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A Case Study of Faculty Support in the Distance English Language Teacher Education Program at Anadolu University in Turkey

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A CASE STUDY OF FACULTY SUPPORT IN THE DISTANCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION PR OGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY IN TURKEY By PERIHAN SAVAS A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Perihan Savas

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To my brother, Gokhan

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to all the people who have supported me during this dissertation process. First of all, I would like to thank my family members for their ongoing support and tremendous understanding. I would like to thank my father Hasan Savas, my mother Hacer Savas, and my brother, Gokhan Savas for always believing in me and helping me in every way they could. I could not have completed this dissertation without their ongoing support and encouragement. In addition, I would like to thank Dr. Thomas Dana. This dissertation would not be possible without his guidance and support. He not only guided me in every step of my dissertation but he also has been a wonderful role model for me with his professionalism. I am forever in debt to him for his patience and guidance. I am also thankful to Dr. Danling Fu and Dr. Maria Coady, members of my doctoral committee for their invaluable input and feedback on my work. I also wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Philip Clark, member of my doctoral committee for sharing his wisdom and experience with me. With his support and guidance, I was able to find the courage to continue working on my dissertation even during the most difficult times. I would also like to thank Dr. Colleen Swain for the support and guidance she has given me in this study. Last, but not least, I would like to thank all the Distance English Language Teacher Education Program faculty members who participated in this study. I especially thank Professor Engin Atac, the president of Anadolu University for his support and hospitality. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES ...........................................................................................................ix ABSTRACT .........................................................................................................................x 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Background ...................................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem ..............................................................................................4 Purpose of the Study .....................................................................................................8 Research Questions .......................................................................................................9 Significance of the Study ............................................................................................10 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.....................................................................................11 Distance Education .....................................................................................................11 Online Education .................................................................................................13 Distance Education, Online Education, and Constructivism ...............................14 Computer Assisted Language Learning ......................................................................16 English Language Teacher Education ........................................................................21 Role of Faculty in Distance Education .......................................................................26 Faculty Development and Support in Distance Education ..................................28 Faculty Perceptions on Professional Development and Support in Distance Education .........................................................................................................32 Summary .....................................................................................................................34 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................35 Introduction .................................................................................................................35 Rationale for the Selection of Research Methods and Instruments ............................35 Qualitative Research as an Instrumental Case Study .................................................36 Data Sources, Key Informants, and Data Collection Methods ...................................38 Survey ..................................................................................................................38 In-depth Interviews ..............................................................................................40 Artifacts ...............................................................................................................42 v

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Data Analysis ..............................................................................................................42 My Role as Human Instrument in Qualitative Research ............................................45 Summary .....................................................................................................................45 4 FACULTY SUPPORT IN DISTANCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY....................................47 Introduction .................................................................................................................47 Higher Education in Turkey .......................................................................................48 Distance Education in Turkey ....................................................................................49 Anadolu University and Open Education Faculty ......................................................51 Curriculum and Instruction in DELTEP .....................................................................55 Curriculum ...........................................................................................................56 Course Materials ..................................................................................................56 Exams ..................................................................................................................58 Faculty who Teach via Distance in DELTEP .............................................................58 Online Course Production Teams in DELTEP ...........................................................59 Advantages and Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education .......64 Faculty Perceptions on the Advantages of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education ..........................................................................................64 Faculty Perceptions on the Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education ..........................................................................................71 Available Faculty Support in DELTEP and Faculty Perceptions ...............................78 Administrative Support .......................................................................................79 Technological and Pedagogical Support .............................................................88 Socio-emotional Support ...................................................................................101 Additional Support for DELTEP Faculty .................................................................106 Summary ...................................................................................................................109 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS....................................................................110 Introduction ...............................................................................................................110 Statement of the Problem ..........................................................................................110 Review of Methodology ...........................................................................................111 Summary of Findings ...............................................................................................112 Discussion of Findings .............................................................................................113 Implications for Distance ELT Teacher Education ...........................................115 Implications for Distance ELT Faculty Support ...............................................118 Suggestions for Additional Research ........................................................................127 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT FORM..............................................................................129 B ONLINE SURVEY..................................................................................................131 C INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR FACULTY MEMBERS..............................................139 vi

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D INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR ADMINISTRATORS AND PROGRAM COORDINATORS...................................................................................................141 E INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR FACULTY SUPPORT PERSONNEL........................142 F LIST OF ARTIFACTS.............................................................................................143 G PROGRAMS OFFERED BY OPEN EDUCATION FACULTY AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY..........................................................................................................144 H LIST OF COURSES AND INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY TYPES IN DELTEP145 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................147 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................155 vii

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Teaching experience of online survey participants in DELTEP................................39 3-2. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers............39 3-3. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers via distance or online education.....................................................................................39 4-1. Online survey results: The top three common advantages of training ELT teachers via distance education..............................................................................................65 4-2. Online survey results: The top three common challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education..............................................................................................71 4-3. Online survey results on the type of faculty support activities that DEPTEP faculty received before and whilst teaching online..................................................79 4-4. Online survey results on the areas that faculty need more support with technical aspects of training ELT teachers via distance education........................................107 4-5. Online survey results on the areas that faculty need more support with pedagogical aspects of training ELT teachers via distance education...................107 4-6. Online survey results of the preferred faculty training and support formats............107 viii

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1: A snapshot of one DELTEP online course home page..............................................60 4-2: A snapshot of an online discussion board..................................................................66 4-3: A snapshot of a DELTEP methodology course web page.........................................70 ix

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy A CASE STUDY OF FACULTY SUPPORT IN THE DISTANCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY IN TURKEY By Perihan Savas May 2006 Chair: Thomas M. Dana Major Department: School of Teaching and Learning The need for qualified English language teachers is growing every day. Distance education can be an alternative mode of instruction to train great numbers of English language teachers faster and less expensively. To ensure the quality of such programs, distance education faculty should be supported by their institutions. The main purpose of this study was to examine the faculty support structure in a distance English language teacher education program in relation to faculty experiences and perceptions through a qualitative case study. The Distance English Language Teacher Education Program (DELTEP) at Anadolu University in Turkey was selected as the case. Data were gathered from three sources: an online survey, artifacts, and in-depth interviews. Participants included 3 administrators, 3 support personnel, and 10 faculty members. Data analysis was done through constant comparison data analysis method. The experiences of faculty members who teach in DELTEP gave important clues about how distance English language teaching faculty should and could be supported by x

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their institutions. Interviews with participants revealed that despite its challenges, faculty members had a positive attitude toward distance education. One of the most important factors in the motivation of faculty was the institutional support that they received. Faculty members received continuous administrative, technological, and pedagogical support as they worked on producing online courses. In addition, socio-emotional support, which consisted of emotional support received from administrators, colleagues, and students, was found to be an important factor in the motivation of faculty. In general, faculty members were happy with the institutional support which they perceived to be consistent and effective. The area in which they would like to receive more support was their workload. Since faculty members had to undertake both traditional and distance English language teaching programs, they wished their workload to be decreased to increase the amount of time they spend on their students. The important lesson that can be drawn from the experience of DELTEP faculty is that faculty support infrastructure in distance education should be well integrated into the whole working environment of faculty members. Also, it should consist of a variety of support initiatives presented from various angles through the involvement of various key holders in the institution. xi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background English is considered the lingua franca in many parts of the world. It is widely spoken by millions of people around the world to communicate with each other for business, education, travel, and so on. Thanks to communication devices, such as the telephone, fax, and the Internet, people from different countries can communicate with each other in seconds, which increases globalization and creates the need to speak a common language to communicate effectively and efficiently in the international arena. English is one of these commonly used languages, and the number of people who want to learn English is increasing every day. In some countries learning English is a must to get a good job for many college graduates; or to earn a promotion in ones existing job. In addition, many governments encourage their citizens to learn English through English as a second language or as a foreign language learning program in primary or secondary schools and universities. Thus, there is a growing interest in learning English and the number of English language learners is considerably high. As the popularity of English as a foreign language increases, the demand for new qualified English language teachers also increases. However, teacher shortage is a major problem in many countries, especially in most developing countries where resources are limited to meet the demands. One way to help meet the need for English language teachers is to offer distance education to train English language teachers. Distance education helps governments and institutions solve teacher shortages by training many 1

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2 pre-service or in-service teachers faster, less expensively, and using fewer resources. Perraton (1993) stated that ministries of education choose distance-teaching methods mainly because distance education 1) makes it possible to reach students who cannot get to a college, 2) provides part-time education so that students are not taken out of the work force in order to study, and 3) avoids the need for new buildings and housing for students. In addition, online education, which is a form of distance education that takes place via a computer network such as the Internet, has made teaching and learning via distance more available for both teachers and learners, and it has great potential to train English language teachers. Distance education is particularly useful in educating large populations of learners; however, quality matters as much as quantity. To maximize the quality of distance teacher education programs, faculty or teacher educators who train prospective English teachers must have the necessary knowledge and skills to teach via distance. Education faculty members are the backbone of any teacher education program. Milambiling (2001) stated that teacher educators can influence students in teacher education programs, and also influence the vast numbers of English language learners these future teachers will serve. Therefore, to ensure the quality of instruction delivered by graduates of distance English language teacher education programs, the quality of instruction that education faculty provide must be monitored and increased. An essential strategy to monitor and increase the quality of instruction delivered by distance English language teaching (ELT) faculty is to give them institutional support. Offering professional development opportunities and training is vital to promote high quality instruction and also to increase faculty motivation and participation. Dillon and

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3 Walsh (1992) claimed that even the most motivated faculty will be deterred without adequate support and meaningful training in a distance education environment. This is also true for distance English language teaching (p. 11). Lacking faculty support may cause frustration and confusion on the part of distance English language teaching faculty. This will have a negative impact on the overall effectiveness of distance English language teacher education programs. To ensure the quality of distance English language teacher education programs, faculty in these programs should be empowered through institutional support. However, the number of research studies done on the quality of online English language teacher education programs is limited. Moreover, the issues related to distance English language teaching faculty support remains to be unexplored. To explore the issues related to distance ELT faculty support, we can study a distance ELT program and how faculty members are being supported as they teach via distance. Thus, I chose as a case the Distance English Language Teacher Education Program (DELTEP) at Anadolu University in Turkey. The fact that DELTEP is the only accredited blended ELT teacher training program can help us gain insight on how ELT faculty members can and should be supported by their respective institutions or programs. In addition to being a unique distance ELT program, DELTEP was also a good case because Turkey is one of the countries suffering from a shortage of English language teachers. An eight year development plan by the Turkish Ministry of National Education in 1999 estimated the number of English teachers needed by the end of 2006 to be approximately 63,000. However, the total number of graduates from traditional English teacher preparation programs is only 3,000 every year. With the available traditional programs, the need could not be met for 20 years (Kose, Ozyar, & Ozkul, 2002).

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4 Therefore, in order to minimize the shortage of English language teachers, it is necessary to carry out additional means of teacher education. Even though the beginning of distance education in Turkey, which has traditionally been delivered through letters, television programs, and radio broadcasts, goes back to the 1920s, online education was first formally offered only recently in 2000 to train English language teachers. Online education, which mainly relies on computer technologies and the Internet for instructional delivery, differs from correspondence courses. Therefore, it presents different rewards and challenges for learners and faculty. In addition, English language teaching faculty members in online education may have different professional development needs when they move to web-based instruction from correspondence or traditional face-to-face education. Anadolu University, which was founded in 1982, is one of the largest distance higher education institutions in the world and has more than 900,000 distance learners today. The DELTEP is one of its new distance education programs, starting in the 2000-2001 academic year in collaboration with the Turkish Ministry of National Education (Kurubacak, 2003). It is a four-year blended ELT degree program in which instruction is delivered face-to-face in the first two years and then offers distance education in years 3 and 4. The DELTEP currently has more than 9,000 students and 200 English language teaching faculty members. Statement of the Problem Faculty who train English teachers via distance must be qualified both in the subject matter and in the delivery of instruction. They must be familiar with both pedagogical and technological aspects of distance teaching. In other words, faculty should know how to integrate technology into the English language teacher education

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5 curriculum to achieve the objectives of their courses and to address the learning needs of prospective language teachers. However, because the spread of distance education programs took place in the last decade, most teacher educators had no formal training in teaching via distance or in the online environment. Faculty members teaching via distance were themselves trained in traditional education, and most of them were not familiar with distance education as learners. In addition, they were not trained to teach via distance in their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Many education faculty members were introduced to distance education in the middle of their teaching careers, and they needed the support of their institutions and colleagues to make a transition from traditional face-to-face education to distance education. Therefore, institutional support is crucial to provide education faculty members with the necessary training and ongoing professional development as they teach via distance. Quality instruction requires qualified faculty, and faculty motivation and participation depend on effective institutional support. In order to provide effective support, the needs and wants of faculty must be taken into consideration. However, little research has been done to explore how faculty members describe the kind of support they wish to receive. Wolcott (2003) stated that until recently faculty issues in general have been largely ignored in distance education research and research carried out has been sparse over the past two decades (p. 561). Dillon and Walsh (1992) also suggested that faculty members have been neglected by researchers because the learner has been the dominant theme of distance education research. Furthermore, few studies have explored faculty perceptions about institutional support (Chizmar & Williams, 2001; Lee, 2001; McKenzie, Mims, Bennett, & Waugh,

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6 2000; Wilson, 2003): the few that did focused on general issues related to distance education irrespective of the different disciplines from which these faculty come. However, different disciplines may have different characteristics even though they may share the same type of delivery. Protherough and Atkinson (1992) surveyed 110 English teachers and found that almost all teachers felt that they were somehow different from those working in other subjects and only 1 in 20 said that there was little or no difference. Richards (1990) also states the goals of instruction in language classes are different from those of content classes, and as a consequence, the strategies adopted by teachers to achieve these goals will vary (p. 7). Therefore, faculty members who come from different disciplines may have different needs, depending on their content areas as they teach via distance. Distance education as a delivery of instruction may be shared by various disciplines in a variety of ways. Thus, instead of isolating distance education as a separate discipline, its impact and outcome should be studied in relation to individual disciplines (Ennis & Ennis, 1996). Faculty who share the same discipline may also have different experiences because each institution may have different rules and regulations regarding distance education. Moore (2001) suggested that the needs of faculty members may differ according to their respective institution. Seider, Ferrara, Rentel, and Dittmer (1999) also stated local university cultures are very coherent and prone to express larger higher education trends and movements within their own unique styles. That is not to say that local university cultures are impervious to external influences; they simply respond in their own ways (p. 197). Thus, in order to provide effective institutional support to faculty who teach at a distance, differences, as well as similarities among disciplines and

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7 institutions, need to be taken into consideration. Any institutional support is more likely to be successful if it addresses the unique needs of education faculty members as they teach via distance. The more personalized the support is the more relevant and helpful it is for the faculty. How can we design and implement an institutional support system that provides distance English language teaching faculty with pedagogical and technological training? One important step to answer this question is to explore the perceptions of distance English language teaching faculty in all stages of building a support structure. Faculty involvement and feedback are crucial for a support program for two main reasons. First, a support program that disregards the opinion and input of the target audience would be incomplete and misguiding. Joyce (1990) stated that staff development is not something that is done to teachers; rather, it is what teachers do in order to enhance their professional practice (p. 99). Thus, faculty members have the leading role in professional development, and the main goal of the support initiative should be to empower faculty by constantly exploring their beliefs about teaching, learning, and institutional support. If faculty members do not find the support activities relevant to their everyday needs, they probably will not perceive the training as useful. Only faculty can inform the support team about their specific needs and wants. Second, several studies on faculty perceptions about distance education (Schifter, 2004; Walcott, 2003) showed that administrators and faculty differ considerably in how they perceive the motivating factors to teach via distance. Schifter (2004) found that administrators believed that faculty members were more motivated by things they could get by participating in distance education whereas faculty members indicated that they

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8 were mainly motivated by intrinsic motives. In addition, Lee (2002) surveyed 237 faculty and 38 administrators from 35 institutions and found that administrators and faculty perceived the available support structure very differently. The faculty members did not appreciate nor were they aware of support services as much as the administrators expected them to be. Also, the faculty focused on the amount and quality of support, but the administrators focused on the variety of support services. Differences between how faculty and administrators feel about distance education and support show that if support structure is mainly based on the ideas of the administrators, it may not reflect the needs of the faculty. Exploring faculty perception on institutional support may therefore improve the communication between faculty and administrators, which may lead to a more effective support system. English language teaching, teacher education, and distance education are three disciplines with similar and differing requirements for faculty training and professional development. Combined, they form a unique discipline with new challenges and rewards for the faculty. Providing effective and efficient training and support to faculty in this new domain requires an understanding of faculty support in this area through the eyes of the faculty who are the most familiar with the challenges of distance education. However, the number of distance English language teacher education programs is limited, and the faculty support issues in these programs are mainly unexplored. Thus, to better serve the needs of the distance English language teaching faculty, there is a need to learn more about their experiences in training prospective English language teachers via distance. Purpose of the Study The primary purpose of this study was to examine the faculty support structure in DELTEP, a distance English language teacher education program in Turkey, in relation

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9 to experiences and perceptions of faculty members in the program. Another purpose of the study was to gather information about the history and structure of DELTEP to learn more about the working environment of faculty members. In addition, to learn more about the roles of DELTEP faculty members as distance educators, the perceptions of faculty on the advantages and challenges of training prospective ELT teachers via distance education were explored. Finally, based on the data gathered, the study aimed to make recommendations for additional distance English language teaching faculty support initiatives and professional development methods and techniques that can be used in distance English language faculty training programs. Research Questions The aim of this study is to learn more about building a faculty support structure, which is essential for a successfully working distance and online English Language Teaching program. The only accredited blended Distance English Language Teacher Education Program (DELTEP) in Anadolu University in Turkey was the subject of this research. Research question 1: What is the history and structure of DELTEP especially in relation to distance education? a. What developments led to the foundation of this program? b. How is the instruction via face-to-face and distance education organized and implemented? Research question 2: What are the DELTEP facultys perceptions about the advantages and challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education? Research question 3: What are the available faculty support structures for DELTEP faculty? a. How do faculty, administrators, and support team perceive the available faculty support structures? b. What factors facilitate or hinder faculty participation? c. What other support do faculty members perceive as needed?

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10 Significance of the Study This study may help us learn more about distance English language teaching faculty and the kind of professional development challenges or preferences they have as they train prospective English language teachers via distance education through the study of the DELTEP faculty support system. The study can also help us build a more effective and relevant support structure, which is tailored to the specific needs of distance English language teaching faculty in different distance ELT programs. Institutional support is an important factor in increasing faculty satisfaction in distance education (Epper & Bates, 2001). Therefore, providing effective support may result in an increase in the quality of instruction that faculty provides their learners. In addition, the results of the study may be used in designing support structures for other distance English language teacher training programs both in Turkey and in the United States. The experiences of faculty members in DELTEP may give the readers a chance to reflect and gain insight on their own experiences with issues related to both distance English language teacher education and faculty support.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Distance Education Different ways of delivering English language teacher training content may call for different approaches, methods, and techniques in English language teacher education programs. Distance education has several characteristics that are different from traditional education and it may require additional accommodations both for the faculty and learners. Therefore, it is important to discuss the nature of distance education to better understand some of the challenges that distance English language teaching faculty face. Distance education today stands as an umbrella concept that covers correspondence courses, open learning, computer-assisted instruction, and self-learning (Suave, 1993). Simonson (2000) defined distance education as an institution-based formal education where the learning group is separated geographically, and where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources, and instructors (p. 20). Gunawardena and McIsaac (2003) also described distance education as a structured learning experience that can be done away from an academic institution, at home or at a workplace (p. 358). The main difference between distance education and traditional education is that learners are not in the same location physically as their peers, instructors, or the institution that delivers the instruction. Communication among the parties is established and coordinated with the help of communication systems, such as mail, telephone, or computer-mediated communication. This allows learners to learn at 11

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12 their own pace and at their own place (Golas, n.d.). Keegan (1986) described (p.115) distance education in detail and listed five characteristics of distance education: 1. The quasi-permanent separation of teacher and learner throughout the length of the learning process; this distinguishes it from conventional face-to-face education. 2. The influence of an educational organization both in the planning and the preparation of learning materials and in the provision of student support services; which distinguishes it from private study and teach-yourself programs. 3. The use of technical media: print, audio, video or computer, to unite teacher and learner and carry the content of the course. 4. The provision of two-way communication so that the student may benefit from or even initiate dialogue; this distinguishes it from other uses of technology in education. 5. The quasi-permanent absence of the learning group throughout the length of the learning process so that people are usually taught as individuals and not in groups, with the possibility of occasional meetings for both didactic and socialization purposes. Even though learners and instructors are at a distance geographically in distance education, they are not distant from each other as a group because they are connected through learning activities and tasks designed by the instructor. Moore (1993) called this type of interaction as transactional distance. He suggested that it is not the location that determines the effect of instruction but the amount of transaction between the learner and instructor. Although physical distance seems to be the challenge for distance education, the real challenge is to decrease the transactional distance caused by too much structure and little dialogue in the course. Transactional distance can be decreased when students have more control over their learning and more dialogue with peers as well as instructors. Moore (1989) also suggested three interaction types that are essential in increasing the level of learner control and dialogue: learner-instructor, learner-content, and learner-learner. According to his interaction theory, the learner needs to interact with the content,

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13 the instructor, and other learners so that effective dialogue can take place during the learning process. Moores (1989, 1993) concepts of transactional distance and interactivity theory have been influential in the area of distance education as he emphasized the importance of pedagogy over the issue of geography for effective instruction in distance education. Online Education Online education is a type of distance education that takes place via a computer network. Several important defining characteristics of online education exist. First, online education is learner-centered. The nature of online education lends itself to more autonomous and independent learning (Kearsley, 1998) and puts the learner at the center of the teaching and learning process. Unlike in most traditional classrooms where knowledge is transmitted from the instructor to the learners, in online courses the learner is expected to explore and research to form his own meaning on a given topic. The tasks and assignments, which the instructor designs, aim to encourage learners to interact with a variety of resources in their quest to form their own interpretation and construction of knowledge. Second, online courses are highly interactive. Interaction is considered a bridge between the learner and the new knowledge. Through interaction with or within the learning environment, the learner seeks and constructs his meaning. Thus, interaction is an invaluable component of online pedagogy, and it is incorporated in the course both as a teaching strategy and as a learning method. Having different types of interaction in the course is also essential in providing learners with a variety of channels to gather, evaluate, and construct new knowledge. Third, in online education learners are encouraged to work in groups. Working with peers is helpful for the learners because each learner is viewed as a source of

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14 information that can contribute to other learners knowledge. As learners collaborate, they not only interact with each other and benefit from this interaction, but they also form a community that helps them bond as a group. The amount of learner autonomy is balanced with group activities so that learners have the freedom and flexibility to have the desired amount of autonomy yet they have enough communication and sharing so that they will not feel detached or isolated. Fourth, online education provides learners with authentic materials, which makes it possible for learners to engage in real-life problems. Authentic materials are materials that native speakers of a language, English in our case, in their daily lives. Authentic materials are different from instructional materials in that they help language learners to practice and use language as they are being used by the native speakers of the target language. The authentic nature of online environment is probably the most significant characteristic of online education to language learning and teaching. For example, the Internet and computer-mediated communication tools, such as email, chat, and video conferencing, have opened up a tremendous amount of opportunities for foreign language learners who want to communicate with native speakers. In addition, television, newspaper, or education web sites give language learners access to the language that native speakers use in their daily lives. Learners are not limited with the materials that their instructors provide and they are free to expand their knowledge in authentic communication and learning environments. Distance Education, Online Education, and Constructivism The characteristics of online education previously described are in line with the principles of a learning theory: constructivism. Online education and constructivism have a complementary relationship and the former represents how the latter is put into practice. Constructivism is derived from the works of Piaget, Bruner, and Vygotsky (Nanjappa &

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15 Grant, 2003). According to the constructivist view of learning, knowing is an adaptive activity (Von Glasersfeld, 1995), and knowledge is constructed through connecting new information to old information and interacting with others (Lynch, 2003). Constructivists also suggest that learning is unique to the individual and each individual forms his own presentation of knowledge (Dalgarno, 2001). Learning is thus subjective rather than objective. Constructivism is mainly a learning theory and focuses on the nature of knowledge and how people acquire it; nevertheless, it has several implications for teaching. In fact, Pham (n.d.) stated that distance education is consistent with constructivism. Doolittle (1999) listed eight primary pedagogical recommendations on how to make use of constructivism for instructional purposes. The pedagogical implications of constructivism paraphrased from Doolittle (1999) also showed the alignment of distance education with constructivism: 1. Learning should take place in authentic and real-world environments. 2. Learning should involve social negotiation and mediation. 3. Content and skills should be made relevant to the learner. 4. Content and skills should be understood within the framework of the learners prior knowledge. 5. Students should be assessed formatively, serving to inform future learning experiences. 6. Students should be encouraged to become self-regulatory, self-mediated, and self-aware. 7. Teachers serve primarily as guides and facilitators of learning, not instructors. 8. Teachers should provide for and encourage multiple perspectives and representations of content.

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16 The Internet, which is a common teaching and learning vehicle in online education, can be used to create opportunities for learners to explore a vast amount of information constructed from around the world, and it provides learners with materials from diverse cultures. It can also allow learners to have multiple points of views as they communicate with peers, teachers, or experts through computer-mediated communication tools, such as email, chat rooms, and online bulletin boards. Interacting with others and sharing ideas help learners to construct their own meanings as they use new knowledge to build on their prior knowledge. In addition, online education requires learners to be more independent and autonomous in their learning because teachers and learners are at a distance physically. As a result, learners in online education are more likely to be independent while instructors take the role of a facilitator or a guide to orchestrate students learning. In contrast to the traditional role of teachers as the dispenser of knowledge, with constructivism, teachers are not seen as the ultimate source of knowledge. Constructivist teachers encourage learners to explore a variety of information sources because learners are viewed as seekers of knowledge who benefit from the process of acquiring that knowledge. The role of the teacher is to guide learners in their pursuit of knowledge by providing them with interactive and collaborative learning opportunities and activities so that learning takes place in a constructive manner. Thus, online education, which requires learners to be more independent due to the lack of face-to-face instruction, has great potential to create a constructivist learning environment that is student-centered in nature. Computer Assisted Language Learning As with any other distance faculty, English language teacher educators who teach at a distance should be able to integrate technology and pedagogy to meet their specific

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17 instructional goals and objectives. Thus, it is important to understand the available technologies, the kind of possibilities they offer, and the implications for their discipline. Today, computers and the Internet are widely used in the field of language teaching and learning. However, the use of technology in language teaching is not new. Computers have been used for language teaching since the 1960s (Lee, 2000). Because the computer does not constitute a method and it is a medium that can be applied to any method (Garrett, 1991), it has been used differently for different language teaching methods over the years. Warschauer (1996) divided the last 40 years of computer assisted language learning (CALL) history into three main phases: behaviorist CALL, communicative CALL, and integrative CALL. Each phase reflects a certain level of technology and certain pedagogical theories. In behaviorist CALL, the computer is seen as a tutor that allows the student to practice language learning through mechanical drills. Because repetition played an important role in behaviorist language learning, computers were used repeatedly to expose learners to the same or slightly different materials. In 1970s, with the advent of the personal computer, computers became accessible to a wider audience (Fitzpatrick & Davies, 2003). In the 1970s and 1980s, approaches to language teaching and learning have also changed and evolved. Using the target language has become more important than knowing about it. Communication was the ultimate goal. Thus, how learners used the forms of the language was emphasized over learning the forms. The computer in the communicative CALL was used to stimulate discussion, writing, or thinking, and it was seen as a tool to engage learners in authentic and meaningful language learning. The last phase, integrative CALL, was shaped with the advancements

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18 in multimedia computers and the Internet. In addition to text, computers are now equipped with sound, audio, and video, and they provide language learners with a variety of options for language learning. Warschauer (2000) stated that language learning is a complex social and cultural phenomenon, even more so when it involves new technologies that connect the classroom to the world. Thus, the use of computers and new technologies brings new challenges to language learning and teaching, making it more complex. At the same time, the use of computers provides certain benefits and makes the learning environment more dynamic and colorful. There are certain benefits of using computers for language learning. First, the Internet provides learners and teachers with access to authentic materials (Oller, 1996; Stevens, 2004; Warschauer, 1996). Learners have access to a world in which native speakers live, interact, and communicate. Presenting authentic materials to learners has always been a challenge, especially to foreign language educators. Thanks to the Internet, both the amount and accessibility of authentic materials have increased. Newspapers, radio shows, and television programs in the target language are available to learners at any time. Second, language learners can actually communicate with native speakers of the target language (Stevens, 2004). Again, the opportunity to talk to native speakers is quite limited in foreign language learning settings. Clifford (1990) stated that the amount of communicative interaction provided would be a crucial factor in the foreign language acquisition processes. With the help of computers and the Internet, learners can communicate with their teachers, other students, and native speakers through email, chat, or online bulletin boards without being restricted by time and place. Multimedia and the Internet can increase the amount of interactive and collaborative language learning

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19 (Kamhi-Stein, 2000; Warschauer, 1997). In this way, learners enhance their communication skills and at the same time engage in meaningful learning. The Internet also provides language learners with opportunities to study the language in its cultural context. Singhal (1997) stated language and culture are inextricable and interdependent; thus, understanding the culture of the target language enhances the understanding of the language. Authentic materials, conversations with native speakers, and other cultural information that the Internet offers are available to students and teachers at the touch of a button. Computer technologies have great potential for language learning. However, as Willetts (1992) suggested, the effectiveness of these technologies depends on the appropriate use by informed educators. English language teachers must be able to integrate technological tools into the curriculum in a pedagogically sound and meaningful way (LeLoup & Ponterio, 2000). The activities and the projects should also be well-integrated into the curriculum as a whole (Warschauer & Whittaker, 1997). Another point is that teachers need to know how to integrate computers to support a variety of philosophical, curricular, and methodological approaches (Wetzel & Chisholm, 1998). To realize the full potential of computers in language learning, English language teachers should be able to use computers creatively in teaching. Warschauer (2002) stated that teachers not only should be able to use todays CALL software but should also have successful strategies for evaluating and adapting the new waves of software that will surely come (p. 457). Warschauer and Meskill (2000) also suggested that the advantages of using new technologies in the language classroom can be interpreted only in light of the changing goals of language education.

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20 Therefore, what is expected from English language teachers is developing the core skills to integrate technology into language classes rather than learning how to use technology in specific packages (Fitzpatrick & Davies, 2003). In order to achieve this, professional development and teacher training become of highly important. Serdiokov and Tarnopolsky (1999) stated that a comprehensive system of teacher professional development that can be up-to-date, efficient, continuous, accessible, convenient, flexible, friendly, and cost effective is needed (p. 13) to prepare teachers to teach with technology. In addition to training, teachers need access to sources of information that enable them to keep up to date (Davies, 2004). The main goal is to help teachers develop the ability to synthesize their knowledge about language learning and teaching with technology for various group of learners in a variety of settings. In addition, trainers and teachers should be encouraged to do research and collect data on the implications of new technologies for specific language learning settings and on the challenges teachers and teacher educators may be facing today when trying to integrate technologies into language classrooms (Wildner, 2000). In this way, teachers can better explore the implications of technology for language learning and be more conscious about their decisions in using technology in their classrooms. Warschauer and Meskill (2000) probably best described the role of technology and its relation to language learning by saying that language learning is an act of creativity, imagination, exploration, expression, construction, and profound social and cultural collaboration. If we use computers to fully humanize and enhance this act, rather than to try to automate it, we can help bring out the best that human and machine have to offer.

