The aim of ÜSUZEM is to be a competitive, innovative and research-oriented center by following the needs and developments in the field of Distance Education over time and creating the course contents and program offered in internet-based education in a current and dynamic structure.
The Center, to realize this mission; as being a distance education center, which offers and provides world-class course content in internet-based education, creates a competitive environment in the field of distance education and can lead with mid- and long-term plans in this environment, uses up-to-date technologies in the internet-based teaching environment, and prepares the course content in a dynamic structure to carry its mission.
What is Distance Education?
Distance Education is a planned form of education in which students and teachers are brought together in a virtual classroom by taking advantage of technology, without requiring physically to be in the places where the students are located.
History of Distance Education
Distance education systems, which have passed through various stages in terms of their historical development, have reached their current status. It spread to almost every part of Europe in the last quarter of the XXth century. With the completion of 4 consecutive phases, distance education studies, which have been applied in different ways until today, date back to more than 200 years. For example, in 1728, there were advertisements in the Boston Newspaper for letter and shorthand lectures. In the 1890s, the University of Queensland in Australia conducted an open education program off campus. Distance education, whose foundations were laid with "mail education", left its place to the "multimedia model" phase with the invention and widespread use of radio. The development of television and communication tools provided the transition to the "tele learning model". In the last stage, with the use of web-based platforms, the last stage "flexible learning model" forms the basis for today's applications.
Two important points should be mentioned here. First, distance education is not a second-class education applied alongside formal education. In applications, specially prepared textbooks, television, radio and computer programs are used. The most recent measurement and evaluation methods are used. Such a system has very modern equipment. Second, distance education is not a form of education that poor countries resort to. This system is primarily applied by the richest and industrialized countries of the world.
Distance Education Applications in the World
Rapid developments in communication technologies have affected the education systems of countries in various parts of the world. With this technology-teaching interaction, there has been a trend towards distance education in the education systems of these countries.
England is the first country to establish "Open University" in the field of higher education. The distance education system developed in Japan in 1948 within the framework of the education law to provide education opportunities for soldiers and those who cannot attend part-time schools or who are away from school; It includes middle, high school and higher education levels. The USA has established open universities. The Universities of Pennsylvania and South Carolina are among those. These universities can reach students' homes with television and computer systems and provide consultancy services between advisors and students in this way when necessary. Canada makes extensive use of television in this area, as in the USA. In India, satellite and television learning is widely used. Israel has developed television books called "Every Man's University". The Italian Radio and Television Corporation successfully implemented the "Tele Scoula" project.
Implementations in Turkey
Between 1927 and 1960, discussions and suggestions in the field of distance education constitute the emerging phase of distance education. In these years, it is aimed to spread literacy through communication. The idea of organizing teaching courses by letter in 1933-34; In 1950, the studies of Ankara University Faculty of Law, Bank and Commercial Law Research Institute; In 1960, the teaching method was notable in these years in order to provide university opportunities for graduates of middle-grade vocational school.
In 1961, teaching by MEB (Ministry of Education) started by letter teaching center, and in 1966, these studies were organized at the level of the General Directorate and the system became widespread in the field of formal and widespread education.
In 1974, Letter High Education Center was established. This initiative was later replaced by the Public Higher Education Institution. However, this attempt was also unsuccessful. An Open Education Faculty was opened within Anadolu University with the Higher Education Law #2547, which entered into force in 1983. This faculty provides teaching, research and publication services on distance education.
While the School Radio and TV School, which served under the Ministry of National Education in the 1980s and 1990s, supported formal education, provided non-formal education to anyone who wanted it.
The institutions that provide distance education to individuals outside the age population under the Ministry of Education General Directorate of Education Technologies; The Open Education High School, which was established in 1992 and gave secondary education diploma, was established in 1997 and started education in 1998 and gave primary education diploma by offering the education of the 6th, 7th and 8th years, and the Open Vocational and Technical Open Education which gives the certificate of electrical installation. It is the school.
The Importance for Turkey's Distance Education
When considering Turkey's social and economic structure; Distance Education, which enables the students in rural areas to be provided with educational opportunities, is of great importance in terms of providing equal opportunity.
