Development of an online support tool for biodiversity training of forest engineers in Turkey

Önal, Özgür Ş
Biodiversity is one of the most important elements of the sustainable forestry practices. However, in Turkey biodiversity is not properly included in the forestry training curriculum and in professional training. There is a gap in the education of forest engineering about biodiversity. This study aims to fill this gap by developing an online support tool targeting dissemination of the biodiversity training with lower cost and time. The primary aim of this study is to explore the potential of web based tool as a viable solution to dissemination of the biodiversity training to forest engineers in Turkey. This research based on design and development research methodology involving a systematic study of designing, developing and evaluating online support tool for biodiversity training. Subjects of this study were selected from forest engineers that work within General Directory of Forestry. Purposive sampling method was conducted. Quality of web based learning was ensured by relying the development to Demand-Driven Learning Model as a theoretical framework. The results of the survey questions, interview sessions and system logs revealed that the perceptions of the participants towards the designed and developed tool were mostly positive. In addition, learners reported that they gain novel knowledge from training program, which they will reflect to their professional life, and find the training tool convenient. Moreover, their attitudes towards the all characteristics of theoretical framework were mostly positive. Findings also indicated that perceptions of the participants towards online training programs have changed as well