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21 English Language Teacher Education The main responsibility of distance English language teaching faculty is to prepare prospective English language teachers for their future careers. In which areas and how prospective English language teachers should be trained constitutes the content of English language teacher education. Therefore, it is important to discuss in detail what this area covers. However, the boundaries of English language teacher education as a research field have not been clearly defined and have become increasingly fragmented and unfocused (Freeman, 1989, p. 27). This is because English language teacher education is a multidisciplinary field of study, which is associated with several disciplines, such as applied linguistics, language learning and teaching, and teacher education in general. Deriving its sources from a variety of disciplines, the theoretical foundation of English language teacher education can hardly be regarded as coherent. Richards (1998) indicated that there is no general consensus on what the essential knowledge base or conceptual foundation of the field consists of (p. 1). Consequently, practice of English language teacher education manifests itself in great diversity. What an English language teacher has to know and how new English language teachers should acquire this knowledge are ongoing debates among researchers as well as practitioners. Gabrielatos (2002) suggested three main elements that comprise a language teachers profile: personality, methodology (knowledge and skills), and language (knowledge and use). These three elements together form a triangle, and ideally all elements are developed equally or in a balance to form an equilateral triangle. When all elements are equally developed, together they can reach their full capacity for the maximum possible effect. However, if one of the elements is less developed than the others, it decreases the area of the triangle and will limit the effects of the other elements.

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22 Roberts (1998) provided a more detailed list of language teacher knowledge which consists of content knowledge, pedagogic content knowledge, general pedagogic content knowledge, curricular knowledge, contextual knowledge, and process knowledge (p. 105). Content knowledge is a teachers knowledge of the target language system whereas pedagogic content knowledge is the application of linguistic knowledge, according to the needs of the learners. General pedagogic knowledge refers to classroom management, the knowledge of English language teaching activities, and assessment. Curriculum knowledge represents knowledge of an official language curriculum and resources, such as exams, textbooks, or other materials. Contextual knowledge covers the language teachers knowledge about learners, school, and community, as well as the expectations and norms related to each party. Finally, process knowledge is related to a language teachers ability to relate to learners, peers, and parents, as well as his study, observation, and language analysis skills. A high level of target language proficiency is a basic requirement for all language teachers. Therefore, language or linguistics courses are essential components of any language teacher education programs. However, it is imperative to present language courses in combination with language learning and teaching principles in training new language teachers. Too much emphasis on target language in isolation may prevent prospective language learners from making connections between knowledge of the language and its implications for teaching. Freeman (1989) claimed that the content of language teacher education is language teaching, not transmission of knowledge about applied linguistics of language acquisition. He stated: Although applied linguistics, research in second language acquisition and methodology all contribute to the

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23 knowledge on which language teaching is based, they are not, and must not be confused with, language teaching itself. They are; in fact, ancillary to it, and thus they should not be the primary subject matter of language teacher education. (p. 29) According to Freeman (1989), the subject matter of language teacher education is language teaching, which can be defined as a decision-making process based on four constituents: knowledge, skills, attitude, and awareness (p. 31). Knowledge includes what is being taught, to whom it is being taught, and where it is being taught whereas skills refer to what the teacher has to be able to do. Knowledge and skills together form the knowledge base of language teaching. Freeman (1989) defined attitudes as the stance one adopts toward oneself, the activity of teaching, and the learners one engages in the teaching/learning process (p. 32). Attitudes can explain the differences in success of individual teachers. Awareness, on the other hand, serves as the bonding glue of the first three constituents. It organizes the interaction and integration among the other three constituents. It is the capacity to recognize and monitor the attention one is giving or has given to something (Freeman, 1989, p. 33). Without awareness, language teachers cannot implement their knowledge or skills successfully. Therefore, language teacher education should include awareness-raising activities in addition to the knowledge and skills. Awareness helps language learners relate their own experiences to the content knowledge and make conscious instructional decisions; thus, allows teachers to link theory and practice, which is the main goal of all teacher education programs (Wright, 1990). A focus on awareness in language teacher education programs allows new language teachers to relate new knowledge to their experiences.It also creates an

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24 opportunity for them to look back in order to surface any tacit knowledge or espoused theories related to language learning and teaching that they may have had prior to their formal teacher training. For example, in a foreign language learning environment, most prospective teachers will come into the teacher education programs with deeply held conceptions about language learning and teaching (Freeman, 1992) based on their experiences as language learners. These preconceived notions about language learning and teaching may act as a barrier if they are left unexplored. Casanave and Schechter (1997) stated that our beliefs about language and education evolve from sources that we may or may not fully recognize, and they continue evolving in directions we may able to predict or design (p. 1). Thus, considering that language teachers perceptions about language learning and teaching will continue to evolve throughout their teaching careers, teacher education programs are responsible for equipping prospective language teachers with the necessary skills to become reflective practitioners. These skills will empower them to manage their own professional development and become independent language teachers (Almarza, 1996; Wallace, 1990). English language education takes place in multiple contexts and with diverse populations, in which language, culture, and identity are intricately bound together (Tedick, 2005, p. 97). Different settings may call for different instructional activities, depending on the needs of prospective language teachers. For example, in an English-asa-foreign-language environment in which language teachers or learners do not have immediate access to the use or practice of target language out of the classroom, new language teachers may need extra input on the culture of the native speakers of the target language. In addition, more emphasis on language forms, use, and discourse may be

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25 needed in the training of prospective foreign language teachers compared to second language teachers. All languages embody contextual and cultural clues, and it is not possible to separate language from culture in which it is used. Therefore, knowing the culture, as well as how it affects the use of language, is an immediate need of language teachers. Foreign language teachers are especially responsible to introduce the target culture parallel to the target language and they are expected to be active participants in cross-cultural communications and serve as a bridge between their learners and lives of native speakers (Jeffries, 1996). In order to present target language and culture hand in hand, foreign language teachers first have to be trained effectively in both areas. Prospective foreign language teachers need to know the subtle differences between the culture of the students and the culture of the native speakers of the target language, as well as the teaching strategies to present these differences in the language classroom. Fillmore and Snow (2002) suggested using educational linguistics (p. 9) to train language teachers on language with an emphasis of how it should be presented in the classroom to maximize student learning. In other words, prospective language teachers study the language in relation to culture and how it is related to language learning and teaching. For example, Fillmore and Snow (2002) stated that language teachers should know the differences between the target language and the native language of the learners so that teachers can predict and overcome the learning difficulties due to the differences between two languages. Another point is that being in a foreign language learning environment, most teachers are non-native speakers of the target language. Being a non-native language teacher has both advantages and disadvantages. An obvious disadvantage is having

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26 limited language proficiency and cultural awareness. Another disadvantage is having a foreign accent, which is difficult to overcome especially for non-native speakers who learn the language as adults. On the other hand, a non-native foreign language teacher, who shares the same native language with the students has a great advantage of making use of learners native language. A non-native foreign language teacher can make better comparisons between the two languages. Having gone through the same language learning experience, he can also develop a better understanding of student errors or problems (Serdiukov & Tarnopolsky, 1999). Both advantages and disadvantages of being a non-native foreign language teacher should be addressed in language teacher education programs so that prospective teachers can work on their weaknesses and make use of their strengths both for themselves and for their future students. The recent technological developments and the spread of the Internet may help to minimize the gap between non-native foreign language teachers and native speakers of the target language since the Internet is a vast source of cultural information and authentic materials (Singhal, 1997). Language teacher education programs can also provide courses or activities to help prospective teachers how to access, evaluate, and use such information from a distance. Role of Faculty in Distance Education Moore and Kearsley (1996) suggested that for most instructors teaching at a distance involves the use of different skills that they use in the conventional classroom, and their role as teachers changes significantly. Faculty members in distance education are no longer the sole authorities to disseminate knowledge, but act as consultants to learners who are active participants in learning (Knowlton, 2000). The role of the distance faculty is described as similar to the part of a mentor, coach, or facilitator (Birnbaum, 2001; Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Faculty members act as intermediaries

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27 between students and available resources (Beaudoin, 1990). Therefore, the main job of the distance faculty is to help students to interact with the content as well as with him/herself and the other learners (Moore & Kearsley, 1996, p. 133). Moore and Kearsley (1996) also stated that the single most important skill that all distance educators must develop is to make their students active participants in their educational program (p.133). Sherry (1996) defined a successful distance faculty as a caring, concerned teacher who is confident, experienced, at ease with the equipment, uses the media creatively, and maintains a high level of interactivity. In order to fulfill his role, an instructor has to master several skills. For example, Schlosser and Anderson (1993) identified the new skills which teachers must learn as they assume the role of distance educators, as cited in Sherry, 1996 (pp. 32-37): 1. Understanding the nature and philosophy of distance education 2. Identifying learner characteristics at distant sites 3. Designing and developing interactive courseware to suit each new technology 4. Adapting teaching strategies to deliver instruction at a distance 5. Organizing instructional resources in a format suitable for independent study 6. Training and practice in the use if telecommunications systems 7. Becoming involved in organization, collaborative planning, and decision-making 8. Evaluating student achievement, attitudes, and perceptions at distant sites 9. Dealing with copy right issues Palloff and Pratt (2001) also listed the qualities of a good candidate for teaching online: giving up control of the learning process; using collaborative learning techniques and ideas; allowing for personal interaction; bringing in real-life experiences and

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28 examples; and building reflective practice into good teaching. In other words, faculty must act in harmony with the learner-centered, interactive, and collaborative nature of distance and online education. In order to do this, faculty members must be knowledgeable about the characteristics of distance education. In addition, they need to keep up with the recent advancements in technology and developments in pedagogy. Faculty Development and Support in Distance Education Distance education relies heavily on the use of telecommunication devices, computer-mediated communication, or the Internet for instructional delivery and communication. Distance education evolves as these technological tools multiply and advance. Distance education therefore has a dynamic nature that is prone to technological advancements, and faculty who teach at a distance are introduced to new teaching tools on a regular basis. Consequently, faculty who teach at a distance have to develop new skills or update existing ones continuously. In other words, faculty members evolve to adapt to the changes in distance education. In this environment of constant change, professional development becomes a must for faculty to survive. However, faculty members must also devote their time and energy to teaching and research in their content area. Therefore, they need the support of the institution that they work in to be efficient and effective in the use of distance delivery. Faculty development is an essential component of any distance education program not only to support and motivate participating faculty but also to encourage the ones who are thinking about participating in distance education. Olcott and Wright (1995) suggested that faculty resistance to participation in distance education has been due, in large part, to the lack of an institutional support framework to train, compensate, and reward distance teaching faculty commensurate with those in traditional instructional

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29 roles (p. 5). Gunawardena and McIsaac (2003) also stated that there is a lack of training opportunity in distance education which could help faculty to overcome anxieties about technology and might improve teacher attitudes (p. 14). There are several themes common in the literature related to faculty development and support in distance education. First, any faculty development and support program should be built-in the overall structure of the institution, and it should provide rewards and incentives in addition to regular training facilities for faculty. These rewards may include compensation of time, recognition in the tenure track, and resources to learn new technologies and research (Charp, 2003). Support from the administration and colleagues are also important to encourage faculty to teach at a distance. Second, faculty development and support should focus on both technological and pedagogical of aspects of distance education. Dillon and Walsh (1992) suggested that faculty development programs designed to promote distance teaching are concerned primarily with training and do little to encourage or support a dramatic restructuring of faculty roles (p. 16). Too much emphasis on technological training without referring to the essence of distance education can prevent faculty from making connections between technological tools and their implications for instruction. The main goal of the faculty development programs should be to empower faculty by allowing them to acquire the skills to integrate technology in teaching and to use technology creatively to meet the objectives of their courses. Bitter, Bitter, and Yohe (1992) stated that new technologies will continue to evolve, and teachers must be able to adjust by understanding the changes in hardware, software, and methods and their effects on teaching (p. 141). Thus, faculty development and support programs should teach faculty how to fish-instead of giving

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30 them fish-by teaching them how to teach with technology instead of training them how to use a single technological tool or software. Third, faculty development in distance education should reflect everyday teaching needs of the faculty. Training style should also reflect how faculty teach at a distance. For example, in online education students use computers and the Internet to learn, research, and communicate. Thus, faculty development programs should also include training and support over the web so that faculty become competent in using these devices and at the same time experience web-based instruction as a learner. If faculty experience being online learners themselves (Krauthamer, 2002), then they have a better idea about the challenges of distance learning that their students face. Perreault, Waldman, and Alexander (2002) also suggested faculty members should attend training sessions and/or participate in the type of distance course that they will be delivering so that they can design the course and prepare materials more appropriately for the instructional medium used. In addition, if faculty members use the computer for their needs first, they can turn around and apply it to their teaching in a better way (Bruder, 1992). Fourth, professional development and support programs should also consider the input and feedback of faculty members as they design and implement training activities. It is important to address the training needs and wants of the faculty not only to provide them with a more effective training program, but also to increase their participation in the development activities by giving them a right to say how they are being trained. The ultimate goal of any teacher training is to empower teachers to manage their own professional development. If faculty members feel that they contribute to the training program, they will have a sense of control over their professional development (Wallace,

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31 1991). In addition, as adult learners who have considerable experience in the field of education, faculty members have a lot to offer and share with the support team, as well as with their colleagues. Professional development and support units should make use of this experience to better serve the needs of the faculty. Fifth, professional development and support programs should reflect and present the principles of adult learning theory. It is important to present adult learning principles because most distance learners are generally older. Moore and Kearsley (1996) suggest that most distance education students are adults between the ages of 25 and 50. Faculty who teach at a distance are faced with a population of students who are adults or young adults at best. In order to understand the needs of this group of learners and to design activities that are based on sound pedagogical principles to meet these needs, faculty must be familiar with the implications of adult learning theory in distance education. In addition, faculty who receive professional development and support activities are also adult learners. As Ben-Peretz (2001) stated teachers as with any other learners, need to be motivated, and it is important to address adult learning principles to study the characteristics of adult learners. Lawler (2003) also suggested that although teachers of adults may be well-versed in working with adult learners in their particular setting, rarely do we see them reflecting on their own learning and using that reflection as a way to understand their learning needs and motivations. Studying adult learning principles in a training program, which is itself based on those very principles, can also help faculty members be more conscious about their own learning and professional development. Knowles (1984), who believed that adult learners have distinct and unique characteristics, coined the term andragogy to refer to the art and science of helping

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32 adult learners learn. In addition, Knowles made several assumptions about adult learning. According to Knowles, adults need to know why they need to learn something, they need to learn experientially, they approach learning as problem-solving, and they learn best when the topic is of immediate value. Driscoll (1998, p. 14) listed some characteristics of adult learners. Adult learners: Have real-life experience Prefer problem-centered learning Are continuous learners Have varied learning styles Have responsibilities beyond the training situation Expect learning to be meaningful Prefer to manage their own learning Based on these characteristics, Driscoll makes some recommendations to facilitate adult learning: a) use learners experiences; b) develop problem-based programs; c) involve learners in planning and evaluating; d) develop interactive programs; e) use multimedia elements in meaningful ways; f) create a safe and respectful environment; g) encourage exploration, action, and reflection; and h) nurture self-directed learning (Driscoll, 1998). Imel (1994) described an adult learning climate as one that has a nonthreatening, nonjudgemental atmosphere in which adults have permission for and are expected to share in the responsibility for their learning (p. 2). Faculty Perceptions on Professional Development and Support in Distance Education Research on faculty support in distance and online education indicates that some faculty members have similar preferences in the areas they wish to receive assistance. One of the most common areas of desired support is learning and applying selected technologies (Murphy & Dooley, 2001; Schauer, Rockwell, Fritz, & Marx, 1998). Faculty members need support in how to use technological tools and how to integrate

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33 those tools into their courses. Another common request from the faculty related to support is receiving assistance with the preparation of course materials (Dillon & Walsh, 1992; Murphy & Dooley, 2001; Schauer, et al., 1998). Faculty need such assistance both to get guidance on how to prepare materials for distance delivery and to share some of the time that is required to prepare those materials. In addition, some faculty members want to have support in how to communicate with distance learners and how to better develop interaction among students (Schauer, et al., 1998). Studies on faculty perceptions on distance education also reveal that faculty motivation to teach at a distance results from intrinsic rather than extrinsic incentives (Dillon & Walsh, 1992; Schifter, 2004). On the other hand, when non-participating faculty are asked about their perceptions on participating distance education, they tend to rate extrinsic motivators, such as money, promotion, or recognition, higher than intrinsic motivators as a factor (Schifter, 2004). In addition, Dillon and Walsh (1992), who reviewed 225 articles on distance education, found that faculty who teach at a distance are generally positive toward distance education, and their attitudes tend to become more positive with experience. These studies indicate that the amount of experience in distance education has an effect on the attitudes of distance faculty about distance education. They also suggest that faculty with different backgrounds may have different support needs, and it is important for the support team to provide a variety of techniques and materials to meet the needs of different faculty. It is also important to evaluate the support program continuously so that it can adapt to the changes in the faculty members needs over time (Armstrong, 1999). The literature suggests that faculty who teach at a distance have similar expectations.

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34 However, as Schifter (2004) stated, Campus culture needs to be understood-what motivates faculty participation on one campus might not be appropriate on another (p. 34). Thus, the specific needs and wants of each individual faculty group should be explored to design and implement an effective distance education faculty support program. Summary In this chapter a review of literature on distance faculty support has been presented. The chapter began with the overview of distance education, and followed by online education and the theory of constructivism. Computer assisted learning language learning and its relationship with English language teacher education have also been reviewed in this chapter. Finally, the role of faculty in distance education has been discussed.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction In order to explore the perceived support needs and preferences of distance English language teaching faculty at Anadolu University in Turkey, a qualitative instrumental single case study is used as the research methodology for the study. In this chapter, a rationale for the research design, a definition of the instrumental case study, data sources, and data collection and analysis methods are presented. Rationale for the Selection of Research Methods and Instruments Unlike the laws of physics, there is nothing unchanging about human life and social interaction except that we die. There is no solid, unmovable platform upon which to base our understanding of human affairs. They are in constant flux. (Seidman, 1991, p. 19) Seidmans (1991) remarks on the complexity of human affairs imply how challenging it is for researchers to study human affairs, and he raises some important questions about how to conduct studies on human affairs. How can we analyze something which changes and evolves constantly while it is in constant interaction with other ever-changing things? How can we break something apart to analyze when its parts are constantly multiplying and/or shifting? In addition, how can we draw conclusions about human affairs when the only constant is that they are in constant flux? The answers to these questions are as complex as the study of human affairs itself. One way to deal with such a diverse and interwoven research field may be not to simplify it but to recognize its 35

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36 complexity. Instead of searching for a stable platform to make sense of human affairs, we can strive to create a platform that actually embraces the dynamic nature of human affairs and adjusts itself accordingly. Qualitative research gives us the flexibility, as well as the framework, to study human affairs systematically by providing us with a research approach that is as adaptive, dynamic, and multifaceted as the nature of human affairs itself. Greene (1997) stated that the mood of qualitative research is created by the realization that human beings are self-defining, self-creating, condemned to meaning and in search of possibility (p. 187). Thus, in this study qualitative research helped me to find out how faculty members defined their roles and their needs as distance educators, as well as how they formed the meanings that affected their actions and beliefs. Qualitative Research as an Instrumental Case Study Stake (1995) defined case study as the study of the particularity and complexity of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances (p. xi). According to Yin (1994), case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clear (p. 13). The most important characteristics of case study, whether it is a program, individual, or innovation, is that it is bounded (Merriam, 1998). We study the case because we would like to understand it fully. Our goal is to understand the case and what it consists of. A particular case may be chosen because it is either different or has some unique qualities that can help the researcher gain an in-depth understanding of a phenomenon. Stake (1995) suggested that the real business of case study is particularization, not generalization (p. 8); therefore, there is emphasis on uniqueness. Denmoyer (1990) also considered uniqueness as an asset in a single case study. So, what is the value of a

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37 single case study if the findings cannot be generalized to other cases? Emphasis on the uniqueness of the case may prevent the results from being generalized, but this does not mean that the results are not applicable in other cases or research areas. Lincoln and Guba (1985) referred to this type of generalization as transferability. The results of a single case study may or may not be repeated when the same study is conducted in other populations. However, through the thick description of the case, the experience of the participants, and interpretations of the researcher, the readers can have access to the case as if they are a part of it and construct their own meanings to be transferred to their own experiences. Stake (1995) suggested a similar posture related to the generalization issue in case studies and stated that naturalistic generalizations are more relevant to case studies rather than statistical generalization. Naturalistic generalizations are conclusions arrived through personal engagement in lifes affairs or by vicarious experience so well constructed that the person feels as if it happened to them (Stake, 1995, p. 85). In this sense, generalizability of the findings of a single case study can be viewed more in psychological terms rather than in terms of mathematical probability (Denmoyer, 1990). The case is not studied to understand other cases and the priority is to understand the case itself. However, sometimes a case can be studied to gain insight on a research question or puzzle and in this situation it serves as an instrument for general understanding of the issue at hand; it is called instrumental case study (Stake, 1994, p. 3). In instrumental case study, the researcher starts and ends the study with his or her research issues. The case is a means for the researcher to gain an understanding of the issues or to answer the research questions. The researcher is also selective in which contexts he will explore within the case because only the contexts that are related to the

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38 research questions can help him optimize understanding of the research issues (Stake, 1995). Therefore, in this study, my focus was answering the research questions and gaining insight on faculty support needs and preferences of distance English language teaching faculty. In order to do this, I examined the perceptions of English language teaching faculty on faculty support in a distance English language teacher training program and s a case. Learning more about the program was important for me to understand the issues related to distance English language teaching faculty support. However, my emphasis was on the faculty support issues. The attitudes of the faculty toward the program, as well as the experiences of the faculty in this program, served as an instrument for answering my research questions. Data Sources, Key Informants, and Data Collection Methods In this study, the three main data sources were: an online survey, in-depth interviews, and artifacts. Primary data sources were in-depth interviews, and secondary data sources included online survey and artifacts. Survey All distance English language teaching faculty, approximately 25 faculty members, were invited to take part in an online survey to gather demographic data and to learn about faculty members general perceptions about faculty support activities in the program. The survey was administered one time at the beginning of the study and was sent to participants through email together with the informed consent form. The potential participants were asked to fill in the online survey after they read the online informed consent form. The accept button at the end of the online consent form took the participants to the survey (see Appendix A for a copy of the informed consent form). The participants answers to the survey were sent to me as the researcher when they clicked

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39 on the submit button at the end of the page. The survey consisted of both closed and open ended questions (see Appendix B for a copy of the online survey). The survey also invited faculty members to participate in in-depth interviews. The total number of participants who responded to the online survey was 13. Among the volunteer faculty members, 10 were selected for the in-depth interviews. Tables 3-1, 3-2, and 3-3 illustrate the teaching experience of DELTEP faculty who responded to the online survey. Table 3-1. Teaching experience of online survey participants in DELTEP 1 Year 2 Years 3 Years 4 Years 5 Years 0% 31% 8% 15% 46% Table 3-2. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers Less than 1 Year Between 2 and 5 years Between 5 and 10 years More than 10 years 0% 23% 8% 69% Table 3-3. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers via distance or online education Less than 1 Year Between 2 and 5 years Between 5 and 10 years More than 10 years 31% 61% 0% 8% The online survey results show that most participants work in the DELTEP program for five years. In addition, a majority of faculty (69%) had more than 10 years of experience in training ELT teachers in general. Similarly, 61% of the online participants had between two and five years of experience in training ELT teachers via distance or online education. Therefore, most participants had considerable amount of experience in both ELT in general and distance ELT teacher training.

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40 In-depth Interviews The task of the naturalistic inquirer is to capture what people say and do as indicators of how people interpret their world (Bogdan & Taylor, 1975). Therefore, main data collection instruments in this study were interviews with faculty members, administrators, and faculty support personnel. The total number of participants was 16: 10 ELT faculty members, 3 support personnel, and 3 administrators. Of the 16 participants, 9 were female and 7 were male. In addition, there were 3 full, 3 associate and 4 assistant professors. The remaining 6 participants were instructors. The selection of the faculty for interviews was based on two criteria: the results of the online survey and the distance courses that faculty prepared materials for in the DELTEP. First, the faculty members answers to the survey questions were collated and analyzed through frequency analysis and percentages to form a profile for purposeful sampling. The idea of purposeful sampling is to select information-rich cases from which one can learn a great deal about issues of central importance to the purpose of the research (Merriam, 1998). In other words, for an in-depth understanding, sampling is done purposefully to select participants from whom the researcher can learn the most about the research issues. Typical sampling, which is a subcategory of purposeful sampling, served as the first criterion for the selection of faculty for interviews. Merriam (1998) indicated that a typical sample would be the one selected because it reflects the average person, situation, or instance of the phenomenon of interest (p. 62). Thus, based on the results of the survey, a profile of a typical English language teaching faculty member in this program was generated and English language teaching faculty members who fit this profile were selected for the in-depth interviews as representatives of the entire cohort of faculty members. The second criterion for the selection of faculty

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41 members was the distance courses they taught. Among the faculty members who fit the profile resulting from typical sampling, 10 faculty members who taught 1 of the 10 online courses were selected for the interviews. The faculty support personnel were also selected through typical sampling. Faculty support personnel in DELTEP worked for three main groups of online courses, which were categorized according to their content and type of technical support received. The first group consisted of two literature courses, and the second group included a methodology course, which was the only online course with sound effects. The third group included all the other online ELT courses. One production coordinator from each group of online courses was interviewed as representatives of all production coordinators. One of the production coordinators also worked as the only publishing coordinator for all the online courses. Production coordinators were selected for the in-depth interviews representing the support personnel in DELTEP because they coordinated all the activities related to online production. In addition, they were the only members of the online production team who communicated and interacted with the rest of the team members. In a way, they served as a bridge between the ELT faculty and the other support personnel who gave technical support to ELT faculty. In addition, the president of Anadolu University, the academic coordinator of DELTEP, and the director of the online course production support group, who is also the deputy dean of Open Education Faculty, took part in in-depth interviews as administrators. Interviews with all participants were semi-structured and consisted of open-ended questions (see Appendix C for interview guides). Each participant was interviewed at least twice and total duration of interviews for each person was

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42 approximately three hours. The first interview was to gather data for answering the research questions of the study, and each interview on average lasted 120 minutes. The second interview on average took 60 minutes and helped me as the researcher to share the initial findings and interpretations with the participants. This process also allowed the participants to make corrections if they were not comfortable with how their comments were interpreted. This type of clarification also enabled the researcher to increase the validity of her findings. In addition, all in-depth interviews were conducted in person and were tape recorded. The interview recordings were later transcribed for coding throughout the data analysis process. The participants were given the option of conducting the interview in their native language, Turkish. Of the 16 participants, 13 chose to speak in Turkish. Artifacts The artifacts included newspaper articles, policies, or any other document that described DELTEP and issues related to faculty support (see Appendix D for a list of artifacts). Artifacts were especially important to gather thick description of the program and its components. For example, the description included the history of the program, the curriculum, and rules and regulations about instruction, which provided contextual clues surrounding the faculty support structure. Artifacts also included sample faculty support activities or online materials. The artifacts helped me to triangulate the data gathered, as well as to provide additional data to supplement the existing data to better understand the case and the issues related to the research questions. Data Analysis Stake (1995) stated that there is no particular moment when data analysis begins (p. 71). Data analysis in a qualitative case study can start as early as the

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43 formation of research issues. Even during review of literature, the researcher may come across certain notions that initiate the data analysis procedure, which is subject to modification at any point throughout the study. Similarly, initial data analysis and data collection can co-exist since the researcher is constantly in pursuit of meanings and patterns and how they are connected to the research issues or questions. However, the bulk of the data analysis takes place after all data are collected when the researcher has gone through the data collection procedures. In order to record my observations and organize my field notes until the data collection is over, I made use of memoing. Memoing is recording reflective notes about what the researcher is learning from his data, as he gathers data through his observations (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). In memoing, researchers write memos to themselves concerning ideas and insights and then include those memos as additional data to be analyzed. When all the data were gathered, I made use of the constant comparison method of data analysis for the interview data. The constant comparison method is used to generate thematic connections or categories from the data gathered. Maykut and Morehouse (1994) defined the constant comparison method as a method of analyzing qualitative data which combines inductive category coding with a simultaneous comparison of all units of meaning obtained. As each unit of meaning is selected for analysis, it is compared to all other units of meaning and subsequently grouped (categorizing and coded) with similar units of meaning. If there are no similar units of meaning, a new category is formed. In this process, there is room for continuous refinement; initial categories are changed, merged, or omitted; new categories are generated; and new relationships can be discovered. (p. 134)

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44 In order to organize the findings around thematic categories, the transcription of the interviews were read line by line to identify the emerging patterns of similar meanings. These patterns of meanings were coded through open, axial, and selective coding (Strauss, & Corbin, 1990). In open coding, the data were examined, compared, and categorized. The categories that resulted from open coding were put back together by making connections between each category in axial coding. Finally, each category was organized around a core category through selective coding. This procedure was repeated until achieving theoretical saturation. Theoretical saturation is achieved when no more relevant data seem to emerge regarding a category or variable (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). It is a sense of closure that the researcher gets when he completes all levels of codes and when no new conceptual information is available to indicate new codes or the expansion of existing ones. The results to the multiple choice questions of the survey were analyzed through frequency analysis and served as the demographic data to give background information on the faculty members in general. The results of the open-ended questions of the survey were also analyzed through the constant comparison data analysis method. The results of the survey, as well as the data gathered from the artifacts, were used for supporting or refuting themes that emerged from the interview data. To promote the validity of the research, two main strategies were used: triangulation and participant feedback. Triangulation is cross-checking information and conclusions through the use of multiple procedures or sources (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). Survey questions helped me to triangulate the data that I gathered through in-depth interviews. In addition, interviewing administrators and faculty support personnel, as well

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45 as faculty members, helped me engage in multiple points of view on the same issue which will help me triangulate the data. In addition, I made use of the second interview to get participant feedback on my initial data analysis after the first round of interviews. By allowing participants to comment on my initial analysis, I had the chance to verify the validity of my interpretations, as well as creating the opportunity to gather additional data to strengthen or optimize my observations. My Role as Human Instrument in Qualitative Research I benefited to a great extent from my educational background and experience in Turkey throughout the data collection and analysis. In qualitative research, it is important to understand the culture of the participants. As a Turkish researcher, I was familiar with the participants educational setting. I have been an English language pre-service teacher, an English language teacher, and an English language teacher trainer in both state and public universities in Turkey. I did not study or work as a distance learner in Turkey; but I am familiar with the distance programs at Anadolu University. In this sense, I had an advantage in making sense of the data because I already know the educational system in which DELTEP faculty work. On the other hand, I have been in the United States. for more than four years, and I did not know the recent rules and regulations. Thus, I believe I had both an insider and outsiders view when I talked to the participants. Summary This chapter consisted of a discussion about the research methodology of the study. A qualitative instrumental case study was employed. There were three data collection sources: an online survey, artifacts, and in-depth interviews. The main data collection source consisted of the in-depth interviews that were done with 3 administrators, 3 faculty support personnel, and 10 ELT faculty members in DELTEP.

