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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

CAKIROğLU, Ünal. Evaluating students' perspectives about virtual classrooms with regard to Seven Principles of Good Practice. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2014, vol.34, n.2, pp.01-19. ISSN 2076-3433.

This study assesses the quality of distance learning (DL) in higher education assessed by considering the Seven Principles of Good Practice (SPGP). The participants were 77 second-year students from the Computer and Instructional Technologies Program (CEIT) of a Faculty of Education in Turkey. A questionnaire was developed in line with the SPGP and administered to collect data after 14 weeks of teaching. The author's observations were added to a discussion of the connections between student perspectives and the SPGP. The lessons were delivered in a virtual classroom. It is a synchronous online learning environment with online meetings, chat, forums, whiteboards, desktop sharing, document sharing and other online features. The analysis of the results of the questionnaire indicate that this questionnaire as it has been developed in this study can be effective in understanding and evaluating the perspectives of learners on the quality of distance learning in virtual classrooms. This study also presents some new evidence on the potential of virtual classrooms for teaching, learning and learner interaction. Finally, some suggestions regarding the expectations of distance learners were also provided for instructors who wish to utilize virtual classrooms in their teaching.

Keywords : distance learning; introductory programming course; learners' perspectives; Seven Principles for Good Practice; synchronous setting; virtual classrooms.

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