ÜSUZEM (Distance Education Application and Research Center)
The aim of ÜSUZEM is to be a competitive, innovative and research center open by establishing the course content and program in an up-to-date and dynamic structure by following the needs and developments that have emerged over time in the field of Distance Education.
The mission of the Center is to carry out a distance education center that provides course contents in accordance with world standards in internet based education and creates a competitive environment in distance education field and uses modern technology in internet based education environment that can lead with medium and long term plans in this environment and prepares course contents in a dynamic structure.
What is Distance Education?
Distance Learning is a planned form of teaching, in which students and teachers are brought together in a virtual classroom environment, without the need to be physically located, taking advantage of the opportunities of technology.
The History of Distance Education
In the last quarter of the century, distance education systems which have passed through various stages according to their historical development spread all over Europe. With the completion of 4 consecutive universes, the distance education studies that are applied in different forms as day-to-day goes back to 200 years. For example, in 1728 there were advertisements in the Boston Newspaper about letters and stenography lessons. In the 1890s, Queensland University in Australia conducted an open education program out of campus. Distance education, which is based on "postal education", has left its place to the "multimedia model" by the invention and spread of the radio. The development of television and communication means provided a transition to the "tele-learning model". The last stage of the "flexible learning model" with the use of web-based platforms at the last stage is the basis for today's applications.
Here we need to talk about two important points. First, distance education is not a second-class teaching referenced next to formal teaching. In practice, specially prepared textbooks, television, radio and computer programs are used. The most recent measurement and evaluation methods are used. Such a system has a very modern hardware. Secondly, distance education is not a form of instruction that poor countries resort to. This system is primarily implemented by the richest and industrialized countries of the world.
Distance Education in the World
The rapid developments in communication technologies have influenced the teaching systems of countries in the various regions of the world. With this technology-instructional interaction, distance teaching in these countries' teaching systems has been an accurate orientation.
England is the first country to establish an "Open University" in the field of higher education. The distance education system developed in Japan in 1948 was to provide teaching opportunities to those who were unable to attend military service and part-time schools, or who were away from school, within the framework of the teaching law; middle, high school and higher education levels. The United States has established open-minded universities. Pennsylvania and South Carolina universities are the pioneers in US. These universities can reach to the students' homes with television and computer systems and provide counseling services between counselors and students when necessary. In Canada, as in the United States, this area draws heavily on television. In India, satellite and television learning is widely used. Israel has developed television books titled "Every Man's University". The Italian Radio and Television Corporation successfully implemented the "tele Scoula" project.
Applications in Turkey
Discussion and suggestions in the field of distance education between 1927 and 1960 constitute the emergence of distance education. In these years, it is aimed to spread reading and writing through means of communication. In 1933-34 the idea to arrange correspondence course; The studies of the Faculty of Law, Banking and Commercial Law Research Institute of Ankara University in 1950; It is these years' remarkable practice of correspondence course method in order to provide university opportunity to graduates of secondary vocational school in 1960.
In 1961, the Ministry of Education established the Center for Correspondence Course, and these studies were organized at the General Directorate level in 1966 and became widespread in the field of systematic and non-formal education.
In 1974, the Center for Higher Education for Correspondence Course was established. This initiative was later replaced by the Common Higher Education Institution. However, this attempt has not been successful. A Law on Higher Education numbered 2547 entered into force in 1983 and an Open Learning Faculty was established within Anadolu University. This faculty provides teaching, research and publishing services on distance education. During the years 1980 and 1990, while supporting the Ministry of National Education's School Radio and the TV School's formal education, anyone wishing to do so was provided with formal education. The institutions that provide distance education for the people outside the age population within the General Directorate of Educational Technologies of MEB are schools Open Education High School, which was established in 1992 and has a secondary education diploma, was established in 1997 and started teaching in 1998 and offered Open Education Primary School and Primary School Diploma by offering 6th, 7th and 8th year teaching and Vocational and Technical Open Education.
The Importance of Distance Education for Turkey
When the social and economic structure of Turkey is taken into consideration; Distance education, which allows the education of the students in rural areas to be provided, is of great importance in order to provide equal opportunities.