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46 The participants were interviewed twice and each interview was recorded and transcribed. The data gathered were analyzed through the constant comparison method of data analysis.

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CHAPTER 4 FACULTY SUPPORT IN DISTANCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY Introduction This chapter presents the themes that emerged from the analysis done on data gathered through interviews with participants, online survey responses of faculty members, and artifacts. The primary source of emerging themes is the data gathered through interviews with 10 faculty members, 3 administrators, and 3 support personnel at the Distance English Language Teacher Education Program (DELTEP) at Anadolu University (AU). Data collected through the online survey and artifacts act as secondary sources for themes related to DELTEP faculty support, and they are used to triangulate interview data. The themes presented throughout the chapter are organized in three main sections. The first section includes background information on DELTEP with reference to the Turkish educational system, Anadolu University and Open Education Faculty, as well as the developments that led to the foundation of the program. Also, curriculum, instruction, and faculty in DELTEP are discussed to provide readers with a description of the program. Next, available faculty support activities are presented with perceptions of participants. Finally, additional faculty support activities that are needed in the program are discussed in relation to the distance ELT discipline. 47

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48 Higher Education in Turkey All educational services in Turkey except higher education are the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education. All policies, rules, and regulations related to higher education are planned, coordinated, and administered by the Council of Higher Education, which was founded in 1981. The Council of Higher Education consists of 22 members and a majority of its members are academicians. Turkey has 53 state and 19 public universities. All students who want to attend a higher education institution have to enter the university entrance exam that is done once each year at the same time all around the country. This exam consists of multiple choice questions and assesses students verbal and quantitative knowledge, based on the curriculum followed in high schools. In addition, there is a foreign language section for students who would like to attend a department related to foreign language or foreign language teaching. Attending a higher education institution is highly valued by the majority of population in Turkey because it is considered the key to finding jobs and gaining high status in society. However, higher education is very competitive because there is a limited number of seats available at universities for a large number of students each year. For example, according to the Student Selection and Placement Centers web site in 2004, 1,727,957 applicants took the university entrance exam; however, only 356,883 students could be placed in a higher education institution. In other words, approximately 80% of the students who wanted to attend a higher education institution in 2004 were unable to do so, and only the top 20% of the students had the opportunity to attend a university.

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49 The gap between the increasing student population and the available resources to educate this population has always been a problem in Turkey. The overall population growth rate in Turkey is approximately 3% per year. Currently, the population has reached 75 million. Moreover, Turkey has the youngest population in Europe with 75% of the population being under 25 years old. Thus, providing opportunities to attend a higher education program for all students equally has always been a challenge. Due to limited funding and resources, few people are admitted to higher education. Because teacher training is done through higher education, the number of prospective teachers to be trained every year is also limited. As long as there is a teacher shortage, there will not be enough resources to educate the next generation of students. Turkey has been trying to break this vicious cycle for decades. However, funding has always been sparse and policymakers and educators have been trying to find ways to educate a big population of students in a short time in spite of tight budgets to fill the gap. Distance education has proven to be one of the most effective ways to deal with such educational problems in Turkey. Distance Education in Turkey The history of distance education in Turkey goes back to the foundation of the Republic in 1923. When Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, initiated the change from the Arabic alphabet to the Latin alphabet as a part of several educational reforms, 99% of all citizens suddenly became illiterate as they had to learn to read and write in a new alphabet. In order to increase the literacy rate, correspondence courses using letters were introduced in 1927 (Usun, 2003). Until the 1950s, distance education did not receive much attention in Turkey. Later, in 1956, the first distance education project was started by the Faculty of Law at Ankara University. This program

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50 was done through correspondence by mail and its objective was to train employees of a bank through distance education. In 1961, the Center for Education through letters was founded within the Ministry of National Education. This center started to provide distance education to people who wanted to finish their secondary education. The center then expanded its services to train in-service teachers in 1966. Almost a decade later, in 1975 and in 1978, the Ministry of National Education attempted to establish an open university and started the Education through Letters project. However, this initiative was not successful and the program was ended shortly after it started (Usun, 2003). Meanwhile, in 1974 the first educational television project was implemented at the Eskisehir Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences. This is one of the most significant events in the history of distance education in Turkey because this academy later became Anadolu University, the leading university in distance education in Turkey. Today, Anadolu University is responsible for the majority of distance education that takes place in Turkey. However, some other state and public universities also provide distance education in the form of online education. Bilkent University collaborates with New York University and is giving courses via video conferencing. Bilgi University has been providing web-based MBA programs since 2000. In addition, other state universities, such as Middle East Technical University, Sakarya University, and Firat University, also use the Internet to provide distance courses and programs. However, it is important to note that the number of universities that adopt distance education started to increase after the 1990s when online education became more widespread. Until then, Anadolu University was the university that provided most distance education in Turkey through television programs and radio broadcasts. Due to its long history and good

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51 reputation, Anadolu University has always been the leading university in distance education in Turkey. Anadolu University and Open Education Faculty With the establishment of the Council of Higher Education, the Eskisehir Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences became Anadolu University in 1982. Anadolu University provides both traditional and distance education. However, the bulk of the student population consists of distance learners. In 1999, the World Bank recognized Anadolu University as the worlds largest university. At that time, the student population of Anadolu University was 650,000, and currently it reached 900,000. Of the 900,000 students, the number of distance learners is approximately 880,000. In addition, the number of distance education learners in Anadolu University is equal to 35% of the population of all higher education learners in Turkey. Since its establishment in 1982, Anadolu University has granted more than 650,000 bachelor and pre-bachelor degrees to its distance education graduates. As of 2004, the number of faculty members of Anadolu University is 1,689. There are 12 faculties/colleges and 3 of them,--Open Education Faculty, Faculty of Economics, and Faculty of Business Administration--are providing distance education. In addition, Anadolu University has 7 schools, 4 vocational schools, 9 institutes (4 graduate schools, 5 institutes), and 21 research centers. The Open Education Faculty (OEF) is the leading faculty in Anadolu University to provide distance education. It offers both associate degree and degree programs in various areas of study (see Appendix E for a list of the programs offered by OEF). The OEF also collaborates with several universities in the United States such as Arizona State University, San Diego State University, and the State University of New York (SUNY). It also collaborates with other international distance education universities, such as

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52 Ahmet Yeseri University in Kazakhistan, Israel Open University, and Open University in the United Kingdom. In addition, OEF provides education through the West Europe Project to Turkish immigrants who work in West European countries such as Germany, Belgium, and Denmark. For instructional delivery, OEF traditionally uses printed materials, television and radio broadcasts, and academic counseling. The OEF prepares course textbooks, which are designed according to self-study principles. The textbooks are prepared in printing facilities at Anadolu University, and OEF books are mailed to students free of charge. In addition, OEF has three television studios. Television programs are prepared by faculty members and recorded at these studios before they are aired on national television. The OEF collaborates with the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) Network, which is owned by the government. The OEF also has numerous academic counseling services in major big cities around Turkey. Students can visit academic counseling centers to receive further help and guidance with their studies. In addition to regular television and radio broadcasts, OEF has been working on delivering instruction via online. In 1994, OEF started to focus on computer-assisted learning. Several computer laboratories were opened to help learners. By the end of 1999, learning materials were made available online for main courses. In 2000, OEF took one step further and offered two bachelor degree programs to be delivered partially via online education. One of these programs is the English Language Teacher Training program. Foundation of the Distance English Language Teacher Education Program The Distance English Language Teacher Education Program (DELTEP) was founded in the 2000-2001 academic year in accordance with the protocol signed between the Turkish Ministry of National Education and Anadolu University. It is a four-year

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53 blended bachelor degree program in which instruction takes place mostly face-to-face in the first two years, and then it is continued via distance education in the third and fourth year of the program. In the 2004-2005 academic year, the online component was added to the program, which gave students more opportunities to interact with DELTEP faculty. In order to understand the nature of this program fully, first it is important to discuss some of the developments in Turkey that led to the foundation of this program. The main mission of this program is to provide equal learning opportunity to all learners. Another goal of the program is to minimize the ELT teacher shortage in Turkey, which has been an ongoing problem for both the Ministry of National Education and the Council of Higher Education. According to the eight-year development plan formulated in 1999, the number of English teachers needed by the end of 2006 is approximately 63,000 (Kose, Ozyar, & Ozkul, 2002). However, the Ministry of National Education is unable to recruit such a big population of teachers for several reasons. First, the total number of graduates from traditional English teacher preparation programs is 3,000 every year. With the available traditional programs, the need could not be met before 20 years. In addition, not all graduates of ELT programs choose to be English teachers. Due to low salary, low status, and limited resources, many ELT graduates prefer to work in business or private firms, which offer considerably higher salaries, especially to employees who know English. Second, English is the most popular foreign language in Turkey. Even though German and French are offered in high school, the number of students taking these courses are much less than the ones who prefer English; there are currently no teacher shortage problems in teaching German or French.

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54 Third, when Turkey applied to enter the European Union, the popularity of English as a foreign language increased even more. In accordance with the European Unions policies, in 1997, the compulsory of basic education in Turkey was expanded from five to eight years. Prior to this extension, foreign language learning started in the sixth grade in state secondary schools. However, with this new policy, students began to learn English starting from the fourth grade. Therefore, there was a sudden explosion in the number of students who were required to learn English. Consequently, there was a great need for English teachers to be appointed in a very short amount of time. But, the number of English teachers was not enough to meet such demand. To minimize the ELT teacher shortage, the Ministry of National Education started to hire graduates of English medium universities regardless of the departments from which they graduated. For example, a mechanical engineer, a sociologist, or someone with a business major could work as an English teacher because they were the graduates of a university whose language of the instruction was English. However, the result has not been successful because these graduates knew how to speak, read, and write in English, but they lacked the pedagogical skills needed to teach English as a foreign language. Therefore, the Ministry of National Education collaborated with OEF in Anadolu University to establish and carry out an ELT teacher training program via distance education. The program can be viewed as the Ministry of National Educations long-term investment for solving the ELT teacher shortage problem in Turkey. Founded in the 2000-2001 academic year, DELTEP today has more than 9,000 students enrolled. The students are admitted to the program after they receive at least 185 points from the Foreign Language (English) section of the University Entrance Exam.

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55 The program has attracted much attention both by the press and the public due to the growing popularity of English as a foreign language in Turkey. The popularity of the program may be related to the use of online education in the program. The Internet is widely used among young people in Turkey. It is also more accessible and more interactive than pre-recorded one-way television and radio broadcasts. Moreover, the Ministry of National Education offers immediate jobs to the graduates of DELTEP. Students who pass their second year in the program successfully can also start working as part-time teachers as they continue their education in DELTEP, which may be another factor that makes the program more attractive. Curriculum and Instruction in DELTEP The DELTEP, which has a blended model of instruction, provides both face-to-face and distance education. The first two years of the program are conducted mainly through traditional classroom instruction, and the third and fourth years of the program are conducted via distance education. The program also has an online component, which started in the 2003-2004 academic year to provide guidance to students for two distance education courses. In 2004-2005, all distance courses in DELTEP were also supported by Internet-assisted instruction. Prior to the 2004-2005 academic year, traditional classroom courses were given after 4:00 pm during weekdays and between 9:00 am and 4:20 pm during weekends in 10 different major cities around Turkey. Traditional classroom courses, which mainly cover four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), were given by approximately 170 teachers who work in various high schools affiliated with the Turkish Ministry of National Education. The location of traditional classroom instruction changed

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56 in the 2004-2005 academic year, and students started to receive face-to-face courses at Anadolu Universitys campus in Eskisehir. Curriculum The curriculum in DELTEP is prepared according to the guidelines provided by the Council of Higher Education, and it is equal to the one being taught in face-to-face ELT programs in Turkey. There are a total of 30 courses in DELTEP (see Appendix F for a list of the courses in DELTEP). Eight of these courses are face-to-face and 20 of them are distance education courses. The remaining two courses are related to teaching practice. All third and fourth year distance courses also include online education in which students receive Internet-assisted instruction through online materials, self-study tasks, facilitation services by teachers through online bulletin board, and opportunities to use chat rooms and forum peers. Course Materials All textbooks for Turkish distance courses are prepared and distributed by OEF at Anadolu University, and students receive their textbooks via mail free of charge. In English language learning and teaching courses--both face-to-face and distance--the course materials are chosen by the faculty members in the Foreign Language Department of Anadolu University who also work in DELTEP. The textbooks are selected among various books published by well-known publishers, such as Longman. Faculty members also choose textbooks that have supplementary materials for students. Students also receive video CDs as supplementary materials to the textbooks for three courses, which are Approaches to ELT, Teaching English/American Literature, and fourth year Teaching Practicum. In addition, for each academic year, students receive one syllabus and material packs that guide students on how to study the course materials and on which

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57 areas they need to focus more. Information in the syllabus and material packs for the third and fourth year distance courses are also available online in extended form. They serve as the base for the online course materials. The online course materials are also prepared by faculty in the ELT Department at Anadolu University. There is one coordinator, who is usually a senior ELT faculty member, for each course. Each coordinator edits the materials gathered by several content specialists who are also ELT faculty members. Some content specialists are instructors working at the School of Foreign Languages at Anadolu University. The ELT faculty members also provide online facilitation service for each third and fourth year distance course. The facilitation service is done through online discussion boards by both the coordinators and content specialist of each distance ELT course. There are a total of 10 Internet-assisted online courses, and the total number of students who are registered for online courses is 25,463 (5,529 individual students) (Mutlu & Ozkul, 2005). The online courses are designed to help students study their textbooks of distance education courses through self-study materials, quizzes, tasks, and activities. Students can also post messages in the forum to receive further guidance from facilitators who are also the content providers of the online materials. Students can also see and reply to each others postings. Each students posting is answered within 24 hours by the facilitators and for every 1,000 students there is at least 1 facilitator. For example, if in one course there are 4,000 students, at least 4 facilitators are assigned to work in that course. The total number of facilitators for the online discussion is 35. Students can also use chat rooms to communicate with peers and technical support, but no formal instruction is delivered via chat rooms. Attending the online component of the program is purely voluntary for

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58 students. Therefore, student participation in the online discussions or activities is not assessed. Online courses include self-study units, materials, and tasks for learners and they are designed to provide learners with only supplementary materials for independent study. Exams All exams in DELTEP are conducted face-to-face. For traditional classroom courses, students take exams in their classrooms with their assigned teachers. For distance education courses, students take the exams at designated exam centers in 10 major cities around Turkey. The DELTEP students have to take five tests (three midterms, one final, and one make-up) for each course. They are expected to receive an average score of 70 for ELT courses and 50 for the courses that are in Turkish. In 25 courses, students are assessed through multiple choice type tests. The remaining five courses have different exam formats because of their content. For example, writing courses are assessed through essay format and speaking courses are assessed through oral exams. For the teaching practicum, students are assessed based on their observation reports, lesson plans, and practice teaching. Faculty who Teach via Distance in DELTEP There are two main groups of faculty members who teach in DELTEP. The first group consists of approximately 35 faculty members who work in traditional ELT programs at Anadolu University. These faculty members are qualified teacher trainers who hold a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, or a doctorate degree in various areas within ELT. In other words, ELT faculty who work in the traditional Anadolu University ELT program also work in DELTEP and teach the same courses both face-to-face and via distance. These faculty members can be viewed as decision-makers in terms of course

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59 content and course materials in DELTEP. In addition, they also work as facilitators in the online component of the program and provide students with guidance on their questions related to the ELT field through asynchronous online bulletin board discussions. The second group consists of faculty members of the Open Education Faculty (OEF) who work in collaboration with ELT faculty in DELTEP. This group is not responsible for the content of the courses, but it provides ELT faculty with support on how to deliver courses via distance. The OEF faculty members play an important role in DELTEP because they are responsible for organizing and producing distance courses according to self-study principles. In addition, they coordinate the communication and work flow among ELT faculty and other faculty from various departments who work in online production teams. These two groups of faculty members worked in collaboration to produce online materials for each distance course in DELTEP. Online Course Production Teams in DELTEP In order to support ELT faculty on technological and pedagogical aspects of online teaching, a team of experts was formed for each online course. Each online course included a variety of materials and activities. Online courses mainly consisted of 15 to 25 units, which were prepared by the faculty members. Each online course also included an online bulletin board in which students interacted with faculty members and peers. Students were required to communicate in English in the online bulletin boards and asynchronous discussions were conducted on ELT-related issues. Students could also take part in synchronous discussions in the chat rooms with their peers. However, faculty members did not use the chat room for instructional purposes. It was merely for students to socialize with each other. Figure 4-1 shows the general outline for each online course:

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60 Figure 4-1: A snapshot of one DELTEP online course home page. The snapshot was taken from DELTEPs web site: http://iolp.aof.edu.tr/ In each team, several ELT faculty members, OEF faculty members, and team members from other departments worked in collaboration to produce online materials. In other words, there were a total of 10 teams, and each team had at least 10 members with various responsibilities. Each team consisted mainly of an editor, content specialist, distance education instruction designer, graphics/animation designer, sound/video designer, web designer, production coordinator, publishing coordinator, proofreader, and a facilitator. In general, one course had more than one content specialist and facilitator. Also, some teams shared the same distance education instruction designer or graphics/animation designer. Each team members role and responsibilities in a typical online course production team are described as follows:

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61 Editor: The editor, who is usually a senior ELT faculty member, is responsible for the content of the online course. The editor, who is also the coordinator of the course, writes materials, edits materials gathered by content specialists, and reviews the finished version of the unit before it is uploaded on the web. Content specialist: The content specialist is responsible for gathering ELT materials and design activities for online delivery. The content specialists give the content of the unit to the editors for additions and revisions. The number of content specialists varies depending on the course and sometimes one content specialist may work with more than one editor on more than one online course. Generally, editors, as senior faculty members, were responsible for editing the content that was provided by junior faculty members. However, senior faculty members always provided input, especially at the beginning of the project on the first two or three units. One faculty member stated that their system was similar to a master-apprentice relationship. In the early stages of online course production, the editors trained content specialists on how to prepare and gather materials for online delivery, and then let them carry on as they monitored and edited the work produced for the coming units. Distance education instructional designer: Distance education instructional designers had the role of ensuring that the raw content is in line with distance and online education principles. Distance education instructional designers were responsible for producing sample units, presenting these units to ELT faculty, and guiding production coordinators, if necessary, to meet the needs of ELT faculty in relation to the pedagogical aspects of online education. There were two distance education instructional designers in DELTEP and these were the faculty that worked in Open Education Faculty.

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62 Graphics and animation designer: Graphics and animation designers were responsible for drawing the graphics in each unit. All graphics and animations were done from scratch based on ELT faculty members descriptions for each task or material. Sound and video designer: Sound and video designers were responsible for adding sounds to the graphics, animations, or online tasks. Again, this group of team members received ELT faculty members directions on how to design online materials that included sounds and video. Web designer: Web designers combined all the materials produced by all the team members and designed the look of the final product. In other words, they were responsible for designing the web pages, including content, tasks, and activities. Graphics and animation designers, sound and video designers, and web designers helped ELT faculty in the technological aspects of online ELT courses. They worked on accessorizing the content for the web. They could suggest different ways of presenting information on the web, but they did not interfere with content. The content of each material, as well as its design, was created by the editors and content specialists. The task of the designers was to follow the descriptions of ELT faculty. Designers received faculty members instructions from the production coordinators. When designers finished their work, they received feedback from ELT faculty through production designers. All graphics, sounds, and web design had to be approved by the editor of the course before being uploaded on the web. Production coordinator: Production coordinators were OEF faculty members who had degrees in either computer education or distance education. Production coordinators served as a bridge between ELT faculty and other team members. They took

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63 the raw content and passed it on to the team members who worked on the technical aspects of the design and production of the unit. They also sent back the finished products to editors for final revision before uploading the unit or sections of unit on the web. Production coordinators had a very important role in this team because they were the ones who interacted with each team member. The ELT faculty, for the most part, communicated with production coordinators and mainly did not interact with other team members except content specialists and facilitators. Proofreader: Another team member in the online production team is a fourth year student who checks the materials for typos, mistakes, or any other problems. The responsibility of this student was to sign on to check the finished online pages. This student was considered as a part of the team because he was employed and was being paid for his work. Publishing coordinator: There was one publishing coordinator in DELTEP, who was responsible for the coordination of uploading the materials for all courses. The ELT faculty had access to all online courses, but did not have access to upload materials. Therefore, the ELT faculty had to contact the production designer or the publishing coordinator for any changes on the materials before or after the course was online. The publishing coordinator was also responsible for addressing students problems related to technical issues. In addition, he served as the production coordinator of one online course. Facilitator: Facilitators were the ELT faculty who worked as the editors and content specialists of online courses. In other words, the editors and content specialist also served as facilitators of the same course. Each ELT faculty member did facilitation

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64 for four hours a week by replying to student emails and online bulletin board discussion postings on ELT-related issues. The ELT faculty members continued to produce one unit per week for online delivery while they were carrying on facilitation services to students. In general, editors and content specialists of each course divided the week to answer students questions. The number of facilitators for each course depended on the number of students taking that course. In general, one facilitator was responsible for 1,000 students. Advantages and Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education One DELTEP faculty member defined distance education as an instructional delivery in which technology meets and adapts to pedagogy (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 20, 2005). As the faculty member pointed out, whenever a new mass communication tool is invented, its instructional uses are adopted in distance education. Computers, being the latest communication tools, are also one of the latest teaching and learning tools to be used in distance delivery. However, like any new tool or medium, they have to be studied in relation to their effects on instruction in various disciplines. Because DELTEP is one of the rare distance ELT teacher programs in the world, the experiences of faculty who work in this program may be invaluable for us to gain insight on the advantages and challenges of using this medium as an instructional tool in training prospective ELT teachers. Faculty Perceptions on the Advantages of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education The responses to the online survey showed that faculty believed training ELT teachers via distance education has several advantages. Table 4-1 below describes the top

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65 three advantages of training ELT teachers via distance as pointed out by the DELTEP faculty who participated in the online survey. Table 4-1. Online survey results: The top three common advantages of training ELT teachers via distance education Participant responses Frequency in percentages It allows a variety of course materials 46% We can provide greater number of students with education opportunities 38% Students learn to be autonomous learners 38% The interviews with DELTEP faculty members also revealed that one of the most evident advantages of training prospective ELT teachers was to reach a large population of students. Because ELT teacher shortage was one of the biggest educational problems in Turkey, and it had to be solved in a very short amount of time to meet the demands, distance education was not just an alternative delivery of instruction, but it was also a must. In addition, offering an ELT distance education program attracted a lot of attention in the area of ELT: In the past, around 19,000 students used to take the foreign language section of the university entrance exam. In 1999-2000, this number went up to 55,000 because students wanted to enter our program. Among 55,000, we accept 2,500 students. There are 9,700 students in the DELTEP system right now. We are accepting students as many as 26 traditional ELT programs can get in Turkey. (Teacher 7, Interview A, March 31, 2005) As described in this the quote, there was a sudden and drastic increase in the number of students who took the foreign language section of the university entrance exam to attend DELTEP. In other words, with the help of DELTEP, more and more students were interested in ELT as a profession and a considerable number of students such as 10,000 students were admitted to the program. Because the number of ELT

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66 faculty is limited and the amount of the teacher shortage could not be met with the available traditional ELT programs in Turkey, there was a huge need for a distance ELT program to reach a large population of students who wanted to be ELT teachers. In addition, DELTEP faculty stated that the use of online bulletin boards was a practical way of communicating with their students because they had the means to address thousands of students with one posting. Figure 4-2 shows a sample online discussion board page illustrating the number of messages posted for each unit in the online course: Figure 4-2: A snapshot of an online discussion board. The snapshot was taken from DELTEPs web site: http://iolp.aof.edu.tr/ When you post a message in the online bulletin board, all the students that were signed on can see it. Thousands of students see it. In a traditional classroom, you teach an average of 25 students. Also, in a classroom, sometimes students may not listen to some comment or input and they

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67 can miss it. But in the online forums students always have the chance to come back to the message and read it. They can also ask their questions any time they like. (Teacher 9, Interview A, March 29, 2005) Also, through the use of online bulletin boards, distance education learners could communicate with their teachers by posting questions and comments on any day of the week. The online environment gives students the flexibility of reaching ELT materials and tasks without being restricted by time and place. The DELTEP students had the freedom of studying online materials at their own pace and could refer to their teachers postings any time because all online materials were saved in the program server: There is a five month time gap between the 2nd year and 3rd year in the program. I tell my students, You can go ahead and visit online courses to study some of the materials before you start taking the courses. (Teacher 7, Interview A, March 31, 2005) All the materials are downloadable. We tell our students in villages to download materials to save time if they have no access to the Internet. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005) In distance education, students thus have the advantage of working through the tasks and materials at their own pace without being restricted by time. Also, through self-study materials and activities, distance learners are encouraged to be autonomous learners. Being geographically at a distance from peers and teachers, distance learners develop independent learning skills, which are essential to becoming lifelong learners. In addition, online communication tools were very beneficial and practical to increase the level and amount of interaction among DELTEP students. Thus, having an online component in a distance education program was essential to establishing ongoing

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68 communication between students and teachers. For example, through online communication tools, students can see each others work and can learn from each other: Students learn from each others questions in the forum. They read each others questions and write comments like, Oh, we have never thought of that before. (Teacher 9, Interview A, March 29, 2005) In other words, interaction and communication are integral elements of any foreign language learning program, and the use of computer-assisted communication tools increased the amount and quality of communication among students, as well as between teachers and students. Because all communication on online bulletin boards was conducted in English, students not only had the chance to interact with peers and teachers, but also practiced their reading and writing skills in English. Students as well as the teachers used only English to communicate in the online bulletin board. The language that DELTEP faculty used in the forums also acted as a role model for prospective ELT teachers. Another advantage of having an online component in the program was to familiarize students with important ELT jargon or ELT-related concepts before they appear in textbooks or materials. The first two years of DELTEP included courses mainly on English language learning skills whereas in the last two years of the program students learned English language teaching skills. Thus, there was a sudden shift in terms of focus and content of DELTEP courses. And, DELTEP faculty made use of online materials and activities to assist students in understanding new terminology related to ELT theories and principles: When students pass on to their third year in the program, some concepts and terminologies change. This causes some problems. So, we used the online component to explain the

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69 concepts in the textbook. We gave students concepts related to ELT discipline so that they can understand the topic better. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005) We should consider the needs of the students. We cannot just copy the ELT terminology as it is and expect students to understand. In online delivery, we explained what that terminology or concept refers to, for example, language learning and teaching methods like grammar-translation or communicative method. (Teacher 7, Interview A, March 31, 2005) With the help of online materials, DELTEP students were not left alone with the materials, and teachers had the opportunity to guide their students as they made a transition between learning English skills and developing English teaching skills. In this sense, online delivery allowed DELTEP faculty to clarify potentially challenging topics or areas for students. Also, DELTEP faculty members made use of these online materials not only in their distance education courses, but also in their traditional education classrooms. In other words: faculty members transferred their experience with online classrooms into face-to-face classrooms: The materials prepared for the online methodology course are so good and colorful that we are thinking about giving the same materials to students in our traditional education courses. (Teacher 1, Interview B, April 7, 2005) Figure 4-3 is from the methodology course that the faculty member is referring to in the previous quote. In this course, faculty members created a classroom environment for their students through graphics and animations. Students can both see and hear the teacher and teacher trainee as they go over the online materials. Each lesson is designed for learners to experience the real classroom environment at their own pace. Prospective teachers can also identify themselves with the characters in the simulation because they are also being trained to be ELT teachers. Faculty members believed that the same

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70 materials could also be used for their students in the traditional education programs to provide them with self-study materials. Using the same materials in both distance and face-to-face courses also allowed faculty to learn more about student needs in various areas. Most faculty members that I interviewed stated that teaching the same course both online and face-to-face gave them the opportunity to try out materials and develop tasks according to student needs and interests in both instructional delivery. Figure 4-3: A snapshot of a DELTEP methodology course web page. The snapshot was taken from DELTEPs web site: http://iolp.aof.edu.tr/ In short, distance education had several advantages, such as reaching a greater number of students, encouraging students to be autonomous learners, and learning from each other. The DELTEP faculty members believed that online bulletin boards were

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71 especially beneficial for their students because communication was an integral part of language learning and learning to teach languages. Faculty Perceptions on the Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education The DELTEP faculty members genuinely believed in the use of distance education to train ELT teachers. However, faculty members also stated that they preferred face-to-face education to distance education, if they had a choice, due to several challenges of distance education. According to the online survey results, the most common challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education were lack of role modelling, face-to-face communication and the difficulty of addressing the practical side of teaching. Table 4-2 below shows the percentages of responses from the DELTEP faculty. Table 4-2. Online survey results: The top three common challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education Participant responses Frequency in percentages Lack of role modeling 46% Lack of face-to-face communication 46% Addressing the practical sides of becoming an ELT teacher 31% For example, faculty members believed that an online environment limited the amount of human-to-human interaction because they had to communicate with students through a machine. They indicated that they especially enjoyed the classroom environment where they could have more opportunities to be with students, give them guidance, and provide them with emotional support: I am extremely happy to be in the classroom. I forget all about my problems when I am with students. The feeling that you get from being in a classroom environment is quite different. In a classroom, when you are face-to-face with

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72 students, you can make jokes. You can laugh together. You can hear students laughter. (Teacher 5, Interview B, April 7, 2005) Neither our distance nor traditional education students are fully autonomous learners. But whats different here if you have noticed we have no office hours listed on our doors. Students can come and ask us questions whenever they need. We have a very warm and close relationship. This is an advantage for traditional education students that distance education students dont have. (Teacher 6, Interview B, April 6, 2005) Thus, faculty members believed that communicating with students face-to-face was much more efficient than communicating through online bulletin boards. Faculty members found it difficult to transfer the warm relationship that they had with students into online environment, which was one of the most important disadvantages of distance education for them. Faculty members greatly valued having close relationships with their students, and they believed that it was an important factor in being a role model for prospective ELT teachers. However, they felt that they had limited opportunities to do so in the online environment because their communication with distance learners was only through written dialogues and did not allow the use of tone, intonation, or facial expressions to express their feelings or emotions. In addition, faculty believed that it was easier to provide supervision for their students when they were face-to-face. Because online bulletin boards provide only asynchronous communication, there was a time lapse between sent and received messages. Thus, faculty members felt that there was a delay in the interaction between students and themselves, which decreased the amount of guidance that faculty could give to their students:

