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An assesment of an on-line course environment based on the perceptions of students and the instructor : a case study

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2004
Gürbüz, Tarkan
The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that contribute to online collaboration in a web-based course by investigating the impact and the potential of an online learning environment in terms of both the students' and instructor̕s perceptions about learner benefits, learner support, motivation, computer mediated communication, and group work. A mixed methods case study design was thought to be appropriate to match the purpose of the study, thus a combination of components normally found in descriptive, case study and qualitative research was used to analyze the data. The study was conducted in the context of أCSIT444-Online Web Designؤ, an online course offered by the Institute of Distance Education of East Mediterranean University (EMU) in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This course was designed and developed by the instructor working at the Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology of the Middle East Technical University located in Ankara and carrying out the classes for this course as online for the students at EMU. The participants were the instructor and 209 vocational education last year students, who participated in the course for three successive semesters, at the School of Computing & Technology. In order to explore the perceptions of the students, they were asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of the each semester. Of the 209 participants 175 students ranked their agreement on each twenty eight five-point Likert-type item and 129 of them wrote also their comments about their online learning experience by answering the open-ended item in the questionnaire. Several interviews were conducted with the instructor using the informal conversational interview approach to explore his perceptions through his reflections on his online teaching experience in the web-based course. The perceptual student responses from the