment and the practice software that allow the students to reinforce what they have learned enhance the quality and efficiency of the learning environment presented to the students. In order to provide the students with these services, an organizational structure was created that allow the cooperation of the Computer Based Education Unit and the other units to digitize and publish the products and services of the units producing instructional content in traditional environments.
  31. 31. For your