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73 In distance education, you have to provide everything in detail for students. Theres a lack of immediacy. In traditional education, we rely on immediate repair. This is not possible in distance education. (Teacher 9, Interview A, March 29, 2005) In traditional education, when students are puzzled, they can come and ask us. In distance education, you have to write everything in much detail. Distance education students sometimes get stuck on trivial details. (Teacher 2, Interview A, April 5, 2005) Thus, faculty members preferred face-to-face interaction and communication as it was easier for them to guide their students in understanding the content. Faculty members felt that they should better monitor how students make use of distance education materials. For example, one faculty member stated that checking students proficiency in pronouncing new vocabulary was a big challenge in distance education: I am concerned about students speaking skills. I have no clue about how they pronounce the new vocabulary we teach in distance courses (Teacher 9, Interview A, March 29, 2005.) Moreover, using asynchronous tools of communication decreased not only the amount of feedback that faculty members give to students but also the amount of feedback that faculty members receive from students because of the time gap: Its easier to guide students face-to-face.What bothers me in online delivery is that I cannot get immediate one-on-one feedback. In distance education, student feedback arrives later on. (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30, 2005) In other words, the time lapse between incoming and outgoing messages decreased the effectiveness of the communication among the parties in the online forums. The faculty wanted to increase the speed and the amount of interaction through synchronous communication. However, it was not possible to do that at the time due to financial reasons and the challenges related to the student profile. Because it was not

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74 mandatory to have a computer or an Internet connection, the online component of the program remained purely voluntary for students. Thus, online delivery included only supplementary materials to give equal opportunity for all students, including the ones who did not have Internet access to follow online materials: We can do simultaneous classes, but were going to leave out 4,000 students. Its not fair for all students. We have different centers in cities around Turkey, but not all of our students live in city centers.Whether to have completely online courses or not has a lot to do with the student profile. It is not a technological possibility, but a financial possibility. Even though at Anadolu University we have the hardware, not all students have access to the Internet. Thats why it cannot be interactive at the moment, but our goal, our next step is to make all online courses much more interactive. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005) Serving greater number of students was an important advantage of distance education, but it also created many challenges for DELTEP faculty. Because there were too many students in the program, the faculty found it difficult to communicate with all students in the program. The online bulletin boards served as a communication channel. However, not all students could participate in online discussions, so faculty members could not contact all their students: There are some students that I am in touch with regularly. I have no idea what the others are doing. Why arent the other students participating? Dont they believe in distance education or dont they have Internet access? I would like to know all of them. I would like to know their situation at least. (Teacher 10, Interview A, April 11, 2005) A large student population was also a problem in practicum. Each year almost 3,000 four-year students had to go into practice teaching and it was difficult to manage this number of students practice teaching experiences with the available resources and number of faculty at Anadolu University:

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75 Perhaps, the most challenging part of this program is the practice teaching. It is not possible to have the students practice teach here because there are too many students and too few faculty members. Thats why our students do the practice teaching with teachers of the National Ministry of Education around Turkey. We want lesson plans from students, but it is not possible to evaluate and give feedback on their teaching practice because there are too many. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005) Another challenge of training ELT teachers via distance was related to skill development. Language learning and teaching a foreign language require a considerable amount of skill development. For example, when we speak a language, we use a finite set of rules to produce and understand an infinite set of possible sentences (Fromkin, & Rodman, 1998, p. 27). Because it is not possible for a language learner to learn all the sets of possible sentences, we develop certain skills to use our language creatively in a variety of situations. Similarly, teaching English involves both knowledge and skills. Prospective ELT teachers not only learn the English language but also develop skills to teach it to others. Thus, ELT is inherently a skill-based discipline and requires constant practice of the acquired knowledge. Some people see ELT similar to disciplines that include more content rather than skills, for example, geography or biology. Learning skills is like learning how to play an instrument or how to ride a bicycle. Skills development is not something that can be done only by reading three days before the exam. It can be developed through continuous studying and practicing. (Teacher 6, Interview B, April 6, 2005) Learning how to teach requires a certain amount of experience and it is a process. Students need to get feedback, teach, and then receive feedback again. They need to be more aware of what they do in class. They have to try it out and then see results. (Teacher 2, Interview A, April 5, 2005)

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76 However, DELTEP faculty believed that skills development was a challenging task to do via distance. In fact, several faculty members stated that it would not be possible to teach language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in distance education because there had to be constant interaction between teachers and students to develop these skills. Faculty believed that transmission of knowledge was easier to carry out in distance education. Developing skills required lots of practice and experience on the part of the learners. In other words, the practical side of learning a language and learning how to teach a language could not be done effectively only through distance education. Therefore, the first two years of the program, which involved language skills courses, were conducted face-to-face, and more content based courses in the last two years were offered via distance education. Another challenge related to training ELT teachers via distance education was helping students develop higher order thinking skills such as analysis and synthesis and putting these skills into practice. Faculty members believed that face-to-face communication was more efficient in helping their students incorporate theory and practice because it was easier to guide their students to think more deeply through reflection and awareness raising with the help of in class demonstrations, simulations, and role-playing activities. Even though online materials encouraged students to practice the theories that they learned in distance courses, faculty had limited opportunities to observe how students transfer their knowledge into practice, which was an important handicap of distance education. Its very difficult to raise awareness in distance education. In distance education, we cannot provide students chances to transfer what they learn into practice. In traditional education, I give my students various

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77 perspectives on the content. In distance education, you talk about what is already there. In traditional education, you can talk about whats beneath the surface like, How would you approach this? or What would you do if?(Teacher 8, Interview A, April 7, 2005) In traditional education, we do activities toward practicing teaching skills. We cannot do this via online. It stays more on a theoretical and abstract level. In traditional education, students do demonstrations. How can we do this via distance? The number of students is too many. In traditional education, students learn by living through examples. (Teacher 5, Interview A, April 1, 2005) In short, distance education was more compatible with content-based courses rather than skill-based ones. Transmission of knowledge was easier to convey through distance education; however, monitoring how this knowledge was put into practice by students was a big challenge for DELTEP faculty. Because the ELT discipline required a considerable amount of skills development, and skills could be developed only through practice, faculty members believed that the opportunities to supervise their students throughout this process were limited in distance education compared to face-to-face education. One of the striking findings of the study was both the advantages and challenges of training ELT teachers via distance showed parallelism in the sense that one issue that is considered as an advantage can also lead to several challenges in distance education. For example, being able to educate big population of students is viewed as one of the most significant advantages of training ELT teachers by DELTEP faculty. Having thousands of students; on the other hand, is also a challenge for DELTEP faculty because they believed that managing practice teaching was difficult due to the big number of students. Similarly, DELTEP faculty stated that online component of the program helped

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78 them to increase communication and interaction between their students and themselves. However, they also said that the level and amount of interaction was not enough and it was a challenge to provide interaction with their students. By looking at the issues DELTEP faculty raised, we can understand that one issue has both advantages and challenges at the same time. When DELTEP faculty talked about the advantages of training ELT teachers via distance, it implies that they compared online education to traditional correspondence distance education that is done via letters or tv programs. In this sense, online education is better than traditional distance education that allowed one-way communication. When DELTEP faculty talked about the challenges of training ELT teachers via distance, it implies that they compared online education to face-to-face education. In this sense, they believed that face-to-face education was better than online education. In other words, online education gave them the opportunity to serve thousands of students, but faculty members wanted more interaction to address the needs of all of their students. They did not want to sacrifice quality in the name of quantity. Nevertheless, despite its challenges, DELTEP faculty members were still hopeful that they would eliminate the challenges of distance education in time because they developed positive attitudes towards distance education with the help of successful faculty support techniques and approaches, which is the subject of discussion in the following section. Available Faculty Support in DELTEP and Faculty Perceptions The online survey results showed that the most common type of faculty support DELTEP faculty received was group workshops. Group workshops were also a common form of support after DELTEP faculty started teaching. However, technical support was the most common type of support they received after started teaching as 85% of the participants selected that option in the online survey. Table 4-3 lists the online survey

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79 responses of the DELTEP faculty on the type of support they received before and during training ELT teachers online. Table 4-3. Online survey results on the type of faculty support activities that DEPTEP faculty received before and whilst teaching online Faculty support activity type Before teaching online Whilst teaching online Online tutorials 23% 8% Online faculty development courses/programs 23% 8% Individual training/support from faculty support personnel 31% 31% Groups workshop(s) 85% 77% Technical support provided by the institution 69% 85% Pedagogical support provided by the institution 15% 8% Assistance from colleagues 23% 77% None 8% 8% Other 0% 0% Interviews with participants also revealed that DELTEP faculty members received various types of support as they worked on producing online education materials in the program. The four main types of support they received were: administrative, technological, pedagogical, and socio-emotional support. In general, faculty members were very happy with the amount and level of each support type they received. Each support type was found to be present at all stages of online course and material production and was integrated in the faculty members work environment, which positively affected their perceptions about online education. The following support types are discussed in relation to perceptions of DELTEP faculty. Administrative Support Administrators in DELTEP were one of the most important sources of support for faculty members while they were preparing courses for online delivery. All key administrators, such as the coordinator of DELTEP, the dean and vice deans of OEF, and

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80 the president of Anadolu University, worked in collaboration to help faculty members make a smooth transition from traditional to distance education. For example, administrators met with teams of experts in distance education and ELT faculty at least every month over a year to plan and organize the online component of DELTEP. During, these meetings, how faculty would be supported was planned and determined. Also, in these meetings, team members for each online course production team were assigned and allocated. In addition, administrators continued to work closely with faculty members as the online courses were being produced. The involvement of the president of Anadolu University gave a special boost to the production of online courses. The presidents involvement was especially important because he was the major provider, coordinator, and facilitator of institutional support. As one administrator stated: The presidents attendance and leadership at the monthly meetings in which we discussed how much progress we made and agreed on the course of action pushed this project ahead. (Administrator 3, Interview A, March 28, 2005) Because the president was present at all meetings related to online course production, it was easier to identify and meet the support needs of faculty. Allocation of resources, such as team members, and equipments, was carried out by the administrators. Almost all faculty members expressed that everything that they needed was met right away as a result of these monthly meetings. The involvement of administration made it possible to coordinate and allocate resources as needed. Thus, the faculty members did not have to experience delays due to bureaucracy because all the key holders of resources were with them throughout their experience of online teaching. For example, the director of the support personnel said There is no delay when we need something about distance education. I dont have to wait. President has always been supportive (Administrator, 3,

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81 Interview A, March 28, 2005). In addition, when the top administrators were with the faculty members all throughout the planning and implementation of the online course production project, administrators served as a role model for faculty. As a result, faculty members were more encouraged and motivated to take part in the project. In other words, faculty did not feel alone in the process. Many faculty members stated that the presidents attendance to all meetings gave them a message about the importance of the task at hand. A comment by one of the faculty members typifies what faculty said: President is very positive about it [DELTEP]. I mean, he as person who is so busy, you know the president is very very busy, he would come to our meetings every month. And, he would tell us that whatever you need, Ill provide it. (Teacher 4, Interview A, March 28, 2005) Thus, close monitoring and active involvement on the part of administrators not only helped faculty to receive institutional support on demand, but also provided emotional support. The administrators involvement also acted as a source of motivation. The faculty also stated that during these monthly meetings, they were actively contributing to ideas about the program. The ability to express ideas freely and openly had a positive effect on how faculty viewed support from the administration: In our institution, there is no chain of command. I mean there is, but we can express our ideas freely. The president is someone that we can talk to. He gives us emotional support. (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30, 2005) The concept of emotional support was regarded as very valuable among all participants, as presented in the previous quote. Support on physical goods, such as people, money, and equipments, was always accompanied by some form of emotional support in DELTEP. It was especially important for faculty members to receive

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82 emotional support from the administrators because it showed that administrators had a genuine interest in faculty members needs and wants. It was a way of showing that administrators believed in the faculty members, and the faculty would not be alone in producing online course materials. Emotional support and professional guidance received from administrators appears to have decreased faculty resistance and increased faculty participation in the universitys move toward online distance education. In this sense, DELTEP administrators, especially the president, guided, encouraged, and motivated faculty members as teachers or facilitators guide and motivate their students. As one teacher proclaimed: The president comes to our meetings as a teacher. Not as the top administrator. He acts as a teacher. He is there to support us and guide us. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005) Almost all faculty members, such as this faculty member, had respect for the presidents authority as an administrator and had trust in his abilities as a mentor. And, faculty members were willing to obey the orders of the president as they trusted the rationale behind these orders, which again increased faculty participation in the project. Thus, gaining trust and respect of the faculty helped the president to engage in better communication with the faculty, which increased faculty motivation and participation. In other words, the presidents leadership approach made it easier for faculty to undertake this colossal job of finishing online courses in such a short amount of time. Through guidance and delegation and making use of emotional support, the president was able to help faculty members overcome their initial fears or concerns about distance education. For example, when faculty members stated that the given time was not enough to finish

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83 the project at the beginning of the project, the president was realistic in his expectations. He did not expect faculty members to produce perfect materials right away: The president said, We have to start from somewhere. Why dont you start now and then we will make more additions next year. (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30, 2005) Another teacher has expressed the same ideas slightly differently: What we prepared this year will be a foundation for next year. We can change and improve things later. This was also an advice of the president. He said, Try to do your best now. When years pass and when you are more experienced in this program, you can improve a lot more. (Teacher 5, Interview A, April 1, 2005) Time constraints were one of the major issues of concern for faculty members because they had heavy workloads in traditional education already. However, as seen in the previous quotations, the faculty members were relieved and motivated with the help of the presidents guidance and assurance. The president stated that faculty members would have time to improve their work, and would help the faculty members make progress and learn from their progress. This was an important strategy on the part of the president because faculty members were already stepping into something that they were going to do for the first time and they were expected to produce online materials as they learned how to do it. Thus, the presidents approach and guidance served as emotional support for the faculty. For examples, the president explained his approach to faculty members concerns about time constraints as: We met regularly and of course faculty members were a bit nervous at the beginning. But, as they progressed, they produced much better materials. I was already sure that this would be caseIt was difficult to produce the first two units, but after that they started to enjoy it. Also, they

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84 started to feel more confident (Administrator 1, Interview A, March 24, 2005) As the president stated in his interview, the faculty in DELTEP needed more support at the beginning of the project. When faculty members gained more experience, they needed less guidance. Thus, it may be important for administrators to provide more emotional support at the beginning of the foundation of distance education initiatives. As in any project that requires a drastic change in how faculty members teach, when they make a transition from traditional to online education, they may need extra emotional support at the beginning. As faculty members teach online and gain more experience in online education, they may feel more confident and may require less and less emotional support. In other words, extensive support at the beginning of online education may lend itself to less support and to more delegation on the part of the administrators. Emotional support, which will be discussed in much more detail later in the chapter, was very much valued by all the interviewed participants in DELTEP. However, it may not be enough to support faculty members effectively by itself. Emotional support from the administration was coupled together with financial support. The faculty members received money for each facilitation hour. For example: Participant: The presidency pays us by the hour for the facilitation service that we do for four hours a week. Researcher: How much is it? Participant: It is 7 Turkish Liras (Approximately $5/U.S.) gross. Associate professors get 8 (Approximately $6/U.S.), Full professors get 9 Turkish Liras (Approximately $7/U.S.). And for each online unit we prepare, we get 70 to 80 Turkish Liras (Approximately $52 to 60/U.S.). (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005)

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85 In terms of financial support faculty members were also given copyrights for all the online materials they produced. The director of support personnel, who managed the copyright issues of faculty members, explained this type of financial support as: Researcher: How much is the money given for copyright to faculty? Participant: For each unit, copyright costs $ 400-500 (U.S.). This amount is divided among the members of the online course production team, according to their titles and positions. With online materials unlike printed books, copyright money is given once. (Administrator 3, Interview B, March 28, 2005) Faculty members appreciated the fact that they were receiving financial support from the administration. Some faculty members also stated that the money that they received was not much; however, it was better than nothing. They cherished the opportunity to have an extra income. Some faculty wished to receive more financial support whereas others did not perceive it as an important source of motivation for taking part in this project: Participant: I dont think any of us started doing this because we thought about the money. Researcher: Whats the main drive then? Participant: Its the challenge, its the challenge, something has to be done and it is usually said to be impossible. I mean it is the challenge, as I said we mumbled and grumbled but did it in the end. It is the challenge. And also when it is done, the sense of accomplishment you get out of that. Thats unbeatable. I mean nothing can buy that with money. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005) The DELTEP faculty seemed to be more intrinsically motivated, and this had an effect on how they perceived the available support. It is important to note that in other

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86 settings, different faculty members may have different expectations in terms of financial support. As far as I could observe as the researcher, none of the DELTEP faculty valued financial support over other forms of support. It was the last item on their priority list. In addition to emotional and financial support, administrators also supported faculty members by providing them with necessary equipment for online delivery. One of the most appreciated kinds of equipment support was receiving new computers at the beginning of this project. Because faculty members had to prepare and deliver online materials, they needed faster and more reliable computers to do the job: All faculty in this program got brand-new, high RAM computers because we got involved in this program. I asked the president: Can we have new computers because were losing stuff with the old ones? He says: Yes, sure, and we have them right away. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005) Because computers are the main tools of teaching and learning in the online component of the program, it was essential for faculty to have reliable computers. Working with old computers may cause time delays and frustration for online education faculty. Thus, having good computers is vital for the quality of instruction. The administrators in DELTEP recognized this need and it was met right away. The DELTEP faculty also appreciated the fact that their needs were met right away by administrators as they did not have to repeatedly ask for anything. Faculty members often talked about how quickly their needs were met. This indicates that how quickly the support is delivered is as important as the type of support. When their needs were met quickly, the faculty felt that their wishes were taken seriously and their needs were very much acknowledged by the administration.

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87 Finally, DELTEP administrators gave support to faculty in the selection and allocation of people to work in DELTEP. Most faculty members were approached by the administrators at the beginning of the program to take part in the project. When I asked faculty members about their appointment in the program, they stated that they volunteered as a result of the administrations invitation. In addition, administrators also helped in the selection and appointment of faculty support personnel for each online production team. For example, each editor was provided with several content specialists, one online course production coordinator, one distance education instruction designer, and one web designer. The president describes the allocation of people as: We gathered the teachers for online courses and formed one group for each course. One distance education designer, one graphics designer, and one animation designer came on board. Then someone with computer background took part and then a teacher. Like this, we formed a group of six or seven people.We had technical people from our Computer Teaching Program; they are third or fourth year students. For example, we had graphic designers from graphics department to do graphics or animations. (Administrator 1, Interview A, March 24, 2005) Administrators active involvement and close monitoring in the program also enabled faculty to team up and work in collaboration with people from various departments at Anadolu University. Especially, the involvement of the president made it possible to make resources across the university available for DELTEP faculty members. Instead of hiring graphics or web designers from other institutions, technical personnel who were familiar with Anadolu University and DELTEP were asked to work in the project, which made communication and coordination easier among team members.

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88 In short, administrators at Anadolu University were actively involved in DELTEP to support faculty members as they planned and implemented online courses. Faculty members were extremely happy with the support they received from the administration. Administrators not only provided faculty with money, equipment, and experts in various areas of distance education, but they also provided emotional support by being there for the faculty members through their entire experience with making a transition to distance education. Faculty members perceived available administrative support as more than satisfactory because they felt that their needs were met immediately. The DELTEP faculty members, administrators, and the support personnel have shown that each party perceived the available support in the same way. This finding contradicts to what Lee (2002) found in his study. According to the findings of Lee (2002), administrators and faculty members viewed available faculty support in different ways. Faculty members were not aware of some of the available faculty support activities as much as the administrators. However, in the case of DELTEP, faculty members and administrators had similar beliefs and opinions about the available faculty support. As far as the faculty support provided by the administration, faculty members were appreciative and grateful. This may be the result of active involvement of the administrators throughout the online course project. Through regular monthly meetings with the faculty members, administrators encouraged faculty members to take part in the decision making process, which may also have an effect on faculty members sharing the same beliefs about faculty support with the administrators. Technological and Pedagogical Support Faculty members in DELTEP were provided with both technological and pedagogical support before and during their preparation for online course materials. To

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89 do this, in-service training and continuous support were given through various support activities. One of the support activities that provided faculty with technological and pedagogical support was formal training through two online faculty training courses. These two online courses, which were called How to Teach Online I and How to Teach Online II, were offered one time at the beginning of the online course production project before faculty started to produce online materials. Each course lasted six weeks and was given by an American instructor who was in Japan at that time. Thus, faculty members took these courses online through WebCT and had the chance to experience online teaching and learning environment both as teachers and learners. Of the 10 faculty I interviewed, 2 faculty members had completed both courses, and they were extremely happy with the training they received. I enjoyed these courses a lot. I really liked what I saw. I learned about autonomous learning. And I could experience WebCt both as an instructor and a learner. (Teacher 9, Interview A, March 29, 2005) Because online education requires learners to be autonomous learners, it was important for faculty members to experience the teaching and learning medium as learners. As Krauthamer (2002) suggested, faculty members who experience being online learners themselves may have more empathy toward their students. In addition, faculty had more ideas about classroom management because they are more familiar with the needs and wants of an online learner. Bruder (1992) also suggested that if faculty members use the computer for their needs first, they can apply it to their teaching in a better way. By allowing faculty members to go through similar learning processes, these two online courses gave them the chance to understand the pedagogical issues in online education. In other words, faculty members were able to step into their students shoes,

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90 which may be an invaluable source of knowledge for designing online activities and materials. Through online discussions, tasks, and assignments in these two courses, faculty members had the chance to see many online teaching techniques and methods in practice. In addition to pedagogical issues in online education, these two in-service training courses provided input for faculty on technological issues of online teaching, such as writing in HTML code or uploading web pages. Faculty who took these two courses also felt more confident in using computers and WebCt: Researcher: How confident do you feel about the technology that is required to use in the program? Participant: Pretty much. I took two courses on WebCt and I knew how to upload material and how to use it to a certain extent. I feel pretty much confident, but you know we dont upload our material here. Researcher: Which courses were they? How to Teach Online I and How to Teach Online II? Participant: Right. By an American instructor and our sponsor was the American Council. It was an online course. Researcher: Would you prefer to receive online tutorials to support you as you teach via online? Participant: If it is like the course that I took from the American instructor, yes. It was very useful. It was fun. Researcher: What made it fun? Participant: I dont know. Maybe learning new things, knowing that also you have control over online material, you can prepare your own material. You get fun learning new things, animations. He also taught us how to make beautiful animations. Researcher: Do you remember specific things about its style or design? I am trying to understand what faculty liked about online training. I heard that there were discussions.

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91 Participant: Right, there were discussions. There were deadlines for each homework. At the very beginning, we had some articles and stuff on the pedagogical part of it. Eventually, we started doing the real thing: how do you write HTML. Its cool, its very cool. Then, we started to learn how to do animations, how to upload pictures, other files, and stuff like that. And the deadlines were very very nice. (Teacher 4, Interview A, March 28, 2005) As it can be seen from this previous quote, faculty members who took these two online training courses felt confident in using the medium because they had input and practice on how to use WebCT. Faculty members also felt that they had more control over the materials because they become more knowledgeable about the technological aspects of WebCT. One interesting point is that the faculty defined technological part of the courses as the real thing. Because these faculty members had extensive experience in traditional ELT education, technological issues were perceived as new information rather than pedagogical issues. Training on technological issues may be more challenging for faculty, but at the same time, they may be more fun to learn because faculty members felt that they were learning something new. In other words, faculty members were open to learning both pedagogical and technological aspects of online teaching. However, they felt that they needed more training and support on technology. Different faculty members may vary in their experience and capabilities in terms of online pedagogy and educational technology. Therefore, it may be best to provide faculty with input on both areas as in the case of two online faculty training courses in DELTEP. Another point is that the faculty really enjoyed taking part in these courses. As faculty members gained new knowledge and more control over the material, they enjoyed the course more, which also helped them develop more positive attitudes towards

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92 receiving support and training. When faculty members have positive experiences with available support activities, they are more likely to be open for new ones. One of the faculty members who had completed both courses stated: I only took these two courses. They are not enough. Every day there is something new in online education. I would like to learn more (Teacher 9, Interview B, April 6, 2005). Thus, previous training experiences had an impact on how faculty perceived the idea of receiving support and training. The two online training courses in DELTEP not only provided faculty with the necessary knowledge and skills to teach online, but also helped them to develop more positive attitudes toward training and support, which is in line with the claims of Gunawardena and McIsaac (2003), who stated that with the help of training opportunities in distance education, faculty can overcome their anxieties about technology and might improve teacher attitudes. In other words, through proper technological training, faculty members can have more positive attitudes towards distance education because they are more equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach at a distance. However, these two courses could be offered only once at the beginning of the project. Each course cost $25,000 (U.S.) and was offered with the help of the American Council in Turkey. The DELTEP administrators could not offer the courses for the second time because they were very expensive. And, more than half of the ELT faculty members interviewed either could not participate in the courses or had to drop out due to time constraints and heavy workload. For example, two faculty members explained why they could not finish online training as: I couldnt finish online training courses due to time constraints. We had to be in U.S. for three weeks and informed the instructor. He said Ok, but I have a student who takes a course from me. He went to Europe and

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93 followed the course with his laptop. We laughed, but couldnt say anything to him. None of us had laptops at that time. He thinks that this is our only job as if we devote all our time just to this. (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30, 2005) Participant: I took the first online course. I couldnt take the second because of the heavy workload. We found it difficult to keep up with the assignments. Researcher: Do you think it would help if people who completed both courses gave you a workshop? Would it be helpful if they shared their experiences with you to save time? Participant: Maybe. But, it would not be the same. You have to see it for yourself. You have to experience, go through the training yourself. Otherwise, it would not be very effective. It wont be the same. (Teacher 5, Interview A, April 1, 2005) The Faculty in DELTEP were willing to participate in training courses, but many were concerned about time. Being a teacher and a student at the same time may be too demanding for some faculty. Because faculty members in general have a very heavy workload, the training activities should be flexible in terms of time required to do the activities and assignments. Many faculty members go to conferences or meetings, which may cause interruptions in their training. Thus, training activities should take faculty members workload and schedules into consideration. Faculty training courses should be offered regularly throughout the academic year or during the summer when faculty members are more available. In DELTEP, faculty training courses could not be offered regularly due to financial reasons. However, almost all faculty members stated that they see the benefit in taking such courses, and they would like to have more opportunities to be trained in both pedagogical and technological aspects of online education. Faculty members who did not have the chance to participate in either of these courses felt that

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94 they are at a disadvantage because of not having enough input at the beginning of the project: Our friends who took those online courses are one step ahead of us. I dont have a clear-cut idea of how an online course is created or how we should communicate with students. These online courses were not offered again. If they were offered again, I would definitely like to attend. There was a limited number of seats available and I was not specifically invited. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005) Everyone should receive training in distance education. Because we started the program so fast, some people got training, some people didnt. If training courses are voluntary and if my course schedule is suitable, I would like to participate in training courses. (Teacher 5, Interview A, April 1, 2005) In short, faculty perceived the two training courses, How to Teach Online I and How to Teach Online II, as very helpful and useful. However, due to time constraints and financial limitations, not all faculty members could attend or finish these courses. Faculty members were motivated and willing to receive such courses that would give them pedagogical and technological knowledge and experience in online education. Thus, such in-service training courses should be offered regularly so that faculty members can attend when they are available. Because these courses were very expensive, trainers or instructors within Anadolu University can be appointed rather than hire an external instructor. Support from the private sector can also be received to raise the money needed to offer such courses. The important point is that faculty members needed and wanted more of these courses to be more available to them. Another source of technological and pedagogical support for the DELTEP faculty was Open Education Faculty (OEF). The OEF, with its long history in distance education,

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95 gave technological and pedagogical support through meetings and workshops. Before the teams for online course production started to produce materials and tasks for online delivery, faculty members from OEF showed different examples of online course design to DELTEP faculty members and how those materials can be applied or adapted to distance ELT teacher training. Through meetings and brief workshops, faculty members were introduced to the technical aspects of online software to be used and how this software can be used for instruction. Therefore, OEF faculty shared their long-time experience in distance education with ELT faculty on both technical and pedagogical aspects of online instruction, and ELT faculty members felt confident as they received such support from OEF faculty. One faculty member described the importance of OEFs support as: The most important thing is that Open Education Faculty has a history of 21to 22 years in distance education. It is educating and serving 870,000 students. In an institution like this, you are serving a group of 9,700 students. You are in a very special position. You are given all the support necessary. We have a very strong team behind us. They guided us a lot. In terms of hardware, Open Education Faculty is at a very important place in the World. Open Education Faculty has been very useful for us. In fact, we were established based on their experience. If we had not had that experience, we couldnt have done it. We couldnt have dared to do it. We could do this thanks to the culture and experience of Open Education Faculty. (Teacher 7, Interview A, March 31, 2005) As the faculty member stated above, long-time experience in distance education also served as a form of support for faculty. The reputation and experience of OEF in distance education gave faculty members a sense of confidence as a result of professional know-how. Working with a team of experts in distance education helped faculty in their transition from traditional to distance education because OEF knew potential needs and

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96 wants of both distance learners and teachers. Thus, with the help of OEF, faculty in DELTEP had a sense of structure and direction right from the beginning of the project. Moreover, because OEF was mainly responsible for issues related to distance education, DELTEP faculty found more time to focus on ELT-related areas. The DELTEP faculty worked on what to be taught in online courses, and OEF supported faculty on how the content should be delivered via distance. To make sure that the ELT content is presented according to the distance education guidelines and principles, OEF worked with DELTEP faculty in all stages of online course production. For example, at the beginning of online course production project, OEF members produced a template for each course to help faculty members produce online units. One online course production coordinator described this process as: I receive the content from the editors. But first we prepare a sample, pilot unit. Then we create a template together. This is one of the most difficult parts in the process, when we create the pilot unit. All the other online units are created based on that sample unit. We meet with editors. We try out things a lot and we can make changes on the pilot unit. We met and discussed with editors for three weeks at the beginning. We met at least five or six times to produce the pilot unit. (Support Personnel 1, Interview A, March 28, 2005) With the help of the sample unit prepared for each course, faculty members workload in preparing online courses decreased. The sample unit, which included various self-study types of tasks for online learners, served as a framework for faculty. The entire number of faculty interviewed stated that it was challenging to produce the first units whereas they felt more and more comfortable preparing online materials after they gained experience. In this sense, having a template at the beginning of the project served as an example for faculty, which decreased their anxiety as they progressed.