- Providing the courses that cannot be opened due to inadequacy of the faculty members, via the internet, benefiting different university students from the knowledge of the expert faculty members,
- Among the European countries, Turkey is the country with the youngest population and the highest population growth rate. If this young population is well educated at all levels, it will be a great potential for the future, otherwise it will be a major source of trouble. For this reason, it is necessary to increase the prevalence and quality of education,
- In Turkey, education staff at every level are inadequate in terms of number and quality. It is a fact that the education of the teaching staff takes a long time,
- Distance education is another important dimension for Turkey, which is the spread of life philosophy of education.
Institutional Principles of Distance Learning
In the teaching sector, the amount of information that needs to be taught and learned day by day increases, while the resources allocated for teaching are decreasing. So, more tuition costs will be met with less budgets. Distance education is a teaching method that needs to be studied to overcome this problem. Regardless of the methods used, there is no constant dimension of distance learning. The function of distance education is to remove the distance dimension from the center or reduce it to the minimum. The facilities provided by the technology is used to perform this function.
Process of the Course
The method chosen for distance education differs depending on the course content and the target group. While a distance learning method may be appropriate for a course, another distance teaching method may be appropriate for another course. Each course cannot be given by distance education. Whether or not courses will be taught with distance education should be made as a result of studies that will be made jointly by the instructor and the teaching technology specialists who are experts in that course. The content of a course that is decided to be taught with distance education, may differ from the content given in the classroom setting. Each course that is decided by distance education should be done with benefit / cost analysis. If the benefit of providing a course with distance education is a large cost increase compared to the cost / benefit ratio of classical teaching, compared to the financial resources used, it is necessary to delay the delivery of this course by distance education and to re-examine it in parallel with the developments of the technology will be brought in the future.
Distance Education for Students
Meeting the learning needs of students is an important indicator in evaluating every effective distance learning program. There are differences in how students view distance education and a class delivered via distance education. Some students can easily adapt to distance learning and teaching, while others may not be able to adapt. The physical proximity of the pupils to the teachers may be much higher in distance education than in the classical teaching, and teacher-centered teaching in particular may cause adverse developments in the pupils who are accustomed. Students in distance learning can produce useful results in terms of being able to work on their own and gain more active skills. The familiarity of students with distance learning technology is a very important factor in the success of the courses given. Using an unsuitable distance learning method for a course can lead to negative effects on students and significantly reduce their learning interest and motivation. It is important for distance education to be trained and persuaded by the students that it will be at least as useful as classical teaching if they are used appropriately for distance education.
Distance Education in terms of Instructor
It is important for distance education to be trained and persuaded by the teaching staff, as well as students, to believe that it is at least as useful as classical teaching when they are used appropriately in distance education. Teaching staff are important in making decisions about whether or not their courses will be taught via distance learning. Before deciding whether a course should be taught with distance learning, teachers need to be familiar with distance learning technologies and real life practices. Teachers should be aware that there is a difference between giving a lecture in a classroom setting and in distance learning. It is teachers task to determine what the contents of a selected course for distance education will be. However, the task of making these contents available via distance learning belongs to teaching staff and course content development specialists.
Plan and Direction of the Program
The planning of the courses with distance learning is a different process than classical teaching. Lecture planners and programmers have to plan the locations, times, attendance and distance learning tools of the courses in more detail.
Purposes of Distance Education
- Gain access to more people,
- Remove the physical distance dimension from the teaching process,
- Reduce teaching costs,
- Access the intended target group more quickly,
- Accelerate the teaching process,
- Make students more active in the learning process,
- Increase learning opportunities and alternatives.
Advantages of Distance Education
- Increase teaching opportunities,
- Give education on time to reach more people in different geographical locations,
- Subject experts who can be in many different places have real-time access,
- Increase flexibility in teaching environments and methods,
- Increase in sharing the instructional materials and instructional media resources,
- Increase productivity with training of the student,
- Decrease in student travels and costs,
- Reduce the difference between the teaching environment and the actual working environment,
- Significant reduction in teaching costs,
- Facilitate student access to classes,
- Accelerate and facilitate access to information,
- Accelerate the distribution of teaching materials