Ensuring that the courses that cannot be opened due to the lack of academic staff, are taught on the internet, and that different university students benefit from the knowledge of expert faculty members,
Turkey is the country with the youngest population among European countries and the highest rate of population growth. If this young population is well trained at all levels, it will be a major potential for the future, otherwise it will be a major source of trouble. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the prevalence and quality of education.
The number of staff is inadequate in terms of quality education at all levels and in Turkey. It is a fact that it takes a long time to train teaching staff.
Another dimension which makes it important for distance education in Turkey is spreading the philosophy of lifelong education.
Institutional Principles of Distance Education:
In the education sector, the amount of information that needs to be taught and learned is increasing day by day, whereas the resources allocated for teaching are decreasing. That is, more education costs have to be covered by less budgets. Distance education is a teaching method that needs to be studied in order to overcome this problem. Regardless of the methods used, the constant dimension of distance education is distance. The function of distance education is to eliminate or minimize the distance dimension. The possibilities provided by technology are used to realize this function.
The method chosen for distance education varies depending on the content of the course and the target audience. While a distance learning method may be suitable for one course, another distance learning method may be appropriate for another course. Not all courses can be given by distance education. The decision whether the courses will be taught by distance education should be made as a result of the joint studies of the instructors who are experts in that course and the instructional technology experts. The content of a course that is decided to be taught by distance education may differ from the content given in the classical classroom environment. Benefit / cost analysis of each course that is decided to be taught through distance education should be made. If there is a big cost increase compared to the benefit / cost ratio of classical education, the benefit provided by distance learning of a course is compared to the financial resources spent, it is delayed to be given by distance education and re-examined in parallel with the future reductions and developments that technology will bring, must be reviewed.
Distance Education from the Student’s Perspective
Meeting the learning needs of students is an important indicator in evaluating every effective distance education program. The perspectives of the students on distance education and teaching the lessons are different. While some students can easily adapt to distance education and the delivery of courses, others may not be able to adapt so easily. Since students' physical proximity with their teachers will be considerably higher in distance education compared to classical teaching, it may cause negative developments, especially for students who are accustomed to teacher-centered teaching. Distance education students can produce beneficial results in terms of gaining the skills to work on their own and to be more active in the course. Students' familiarity with the technologies used for distance education is a very important factor for students to successfully take the courses given. Using an inappropriate distance learning method for a course can have negative effects on students and significantly reduce students' interest and motivation to learn. It is important for the success of distance education that students should be educated and persuaded that distance education will be at least as useful as classical education if it is used appropriately.
Distance Education from the Perspective of the Instructor
It is important for the success of distance education to educate and persuade instructors that distance education will be at least as useful as classical education, as it is for students. Faculty members are important in making decisions about whether their courses should be given by distance teaching or not. Before deciding whether a course should be given by distance teaching, teachers need to be familiar with distance teaching technologies and their real-life practices. Teachers need to be aware that there are differences between giving a course in a classical classroom environment and teaching distance. It is the duty of teachers to determine what the contents of a course will be chosen for distance education. However, the task of making these content accessible by distance education belongs to the instructor and course content development specialists.
Plan and Program Direction
Planning courses to be given by distance teaching is a different process according to classical teaching. Course planers and programmers must plan the locations, times of the courses, students attending and distance teaching tools in more detail.
Objectives of Distance Teaching:
To provide access to more audiences,
To remove the physical distance size from the teaching process,
To reduce teaching costs, to be able to access the target audience faster,
To speed up the teaching process, to further activate students in the learning process,
To increase learning opportunities and alternatives.
Advantages of Distance Education:
Increasing teaching opportunities,
Timely delivery of education that needs to reach more people in different geographic locations,
Real-time access to subject specialists in many different locations, Increased flexibility in teaching environments and methods,
Increase in the sharing of teaching staff and teaching media resources, Increasing education of the student Productivity,
Reduction in student travels and expenses,
Reducing the difference between the teaching environment and the real working environment,
Significant reduction in teaching costs,
Facilitating students' access to courses,
Accelerating and facilitating access to information,
Accelerating the distribution of teaching materials.