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97 In addition to guiding faculty at the beginning of the project, OEF continued to support faculty members as they prepared materials. For example, each online course production coordinator, who is an OEF member, kept track of the amount of work done with due dates. Because the objective of each course production team was to produce one online unit for each week--and there were at least six members in each team--a tracking system for the flow of work was created: We can see the flow of work on the computer. Our director and the president also have a copy of this list (Support Personnel 2, Interview A, March 31, 2005). With the help of this online tracking system, everyone in the team, including faculty members, knew what to do and when to do it. Thus, OEF not only helped faculty members share their workload but also helped to coordinate the communication and interaction among team members who worked on technological and pedagogical aspects of online courses. Moreover, OEF members collated and presented an overview of what had been done in various DELTEP courses so that teachers can see each others work. The OEF members analyzed and reviewed all the online courses that were completed by each production team and displayed various examples of faculty members work through briefings and meetings. Even though each faculty member has access to the all the DELTEP courses online, faculty members preferred to be updated by OEF members due to time constraints: Courses can be seen much better during the meetings. We dont have time to examine each course in detail. OEF showed us the colorful parts in each course. (Teacher 5, Interview B, April 7, 2005). Faculty members appreciated these meetings in which they could see each others work because they gave faculty members the opportunity to learn from each other. Such

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98 courses were extremely helpful because faculty members could see a variety of examples of how technological tools can be used to serve ELT pedagogy in a variety of settings. These meetings were quick and effective ways of receiving input on both technological and pedagogical aspects of online ELT teacher training. Thus, faculty members regarded these meetings as very helpful and useful. Also, faculty members valued learning from colleagues to a great extent. Eight out of 13 faculty members who responded to the online survey stated that they preferred to receive training and support through collaboration with colleagues. Eleven faculty members (85%) also preferred to receive face-to-face input or training through workshops. Meetings, workshops, or swap shops, which allowed faculty members to learn from each other by sharing ideas and experiences, was one of the most preferred and appreciated forms of receiving technological and pedagogical support. Finally, DELTEP faculty received technological and pedagogical support from online course production team members. Content specialists, facilitators, and distance education instructional designers helped faculty with pedagogical issues of online education and graphics/animation designers, sound/video designers, and web designers helped faculty with technological issues. Also, production and publishing coordinators supported faculty with both technological and pedagogical aspects of online education. Working as a team helped faculty share the workload because they were mainly responsible for the content of online materials whereas other team members were responsible with technical parts of online delivery. The following quotes present how faculty members and support personnel view each others roles and responsibilities: We want content specialists to be experts in the subject matter. They dont have to know about the technical

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99 aspects. What we need is the raw content. (Administrator 3, Interview A, March 28, 2005) Technical support personnel did not interfere with the content. Whats important for our part is to get the content of the material written. Then it can be dolled up for the computer.We sometimes clash with technical personnel. Good content or good computer stuff. But we managed to find a compromise. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005) Sharing the workload helped faculty members to focus on what they know best. All the faculty members I interviewed stated that they liked this online course production structure because it helped them decrease their workload. Because heavy workload and time constraints were two of the main issues that faculty members were concerned about, any type of support that helped them save time was most welcomed. Also, by having a team of experts in the technological aspects of online education, faculty members did not have to be trained in these areas extensively. The faculty members in general were extremely happy to receive such support through online course production teams as they stated: This is a good system because I am not an expert in the technical aspects. I do not have the knowledge to use all this technology. And I do not need to be under these circumstances. There is a very good team of technical experts. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005) I am very pleased to have technical teams support. When I was a student there were no computers. I watch the graphics with astonishment. I appreciate them. I am very happy to have their support. (Teacher 8, Interview A, March 31, 2005) As can be observed from these quotes, having technological support through experts was very helpful for the faculty because most faculty members did not have the necessary skills and knowledge to work on the technological parts of online units.

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100 However, faculty members had different views about the amount of control they had over online materials in terms of access. For example, one faculty member believed that having this type of support increased the quality of the final product. She stated that as teachers they would be more involved in the technological aspects if they were trained, but still she believed that it would not be graphically as computer-friendly as it is now (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005). However, faculty members who attended How to Teach Online course, were more willing to be involved in the technological aspects of online delivery since they had training in these areas. They stated in particular that they would like to have access to upload web pages in a unit to have more control over the materials: Instead of making two or three phone calls to edit one word, it would be better if I had the opportunity to see and correct mistakes (Teacher 9, Interview B, April 6, 2005). The faculty members were very much concerned about the typos, spelling, and grammar mistakes that sometimes occur when materials were transferred onto the web. Because accuracy of the language in the tasks was essential in an English language teacher training program, faculty members believed that they should be corrected immediately before students see them. On the other hand, one faculty member did not prefer to have access to upload materials on the web at all because: It would be chaos. Everyone would try to change something. I think its better to have one central control point (Teacher 8, Interview A, March 31, 2005). In other words, some faculty members preferred to be involved in the technological aspects of online delivery more than others. Faculty members who received training in web page creation and design were more open to making changes on the online materials as they felt more confident and more skilled in this area. Thus, this

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101 implies that different faculty members with various levels of technological skills can perceive the available technological support differently. A faculty who has never designed a web page may perceive it as a challenging task. But, a faculty member who has experience may wish to be more active in terms of web page design. More individualized support can be provided to each faculty member based on his knowledge and experience in technological aspects of online course production. The amount of support can also be gradually decreased by giving more and more control and access to faculty members as they gain more experience in online material production. Socio-emotional Support In addition to administrative, technological, and pedagogical support, DELTEP faculty members stated that they received manevi support from people they work with. Manevi is a Turkish word that refers to anything that is intangible, nonphysical, or immaterial. It was often used in contrast to Maddi support, which was related to money, physical goods, or material things. For example, having extra salaries or equipments can be considered as Maddi support whereas being appreciated by others or having the trust of others can be considered as Manevi support. One faculty member describes her view of Manevi support as: What I understand from support is someone or some tool that will help me with my work load. It can be a person or a tool. Of course, when I say help me with my work load is to help me decrease my work load by sharing. In addition, it is someone different than me who will complete the work that I cant handle or cant do. Maybe I can do that certain thing, but that person should help me when I am working on something else. When I say support, it is a form of Manevi support. Manevi support is very important for me. It is very important when someone looks at my work and says Wow, well done. You have spent a lot of time on this and it looks great!. This type of support is very

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102 important for me. (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30, 2005) As it can be seen in the previous quote, appreciation of work, sharing workload, and helping each other is considered as Manevi support. Because it was a culturally bounded concept and there was no direct translation of Manevi into English, the closest word that can convey its meaning was selected: socio-emotional support, which is the emotional support that we receive from others or being part of a group. As a result of the socio-emotional support that DELTEP faculty received from each other, they were more motivated and willing to work in the program. In all the interviews with the faculty, I could observe that they acted as a group, working in harmony with one and other, which made them a very homogenous group in terms of their views about the program and distance education in general. For example, all participants believed in the program and took high pride in being a part of this unique program: This is something that our country needs. It is something that had never been done before. We also had the opportunity to gain experience in this area. Besides, it comes with a job guarantee for students. In Turkey, someone who knows English can find a job anywhere. (Administrator 1, Interview A, March 24, 2005) This is a program which was created because of the big need for qualified ELT teachers. It is not possible to eliminate teacher shortage problem with only the traditional education. Today, there are about 20 traditional face-to-face ELT programs. If we do not change our standards and assessment methods, we can train ELT teachers even better than traditional programs. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005) Being a part of such a unique program that was founded to solve one of the biggest educational challenges in Turkey gave faculty the pride and motivation, which

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103 acted as a social-emotional support and drive for them. All faculty members stated that there was a big need for this program and they were serving the needs of the country as well as their students. As one faculty member stated, in this program they had students as many as 26 traditional ELT programs could get in Turkey (Teacher 7, Interview A, March 31, 2005). Thus, faculty members felt that this program could make a huge difference in terms of training ELT teachers, which gave them a feeling of motivation to participate in this program: We participated in this program because we believed that it would be beneficial for our department and university.Only we have such a unique program. (Teacher 7, Interview A, March 31, 2005) This program is our product, 100% Anadolu University made This is a project that Anadolu University is proud of. It is one of the most important projects of the university. (Administrator 1, Interview A, March 24, 2005) In addition to getting a sense of accomplishment from participating in a unique program, faculty members also received socio-emotional support and satisfaction from teaching via distance. A majority of the faculty interviewed believed in the use of distance education to train ELT teachers and shared their beliefs with each other. Because the program was conducted via distance in the third and fourth years, Students could work and receive education at the same time because they were not bounded with time and place (Administrator 2, Interview A, March 24, 2005). Also, students could study online materials independently, download these self-study materials and learn from each other through online discussion boards. Thus, faculty saw the value of distance education, which helped them develop more positive attitudes toward their work. For example one faculty member stated:

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104 In highly populated countries like Turkey where there is a limited number of teachers, distance education is not only a need, but also it is a necessity. (Teacher 1, Interview B, April 7, 2005) When faculty believed in the use of their work and shared it with colleagues, they were more motivated as they worked in this program. Having a positive attitude toward distance education served as an socio-emotional support because faculty members shared their beliefs and encouraged and motivated each other. As faculty received acceptance and encouragement from peers, they become more open to distance education: We liked distance education as we got into it and worked on it together (Teacher 8, Interview A, March 31, 2005). As Dillon and Walsch (1992) found after reviewing 225 articles on distance education, faculty members generally developed more positive attitude towards distance education with experience. Many DELTEP faculty who had mixed feelings about distance education before they began the project, became supporters of distance education as they gained experience in distance education together. In addition, faculty members received socio-emotional support from students as they worked on the production of online materials. Faculty members who received praising comments from students became more motivated as they felt that their work was appreciated and valued. In fact, a close relationship existed between how students reacted to online materials and how faculty felt about online education. Following quotes typifies how faculty perceived online education based on their students reactions: I get my motivation from my students. I have never had any difficulties in online education. We received incredible praise from students when we gave the online materials. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005) Some students were arrogant and insulting last year, so I did not appreciate it [online facilitation], but this year

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105 students are very constructive and I like it. (Teacher 4, Interview A, March 28, 2005) Believing in their work, taking part in a unique program, and being able to make a difference for students were all important sources of motivation for faculty members. However, one of the most important observed points during the interviews was how much faculty were dedicated to their work. These faculty members all had a genuine love of their jobs, and they sacrificed their time and energy to overcome all the challenges, which was the ultimate source of motivation for them and emotional support for each other. Even though administrative, and technological and pedagogical support played an important role in the success of the overall faculty support system, faculty members openness to support and self-motivation were also essential for the success of the program. In other words, faculty members loved their jobs, and their department and university, which escalated the effectiveness of the faculty support. Faculty members worked through sleepless nights to meet the deadlines. I was particularly curious about what made or helped DELTEP faculty members so dedicated. Most faculty members stated that this had always been the culture of Anadolu University in general. For example, one faculty member described the culture of Anadolu University as: Participant: I have been working in this university for five years. I am proud of being a member of this university. I am very happy. At the universities that I had been before they would treat us like, Who are you? There was no atmosphere of trust like we have here. Here, they take it seriously when you say something and they guide you. This is very important. Participant: This [atmosphere of trust] has been the characteristics of Anadolu University. It is a system that was established long before I came.

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106 Researcher: Whats the most important factor in having such an atmosphere do you think? Participant: Its people loving and trusting each other. Nothing else. (Teacher 8, Interview A, March 31, 2005) In general, faculty members had a respect for their superiors and love for their colleagues, which created an atmosphere of trust. This atmosphere in which faculty members had respect and love for each other led to sharing socio-emotional support among participants, which had a very big impact on how faculty perceive and make use of available support. These interviews with faculty at DELTEP have shown that socio-emotional support can be as important as any other type of institutional support as faculty members make a transition from traditional to distance education. As with any change initiative, learning to teach in a new medium requires the support of others, both emotionally and technologically. Having a common goal, sharing beliefs and values, as well as being able to trust peers support and encouragement, all contributed to the success of general faculty support provided by the institution. Additional Support for DELTEP Faculty The online survey results revealed that DELTEP faculty needed some additional support as they trained ELT teachers via distance. Table 4-4 shows the top three commonly requested type of technical support mentioned by the participants whereas Table 4-5 shows the top three commonly requested type of pedagogical support. Table 4-6 on the other hand presents in which format DELTEP faculty wished to receive training or support. Online survey results indicate that a majority of participants (85%) wished to receive training or support through face-to-face individual support.

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107 Table 4-4. Online survey results on the areas that faculty need more support with technical aspects of training ELT teachers via distance education Participant responses Frequency in percentages Various ways of presenting information such as the use of multimedia 31% Better cooperation among technical staff during the preparation of online content 31% No additional technical support is needed (satisfied with the available technical support) 31% Table 4-5. Online survey results on the areas that faculty need more support with pedagogical aspects of training ELT teachers via distance education Participant responses Frequency in percentages More feedback from students on the online materials prepared by the faculty 62% Learn how to increase interaction and participation among the students in the online environment 38% More input from the colleagues during the preparation of online materials 31% Table 4-6. Online survey results of the preferred faculty training and support formats Training and support formats Frequency in percentages Face-to-face individual support 85% Online individual support 15% Face-to-face support as a group 31% Online support as a group through listservs, forums, bulletin boards, etc 23% Collaboration with colleagues 61% Other(s) (Integrated support) 15% The interviews with participants also revealed that DELTEP faculty needed more support in one main area: decreasing faculty workload. The issue of time constraints and heavy workload was brought up by all participants in all interviews. The biggest reason for not having time was the amount of workload because DELTEP faculty members had to undertake both face-to-face and distance ELT Bachelor of Arts. programs simultaneously. They also had a masters and doctoral program on top of their teaching

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108 loads. An average faculty taught 20 hours in face-to-face courses, prepared one online unit per week, and did four hours of facilitation service every week. Most faculty members stated that they had their own research projects and graduate students to attend to in addition to regular duties. Thus, faculty members had an enormous time pressure as they prepared online courses and guided online learners in DELTEP: The most challenging thing we had to deal with is time. We have full loads of teaching face-to-face and distance education on top of that. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005) We work beyond our limits as a human. We had many nights working on online units without any sleep. We really want to do this, its a new job, but we cannot finish in time. If this was my only job, I would be more willing to do online education. (Teacher 5, Interview A, April 1, 2005) Many DELTEP faculty members stated that they would like their workloads to be decreased so that they could spend more time with their students. The faculty members also believed that due to time constraints, they could not attend to distance learners as much as they wanted to. Many faculty members interviewed stated that teaching only in distance ELT program would be better due to time constraints. For example: Actually, the ideal situation is where you only have this distance education job, and you will be in constant interaction with students. (Teacher 2, Interview A, April 5, 2005) I could have been more creative if I were working on this project only. The pace is amazing. (Teacher 9, Interview A, March 29, 2005) Because teaching in both traditional and distance education programs has increased the workload of the faculty and they had to meet frequent deadlines to produce

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109 online units, they felt that time constraints negatively affected the quality of their work. Thus, faculty members needed some compensation in terms of time while they worked in distance education programs. The faculty workload in traditional education can be decreased, or the faculty who volunteer can teach only in distance education programs. In this way, faculty can have more time and energy as they work in distance education, which would increase the quality of instruction in general. Summary The DELTEP, with its blended model of instruction, provides both face-to-face and distance education to thousands of prospective ELT teachers. With its unique design, it is a one of a kind distance education degree program in ELT. The experiences of faculty members who teach in DELTEP give important clues about how distance ELT faculty should and could be supported by their institutions. Interviews with participants revealed that despite its challenges, faculty members had a positive attitude toward distance education. One of the most important factors in the motivation of faculty was the institutional support that they received. Faculty members received administrative, technological, and pedagogical support as they worked on producing online courses. In addition, socio-emotional support, which consisted of emotional support received from administrators, colleagues, and students, was found to be an important factor in the motivation of faculty. In general, faculty believed that they received more than adequate support. They were happy with the institutional support which they stated was consistent and effective. The area in which they would like to receive more support was their workload. Because faculty members had to undertake both traditional and distance ELT programs, they wished their workload to be decreased to increase the amount of time they can spend on their students.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Introduction The aim of this chapter is to give the reader an overview of the study. It includes a summary of the statement of the problem, the methodology used, and the findings of the study. In addition, it includes the discussion of the findings and suggestions for additional research. Statement of the Problem As English is becoming a widely used language around the world, the need for qualified English language teachers is increasing day by day. Current traditional English Language Teaching (ELT) programs are unable to eliminate the ELT teacher shortage. Therefore, alternative deliveries of instruction, such as distance education, are being employed to educate large population of prospective ELT teachers. With the advancements in computer technologies, online education is also becoming widespread as a form of distance education. However, because online education is fairly new, it is important to study the emerging online programs at this time of transition to online programs in relation to the changing role and workload of faculty. In other words, because this is a new field of research, it is imperative to learn more about faculty in online education. We can do this by studying a distance ELT program and exploring how faculty members are being supported as they plan and teach via distance. Thus, the study of distance English language teacher education program (DELTEP) in Turkey and its 110

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111 faculty support program can give us insight into how ELT faculty members can and should be supported by their institutions. To do this, three main research questions were asked in this study: Research Question 1: What is the history and structure of DELTEP, especially in relation to distance education? a. What developments led to the foundation of this program? b. How is the instruction via face-to-face and distance education organized and implemented? Research Question 2: What are the DELTEP faculty members perceptions about the advantages and challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education? Research Question 3: What are the available faculty support structures for DELTEP faculty? a. How do faculty, administrators, and support team perceive the available faculty support structures? b. What factors facilitate or hinder faculty participation? c. What other support do faculty members perceive as needed? Review of Methodology To answer the research questions in the study, a qualitative instrumental case study (Stake, 1994) was adopted, and DELTEP in Anadolu University in Turkey was selected as the case. There were three data collection sources: an online survey, artifacts, such as newspaper articles on DELTEP and course materials, and interviews with DELTEP faculty members, support personnel, and administrators. The online survey was used to select participants for the interviews and served as secondary source of data together with artifacts. The main data collection source consisted of the in-depth interviews that were done with 3 administrators, 3 faculty support personnel, and 10 ELT faculty members in DELTEP. The participants were interviewed twice and each interview was recorded and transcribed. The data gathered were analyzed through the constant comparison method of data analysis. Each interview transcript was read line by

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112 line to identify the emerging patterns or similar meanings. These patterns of meaning were then coded through open, axial, and selective coding (Strauss, & Corbin, 1990). During the coding process, all the emerging categories were compared and contrasted by making connections and finally were organized around a core category. This procedure was repeated until achieving theoretical saturation, which is a sense of closure gets when no more relevant data seem to emerge regarding a category (Glaser, & Strauss, 1967). Summary of Findings Data analysis revealed several advantages and challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education. One of the most important advantages was reaching thousands of prospective ELT students, as DELTEP educated as many as approximately 30 traditional face-to-face ELT programs in Turkey. On the other hand, faculty members believed that distance education was especially challenging for training ELT teachers because ELT is more of a skills-based discipline in which students have to be in constant interaction with their teachers. Despite its challenges, DELTEP faculty in general held very positive attitudes toward distance education. They supported the program to a great extent because they believed there was an incredible need for such a program to minimize the ELT teacher shortage in Turkey. In addition, the interviews with DELTEP administrators, faculty members, and support personnel showed that faculty members were given various types of support especially when working on preparing online materials for distance courses. The ELT faculty members were able to produce 15 to 25 online units for each ELT course in the third and forth year of the program within one academic year. This production was possible through a variety of faculty support initiatives and activities. The DELTEP faculty members were supported by the university administration, colleagues, and experts

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113 in educational technology and distance education. In addition, faculty members were provided with training on the pedagogical and technological aspects of online teaching. The DELTEP faculty also worked in teams to produce online courses. The ELT faculty were responsible for the content of online courses, and they received additional support in their workload on the technological aspects, such as graphics, sound, and web design. In general, faculty members were extremely happy with the support they received. There was only one area that faculty members felt they needed more support: their workload. Because faculty worked in both traditional and distance ELT programs simultaneously, they had concerns about time constraints and wished their workload could be decreased. Discussion of Findings Online education is the beginning of a new paradigm for learning and teaching (Kearsley, 1998). The Internet technologies, which become more widespread everyday in our lives, have led to the initiation of a makeover in ways we learn and teach. The number of online courses is increasing at a fast rate as higher education institutions are rapidly developing programs to deliver at a distance (Howard, Schenk, & Discenza, 2004). There are two main reasons for the growing number of distance education programs: meeting the demands of a new student profile and reaching larger population of students using fewer resources. Today, students, who live in a digital age, are more familiar with the use of computers and Internet technologies. They also expect to be equipped with more knowledge and skills to use these technologies by the time they graduate. The technological advancements in the world are also spreading in a short amount of time thanks to the communication devices. Thus, students become more used to gaining

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114 knowledge and skills through the use of computers and the Internet. Higher education institutions must respond to these new learner characteristics. In addition, traditional higher education programs are unable to educate large number of students. This is a significant problem in largely populated countries, such as Turkey. With the spread of the Internet, online education has become a more available and accessible form of distance education for students. Through the use of multimedia and the Internet, online education has the potential to be intermediary between traditional and distance education. Therefore, higher institutions started to make use of this form of delivery to educate large number of students. If there is one thing that spreads as fast as the Internet around the world, it is English as a foreign language. Today, the Internet is the worlds most widely used communication tool whereas English is the worlds most widely used communication language. There is a growing demand for new ELT teachers; however, it is not possible to meet this demand with the available traditional ELT programs. To keep up with the technological advancements and to train large number of prospective ELT teachers, online education becomes a necessity. The DELTEP at Anadolu University was one of the programs that recognize this need. With a student population of more than 9,000, DELTEP delivers both face-to-face and distance courses to train thousand of prospective ELT teachers. However, there has to be a compromise between quality and quantity. The quality of instruction in distance ELT programs is as important as, if not more, the number of graduates they have. To ensure the quality of distance and online courses, faculty who teach these courses should be well equipped with the necessary skills to

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115 teach online. The DELTEP faculty members experiences and perceptions showed that institutional support is vital in preparing faculty for online delivery. Implications for Distance ELT Teacher Education One of the most significant implications that can be drawn from the experiences of DELTEP faculty in the area of training ELT teachers via distance is related to the nature of ELT teacher education as a discipline and its relation to distance education. ELT teacher education is mainly a skill-based discipline. Even though each discipline requires certain amount of theoretical knowledge and development of skills, some disciplines such as ELT teacher education dominantly involves skill development. Going back to the example that one of the faculty members gave in Chapter 4, the ELT teacher education discipline is like learning how to ride a bicycle. To teach someone how to ride a bicycle, you can teach the parts of a bicycle, point out the steps that should be followed, describe the traffic rules, and demonstrate how it is done in practice; however, ultimately the learner has to try riding a bicycle and experience the process of acquiring the necessary skills to fully learn how to ride a bicycle by himself. In other words, with skill development, theoretical knowledge has to be accompanied by a certain amount of experiential learning to put theory into practice. And, knowing about a skill is not enough to master that skill without applying that knowledge in a variety of situations. Similar to learning how to ride a bicycle or any other skills-based activity, language learning requires the development of certain language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the target language). Learning how to teach is also a skill-based approach. Prospective ELT teachers can learn the grammatical rules of English or the theories and approaches related to language learning or teaching. However, this does not guarantee that they will use this knowledge successfully in practice. Learning a certain

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116 skill involves the use of our cumulated knowledge in a variety of situations. In other words, if we cannot use our knowledge creatively to meet the demands of various situations, we cannot say that we acquired a skill. We have to link theory and practice through experience embedded with reflection and awareness. However, this is not an easy task and learners need guidance throughout the skill development process. Theoretical knowledge is easier to transmit compared to skill development via distance. For example, a learner can learn the theories of language teaching by reading a textbook or listening to an instructor. Thus, transmission of knowledge can be done through one-way communication tools. The learner has to master the content which is pre-determined and pre-organized by the source of the information. During skill development or gaining ability; on the other hand, learners have to be more active in their learning because they start to make decisions on when, how, and why to proceed in their learning. In other words, learners have to be more active, creative, and aware. Therefore, they need more and more frequent feedback and guidance from their instructors as they learn to apply certain skills for the first time. Thats why interaction and two-way communication between the learner and the instructor is a must in skill development no matter if it is face-to-face or via distance. The experiences of DELTEP faculty revealed that their biggest challenge with distance education was developing skills. Because they believed that language skill development cannot be done via distance, they organized the program in such a way that most skill development took place face-to-face in the first and second year of the program. In addition, almost all faculty members stated that they needed more student feedback on the materials they prepared. Also, they wished that they could give feedback

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117 to students more quickly. They were not happy with the time lapse between sent and received messages and they wanted to interact with students more. In addition, they wanted to give and receive feedback whenever they feel that it is necessary. Therefore, the speed as well as the amount of feedback was an important criterion for the faculty members. They also believed that role-modelling was essential in teaching both language and how to teach the language. This supports the idea that skill development requires more or a different kind of guidance: a kind of guidance approach that is adaptive and flexible to meet the needs of different learners who acquire skills at different levels and pace. However, what they needed most was a channel that would keep the communication and interaction necessary to give and receive feedback open for both the students and themselves. In other words, faculty members knew how to guide their students in skill development, but they did not know how to use or did not have the means to do it via distance. Therefore, the biggest challenge in training ELT teachers via distance education is to create opportunities for learners to learn by doing as well as through reflection based on their experience. This can be done through various ways of interaction channels and Kearsley (1998) stated interaction as the most important element of successful online education; however, the true value of interaction lies within the message that it embodies or carries. Without proper and constructive feedback, merely the act of interacting may not lead to learning. The interaction has to have a purpose and a focus which reflects the nature of ELT teacher education and its instructional objectives. If students and teachers do not have the means to interact, they cannot exchange feedback which is far most important source of guidance for both parties to achieve productivity in teaching and

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118 learning. Therefore, in order to achieve quality in training ELT teachers via distance, we need more channels of interaction and communication that would enable the flow of feedback that is essential for skill development, which can be done through the use of computers and multimedia. To do this, all students who attend the distance education program must have computers and access to the Internet as one administrator pointed out, All students that attend the program can be given computers with the support of the World Bank or similar organizations (Administrator 3, Interview B, April 6, 2005). Participating in the online environment should be mandatory for all students. In addition to online materials and activities, other communication tools such as telephone should be used to allow more opportunities for students to interact with their instructors. Also, because skill-development is a process oriented activity, students participation throughout the courses can be assessed formatively through tracking systems and instructor evaluations (Doolittle, 2001). If a skills-based discipline such as ELT teacher education requires the practice of certain skills over a considerable amount of time and active involvement of students all throughout the learning process, student involvement throughout this process should have a weight in the grading system. In this way, all students can be encouraged to participate in all online activities and they benefit from the advantages of online delivery and increase the quality of instruction in general. Implications for Distance ELT Faculty Support Successful distance learning requires a different way of doing business. The biggest failure in distance learning is the failure to adequately train and support the needs of faculty and staff. Technology systems rarely fail; its usually the human infrastructure that fails to deliver a quality product. (Chere, & Gibson, 1995, p. 15)

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119 As Chere and Gibson (1995) pointed out, the success of a distance education program is highly dependent on the people who run it. The technological tools that are used in distance education are not inherently effective or ineffective instructional tools. They can be effective only in the hands of effective faculty. In other words, technology does not substitute for faculty (McKeachie, 1990). One DELTEP faculty also stated As long as we do not have blue, yellow, or green tablets of information to give to the students, there is always be a need for teachers. (Teacher 1, Interview B, April 7, 2005). Thus, faculty participation in distance education is required for the success of distance education programs. However, the number of faculty members who wish to participate in distance education is relatively low, and many studies indicated that some faculty members resist taking part in distance education. Olcott and Wright (1995) believed that one of the main reasons for faculty resistance is the lack of an adequate institutional support framework to train, compensate, and reward distance teaching faculty. In other words, effective institutional faculty support can increase faculty participation and motivation in distance education. The institutional faculty support framework in DELTEP may reinforce this claim because the interviews with DELTEP faculty members have shown that with appropriate and various support initiatives, faculty members can develop positive attitudes toward distance education. The examination of the DELTEP faculty support system revealed that when faculty members felt that they were adequately supported by their institution, they were more willing and motivated as they worked in their distance education program. Faculty especially appreciated the involvement of the administrators who guided faculty during both the planning and implementation stages of the online delivery. The active

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120 involvement of administrators through regular meetings with faculty members gave them a sense of purpose and helped them develop a shared vision. In addition, DELTEP faculty members stated that they enjoyed and liked distance education more and more in time as they gained experience as distance educators. Also, Schifter (2004) found that faculty members who participate in distance education are more intrinsically motivated whereas non-participating faculty rated extrinsic motivators such as money, promotion, or recognition more than intrinsic motivators when they were asked about their perceptions about distance education. This may imply two main things: either early adopters of distance education are intrinsically motivated or faculty members who participate in distance education find distance teaching more fulfilling and rewarding in time as they gain experience in the field. If the latter assumption is true then some faculty members resistance to distance education is a result of their anxieties due to limited knowledge in distance education and it can be overcome through institutional support. Given that proper and adequate institutional support is given to distance faculty, all faculty members can or should experience the distance teaching and learning environment at least once before they are asked to chose whether to teach online or not. In other words, online teaching or receiving training in online teaching can be mandatory by the university administration so that faculty members can experience distance or online teaching and have a chance to visualize and get a feeling of being a distance faculty before they resist or chose to continue online teaching. Initially, DELTEP faculty members did not believe in the practicality of distance education for training ELT teachers. However, they developed more positive attitudes and become the believers of distance education in time. If the

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121 administrators did not invite them to teach via distance, many would remain skeptical about distance education. But, now they are the creators of a unique distance education program that educates thousands of prospective ELT teachers. However, faculty members cannot be expected to volunteer to teach or continue to teach via distance without effective institutional support. Another important insight that can be gained from the experience of DELTEP faculty is related to the variety of support activities. The DELTEP faculty members were given both technological and pedagogical support from different angles. They not only received training in these areas but also received continuous and consistent support from experts in both aspects of distance education. The combined experience of DELTEP faculty in ELT and OEF faculty in distance education formed a strong foundation for the development of both open and online courses in the program. Faculty in different areas not only shared the workload but also exchanged information in their areas of expertise. In other words, collaboration and cooperation as teams made it easier for DELTEP faculty to make a transition from traditional to distance education. Working in teams throughout the academic year also made it possible to receive continuous support whenever required. Distance education, like any other educational endeavor, is too much of a demanding task to be carried out alone. The support structure in the DELTEP faculty has shown that working in teams may decrease the feeling of loneliness that faculty members may get as they work in distance education programs and may increase the effectiveness of the support structure. Another point related to faculty support is that the support system should be flexible to meet the needs of faculty. For example, 85% of the faculty who responded to

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122 the online survey stated that they made use of support activities whenever needed and necessary. The interviews also revealed that faculty had heavy workload; thus, needed flexible support initiatives compatible with their working hours. In other words, faculty members would like to receive support in their own time and at their own pace. This calls for a support system flexible and adaptive in nature. Online tutorials can especially be valuable for faculty to make themselves familiar with online education in their own time. In addition, online education has a dynamic nature because it is constantly adapting itself to the advancements in technology. The faculty support system should also reinvent itself to adapt to this environment of change. Faculty should be informed about the new software and their implications for training prospective ELT teachers. Faculty feedback is also extremely important to keep support activities and tasks up-to-date. Support personnel should regularly do needs analysis, address these needs, and evaluate the outcome. In short, the entire support system should be flexible and adaptive enough to meet the training and support needs of faculty. The training of faculty for online education should also include both theoretical and practical aspects of distance or online delivery. One DELTEP faculty member stated I am not knowledgeable in the area of distance education. I am not familiar with its underlying theories, so I do not know much about my options in training and support. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005.) However, one of the new skills that teachers must learn as they assume the role of distance educators that Schlosser and Anderson (1993), as cited in Sherry (1996), is understanding the nature and philosophy of distance education. Without adequate knowledge about the nature of distance education, faculty members may not develop the necessary skills to teach online or make use of available

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123 support activities effectively. Thus, faculty members should be more aware of the principles of online education so that they can play more active roles in their training. In addition, faculty members can be trained in how to work with support personnel as they teach online. For example, they can be informed about how to approach technical personnel to integrate technology into the ELT curriculum. The DELTEP faculty experiences with distance education have also shown that encouragement and support of peers play important roles in learning how to teach via distance. The DELTEP faculty highly valued working as a group and receiving support from each other, which made them a harmonious group. This was also reflected in how they approached distance education. Therefore, faculty support initiatives in distance education may target departments or groups of faculty within departments rather than approaching one faculty member at a time. The culture of the department should also be taken into consideration because the faculty profile may be different in each department. As Schifter (2004) stated what motivates faculty participation on one campus might not be appropriate on another. The DELTEP faculty relied heavily on group values and opinions about distance education; whereas, this may not be the case in other departments where faculty members may act more individualistically. In addition, among all the support initiatives, financial support was regarded as the least important factor in the motivation of DELTEP faculty. This finding is in line with Wilson (2001) who found that faculty tended to be intrinsically motivated to participate in distance education, especially to facilitate student learning, and financial incentives received the lowest rankings as motivators. Similarly, DELTEP faculty members also valued online education because they believed that it created opportunities

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124 for them to help their learners more. As several faculty members stated, financial support--although being appreciated--was not a priority for faculty. Thus, financial support alone may not be enough to encourage faculty to participate in distance education. Faculty members first have to see the direct benefits of distance education, especially for their students. As it was seen in the case of DELTEP, faculty can be more motivated when they receive constructive feedback from their students. In other words, faculty members are more motivated when students also believe in the use of distance education. Therefore, orientation for students as well as for faculty is essential for the motivation of faculty and the success of faculty support. It should also be considered to offer Integration of Technology in the ELT Curriculum courses to students. Prospective ELT teachers are tomorrows ELT teachers or faculty members. Many DELTEP faculty members needed support when they started to teach online courses because they had no previous training or experience in online education. If their students are educated in how ELT discipline can benefit from online education, they may need less support once they start to work as teachers. Thus, distance ELT programs can invest into the future by involving prospective teachers not only as learners but also as tomorrows teachers. Another implication of the study is related to the faculty support or development particularly ELT faculty support and training. The findings of the study based on administrators, faculty, and support personnel perceptions revealed that ELT is mostly a skills-based discipline and skill development via distance is still a big challenge for program designers. DELTEP faculty chose to teach most skills related to the field of ELT through face-to-face instruction in the first and second years of the program. Because the

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125 program was new and unique in the sense that there was no other program that was done completely via distance, faculty members were trying to find different ways of increasing the interaction among teachers and students so that more feedback could be exchanged to improve skills and monitor student progress. How to integrate ELT teacher education curriculum into distance education delivery fully still remains to be unknown. Thus, faculty training or support activities should encourage both teachers and faculty support personnel to explore ways to make distance or online teaching and learning environment to be more productive for skill development activities. Especially the use of multimedia that appeals to all senses of the students can be beneficial to improve four language skills in English. The use of video and sound effects should be taught and encouraged among faculty. In addition, the DELTEP faculty members were extremely experienced in ELT discipline and OEF faculty members were extremely experience in distance education, which helped them design online materials more effectively. However, there is a need to integrate these two fields to address the specific needs of prospective ELT teachers. However, first we need to identify the specific needs of prospective ELT teachers. DELTEP faculty did not think that ELT discipline should be treated differently from other disciplines and did not suggest any specific ELT related issues in distance education except the development of language and teaching skills. This may be because the program was new, or because the students came to the program with already developed certain level of proficiency in English, or because the faculty members were all very experienced in their disciplines. In a different distance ELT teacher education setting, the specific guidelines about training ELT teachers via distance may be needed.

