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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE, Volume 14, Number 3, July 2013

Welcome to the Volume 14 Number: 3 of TOJDE!

In this issue, 17 articles of 28 authors from 9 different countries around the world have been published. These published articles are arrived to the TOJDE from, Greece, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and USA.

Institute of Education
International Islamic University Malaysia
Jalan Gombak, Selangor, MALAYSIA

Institute of Education
International Islamic University Malaysia, MALAYSIA

Learning management system (LMS) is a learning platform for both full time and distant learning students at the International Islamic University in Malaysia (IIUM). LMS becomes a tool for IIUM to disseminate information and learning resources to the students. The objectives of this study were to
  •  investigate students' attitudes toward the use of LMS, 
  • to verify the impact of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use on attitude towards use of learning management system, 
  • to examine the differences in attitudes toward the use of LMS between distance learning and full time students.
There were 120 (70 full time and 50 distance learning) students at the Institute of Education responded for the study. The collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics, t-test and Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA). The results of the study showed that perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness determine students' attitudes toward the use of LMS. However, this study did not find any significant differences between distance learning and full time students. According to the findings the study recommended that the University should continue using LMS because it is useful for both distance learning and full time students. Further suggestions are made to customize and upgrade the LMS suitable for innovative teaching and learning.

ASSESSING CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING IN MATHEMATICS: Using Derivative Function to Solve Connected Problems 
By Nevin ORHUN, Anadolu University, TURKEY

Open and distance education plays an important role in the actualization of cultural goals as well as in societal developments. This is an independent teaching and learning method for mathematics which forms the dynamic of scientific thinking. Distance education is an important alternative to traditional teaching applications. These contributions brought by technology enable students to participate actively in having access to information and questioning it. Such an application increases students’ motivation and teaches how mathematics can be used in daily life. Derivative is a mathematical concept which can be used in many areas of daily life.

The aim of this study is to enable the concept of derivatives to be understood well by using the derivative function in the solution of various problems. It also aims at interpreting difficulties theoretically in the solution of problems and determining mistakes in terms of teaching methods. In this study, how various aspects of derivatives are understood is emphasized. These aspects concern the explanation of concepts and process, and also their application to certain concepts in physics. Students’ depth of understanding of derivatives was analyzed based on two aspects of understanding; theoretical analysis and contextual application. Follow-up interviews were conducted with five students.

The results show that the students preferred to apply an algebraic symbolic aspect instead of using logical meanings of function and its derivative. In addition, in relation to how the graph of the derivative function affects the aspect of function, it was determined that the students displayed low performance.

Promises, Possibilities, and Potential Strategies 
By Pradeep Kumar MISRA, M. J. P. Rohilkhand University, INDIA

Across the globe, life skills education has been usually developed as part of a school initiative designed to support the healthy psychosocial development of children and adolescents. In other side, formal education system not always provides young people with good opportunities to become confident and realize their potentials. 

In this back drop, the biggest challenge is to identify the best strategies for providing effective life skills education to those many children who never attend secondary school or reach an age of high vulnerability and risk taking behaviour in the years immediately before reaching secondary school. Considering the situation that in different parts of the world, majority of the youths is having a mobile or will have a mobile soon, the researcher is of the view that mobile phones can be a viable option to offer life skills education to open schooling students coming from different cultural and social settings and backgrounds. 

Following this approach, present paper mainly discusses about: promises offered by mobile phones for life skills education; possibilities for using mobile phones as an effective, efficient and economical option for offering life skills education; and potential strategies to offer mobile phones supported life skills education to open schooling students.
Read more... 

For Improving Students’ Writing Abilities
By Orachorn KITCHAKARN Bangkok University, THAILAND 

The advancement of computer technology and expansion of the Internet has an increasing impact on writing instruction. The modes of peer feedback have shifted from traditional peer feedback to online peer feedback. 

This study investigated the effects of peer feedback activity through blogs on students’ writing ability and examined their attitudes towards peer feedback activity. The research was conducted using a single group pretest-posttest design. Blog, the website, was used as a medium for peer feedback activity. Participants were 34 second-year students who studied EN 013 course (English for Expressing Ideas) in the first semester of the academic year 2012 at Bangkok University. Two writings tests and a questionnaire were used as instruments for data collection to acquire information. 

The results revealed that students’ writing scores on the pretest and posttest were significantly different. It can be concluded that peer feedback activity through blogs had a significant role to play in improving students’ writing skill. The students also expressed positive attitudes towards the value of peer feedback activity. 
Read more... 

Source: Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education