The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Examining the Factors in Lifelong Open and Distance Learning: Case of Eskisehir

Dr. Deniz Tasci, Anadolu University (Turkey)

Dr. Cengiz Hakan Aydin, Anadolu University (Turkey)

Dr. Evrim Genc Kumtepe, Anadolu University (Turkey)

Dr. Alper Tolga Kumtepe, Anadolu University (Turkey)

Dr. Guzin Kiyik Kicir, Anadolu University (Turkey)

Gokhan Deniz Dincer, Anadolu University (Turkey)

Abstract

Based on the recent and rapid changes and possibilities in information and communication technologies (ICT), Open and Distance Learning (ODL) provides a range of effective, efficient, engaging, and enduring learning opportunities to everyone. Learners all around the world are able to access information eliminating the physical and psychological limitations among learners, learning sources, and learning environments. By the year 2014, around 48% of the higher education population in Turkey is enrolled in a distance education system. In addition to the traditional open education resources such as printed materials and radio-television broadcasts, students are able to access latest information and communication technologies (ICT) that provide various services including e-Book, e-Television, e-Exam, e-Drill and Practice, and Videoconferences. However, the numbers are bleak considering the use of distance education means in institutionalized official lifelong learning services available for the general public. Public institutions deliver their educational programs mostly through traditional face-to-face instructions. The current study will provide information on the existing literature and discuss the results of a quantitative survey study that examined the possible uses of ODL means. Data is randomly drawn from the participants who currently enroll in public education courses provided by the Ministry of Education and the local Municipalities in Eskisehir, Turkey.  Based on the data from a sample of 324 participants, results are expected to provide new insight for students who strive to be lifelong learners and public institutions that try to reach a larger body of learners. Preliminary results depict that lifelong untraditional learners are welcoming the possibility of utilizing ODL means for the courses they are taking face-to-face. Factors that affect individuals’ acceptance of ODL, such as age, gender, level of education, and prior learning experiences will be discussed to provide information to policy maker who design such programs.

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