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126 Consequently, these guidelines can serve as the basis or foundation of distance ELT faculty support or training. In other words, the objectives of the ELT teacher education discipline may direct the needs of the students as well as the training or professional development needs of the distance ELT faculty. In summary, the important lesson that we can get from the experience of DELTEP faculty is that the faculty support infrastructure in distance education should be well integrated into the entire working environment of faculty. This integration can be done through various support initiatives presented from a variety of angles and through the involvement of various key holders throughout the institution. Support initiatives should address both faculty members and people whom faculty members work closely with. The consistency of support is as important as the amount of support given to faculty. The dynamic nature of distance education requires a support system that is continuous and adaptive in nature. Faculty support has to be present in all stages of distance delivery. A team of distance education experts can be established to meet the training and support needs of faculty as in the case of DELTEP. Technological and pedagogical training should be continuous and flexible to address the needs of faculty members with various teaching backgrounds in both traditional and distance education. Faculty support initiatives should include activities and tasks that explain the rationale behind carrying out distance education. In order to motivate faculty to teach via distance, teaching only via distance can be provided as an option to decrease the amount of the workload. In short, the needs of faculty members who work in distance education program have to be taken into consideration to create an optimum environment for distance education in

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127 which administrators, faculty, and support personnel are mutually willing and able to support each other. Suggestions for Additional Research The DELTEP faculty experience in training ELT teachers via distance education indicate that the level and amount of interaction among students as well as faculty members is an integral part of creating an active online learning environment. Future research can be conducted on ways to increase the level of interaction and identify what type of interaction is preferred by students. The use of multimedia as well as other communication tools such as cell phones in addition to other computer technologies can be studied to gain insight on their impact on student learning. In addition, further research can be conducted to examine whether learners with different types of learning preferences prefer the use of different types of communication tools. In this way, more personalized and individualized learning opportunities can be created for distance learners. In addition, how to develop language skills in English or in any other foreign language via distance can be studied in more detail. We have to explore how to teach how to ride a bicycle via distance. This is extremely important for skills-based disciplines such as ELT teacher education. The DELTEP faculty experiences with their own training also revealed that faculty worked in teams to establish an online course production system. Especially the technological aspects of online teaching were largely addressed by the technical personnel. Faculty members with no or little experience in the technological aspects did not want to be involved in the technological aspects whereas faculty members who had more experience with technology were more willing to take responsibility and freedom in designing online lessons alone. There is a need to do research on whether and/or how

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128 faculty members attitudes differ based on their knowledge and experience in technology. Another point is that DELTEP faculty members were highly experienced in training ELT teachers in general and they relied on their knowledge on traditional classroom experience while they make a transition to the online environment. Future research can be conducted on how new faculty members with less experience in ELT cope with the challenges of online environment. The findings of this study are limited to the experiences of 13 online survey participants and 16 interview participants who worked in Anadolu University. Faculty support systems in other distance ELT programs can also be explored in order to provide further insight on the subject in a variety of situations and. In addition, faculty members needs are closely connected to student needs. There is a need to investigate how students perceive the quality of instruction they receive in DELTEP. In this way, the effects of faculty support in the program can be viewed in relation to students perceptions. The perceptions of both the students in the program and the graduates of the program can bring insight on both the short and long term effects of the education provided by the program. Future research can be carried out on the needs and wants of students, which can serve as a foundation to form a framework for the faculty members training and support.

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APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT FORM Protocol title: English Language Teaching Faculty Support in a Distance Education Program in Turkey Please read this document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to examine the professional development and training needs of English Language Teaching faculty who train pre-service teachers via distance education in a university in Turkey. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be asked to fill out a short online survey, which is accessible by clicking on the Agree button at the end of this consent. At the end of the survey, you will be invited to take part in two face-to-face interviews at a date and time suitable for both you and me. The first interview will last 60-90 minutes and the questions will be related to distance English Language Teaching faculty support issues such as your experiences as a distance English Language Teaching faculty, the types of technical and pedagogical support that you receive, and your faculty support preferences as you train prospective English Language teachers via distance/online education. The second interview will be a 20-30 minute interview to confirm the accuracy of the data analysis done by me on the results of the survey and the first round of interviews. You will be asked to participate in the interviews on the phone or via e-mail if physical arrangements cannot be made for face-to-face meetings. All interviews except interviews conducted via e-mail will be tape recorded for data analysis purposes. You will be given the option of speaking in English or in Turkish during the interviews. Time required: Survey: 15 minutes, Interview one: 60-90 minutes, Interview two: 20-30 minutes. Total: 1.5-2.5 hours. Risks and benefits: No risks and no direct benefits are anticipated as a result of your participation in this study. Compensation: You will be given no compensation for participating in this research. It is purely voluntary. Confidentiality: At all times, your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your information will be assigned a code number and the list connecting your name to this number will be accessible to only me as the investigator. 129

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130 This list will be destroyed when the study is complete and the data have been analyzed. Your name will not be used in any report. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Principal investigator: Perihan Savas MA, Doctoral Candidate, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, 1216 SW, 2 nd Ave, Apt 70, Gainesville, FL 32601; ph 374-4839, perihans@ufl.edu Supervisor(s): -Assoc. Professor Danling Fu (Chair), Norman Hall 2203, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Phone: (352) 392-9191, ext. 240, danlingfu@coe.ufl.edu Professor and Director Dr. Thomas M. Dana (Co-chair), 2403 Norman Hall, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Phone (352) 392-9191, ext. 226, tdana@coe.ufl.edu Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study:UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph 392-0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of the description. AGREE

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APPENDIX B ONLINE SURVEY Researcher: Perihan Savas e-mail: perihans@ufl.edu DISTANCE ELT FACULTY SUPPORT SURVEY Your Name, Surname: Age: (Please, check one) Male Female 1. What is your teaching position in distance ELT teacher training program at Anadolu University? (Please, check all that apply) a. Full professor b. Associate professor c. Assistant professor d. Instructor, Ph. D e. Instructor f. Visiting/ Part-time professor 131

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132 g. Visiting/ Part-time instructor h. Teaching assistant i. Other (Please, specify) 2. If you are teaching part-time at Anadolu University, which other institution(s) do you work in? (Please, specify) 3. How long have you been working in distance ELT teacher training program at Anadolu University? (Please, check one) a. One year b. Two years c. Three years d. Four years e. Five years 4. How long have you been training ELT teachers in general? (Please, check one) a. Less than a year b. Between two and five years

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133 c. Between five and ten years d. More than ten years 5. How long have you been teaching via distance/online education? (Please, check one) a. Less than a year b. Between two and five years c. Between five and ten years d. More than ten years 6. Which course(s) do you teach in distance ELT teacher training program at Anadolu University? (Please, check all that apply and specify) a. Face-to-face: b. Via distance/online education: c. Both: 7. In your opinion, what are the most essential competencies that a prospective ELT teacher should develop in an ELT teacher education program? (Please, specify)

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134 8. In your opinion, what are the most significant advantages of training ELT teachers via online education? (Please, specify) 9. In your opinion, what are the most significant challenges of training ELT teachers via online education? (Please, specify) 10. What kind of faculty support activities did you receive before you started teaching online? (Please, check all that apply) a. Online tutorials b. Online faculty development courses/programs c. Individual training/support from faculty support personnel d. Group workshop(s) provided by the institution e. Technical support provided by the institution f. Pedagogical support provided by the institution g. Assistance from colleagues

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135 h. None i. Other (Please, specify) 11. What are the faculty support activities that are offered in this program as you teach online? (Please, check all that apply) a. Online tutorials b. Online faculty development courses/programs c. Individual training/support from faculty support personnel d. Group workshop(s) provided by the institution e. Technical support provided by the institution f. Pedagogical support provided by the institution g. Assistance from colleagues h. None i. Other (Please, specify) 12. How often do you make use of the available faculty support activities? (Please, check one) a. Everyday b. Every week

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136 c. Every month d. Every semester e. Other (Please, specify) 13. What are the areas that you would like to receive more support related to the technical aspects of training ELT teachers via online education? (Please, specify) 14. What are the areas that you would like to receive more support related to the pedagogical aspects of training ELT teachers via online education? (Please, specify) 15. In which format, do you prefer to receive faculty training or support and why? (Please, check and specify all that apply) a. Face-to-face individual support because b. Online individual support

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137 c. Face-to-face support as a group because d. Online support as a group through listservs, forums, bulletin boards, etc because e. Collaboration with colleagues because f. Other because Any other comments: Contact information: (Please, fill the information below) The city you would like to have the interview: Your e-mail address: Contact phone number (optional, only to be used to arrange a suitable date and time

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138 for the interviews and will not be shared with another party): The survey is over. Thank you very much for your participation! Please, submit your answers by clicking on the Submit button below. S ubmit

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APPENDIX C INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR FACULTY MEMBERS 1. Could you please state your name, your teaching position, and years of teaching (traditional/online) experience? 2. Could you tell me about your teaching background? How did you become an English language teacher/educator? 3. How did you decide to teach in DELTEP? 4. How does it feel to be a distance teacher/educator? 5. What are the challenges and rewards of training pre-service English language teachers (ELT) via distance? 6. What are the unique needs of English language teachers? 7. How is the teaching content selected and organized in this program? For example, how are the materials and activities in each course or curriculum in general chosen? 8. How do you address prospective English teachers needs in developing different skills in English? 9. How do you teach methodology or introduction to teaching practicum courses in English language teaching? 10. How do you address the issue of teaching the culture of native speakers of English? 11. In your opinion, what are some of the main competencies and skills that a pre-service English language teacher should acquire in a B.A. program? 12. To what extent do you think it is possible to develop these skills in learners via distance/online education? 13. How do the course(s) you teach contribute to the development of such skills in students? 14. How would you describe your relationship with students and colleagues? 15. What are some of the advantages of working in this program as a teaching faculty member? 139

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140 16. Are there any areas in training prospective English teachers that you feel are difficult to teach via distance? What are they? 17. How confident do you feel in using the technology needed to teach via distance? 18. In which areas of training prospective English teachers do you need support most? Technical or pedagogical issues? Could you give some examples for each area? 19. What kinds of faculty support activities are available in Anadolu Universitys DELTEP? 20. How would you describe the effectiveness of these activities? 21. What other additional activities would you like to receive? In which areas do you wish to receive more support? 22. In which format do you wish to receive faculty support (e.g., face-to-face, online, colleagues, etc.) and why? 23. What about you? How would you define faculty support? How should an ideal faculty support structure be organized and implemented?

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APPENDIX D INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR ADMINISTRATORS AND PROGRAM COORDINATORS 1. Could you please state your name, your administrative position, year(s) of experience in the program? 2. How would you define the mission of DELTEP? 3. Could you tell me more about the establishment of DELTEP? 4. What makes this program different from its counterparts in traditional face-to-face education? 5. Approximately how many graduates has this program had so far and how would you describe their performance after they started working? 6. What are some of the main competencies and skills that a pre-service English language teacher should acquire in a B.A. program? 7. To what extent do you think it is possible to develop these skills in learners via distance? 8. What are some of the challenges that you face as you coordinate this program? 9. How is the success of the faculty evaluated? 10. How about new faculty? How are the faculty members to teach in the program recruited? What kind of qualifications do you expect faculty to have? 11. How are the new faculty members prepared to teach via distance? What are some of the training activities they receive before they start to teach in the program? 12. Could you describe how faculty members are being supported after they start to teach in the program? 13. How would you define the faculty members attitude toward available support activities? 14. Since the beginning of the program in 2000, what kind of common requests or feedback have you received related to faculty support and training? 15. What about you? In your own words, how would you define faculty support? 16. What other faculty support activities do you plan to implement in the future? 141

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APPENDIX E INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR FACULTY SUPPORT PERSONNEL 1. Could you state your name, your status, year(s) of experience in teaching/teacher training? 2. How did you become a teacher trainer? 3. How are the faculty trained before they start teaching via distance? 4. What kinds of support activities are provided to the faculty after they start teaching via distance? 5. How are the faculty support activities and materials selected? What kind of criteria do you use for the implementation of faculty support activities? 6. How would you define the faculty memers reaction/attitude/participation to the available support activities? 7. What are the common areas that faculty members come to you for support, consultation, or training? Since the beginning of the program in 2000, what kind of common requests or feedback have you received related to faculty support and training? 8. What kind of specific training needs do distance English language teaching faculty members have? How do you address these needs? 9. How different is it to support English language teachers from the ones in other disciplines? 10. What about you? How would you define faculty support? 11. What other faculty support activities do you plan to implement in the future? 142

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APPENDIX F LIST OF ARTIFACTS Temporary access to How to Teach Online I and How to Teach Online II, faculty training courses conducted via online by an American instructor before faculty started to teach via online Temporary access to DELTEP online courses, which included syllabi, materials, and online forum discussions between faculty and students. One sample unit (scenario) containing the course material and directions of the instructor to the support personnel for online delivery. Three Textbooks written by DELTEP faculty members for Distance Delivery: Syllabus and Material Pack III Academic Year 2003-2004, for third year students, Syllabus and Material Pack IV Academic Year 2004-2005, for fourth year students, Turkish Phonology, Morphology and Syntax. DELLT Guide for Students, 2004-2005 includes brief information about the program and rules and regulations on registration, instruction, and exams. Anadolu University Catalogue Two CDs containing video presentations of Anadolu University and Distance Education at Anadolu University 25 newspaper articles on DELTEP program: 8 from national media and 17 from Anadolu Haber, a weekly newspaper printed by Anadolu University Various web sites (regarding DELTEP, Faculty Support at AU in general, DELTEP students web sites to share material and interact with each other through chat rooms and online bulletin boards) 143

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APPENDIX G PROGRAMS OFFERED BY OPEN EDUCATION FACULTY AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY English Language Teaching (Degree Program) Preschool Teaching (Degree Program) Information Management (Associate Degree Program) Banking and Insurance (Associate Degree Programs) Office Management and Secretarial Training (Associate Degree Program) Foreign Trade (Associate Degree Program) Home Management (Associate Degree Program) Public Relations (Associate Degree Program) Theology (Associate Degree Program) Local Governments (Associate Degree Program) Accounting (Associate Degree Program) Management of Health Institutions (Associate Degree Program) Social Sciences (Associate Degree Programs) Tourism and Hotel Management (Associate Degree Program) Agriculture (Associate Degree Program) Veterinary Sciences (Associate Degree Program) Occupational Training for Gendarme (Associate Degree Program) Occupational Training for the Police Force (Associate Degree Program) 144

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APPENDIX H LIST OF COURSES AND INSTUCTIONAL DELIVERY TYPES IN DELTEP Year 1 English Grammar I (Face-to-face) Reading Skills (Face-to-face) Speaking Skills (Face-to-face) Writing Skills (Face-to-face) Introduction to Teaching Profession (Distance) Introduction to Computers (Distance) Year 2 English Grammar II (Face-to-face) Advanced Reading Skills (Face-to-face) Advanced Writing Skills (Face-to-face) Translation (Turkish-English/EnglishTurkish) (Face-to-face) School Experience (Practicum) Writing and Speaking Skills in Turkish (Distance) History of Turkish Republic. (Distance) Planning and Evaluation in Teaching (Distance) Development and Learning (Distance) Year 3 Introduction to Linguistics (Distance/Internet-assisted) Introduction to English Literature (Distance/Internet-assisted) Language Acquisition (Distance/Internet-assisted) Approaches to ELT (Distance/Internet-assisted) ELT Methodology (Distance/Internet-assisted) Teaching English to Children (Distance/Internet-assisted) Counseling (Distance) 145

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146 Year 4 Testing and Evaluation in English (Distance/Internet-assisted) Teaching Language Skills (Distance/Internet-assisted) Pedagogical Grammar (Distance/Internet-assisted) Language Acquisition (Distance/Internet-assisted) Using English Literature in Teaching (Distance/Internet-assisted) Language Acquisition (Distance/Internet-assisted) Turkish Phonology, Morphology, and Syntax (Distance/Online facilitation) Teaching Practicum and School Experience (Distance/Online facilitation)

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Perihan Savas was born in Bandirma, Turkey, in 1974. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language Teaching from Middle East Technical University in 1996. She received her Master of Arts degree in English Language Teaching from the same university in 1998. Perihan taught English as a foreign language at Bilkent University in Turkey between 1996 and 2000. In 2000 she started working toward her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. 155


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A CASE STUDY OF FACULTY SUPPORT IN THE DISTANCE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY
IN TURKEY















By

PERIHAN SAVAS


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Perihan Savas

































To my brother, Gokhan















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express my gratitude to all the people who have supported me

during this dissertation process. First of all, I would like to thank my family members for

their ongoing support and tremendous understanding. I would like to thank my father

Hasan Savas, my mother, Hacer Savas, and my brother, Gokhan Savas for always

believing in me and helping me in every way they could. I could not have completed this

dissertation without their ongoing support and encouragement.

In addition, I would like to thank Dr. Thomas Dana. This dissertation would not be

possible without his guidance and support. He not only guided me in every step of my

dissertation but he also has been a wonderful role model for me with his professionalism.

I am forever in debt to him for his patience and guidance. I am also thankful to Dr.

Danling Fu and Dr. Maria Coady, members of my doctoral committee for their invaluable

input and feedback on my work. I also wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Philip Clark,

member of my doctoral committee for sharing his wisdom and experience with me. With

his support and guidance, I was able to find the courage to continue working on my

dissertation even during the most difficult times. I would also like to thank Dr. Colleen

Swain for the support and guidance she has given me in this study.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank all the Distance English Language Teacher

Education Program faculty members who participated in this study. I especially thank

Professor Engin Atac, the president of Anadolu University for his support and hospitality.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ........ .... .............................. ...................... viii

LIST OF FIGURES ......... ......................... ...... ........ ............ ix

A B ST R A C T ................. .......................................................................................... x

1 INTRODUCTION .................................... ........ ....................... 1

B a c k g ro u n d .................................................................. ................................... 1
State ent of the Problem ............... ................ ............................ .................. ....... .... .
Purpose of the Study ................................................................ ................... 8
R research Questions .................. .................................... .. ................ .9
Significance of the Study ............................................................................. .. ... 10

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................................... ..... ... ............... 11

D instance Education .................. ......................................... .............. 11
Online Education ............................................... ...... ............. .....13
Distance Education, Online Education, and Constructivism.............................14
Computer Assisted Language Learning........................................................ ........ 16
English Language Teacher Education ............................................. ............... 21
Role of Faculty in Distance Education .................................... ...... .........26
Faculty Development and Support in Distance Education.................................28
Faculty Perceptions on Professional Development and Support in Distance
E d u c atio n ................................................................................................... 3 2
S u m m a ry ...................................................................................................... 3 4

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 35

In tro d u ctio n ............................................................ ...................... ..........3 5
Rationale for the Selection of Research Methods and Instruments............................35
Qualitative Research as an Instrumental Case Study .............................................36
Data Sources, Key Informants, and Data Collection Methods...............................38
Survey .................................. ........................................... .. 38
In-depth Interview s........... .................................................. .... ...... .... .... 40
A rtifa c ts ...............................................................................................................4 2


v









D ata A n aly sis ......................... ................. ... ....... ........................... 4 2
My Role as Human Instrument in Qualitative Research ........................................45
Sum m ary ...................................... ................. ................. .......... 45

4 FACULTY SUPPORT IN DISTANCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER
EDUCATION PROGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY .........................47

In tro d u c tio n ........................................................................................................... 4 7
H higher E education in Turkey ............................................... ............................ 48
Distance Education in Turkey ...................................................... 49
Anadolu University and Open Education Faculty ................................... ...............51
Curriculum and Instruction in DELTEP...... .................... ...............55
Curriculum ............. ............ ........ ....................... 56
Course M aterials.................... ......... ........ ... ....... .. ......56
E x am s ........................................58
Faculty who Teach via Distance in DELTEP ............ ........ ............. ..........58
Online Course Production Teams in DELTEP ................................... ... ..................59
Advantages and Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education.......64
Faculty Perceptions on the Advantages of Training ELT Teachers via
D instance Education ................................ ...... ........ ... .... .............. .. 64
Faculty Perceptions on the Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via
D instance Education ............................................. .......... ................ ......71
Available Faculty Support in DELTEP and Faculty Perceptions.............................78
A dm inistrative Support ........................................ ............... .. ............... 79
Technological and Pedagogical Support .................................. ............... 88
Socio-em optional Support .................................... .....................101
Additional Support for DELTEP Faculty ................................................ 106
S u m m a ry ...................... ... .................. ..................... ................ 1 0 9

5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS ..................................................... 110

Intro du action ...................... .. .. ......... .. .. .......... ....................................1 10
Statem ent of the Problem ...................... .. .. .................................... ............... 110
R eview of M ethodology .............. ................................................................ 1
Summary of Findings ................................ .. ........... ..... .................. ... 112
Discussion of Findings .................. ................. .......... ................ 113
Implications for Distance ELT Teacher Education.....................................115
Implications for Distance ELT Faculty Support ............... ....... ............118
Suggestions for Additional Research................................. ...............127

APPENDIX

A INFORM ED CON SEN T FORM ................................................................... ..... 129

B O N L IN E SU R V E Y ....................................................................... ..................... 13 1

C INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR FACULTY MEMBERS...............................139









D INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR ADMINISTRATORS AND PROGRAM
C O O R D IN A T O R S ........................................................................ ..................... 14 1

E INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR FACULTY SUPPORT PERSONNEL........................142

F L IST O F A R T IF A C T S ................................................................ .................... 143

G PROGRAMS OFFERED BY OPEN EDUCATION FACULTY AT ANADOLU
UNIVERSITY .................................. ..... .. ...... .. ............144

H LIST OF COURSES AND INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY TYPES IN DELTEP145

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ......... .. ............. .............................................................. 147

B IO G R A PH ICA L SK ETCH ............ .................................................... .....................155
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1. Teaching experience of online survey participants in DELTEP ................................39

3-2. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers ...........39

3-3. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers via
distance or online education ......................................................................... .. .... 39

4-1. Online survey results: The top three common advantages of training ELT teachers
via distance education ........................................ ................. ..... .... 65

4-2. Online survey results: The top three common challenges of training ELT teachers
via distance education ........................................ ................. ..... .... 71

4-3. Online survey results on the type of faculty support activities that DEPTEP
faculty received before and whilst teaching online............................................... 79

4-4. Online survey results on the areas that faculty need more support with technical
aspects of training ELT teachers via distance education.................................... 107

4-5. Online survey results on the areas that faculty need more support with
pedagogical aspects of training ELT teachers via distance education ................. 107

4-6. Online survey results of the preferred faculty training and support formats............ 107
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

4-1: A snapshot of one DELTEP online course home page ...........................................60

4-2: A snapshot of an online discussion board ...................................... ............... 66

4-3: A snapshot of a DELTEP methodology course web page ......................................70















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

A CASE STUDY OF FACULTY SUPPORT IN THE DISTANCE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY
IN TURKEY

By

Perihan Savas

May 2006

Chair: Thomas M. Dana
Major Department: School of Teaching and Learning

The need for qualified English language teachers is growing every day. Distance

education can be an alternative mode of instruction to train great numbers of English

language teachers faster and less expensively. To ensure the quality of such programs,

distance education faculty should be supported by their institutions. The main purpose of

this study was to examine the faculty support structure in a distance English language

teacher education program in relation to faculty experiences and perceptions through a

qualitative case study. The Distance English Language Teacher Education Program

(DELTEP) at Anadolu University in Turkey was selected as the case. Data were gathered

from three sources: an online survey, artifacts, and in-depth interviews. Participants

included 3 administrators, 3 support personnel, and 10 faculty members. Data analysis

was done through constant comparison data analysis method.

The experiences of faculty members who teach in DELTEP gave important clues

about how distance English language teaching faculty should and could be supported by









their institutions. Interviews with participants revealed that despite its challenges, faculty

members had a positive attitude toward distance education. One of the most important

factors in the motivation of faculty was the institutional support that they received.

Faculty members received continuous administrative, technological, and pedagogical

support as they worked on producing online courses. In addition, socio-emotional

support, which consisted of emotional support received from administrators, colleagues,

and students, was found to be an important factor in the motivation of faculty. In general,

faculty members were happy with the institutional support which they perceived to be

consistent and effective. The area in which they would like to receive more support was

their workload. Since faculty members had to undertake both traditional and distance

English language teaching programs, they wished their workload to be decreased to

increase the amount of time they spend on their students.

The important lesson that can be drawn from the experience of DELTEP faculty is

that faculty support infrastructure in distance education should be well integrated into the

whole working environment of faculty members. Also, it should consist of a variety of

support initiatives presented from various angles through the involvement of various key

holders in the institution.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Background

English is considered the lingua franca in many parts of the world. It is widely

spoken by millions of people around the world to communicate with each other for

business, education, travel, and so on. Thanks to communication devices, such as the

telephone, fax, and the Internet, people from different countries can communicate with

each other in seconds, which increases globalization and creates the need to speak a

common language to communicate effectively and efficiently in the international arena.

English is one of these commonly used languages, and the number of people who want to

learn English is increasing every day. In some countries learning English is a must to get

a good job for many college graduates; or to earn a promotion in one's existing job. In

addition, many governments encourage their citizens to learn English through English as

a second language or as a foreign language learning program in primary or secondary

schools and universities. Thus, there is a growing interest in learning English and the

number of English language learners is considerably high.

As the popularity of English as a foreign language increases, the demand for new

qualified English language teachers also increases. However, teacher shortage is a major

problem in many countries, especially in most developing countries where resources are

limited to meet the demands. One way to help meet the need for English language

teachers is to offer distance education to train English language teachers. Distance

education helps governments and institutions solve teacher shortages by training many









pre-service or in-service teachers faster, less expensively, and using fewer resources.

Perraton (1993) stated that ministries of education choose distance-teaching methods

mainly because distance education 1) makes it possible to reach students who cannot get

to a college, 2) provides part-time education so that students are not taken out of the work

force in order to study, and 3) avoids the need for new buildings and housing for students.

In addition, online education, which is a form of distance education that takes place via a

computer network such as the Internet, has made teaching and learning via distance more

available for both teachers and learners, and it has great potential to train English

language teachers.

Distance education is particularly useful in educating large populations of

learners; however, quality matters as much as quantity. To maximize the quality of

distance teacher education programs, faculty or teacher educators who train prospective

English teachers must have the necessary knowledge and skills to teach via distance.

Education faculty members are the backbone of any teacher education program.

Milambiling (2001) stated that teacher educators can influence students in teacher

education programs, and also influence the vast numbers of English language learners

these future teachers will serve. Therefore, to ensure the quality of instruction delivered

by graduates of distance English language teacher education programs, the quality of

instruction that education faculty provide must be monitored and increased.

An essential strategy to monitor and increase the quality of instruction delivered

by distance English language teaching (ELT) faculty is to give them institutional support.

Offering professional development opportunities and training is vital to promote high

quality instruction and also to increase faculty motivation and participation. Dillon and









Walsh (1992) claimed that "even the most motivated faculty will be deterred without

adequate support and meaningful training" in a distance education environment. This is

also true for distance English language teaching (p. 11). Lacking faculty support may

cause frustration and confusion on the part of distance English language teaching faculty.

This will have a negative impact on the overall effectiveness of distance English

language teacher education programs. To ensure the quality of distance English language

teacher education programs, faculty in these programs should be empowered through

institutional support. However, the number of research studies done on the quality of

online English language teacher education programs is limited. Moreover, the issues

related to distance English language teaching faculty support remains to be unexplored.

