Evaluation of the Second Instructor Application in Synchronous Discussions in an Online Course: A Case Study in Turkish Higher Education
Anadolu University is one of the universities which serves online courses in Turkey. The course “Planning and Evaluation in Instruction” is one of the graduate level online courses given in Anadolu University. The students of this course were those attending a PhD pogramme in Turkey. This course has three main components as self-study part, synchronous group discussions and asynchronous group discussions in each week of the term. For synchronous discussions, an approach which we call as second instructor application was implemented in this course. In Macromedia Breeze virtual classroom, synchronous discussions were done weekly for nearly one hour and there were two instructors for each discussion sessions in virtual classroom. During these discussions, while the first instructor facilitated the discussions via voice messages, the students participated in discussions by sending written messages and meanwhile the second instructor followed the discussions and send written messages when necessary. In this study, it is aimed at evaluating the second instructor application in synchronous discussions in the online course based on the views of the students and the instructors. In this case study, semi-structured interviews were carried out with 10 students, three first instructors and one second instructor at the end of the fall term of 2007-2008 academic year in Anadolu University. In addition to semi-structured interviews, students were asked for their views regarding the roles of the second instructor via an open-ended question. As the result of the study, generally students enjoyed this application more than the first instructors and agreed on continuing second instructor application in the course “Planning and Evaluation in Instruction” on the following terms.
Keywords: Online Teaching, Online Learning, Synchronous Discussions, Collaborative Teaching
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Sciences
Cigdem Suzan Cardak
Research Assistant, Curriculum and Instruction