To explore the issues related to distance ELT faculty support, we can study a

distance ELT program and how faculty members are being supported as they teach via

distance. Thus, I chose as a case the Distance English Language Teacher Education

Program (DELTEP) at Anadolu University in Turkey. The fact that DELTEP is the only

accredited blended ELT teacher training program can help us gain insight on how ELT

faculty members can and should be supported by their respective institutions or

programs. In addition to being a unique distance ELT program, DELTEP was also a good

case because Turkey is one of the countries suffering from a shortage of English language

teachers. An eight year development plan by the Turkish Ministry of National Education

in 1999 estimated the number of English teachers needed by the end of 2006 to be

approximately 63,000. However, the total number of graduates from traditional English

teacher preparation programs is only 3,000 every year. With the available traditional

programs, the need could not be met for 20 years (Kose, Ozyar, & Ozkul, 2002).









Therefore, in order to minimize the shortage of English language teachers, it is necessary

to carry out additional means of teacher education.

Even though the beginning of distance education in Turkey, which has

traditionally been delivered through letters, television programs, and radio broadcasts,

goes back to the 1920s, online education was first formally offered only recently in 2000

to train English language teachers. Online education, which mainly relies on computer

technologies and the Internet for instructional delivery, differs from correspondence

courses. Therefore, it presents different rewards and challenges for learners and faculty.

In addition, English language teaching faculty members in online education may have

different professional development needs when they move to web-based instruction from

correspondence or traditional face-to-face education.

Anadolu University, which was founded in 1982, is one of the largest distance

higher education institutions in the world and has more than 900,000 distance learners

today. The DELTEP is one of its new distance education programs, starting in the 2000-

2001 academic year in collaboration with the Turkish Ministry of National Education

(Kurubacak, 2003). It is a four-year blended ELT degree program in which instruction is

delivered face-to-face in the first two years and then offers distance education in years 3

and 4. The DELTEP currently has more than 9,000 students and 200 English language

teaching faculty members.

Statement of the Problem

Faculty who train English teachers via distance must be qualified both in the

subject matter and in the delivery of instruction. They must be familiar with both

pedagogical and technological aspects of distance teaching. In other words, faculty

should know how to integrate technology into the English language teacher education









curriculum to achieve the objectives of their courses and to address the learning needs of

prospective language teachers. However, because the spread of distance education

programs took place in the last decade, most teacher educators had no formal training in

teaching via distance or in the online environment. Faculty members teaching via

distance were themselves trained in traditional education, and most of them were not

familiar with distance education as learners. In addition, they were not trained to teach

via distance in their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Many education faculty members

were introduced to distance education in the middle of their teaching careers, and they

needed the support of their institutions and colleagues to make a transition from

traditional face-to-face education to distance education.

Therefore, institutional support is crucial to provide education faculty members

with the necessary training and ongoing professional development as they teach via

distance. Quality instruction requires qualified faculty, and faculty motivation and

participation depend on effective institutional support. In order to provide effective

support, the needs and wants of faculty must be taken into consideration. However, little

research has been done to explore how faculty members describe the kind of support they

wish to receive. Wolcott (2003) stated that until recently "faculty issues in general have

been largely ignored in distance education research" and research carried out has been

sparse over the past two decades (p. 561). Dillon and Walsh (1992) also suggested that

faculty members have been neglected by researchers because the learner has been the

dominant theme of distance education research.

Furthermore, few studies have explored faculty perceptions about institutional

support (Chizmar & Williams, 2001; Lee, 2001; McKenzie, Mims, Bennett, & Waugh,









2000; Wilson, 2003): the few that did focused on general issues related to distance

education irrespective of the different disciplines from which these faculty come.

However, different disciplines may have different characteristics even though they may

share the same type of delivery. Protherough and Atkinson (1992) surveyed 110 English

teachers and found that almost all teachers felt that they were somehow different from

those working in other subjects and only 1 in 20 said that there was little or no difference.

Richards (1990) also states "the goals of instruction in language classes are different from

those of content classes, and as a consequence, the strategies adopted by teachers to

achieve these goals will vary" (p. 7). Therefore, faculty members who come from

different disciplines may have different needs, depending on their content areas as they

teach via distance. Distance education as a delivery of instruction may be shared by

various disciplines in a variety of ways. Thus, instead of isolating distance education as a

separate discipline, its impact and outcome should be studied in relation to individual

disciplines (Ennis & Ennis, 1996).

Faculty who share the same discipline may also have different experiences

because each institution may have different rules and regulations regarding distance

education. Moore (2001) suggested that the needs of faculty members may differ

according to their respective institution. Seider, Ferrara, Rentel, and Dittmer (1999) also

stated "local university cultures are very coherent and prone to express larger higher

education trends and movements within their own unique styles. That is not to say that

local university cultures are impervious to external influences; they simply respond in

their own ways" (p. 197). Thus, in order to provide effective institutional support to

faculty who teach at a distance, differences, as well as similarities among disciplines and









institutions, need to be taken into consideration. Any institutional support is more likely

to be successful if it addresses the unique needs of education faculty members as they

teach via distance. The more personalized the support is the more relevant and helpful it

is for the faculty.

How can we design and implement an institutional support system that provides

distance English language teaching faculty with pedagogical and technological training?

One important step to answer this question is to explore the perceptions of distance

English language teaching faculty in all stages of building a support structure. Faculty

involvement and feedback are crucial for a support program for two main reasons. First, a

support program that disregards the opinion and input of the target audience would be

incomplete and misguiding. Joyce (1990) stated that "staff development is not something

that is done to teachers; rather, it is what teachers do in order to enhance their

professional practice" (p. 99). Thus, faculty members have the leading role in

professional development, and the main goal of the support initiative should be to

empower faculty by constantly exploring their beliefs about teaching, learning, and

institutional support. If faculty members do not find the support activities relevant to their

everyday needs, they probably will not perceive the training as useful. Only faculty can

inform the support team about their specific needs and wants.

Second, several studies on faculty perceptions about distance education (Schifter,

2004; Walcott, 2003) showed that administrators and faculty differ considerably in how

they perceive the motivating factors to teach via distance. Schifter (2004) found that

administrators believed that faculty members were more motivated by things they could

get by participating in distance education whereas faculty members indicated that they









were mainly motivated by intrinsic motives. In addition, Lee (2002) surveyed 237 faculty

and 38 administrators from 35 institutions and found that administrators and faculty

perceived the available support structure very differently. The faculty members did not

appreciate nor were they aware of support services as much as the administrators

expected them to be. Also, the faculty focused on the amount and quality of support, but

the administrators focused on the variety of support services. Differences between how

faculty and administrators feel about distance education and support show that if support

structure is mainly based on the ideas of the administrators, it may not reflect the needs of

the faculty. Exploring faculty perception on institutional support may therefore improve

the communication between faculty and administrators, which may lead to a more

effective support system.

English language teaching, teacher education, and distance education are three

disciplines with similar and differing requirements for faculty training and professional

development. Combined, they form a unique discipline with new challenges and rewards

for the faculty. Providing effective and efficient training and support to faculty in this

new domain requires an understanding of faculty support in this area through the eyes of

the faculty who are the most familiar with the challenges of distance education. However,

the number of distance English language teacher education programs is limited, and the

faculty support issues in these programs are mainly unexplored. Thus, to better serve the

needs of the distance English language teaching faculty, there is a need to learn more

about their experiences in training prospective English language teachers via distance.

Purpose of the Study

The primary purpose of this study was to examine the faculty support structure in

DELTEP, a distance English language teacher education program in Turkey, in relation









to experiences and perceptions of faculty members in the program. Another purpose of

the study was to gather information about the history and structure of DELTEP to learn

more about the working environment of faculty members. In addition, to learn more

about the roles of DELTEP faculty members as distance educators, the perceptions of

faculty on the advantages and challenges of training prospective ELT teachers via

distance education were explored. Finally, based on the data gathered, the study aimed to

make recommendations for additional distance English language teaching faculty support

initiatives and professional development methods and techniques that can be used in

distance English language faculty training programs.

Research Questions

The aim of this study is to learn more about building a faculty support structure,

which is essential for a successfully working distance and online English Language

Teaching program. The only accredited blended Distance English Language Teacher

Education Program (DELTEP) in Anadolu University in Turkey was the subject of this

research.

Research question 1: What is the history and structure of DELTEP especially
in relation to distance education?
a. What developments led to the foundation of this program?
b. How is the instruction via face-to-face and distance education organized
and implemented?

Research question 2: What are the DELTEP faculty's perceptions about the
advantages and challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education?

Research question 3: What are the available faculty support structures for
DELTEP faculty?
a. How do faculty, administrators, and support team perceive the available
faculty support structures?
b. What factors facilitate or hinder faculty participation?
c. What other support do faculty members perceive as needed?









Significance of the Study

This study may help us learn more about distance English language teaching

faculty and the kind of professional development challenges or preferences they have as

they train prospective English language teachers via distance education through the study

of the DELTEP faculty support system. The study can also help us build a more effective

and relevant support structure, which is tailored to the specific needs of distance English

language teaching faculty in different distance ELT programs. Institutional support is an

important factor in increasing faculty satisfaction in distance education (Epper & Bates,

2001). Therefore, providing effective support may result in an increase in the quality of

instruction that faculty provides their learners. In addition, the results of the study may be

used in designing support structures for other distance English language teacher training

programs both in Turkey and in the United States. The experiences of faculty members in

DELTEP may give the readers a chance to reflect and gain insight on their own

experiences with issues related to both distance English language teacher education and

faculty support.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Distance Education

Different ways of delivering English language teacher training content may call

for different approaches, methods, and techniques in English language teacher education

programs. Distance education has several characteristics that are different from

traditional education and it may require additional accommodations both for the faculty

and learners. Therefore, it is important to discuss the nature of distance education to

better understand some of the challenges that distance English language teaching faculty

face.

Distance education today stands as an "umbrella concept" that covers

correspondence courses, open learning, computer-assisted instruction, and self-learning

(Suave, 1993). Simonson (2000) defined distance education as "an institution-based

formal education where the learning group is separated geographically, and where

interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources, and

instructors" (p. 20). Gunawardena and Mclsaac (2003) also described distance education

as "a structured learning experience that can be done away from an academic institution,

at home or at a workplace" (p. 358). The main difference between distance education and

traditional education is that learners are not in the same location physically as their peers,

instructors, or the institution that delivers the instruction. Communication among the

parties is established and coordinated with the help of communication systems, such as

mail, telephone, or computer-mediated communication. This allows learners to learn at









their own pace and at their own place (Golas, n.d.). Keegan (1986) described (p.115)

distance education in detail and listed five characteristics of distance education:

1. The quasi-permanent separation of teacher and learner throughout the length of the
learning process; this distinguishes it from conventional face-to-face education.

2. The influence of an educational organization both in the planning and the
preparation of learning materials and in the provision of student support services;
which distinguishes it from private study and teach-yourself programs.

3. The use of technical media: print, audio, video or computer, to unite teacher and
learner and carry the content of the course.

4. The provision of two-way communication so that the student may benefit from or
even initiate dialogue; this distinguishes it from other uses of technology in
education.

5. The quasi-permanent absence of the learning group throughout the length of the
learning process so that people are usually taught as individuals and not in groups,
with the possibility of occasional meetings for both didactic and socialization
purposes.

Even though learners and instructors are at a distance geographically in distance

education, they are not distant from each other as a group because they are connected

through learning activities and tasks designed by the instructor. Moore (1993) called this

type of interaction as "transactional distance". He suggested that it is not the location that

determines the effect of instruction but the amount of transaction between the learner and

instructor. Although physical distance seems to be the challenge for distance education,

the real challenge is to decrease the transactional distance caused by too much structure

and little dialogue in the course. Transactional distance can be decreased when students

have more control over their learning and more dialogue with peers as well as instructors.

Moore (1989) also suggested three interaction types that are essential in increasing the

level of learner control and dialogue: learner-instructor, learner-content, and learner-

learner. According to his interaction theory, the learner needs to interact with the content,









the instructor, and other learners so that effective dialogue can take place during the

learning process. Moore's (1989, 1993) concepts of transactional distance and

interactivity theory have been influential in the area of distance education as he

emphasized the importance of pedagogy over "the issue of geography" for effective

instruction in distance education.

Online Education

Online education is a type of distance education that takes place via a computer

network. Several important defining characteristics of online education exist. First, online

education is learner-centered. The nature of online education lends itself to more

autonomous and independent learning (Kearsley, 1998) and puts the learner at the center

of the teaching and learning process. Unlike in most traditional classrooms where

knowledge is transmitted from the instructor to the learners, in online courses the learner

is expected to explore and research to form his own meaning on a given topic. The tasks

and assignments, which the instructor designs, aim to encourage learners to interact with

a variety of resources in their quest to form their own interpretation and construction of

knowledge. Second, online courses are highly interactive. Interaction is considered a

bridge between the learner and the new knowledge. Through interaction with or within

the learning environment, the learner seeks and constructs his meaning. Thus, interaction

is an invaluable component of online pedagogy, and it is incorporated in the course both

as a teaching strategy and as a learning method. Having different types of interaction in

the course is also essential in providing learners with a variety of channels to gather,

evaluate, and construct new knowledge.

Third, in online education learners are encouraged to work in groups. Working

with peers is helpful for the learners because each learner is viewed as a source of









information that can contribute to other learners' knowledge. As learners collaborate,

they not only interact with each other and benefit from this interaction, but they also form

a community that helps them bond as a group. The amount of learner autonomy is

balanced with group activities so that learners have the freedom and flexibility to have

the desired amount of autonomy yet they have enough communication and sharing so that

they will not feel detached or isolated. Fourth, online education provides learners with

authentic materials, which makes it possible for learners to engage in real-life problems.

Authentic materials are materials that native speakers of a language, English in our case,

in their daily lives. Authentic materials are different from instructional materials in that

they help language learners to practice and use language as they are being used by the

native speakers of the target language. The authentic nature of online environment is

probably the most significant characteristic of online education to language learning and

teaching. For example, the Internet and computer-mediated communication tools, such as

email, chat, and video conferencing, have opened up a tremendous amount of

opportunities for foreign language learners who want to communicate with native

speakers. In addition, television, newspaper, or education web sites give language

learners access to the language that native speakers use in their daily lives. Learners are

not limited with the materials that their instructors provide and they are free to expand

their knowledge in authentic communication and learning environments.

Distance Education, Online Education, and Constructivism

The characteristics of online education previously described are in line with the

principles of a learning theory: constructivism. Online education and constructivism have

a complementary relationship and the former represents how the latter is put into practice.

Constructivism is derived from the works of Piaget, Bruner, and Vygotsky (Nanjappa &









Grant, 2003). According to the constructivist view of learning, knowing is an adaptive

activity (Von Glasersfeld, 1995), and knowledge is constructed through connecting new

information to old information and interacting with others (Lynch, 2003). Constructivists

also suggest that learning is unique to the individual and each individual forms his own

presentation of knowledge (Dalgamo, 2001). Learning is thus subjective rather than

objective.

Constructivism is mainly a learning theory and focuses on the nature of

knowledge and how people acquire it; nevertheless, it has several implications for

teaching. In fact, Pham (n.d.) stated that distance education is consistent with

constructivism. Doolittle (1999) listed eight primary pedagogical recommendations on

how to make use of constructivism for instructional purposes. The pedagogical

implications of constructivism paraphrased from Doolittle (1999) also showed the

alignment of distance education with constructivism:

1. Learning should take place in authentic and real-world environments.

2. Learning should involve social negotiation and mediation.

3. Content and skills should be made relevant to the learner.

4. Content and skills should be understood within the framework of the learner's prior
knowledge.

5. Students should be assessed formatively, serving to inform future learning
experiences.

6. Students should be encouraged to become self-regulatory, self-mediated, and self-
aware.

7. Teachers serve primarily as guides and facilitators of learning, not instructors.

8. Teachers should provide for and encourage multiple perspectives and representations
of content.









The Internet, which is a common teaching and learning vehicle in online

education, can be used to create opportunities for learners to explore a vast amount of

information constructed from around the world, and it provides learners with materials

from diverse cultures. It can also allow learners to have multiple points of views as they

communicate with peers, teachers, or experts through computer-mediated communication

tools, such as email, chat rooms, and online bulletin boards. Interacting with others and

sharing ideas help learners to construct their own meanings as they use new knowledge to

build on their prior knowledge. In addition, online education requires learners to be more

independent and autonomous in their learning because teachers and learners are at a

distance physically. As a result, learners in online education are more likely to be

independent while instructors take the role of a facilitator or a guide to orchestrate

students' learning. In contrast to the traditional role of teachers as the dispenser of

knowledge, with constructivism, teachers are not seen as the ultimate source of

knowledge. Constructivist teachers encourage learners to explore a variety of information

sources because learners are viewed as seekers of knowledge who benefit from the

process of acquiring that knowledge. The role of the teacher is to guide learners in their

pursuit of knowledge by providing them with interactive and collaborative learning

opportunities and activities so that learning takes place in a constructive manner. Thus,

online education, which requires learners to be more independent due to the lack of face-

to-face instruction, has great potential to create a constructivist learning environment that

is student-centered in nature.

Computer Assisted Language Learning

As with any other distance faculty, English language teacher educators who teach

at a distance should be able to integrate technology and pedagogy to meet their specific









instructional goals and objectives. Thus, it is important to understand the available

technologies, the kind of possibilities they offer, and the implications for their discipline.

Today, computers and the Internet are widely used in the field of language teaching and

learning. However, the use of technology in language teaching is not new. Computers

have been used for language teaching since the 1960s (Lee, 2000). Because the computer

does not constitute a method and it is a medium that can be applied to any method

(Garrett, 1991), it has been used differently for different language teaching methods over

the years.

Warschauer (1996) divided the last 40 years of computer assisted language

learning (CALL) history into three main phases: behaviorist CALL, communicative

CALL, and integrative CALL. Each phase reflects a certain level of technology and

certain pedagogical theories. In behaviorist CALL, the computer is seen as a tutor that

allows the student to practice language learning through mechanical drills. Because

repetition played an important role in behaviorist language learning, computers were used

repeatedly to expose learners to the same or slightly different materials. In 1970s, with

the advent of the personal computer, computers became accessible to a wider audience

(Fitzpatrick & Davies, 2003). In the 1970s and 1980s, approaches to language teaching

and learning have also changed and evolved. Using the target language has become more

important than knowing about it. Communication was the ultimate goal. Thus, how

learners used the forms of the language was emphasized over learning the forms. The

computer in the communicative CALL was used to stimulate discussion, writing, or

thinking, and it was seen as a tool to engage learners in authentic and meaningful

language learning. The last phase, integrative CALL, was shaped with the advancements









in multimedia computers and the Internet. In addition to text, computers are now

equipped with sound, audio, and video, and they provide language learners with a variety

of options for language learning. Warschauer (2000) stated that language learning is a

complex social and cultural phenomenon, even more so when it involves new

technologies that connect the classroom to the world. Thus, the use of computers and new

technologies brings new challenges to language learning and teaching, making it more

complex. At the same time, the use of computers provides certain benefits and makes the

learning environment more dynamic and colorful.

There are certain benefits of using computers for language learning. First, the

Internet provides learners and teachers with access to authentic materials (Oller, 1996;

Stevens, 2004; Warschauer, 1996). Learners have access to a world in which native

speakers live, interact, and communicate. Presenting authentic materials to learners has

always been a challenge, especially to foreign language educators. Thanks to the Internet,

both the amount and accessibility of authentic materials have increased. Newspapers,

radio shows, and television programs in the target language are available to learners at

any time. Second, language learners can actually communicate with native speakers of

the target language (Stevens, 2004). Again, the opportunity to talk to native speakers is

quite limited in foreign language learning settings. Clifford (1990) stated that the amount

of communicative interaction provided would be a crucial factor in the foreign language

acquisition processes. With the help of computers and the Internet, learners can

communicate with their teachers, other students, and native speakers through email, chat,

or online bulletin boards without being restricted by time and place. Multimedia and the

Internet can increase the amount of interactive and collaborative language learning









(Kamhi-Stein, 2000; Warschauer, 1997). In this way, learners enhance their

communication skills and at the same time engage in meaningful learning. The Internet

also provides language learners with opportunities to study the language in its cultural

context. Singhal (1997) stated language and culture are inextricable and interdependent;

thus, understanding the culture of the target language enhances the understanding of the

language. Authentic materials, conversations with native speakers, and other cultural

information that the Internet offers are available to students and teachers at the touch of a

button.

Computer technologies have great potential for language learning. However, as

Willetts (1992) suggested, the effectiveness of these technologies depends on the

appropriate use by informed educators. English language teachers must be able to

integrate technological tools into the curriculum in a pedagogically sound and meaningful

way (LeLoup & Ponterio, 2000). The activities and the projects should also be well-

integrated into the curriculum as a whole (Warschauer & Whittaker, 1997). Another point

is that teachers need to know how "to integrate computers to support a variety of

philosophical, curricular, and methodological approaches" (Wetzel & Chisholm, 1998).

To realize the full potential of computers in language learning, English language teachers

should be able to use computers creatively in teaching. Warschauer (2002) stated that

"teachers not only should be able to use today's CALL software but should also have

successful strategies for evaluating and adapting the new waves of software that will

surely come" (p. 457). Warschauer and Meskill (2000) also suggested that the advantages

of using new technologies in the language classroom can be interpreted only in light of

the changing goals of language education.









Therefore, what is expected from English language teachers is developing the

core skills to integrate technology into language classes rather than learning how to use

technology in specific packages (Fitzpatrick & Davies, 2003). In order to achieve this,

professional development and teacher training become of highly important. Serdiokov

and Tarnopolsky (1999) stated that "a comprehensive system of teacher professional

development that can be up-to-date, efficient, continuous, accessible, convenient,

flexible, friendly, and cost effective is needed" (p. 13) to prepare teachers to teach with

technology. In addition to training, teachers need access to sources of information that

enable them to keep up to date (Davies, 2004).

The main goal is to help teachers develop the ability to synthesize their

knowledge about language learning and teaching with technology for various group of

learners in a variety of settings. In addition, trainers and teachers should be encouraged

to do research and collect data on the implications of new technologies for specific

language learning settings and on the challenges teachers and teacher educators may be

facing today when trying to integrate technologies into language classrooms (Wildner,

2000). In this way, teachers can better explore the implications of technology for

language learning and be more conscious about their decisions in using technology in

their classrooms. Warschauer and Meskill (2000) probably best described the role of

technology and its relation to language learning by saying that "language learning is an

act of creativity, imagination, exploration, expression, construction, and profound social

and cultural collaboration. If we use computers to fully humanize and enhance this act,

rather than to try to automate it, we can help bring out the best that human and machine

have to offer".









English Language Teacher Education

The main responsibility of distance English language teaching faculty is to

prepare prospective English language teachers for their future careers. In which areas and

how prospective English language teachers should be trained constitutes the content of

English language teacher education. Therefore, it is important to discuss in detail what

this area covers. However, the boundaries of English language teacher education as a

research field have not been clearly defined and "have become increasingly fragmented

and unfocused" (Freeman, 1989, p. 27). This is because English language teacher

education is a multidisciplinary field of study, which is associated with several

disciplines, such as applied linguistics, language learning and teaching, and teacher

education in general. Deriving its sources from a variety of disciplines, the theoretical

foundation of English language teacher education can hardly be regarded as coherent.

Richards (1998) indicated that "there is no general consensus on what the essential

knowledge base or conceptual foundation of the field consists of' (p. 1). Consequently,

practice of English language teacher education manifests itself in great diversity. What an

English language teacher has to know and how new English language teachers should

acquire this knowledge are ongoing debates among researchers as well as practitioners.

Gabrielatos (2002) suggested three main elements that comprise a language

teacher's profile: personality, methodology (knowledge and skills), and language

(knowledge and use). These three elements together form a triangle, and ideally all

elements are developed equally or in a balance to form an equilateral triangle. When all

elements are equally developed, together they can reach their full capacity for the

maximum possible effect. However, if one of the elements is less developed than the

others, it decreases the area of the triangle and will limit the effects of the other elements.









Roberts (1998) provided a more detailed list of language teacher knowledge which

consists of "content knowledge, pedagogic content knowledge, general pedagogic content

knowledge, curricular knowledge, contextual knowledge, and process knowledge" (p.

105). Content knowledge is a teacher's knowledge of the target language system whereas

pedagogic content knowledge is the application of linguistic knowledge, according to the

needs of the learners. General pedagogic knowledge refers to classroom management, the

knowledge of English language teaching activities, and assessment. Curriculum

knowledge represents knowledge of an official language curriculum and resources, such

as exams, textbooks, or other materials. Contextual knowledge covers the language

teacher's knowledge about learners, school, and community, as well as the expectations

and norms related to each party. Finally, process knowledge is related to a language

teacher's ability to relate to learners, peers, and parents, as well as his study, observation,

and language analysis skills.

A high level of target language proficiency is a basic requirement for all language

teachers. Therefore, language or linguistics courses are essential components of any

language teacher education programs. However, it is imperative to present language

courses in combination with language learning and teaching principles in training new

language teachers. Too much emphasis on target language in isolation may prevent

prospective language learners from making connections between knowledge of the

language and its implications for teaching. Freeman (1989) claimed that the content of

language teacher education is language teaching, not transmission of knowledge about

applied linguistics of language acquisition. He stated:

Although applied linguistics, research in second language
acquisition and methodology all contribute to the









knowledge on which language teaching is based, they are
not, and must not be confused with, language teaching
itself. They are; in fact, ancillary to it, and thus they should
not be the primary subject matter of language teacher
education. (p. 29)

According to Freeman (1989), the subject matter of language teacher education is

language teaching, which can be defined as "a decision-making process based on four

constituents: knowledge, skills, attitude, and awareness" (p. 31). Knowledge includes

what is being taught, to whom it is being taught, and where it is being taught whereas

skills refer to what the teacher has to be able to do. Knowledge and skills together form

the knowledge base of language teaching. Freeman (1989) defined attitudes as "the

stance one adopts toward oneself, the activity of teaching, and the learners one engages in

the teaching/learning process" (p. 32). Attitudes can explain the differences in success of

individual teachers. Awareness, on the other hand, serves as the bonding glue of the first

three constituents. It organizes the interaction and integration among the other three

constituents. It is the "capacity to recognize and monitor the attention one is giving or has

given to something" (Freeman, 1989, p. 33). Without awareness, language teachers

cannot implement their knowledge or skills successfully. Therefore, language teacher

education should include awareness-raising activities in addition to the knowledge and

skills. Awareness helps language learners relate their own experiences to the content

knowledge and make conscious instructional decisions; thus, allows teachers to link

theory and practice, which is the main goal of all teacher education programs (Wright,

1990).

A focus on awareness in language teacher education programs allows new

language teachers to relate new knowledge to their experiences.It also creates an









opportunity for them to look back in order to surface any tacit knowledge or espoused

theories related to language learning and teaching that they may have had prior to their

formal teacher training. For example, in a foreign language learning environment, most

prospective teachers will come into the teacher education programs with deeply held

conceptions about language learning and teaching (Freeman, 1992) based on their

experiences as language learners. These preconceived notions about language learning

and teaching may act as a barrier if they are left unexplored. Casanave and Schechter

(1997) stated that "our beliefs about language and education evolve from sources that we

may or may not fully recognize, and they continue evolving in directions we may able to

predict or design" (p. 1). Thus, considering that language teachers' perceptions about

language learning and teaching will continue to evolve throughout their teaching careers,

teacher education programs are responsible for equipping prospective language teachers

with the necessary skills to become reflective practitioners. These skills will empower

them to manage their own professional development and become independent language

teachers (Almarza, 1996; Wallace, 1990).

English language education takes place in "multiple contexts and with diverse

populations, in which language, culture, and identity are intricately bound together"

(Tedick, 2005, p. 97). Different settings may call for different instructional activities,

depending on the needs of prospective language teachers. For example, in an English-as-

a-foreign-language environment in which language teachers or learners do not have

immediate access to the use or practice of target language out of the classroom, new

language teachers may need extra input on the culture of the native speakers of the target

language. In addition, more emphasis on language forms, use, and discourse may be









needed in the training of prospective foreign language teachers compared to second

language teachers. All languages embody contextual and cultural clues, and it is not

possible to separate language from culture in which it is used. Therefore, knowing the

culture, as well as how it affects the use of language, is an immediate need of language

teachers. Foreign language teachers are especially responsible to introduce the target

culture parallel to the target language and they are expected to be active participants in

cross-cultural communications and serve as a bridge between their learners and lives of

native speakers (Jeffries, 1996).

In order to present target language and culture hand in hand, foreign language

teachers first have to be trained effectively in both areas. Prospective foreign language

teachers need to know the subtle differences between the culture of the students and the

culture of the native speakers of the target language, as well as the teaching strategies to

present these differences in the language classroom. Fillmore and Snow (2002) suggested

using "educational linguistics" (p. 9) to train language teachers on language with an

emphasis of how it should be presented in the classroom to maximize student learning. In

other words, prospective language teachers study the language in relation to culture and

how it is related to language learning and teaching. For example, Fillmore and Snow

(2002) stated that language teachers should know the differences between the target

language and the native language of the learners so that teachers can predict and

overcome the learning difficulties due to the differences between two languages.

Another point is that being in a foreign language learning environment, most

teachers are non-native speakers of the target language. Being a non-native language

teacher has both advantages and disadvantages. An obvious disadvantage is having









limited language proficiency and cultural awareness. Another disadvantage is having a

foreign accent, which is difficult to overcome especially for non-native speakers who

learn the language as adults. On the other hand, a non-native foreign language teacher,

who shares the same native language with the students has a great advantage of making

use of learners' native language. A non-native foreign language teacher can make better

comparisons between the two languages. Having gone through the same language

learning experience, he can also develop a better understanding of student errors or

problems (Serdiukov & Tarnopolsky, 1999). Both advantages and disadvantages of being

a non-native foreign language teacher should be addressed in language teacher education

programs so that prospective teachers can work on their weaknesses and make use of

their strengths both for themselves and for their future students. The recent technological

developments and the spread of the Internet may help to minimize the gap between non-

native foreign language teachers and native speakers of the target language since the

Internet is a vast source of cultural information and authentic materials (Singhal, 1997).

Language teacher education programs can also provide courses or activities to help

prospective teachers how to access, evaluate, and use such information from a distance.

Role of Faculty in Distance Education

Moore and Kearsley (1996) suggested that for most instructors teaching at a

distance involves the use of different skills that they use in the conventional classroom,

and their role as teachers changes significantly. Faculty members in distance education

are no longer the sole authorities to disseminate knowledge, but act as consultants to

learners who are active participants in learning (Knowlton, 2000). The role of the

distance faculty is described as similar to the part of a "mentor, coach, or facilitator"

(Birnbaum, 2001; Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Faculty members act as intermediaries









between students and available resources (Beaudoin, 1990). Therefore, the main job of

the distance faculty is "to help students to interact with the content as well as with

him/herself and the other learners" (Moore & Kearsley, 1996, p. 133). Moore and

Kearsley (1996) also stated that "the single most important skill that all distance

educators must develop is to make their students active participants in their educational

program" (p.133).

Sherry (1996) defined a successful distance faculty as "a caring, concerned

teacher who is confident, experienced, at ease with the equipment, uses the media

creatively, and maintains a high level of interactivity." In order to fulfill his role, an

instructor has to master several skills. For example, Schlosser and Anderson (1993)

identified the new skills which teachers must learn as they assume the role of distance

educators, as cited in Sherry, 1996 (pp. 32-37):

1. Understanding the nature and philosophy of distance education

2. Identifying learner characteristics at distant sites

3. Designing and developing interactive courseware to suit each new technology

4. Adapting teaching strategies to deliver instruction at a distance

5. Organizing instructional resources in a format suitable for independent study

6. Training and practice in the use if telecommunications systems

7. Becoming involved in organization, collaborative planning, and decision-making

8. Evaluating student achievement, attitudes, and perceptions at distant sites

9. Dealing with copy right issues

Palloff and Pratt (2001) also listed the qualities of a good candidate for teaching

online: giving up control of the learning process; using collaborative learning techniques

and ideas; allowing for personal interaction; bringing in real-life experiences and









examples; and building reflective practice into good teaching. In other words, faculty

must act in harmony with the learner-centered, interactive, and collaborative nature of

distance and online education. In order to do this, faculty members must be

knowledgeable about the characteristics of distance education. In addition, they need to

keep up with the recent advancements in technology and developments in pedagogy.

Faculty Development and Support in Distance Education

Distance education relies heavily on the use of telecommunication devices,

computer-mediated communication, or the Internet for instructional delivery and

communication. Distance education evolves as these technological tools multiply and

advance. Distance education therefore has a dynamic nature that is prone to technological

advancements, and faculty who teach at a distance are introduced to new teaching tools

on a regular basis. Consequently, faculty who teach at a distance have to develop new

skills or update existing ones continuously. In other words, faculty members evolve to

adapt to the changes in distance education. In this environment of constant change,

professional development becomes a must for faculty to survive. However, faculty

members must also devote their time and energy to teaching and research in their content

area. Therefore, they need the support of the institution that they work in to be efficient

and effective in the use of distance delivery.

Faculty development is an essential component of any distance education program

not only to support and motivate participating faculty but also to encourage the ones who

are thinking about participating in distance education. Olcott and Wright (1995)

suggested that "faculty resistance to participation in distance education has been due, in

large part, to the lack of an institutional support framework to train, compensate, and

reward distance teaching faculty commensurate with those in traditional instructional









roles" (p. 5). Gunawardena and Mclsaac (2003) also stated that "there is a lack of training

opportunity in distance education which could help faculty to overcome anxieties about

technology and might improve teacher attitudes" (p. 14).

There are several themes common in the literature related to faculty development

and support in distance education. First, any faculty development and support program

should be built-in the overall structure of the institution, and it should provide rewards

and incentives in addition to regular training facilities for faculty. These rewards may

include compensation of time, recognition in the tenure track, and resources to learn new

technologies and research (Charp, 2003). Support from the administration and colleagues

are also important to encourage faculty to teach at a distance.

Second, faculty development and support should focus on both technological and

pedagogical of aspects of distance education. Dillon and Walsh (1992) suggested that

"faculty development programs designed to promote distance teaching are concerned

primarily with training and do little to encourage or support a dramatic restructuring of

faculty roles" (p. 16). Too much emphasis on technological training without referring to

the essence of distance education can prevent faculty from making connections between

technological tools and their implications for instruction. The main goal of the faculty

development programs should be to empower faculty by allowing them to acquire the

skills to integrate technology in teaching and to use technology creatively to meet the

objectives of their courses. Bitter, Bitter, and Yohe (1992) stated that "new technologies

will continue to evolve, and teachers must be able to adjust by understanding the changes

in hardware, software, and methods and their effects on teaching" (p. 141). Thus, faculty

development and support programs should teach faculty how to fish-- instead of giving









them fish-- by teaching them how to teach with technology instead of training them how

to use a single technological tool or software.

Third, faculty development in distance education should reflect everyday teaching

needs of the faculty. Training style should also reflect how faculty teach at a distance. For

example, in online education students use computers and the Internet to learn, research,

and communicate. Thus, faculty development programs should also include training and

support over the web so that faculty become competent in using these devices and at the

same time experience web-based instruction as a learner. If faculty "experience being

online learners themselves" (Krauthamer, 2002), then they have a better idea about the

challenges of distance learning that their students face. Perreault, Waldman, and

Alexander (2002) also suggested faculty members should attend training sessions and/or

participate in the type of distance course that they will be delivering so that they can

design the course and prepare materials more appropriately for the instructional medium

used. In addition, if faculty members use the computer for their needs first, they can turn

around and apply it to their teaching in a better way (Bruder, 1992).

Fourth, professional development and support programs should also consider the

input and feedback of faculty members as they design and implement training activities.

It is important to address the training needs and wants of the faculty not only to provide

them with a more effective training program, but also to increase their participation in the

development activities by giving them a right to say how they are being trained. The

ultimate goal of any teacher training is to empower teachers to manage their own

professional development. If faculty members feel that they contribute to the training

program, they will have a sense of control over their professional development (Wallace,









1991). In addition, as adult learners who have considerable experience in the field of

education, faculty members have a lot to offer and share with the support team, as well as

with their colleagues. Professional development and support units should make use of

this experience to better serve the needs of the faculty.

Fifth, professional development and support programs should reflect and present

the principles of adult learning theory. It is important to present adult learning principles

because most distance learners are generally older. Moore and Kearsley (1996) suggest

that most distance education students are adults between the ages of 25 and 50. Faculty

who teach at a distance are faced with a population of students who are adults or young

adults at best. In order to understand the needs of this group of learners and to design

activities that are based on sound pedagogical principles to meet these needs, faculty

must be familiar with the implications of adult learning theory in distance education. In

addition, faculty who receive professional development and support activities are also

adult learners. As Ben-Peretz (2001) stated teachers as with any other learners, need to be

motivated, and it is important to address adult learning principles to study the

characteristics of adult learners. Lawler (2003) also suggested that although teachers of

adults may be well-versed in working with adult learners in their particular setting, rarely

do we see them reflecting on their own learning and using that reflection as a way to

understand their learning needs and motivations. Studying adult learning principles in a

training program, which is itself based on those very principles, can also help faculty

members be more conscious about their own learning and professional development.

Knowles (1984), who believed that adult learners have distinct and unique

characteristics, coined the term "andragogy" to refer to the art and science of helping









adult learners learn. In addition, Knowles made several assumptions about adult learning.

According to Knowles, adults need to know why they need to learn something, they need

to learn experientially, they approach learning as problem-solving, and they learn best

when the topic is of immediate value. Driscoll (1998, p. 14) listed some characteristics of

adult learners. Adult learners:

* Have real-life experience
* Prefer problem-centered learning
* Are continuous learners
* Have varied learning styles
* Have responsibilities beyond the training situation
* Expect learning to be meaningful
* Prefer to manage their own learning

Based on these characteristics, Driscoll makes some recommendations to facilitate

adult learning: a) use learner's experiences; b) develop problem-based programs; c)

involve learners in planning and evaluating; d) develop interactive programs; e) use

multimedia elements in meaningful ways; f) create a safe and respectful environment; g)

encourage exploration, action, and reflection; and h) nurture self-directed learning

(Driscoll, 1998). Imel (1994) described an adult learning climate as one that "has a

nonthreatening, nonjudgemental atmosphere in which adults have permission for and are

expected to share in the responsibility for their learning" (p. 2).

Faculty Perceptions on Professional Development and Support in Distance
Education

Research on faculty support in distance and online education indicates that some

faculty members have similar preferences in the areas they wish to receive assistance.

One of the most common areas of desired support is learning and applying selected

technologies (Murphy & Dooley, 2001; Schauer, Rockwell, Fritz, & Marx, 1998).

Faculty members need support in how to use technological tools and how to integrate









those tools into their courses. Another common request from the faculty related to

support is receiving assistance with the preparation of course materials (Dillon & Walsh,

1992; Murphy & Dooley, 2001; Schauer, et al., 1998). Faculty need such assistance both

to get guidance on how to prepare materials for distance delivery and to share some of the

time that is required to prepare those materials. In addition, some faculty members want

to have support in how to communicate with distance learners and how to better develop

interaction among students (Schauer, et al., 1998).

Studies on faculty perceptions on distance education also reveal that faculty

motivation to teach at a distance results from intrinsic rather than extrinsic incentives

(Dillon & Walsh, 1992; Schifter, 2004). On the other hand, when non-participating

faculty are asked about their perceptions on participating distance education, they tend to

rate extrinsic motivators, such as money, promotion, or recognition, higher than intrinsic

motivators as a factor (Schifter, 2004). In addition, Dillon and Walsh (1992), who

reviewed 225 articles on distance education, found that faculty who teach at a distance

are generally positive toward distance education, and their attitudes tend to become more

positive with experience.

These studies indicate that the amount of experience in distance education has an

effect on the attitudes of distance faculty about distance education. They also suggest that

faculty with different backgrounds may have different support needs, and it is important

for the support team to provide a variety of techniques and materials to meet the needs of

different faculty. It is also important to evaluate the support program continuously so that

it can adapt to the changes in the faculty members' needs over time (Armstrong, 1999).

The literature suggests that faculty who teach at a distance have similar expectations.









However, as Schifter (2004) stated, "Campus culture needs to be understood-- what

motivates faculty participation on one campus might not be appropriate on another" (p.

34). Thus, the specific needs and wants of each individual faculty group should be

explored to design and implement an effective distance education faculty support

program.

Summary

In this chapter a review of literature on distance faculty support has been presented.

The chapter began with the overview of distance education, and followed by online

education and the theory of constructivism. Computer assisted learning language learning

and its relationship with English language teacher education have also been reviewed in

this chapter. Finally, the role of faculty in distance education has been discussed.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

In order to explore the perceived support needs and preferences of distance

English language teaching faculty at Anadolu University in Turkey, a qualitative

instrumental single case study is used as the research methodology for the study. In this

chapter, a rationale for the research design, a definition of the instrumental case study,

data sources, and data collection and analysis methods are presented.


Rationale for the Selection of Research Methods and Instruments

Unlike the laws of physics, there is nothing unchanging
about human life and social interaction except that we die.
There is no solid, unmovable platform upon which to base
our understanding of human affairs. They are in constant
flux. (Seidman, 1991, p. 19)

Seidman's (1991) remarks on the complexity of human affairs imply how

challenging it is for researchers to study human affairs, and he raises some important

questions about how to conduct studies on human affairs. How can we analyze something

which changes and evolves constantly while it is in constant interaction with other ever-

changing things? How can we break something apart to analyze when its parts are

constantly multiplying and/or shifting? In addition, how can we draw conclusions about

human affairs when the only constant is that they are in constant flux? The answers to

these questions are as complex as the study of human affairs itself. One way to deal with

such a diverse and interwoven research field may be not to simplify it but to recognize its









complexity. Instead of searching for a stable platform to make sense of human affairs, we

can strive to create a platform that actually embraces the dynamic nature of human affairs

and adjusts itself accordingly. Qualitative research gives us the flexibility, as well as the

framework, to study human affairs systematically by providing us with a research

approach that is as adaptive, dynamic, and multifaceted as the nature of human affairs

itself. Greene (1997) stated that "the mood of qualitative research is created by the

realization that human beings are self-defining, self-creating, 'condemned to meaning'

and in search of possibility" (p. 187). Thus, in this study qualitative research helped me

to find out how faculty members defined their roles and their needs as distance educators,

as well as how they formed the meanings that affected their actions and beliefs.

Qualitative Research as an Instrumental Case Study

Stake (1995) defined case study as "the study of the particularity and complexity

of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances" (p. xi).

According to Yin (1994), case study is "an empirical inquiry that investigates a

contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries

between phenomenon and context are not clear" (p. 13). The most important

characteristics of case study, whether it is a program, individual, or innovation, is that it

is bounded (Merriam, 1998). We study the case because we would like to understand it

fully. Our goal is to understand the case and what it consists of. A particular case may be

chosen because it is either different or has some unique qualities that can help the

researcher gain an in-depth understanding of a phenomenon.

Stake (1995) suggested that "the real business of case study is particularization,

not generalization" (p. 8); therefore, there is emphasis on uniqueness. Denmoyer (1990)

also considered uniqueness as an asset in a single case study. So, what is the value of a









single case study if the findings cannot be generalized to other cases? Emphasis on the

uniqueness of the case may prevent the results from being generalized, but this does not

mean that the results are not applicable in other cases or research areas. Lincoln and Guba

(1985) referred to this type of generalization as "transferability". The results of a single

case study may or may not be repeated when the same study is conducted in other

populations. However, through the thick description of the case, the experience of the

participants, and interpretations of the researcher, the readers can have access to the case

as if they are a part of it and construct their own meanings to be transferred to their own

experiences. Stake (1995) suggested a similar posture related to the generalization issue

in case studies and stated that naturalistic generalizations are more relevant to case

studies rather than statistical generalization. Naturalistic generalizations are "conclusions

arrived through personal engagement in life's affairs or by vicarious experience so well

constructed that the person feels as if it happened to them" (Stake, 1995, p. 85). In this

sense, generalizability of the findings of a single case study can be viewed more in

psychological terms rather than in terms of mathematical probability (Denmoyer, 1990).

The case is not studied to understand other cases and the priority is to understand

the case itself. However, sometimes a case can be studied to gain insight on a research

question or puzzle and in this situation it serves as an instrument for general

understanding of the issue at hand; it is called "instrumental case study" (Stake, 1994, p.

3). In instrumental case study, the researcher starts and ends the study with his or her

research issues. The case is a means for the researcher to gain an understanding of the

issues or to answer the research questions. The researcher is also selective in which

contexts he will explore within the case because only the contexts that are related to the









research questions can help him optimize understanding of the research issues (Stake,

1995). Therefore, in this study, my focus was answering the research questions and

gaining insight on faculty support needs and preferences of distance English language

teaching faculty. In order to do this, I examined the perceptions of English language

teaching faculty on faculty support in a distance English language teacher training

program and s a case. Learning more about the program was important for me to

understand the issues related to distance English language teaching faculty support.

However, my emphasis was on the faculty support issues. The attitudes of the faculty

toward the program, as well as the experiences of the faculty in this program, served as

an instrument for answering my research questions.

Data Sources, Key Informants, and Data Collection Methods

In this study, the three main data sources were: an online survey, in-depth

interviews, and artifacts. Primary data sources were in-depth interviews, and secondary

data sources included online survey and artifacts.

Survey

All distance English language teaching faculty, approximately 25 faculty

members, were invited to take part in an online survey to gather demographic data and to

learn about faculty members' general perceptions about faculty support activities in the

program. The survey was administered one time at the beginning of the study and was

sent to participants through email together with the informed consent form. The potential

participants were asked to fill in the online survey after they read the online informed

consent form. The "accept" button at the end of the online consent form took the

participants to the survey (see Appendix A for a copy of the informed consent form). The

participants' answers to the survey were sent to me as the researcher when they clicked









on the "submit" button at the end of the page. The survey consisted of both closed and

open ended questions (see Appendix B for a copy of the online survey). The survey also

invited faculty members to participate in in-depth interviews. The total number of

participants who responded to the online survey was 13. Among the volunteer faculty

members, 10 were selected for the in-depth interviews. Tables 3-1, 3-2, and 3-3 illustrate

the teaching experience of DELTEP faculty who responded to the online survey.

Table 3-1. Teaching experience of online survey participants in DELTEP
1 Year 2 Years 3 Years 4 Years 5 Years
0% 31% 8% 15% 46%



Table 3-2. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers
Less than 1 Year Between 2 and 5 Between 5 and 10 More than 10
years years years
0% 23% 8% 69%


Table 3-3. Teaching experience of online survey participants in training ELT teachers via
distance or online education
Less than 1 Year Between 2 and 5 Between 5 and 10 More than 10
years years years
31% 61% 0% 8%


The online survey results show that most participants work in the DELTEP program for

five years. In addition, a majority of faculty (69%) had more than 10 years of experience

in training ELT teachers in general. Similarly, 61% of the online participants had

between two and five years of experience in training ELT teachers via distance or online

education. Therefore, most participants had considerable amount of experience in both

ELT in general and distance ELT teacher training.









In-depth Interviews

The task of the naturalistic inquirer is to capture what people say and do as

indicators of how people interpret their world (Bogdan & Taylor, 1975). Therefore, main

data collection instruments in this study were interviews with faculty members,

administrators, and faculty support personnel. The total number of participants was 16:

10 ELT faculty members, 3 support personnel, and 3 administrators. Of the 16

participants, 9 were female and 7 were male. In addition, there were 3 full, 3 associate

and 4 assistant professors. The remaining 6 participants were instructors.

The selection of the faculty for interviews was based on two criteria: the results of

the online survey and the distance courses that faculty prepared materials for in the

DELTEP. First, the faculty members' answers to the survey questions were collated and

analyzed through frequency analysis and percentages to form a profile for purposeful

sampling. The idea of purposeful sampling is to select information-rich cases from which

one can learn a great deal about issues of central importance to the purpose of the

research (Merriam, 1998). In other words, for an in-depth understanding, sampling is

done purposefully to select participants from whom the researcher can learn the most

about the research issues. Typical sampling, which is a subcategory of purposeful

sampling, served as the first criterion for the selection of faculty for interviews. Merriam

(1998) indicated that "a typical sample would be the one selected because it reflects the

average person, situation, or instance of the phenomenon of interest" (p. 62). Thus, based

on the results of the survey, a profile of a typical English language teaching faculty

member in this program was generated and English language teaching faculty members

who fit this profile were selected for the in-depth interviews as representatives of the

entire cohort of faculty members. The second criterion for the selection of faculty









members was the distance courses they taught. Among the faculty members who fit the

profile resulting from typical sampling, 10 faculty members who taught 1 of the 10 online

courses were selected for the interviews.

The faculty support personnel were also selected through typical sampling.

Faculty support personnel in DELTEP worked for three main groups of online courses,

which were categorized according to their content and type of technical support received.

The first group consisted of two literature courses, and the second group included a

methodology course, which was the only online course with sound effects. The third

group included all the other online ELT courses. One production coordinator from each

group of online courses was interviewed as representatives of all production coordinators.

One of the production coordinators also worked as the only publishing coordinator for all

the online courses. Production coordinators were selected for the in-depth interviews

representing the support personnel in DELTEP because they coordinated all the activities

related to online production. In addition, they were the only members of the online

production team who communicated and interacted with the rest of the team members. In

a way, they served as a bridge between the ELT faculty and the other support personnel

who gave technical support to ELT faculty.

In addition, the president of Anadolu University, the academic coordinator of

DELTEP, and the director of the online course production support group, who is also the

deputy dean of Open Education Faculty, took part in in-depth interviews as

administrators. Interviews with all participants were semi-structured and consisted of

open-ended questions (see Appendix C for interview guides). Each participant was

interviewed at least twice and total duration of interviews for each person was









approximately three hours. The first interview was to gather data for answering the

research questions of the study, and each interview on average lasted 120 minutes. The

second interview on average took 60 minutes and helped me as the researcher to share the

initial findings and interpretations with the participants. This process also allowed the

participants to make corrections if they were not comfortable with how their comments

were interpreted. This type of clarification also enabled the researcher to increase the

validity of her findings. In addition, all in-depth interviews were conducted in person and

were tape recorded. The interview recordings were later transcribed for coding

throughout the data analysis process. The participants were given the option of

conducting the interview in their native language, Turkish. Of the 16 participants, 13

chose to speak in Turkish.

Artifacts

The artifacts included newspaper articles, policies, or any other document that

described DELTEP and issues related to faculty support (see Appendix D for a list of

artifacts). Artifacts were especially important to gather thick description of the program

and its components. For example, the description included the history of the program, the

curriculum, and rules and regulations about instruction, which provided contextual clues

surrounding the faculty support structure. Artifacts also included sample faculty support

activities or online materials. The artifacts helped me to triangulate the data gathered, as

well as to provide additional data to supplement the existing data to better understand the

case and the issues related to the research questions.

Data Analysis

Stake (1995) stated that "there is no particular moment when data analysis

begins" (p. 71). Data analysis in a qualitative case study can start as early as the









formation of research issues. Even during review of literature, the researcher may come

across certain notions that initiate the data analysis procedure, which is subject to

modification at any point throughout the study. Similarly, initial data analysis and data

collection can co-exist since the researcher is constantly in pursuit of meanings and

patterns and how they are connected to the research issues or questions. However, the

bulk of the data analysis takes place after all data are collected when the researcher has

gone through the data collection procedures.

In order to record my observations and organize my field notes until the data

collection is over, I made use of memoing. Memoing is recording reflective notes about

what the researcher is learning from his data, as he gathers data through his observations

(Johnson & Christensen, 2004). In memoing, researchers write memos to themselves

concerning ideas and insights and then include those memos as additional data to be

analyzed.

When all the data were gathered, I made use of the constant comparison method

of data analysis for the interview data. The constant comparison method is used to

generate thematic connections or categories from the data gathered. Maykut and

Morehouse (1994) defined the constant comparison method as

a method of analyzing qualitative data which combines
inductive category coding with a simultaneous comparison
of all units of meaning obtained. As each unit of meaning is
selected for analysis, it is compared to all other units of
meaning and subsequently grouped (categorizing and
coded) with similar units of meaning. If there are no similar
units of meaning, a new category is formed. In this process,
there is room for continuous refinement; initial categories
are changed, merged, or omitted; new categories are
generated; and new relationships can be discovered. (p.
134)









In order to organize the findings around thematic categories, the transcription of

the interviews were read line by line to identify the emerging patterns of similar

meanings. These patterns of meanings were coded through open, axial, and selective

coding (Strauss, & Corbin, 1990). In open coding, the data were examined, compared,

and categorized. The categories that resulted from open coding were put back together by

making connections between each category in axial coding. Finally, each category was

organized around a core category through selective coding. This procedure was repeated

until achieving theoretical saturation. Theoretical saturation is achieved when no more

relevant data seem to emerge regarding a category or variable (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). It

is a sense of closure that the researcher gets when he completes all levels of codes and

when no new conceptual information is available to indicate new codes or the expansion

of existing ones.

The results to the multiple choice questions of the survey were analyzed through

frequency analysis and served as the demographic data to give background information

on the faculty members in general. The results of the open-ended questions of the survey

were also analyzed through the constant comparison data analysis method. The results of

the survey, as well as the data gathered from the artifacts, were used for supporting or

refuting themes that emerged from the interview data.

To promote the validity of the research, two main strategies were used:

triangulation and participant feedback. Triangulation is cross-checking information and

conclusions through the use of multiple procedures or sources (Johnson & Christensen,

2004). Survey questions helped me to triangulate the data that I gathered through in-depth

interviews. In addition, interviewing administrators and faculty support personnel, as well









as faculty members, helped me engage in multiple points of view on the same issue

which will help me triangulate the data. In addition, I made use of the second interview to

get participant feedback on my initial data analysis after the first round of interviews. By

allowing participants to comment on my initial analysis, I had the chance to verify the

validity of my interpretations, as well as creating the opportunity to gather additional data

to strengthen or optimize my observations.

My Role as Human Instrument in Qualitative Research

I benefited to a great extent from my educational background and experience in

Turkey throughout the data collection and analysis. In qualitative research, it is important

to understand the culture of the participants. As a Turkish researcher, I was familiar with

the participants' educational setting. I have been an English language pre-service teacher,

an English language teacher, and an English language teacher trainer in both state and

public universities in Turkey. I did not study or work as a distance learner in Turkey; but

I am familiar with the distance programs at Anadolu University. In this sense, I had an

advantage in making sense of the data because I already know the educational system in

which DELTEP faculty work. On the other hand, I have been in the United States. for

more than four years, and I did not know the recent rules and regulations. Thus, I believe

I had both an insider and outsider's view when I talked to the participants.

Summary

This chapter consisted of a discussion about the research methodology of the

study. A qualitative instrumental case study was employed. There were three data

collection sources: an online survey, artifacts, and in-depth interviews. The main data

collection source consisted of the in-depth interviews that were done with 3

administrators, 3 faculty support personnel, and 10 ELT faculty members in DELTEP.






46


The participants were interviewed twice and each interview was recorded and

transcribed. The data gathered were analyzed through the constant comparison method of

data analysis.














CHAPTER 4
FACULTY SUPPORT IN DISTANCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER
EDUCATION PROGRAM AT ANADOLU UNIVERSITY

Introduction

This chapter presents the themes that emerged from the analysis done on data

gathered through interviews with participants, online survey responses of faculty

members, and artifacts. The primary source of emerging themes is the data gathered

through interviews with 10 faculty members, 3 administrators, and 3 support personnel at

the Distance English Language Teacher Education Program (DELTEP) at Anadolu

University (AU). Data collected through the online survey and artifacts act as secondary

sources for themes related to DELTEP faculty support, and they are used to triangulate

interview data.

The themes presented throughout the chapter are organized in three main sections.

The first section includes background information on DELTEP with reference to the

Turkish educational system, Anadolu University and Open Education Faculty, as well as

the developments that led to the foundation of the program. Also, curriculum, instruction,

and faculty in DELTEP are discussed to provide readers with a description of the

program. Next, available faculty support activities are presented with perceptions of

participants. Finally, additional faculty support activities that are needed in the program

are discussed in relation to the distance ELT discipline.









Higher Education in Turkey

All educational services in Turkey except higher education are the responsibility

of the Ministry of National Education. All policies, rules, and regulations related to

higher education are planned, coordinated, and administered by the Council of Higher

Education, which was founded in 1981. The Council of Higher Education consists of 22

members and a majority of its members are academicians.

Turkey has 53 state and 19 public universities. All students who want to attend a

higher education institution have to enter the university entrance exam that is done once

each year at the same time all around the country. This exam consists of multiple choice

questions and assesses students' verbal and quantitative knowledge, based on the

curriculum followed in high schools. In addition, there is a foreign language section for

students who would like to attend a department related to foreign language or foreign

language teaching.

Attending a higher education institution is highly valued by the majority of

population in Turkey because it is considered the key to finding jobs and gaining high

status in society. However, higher education is very competitive because there is a

limited number of seats available at universities for a large number of students each year.

For example, according to the Student Selection and Placement Center's web site in

2004, 1,727,957 applicants took the university entrance exam; however, only 356,883

students could be placed in a higher education institution. In other words, approximately

80% of the students who wanted to attend a higher education institution in 2004 were

unable to do so, and only the top 20% of the students had the opportunity to attend a

university.









The gap between the increasing student population and the available resources to

educate this population has always been a problem in Turkey. The overall population

growth rate in Turkey is approximately 3% per year. Currently, the population has

reached 75 million. Moreover, Turkey has the youngest population in Europe with 75%

of the population being under 25 years old. Thus, providing opportunities to attend a

higher education program for all students equally has always been a challenge. Due to

limited funding and resources, few people are admitted to higher education. Because

teacher training is done through higher education, the number of prospective teachers to

be trained every year is also limited. As long as there is a teacher shortage, there will not

be enough resources to educate the next generation of students. Turkey has been trying to

break this vicious cycle for decades. However, funding has always been sparse and

policymakers and educators have been trying to find ways to educate a big population of

students in a short time in spite of tight budgets to fill the gap. Distance education has

proven to be one of the most effective ways to deal with such educational problems in

Turkey.

Distance Education in Turkey

The history of distance education in Turkey goes back to the foundation of the

Republic in 1923. When Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic,

initiated the change from the Arabic alphabet to the Latin alphabet as a part of several

educational reforms, 99% of all citizens suddenly became illiterate as they had to learn to

read and write in a new alphabet. In order to increase the literacy rate, correspondence

courses using letters were introduced in 1927 (Usun, 2003). Until the 1950s, distance

education did not receive much attention in Turkey. Later, in 1956, the first distance

education project was started by the Faculty of Law at Ankara University. This program









was done through correspondence by mail and its objective was to train employees of a

bank through distance education. In 1961, the Center for Education through letters was

founded within the Ministry of National Education. This center started to provide

distance education to people who wanted to finish their secondary education. The center

then expanded its services to train in-service teachers in 1966. Almost a decade later, in

1975 and in 1978, the Ministry of National Education attempted to establish an open

university and started the "Education through Letters" project. However, this initiative

was not successful and the program was ended shortly after it started (Usun, 2003).

Meanwhile, in 1974 the first educational television project was implemented at

the Eskisehir Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences. This is one of the most

significant events in the history of distance education in Turkey because this academy

later became Anadolu University, the leading university in distance education in Turkey.

Today, Anadolu University is responsible for the majority of distance education that

takes place in Turkey. However, some other state and public universities also provide

distance education in the form of online education. Bilkent University collaborates with

New York University and is giving courses via video conferencing. Bilgi University has

been providing web-based MBA programs since 2000. In addition, other state

universities, such as Middle East Technical University, Sakarya University, and Firat

University, also use the Internet to provide distance courses and programs. However, it is

important to note that the number of universities that adopt distance education started to

increase after the 1990s when online education became more widespread. Until then,

Anadolu University was the university that provided most distance education in Turkey

through television programs and radio broadcasts. Due to its long history and good









reputation, Anadolu University has always been the leading university in distance

education in Turkey.

Anadolu University and Open Education Faculty

With the establishment of the Council of Higher Education, the Eskisehir

Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences became Anadolu University in 1982.

Anadolu University provides both traditional and distance education. However, the bulk

of the student population consists of distance learners. In 1999, the World Bank

recognized Anadolu University as the world's largest university. At that time, the student

population of Anadolu University was 650,000, and currently it reached 900,000. Of the

900,000 students, the number of distance learners is approximately 880,000. In addition,

the number of distance education learners in Anadolu University is equal to 35% of the

population of all higher education learners in Turkey. Since its establishment in 1982,

Anadolu University has granted more than 650,000 bachelor and pre-bachelor degrees to

its distance education graduates. As of 2004, the number of faculty members of Anadolu

University is 1,689. There are 12 faculties/colleges and 3 of them,--Open Education

Faculty, Faculty of Economics, and Faculty of Business Administration--are providing

distance education. In addition, Anadolu University has 7 schools, 4 vocational schools, 9

institutes (4 graduate schools, 5 institutes), and 21 research centers.

The Open Education Faculty (OEF) is the leading faculty in Anadolu University

to provide distance education. It offers both associate degree and degree programs in

various areas of study (see Appendix E for a list of the programs offered by OEF). The

OEF also collaborates with several universities in the United States such as Arizona State

University, San Diego State University, and the State University of New York (SUNY).

It also collaborates with other international distance education universities, such as









Ahmet Yeseri University in Kazakhistan, Israel Open University, and Open University in

the United Kingdom. In addition, OEF provides education through the West Europe

Project to Turkish immigrants who work in West European countries such as Germany,

Belgium, and Denmark.

For instructional delivery, OEF traditionally uses printed materials, television and

radio broadcasts, and academic counseling. The OEF prepares course textbooks, which

are designed according to self-study principles. The textbooks are prepared in printing

facilities at Anadolu University, and OEF books are mailed to students free of charge. In

addition, OEF has three television studios. Television programs are prepared by faculty

members and recorded at these studios before they are aired on national television. The

OEF collaborates with the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) Network, which is owned

by the government. The OEF also has numerous academic counseling services in major

big cities around Turkey. Students can visit academic counseling centers to receive

further help and guidance with their studies.

In addition to regular television and radio broadcasts, OEF has been working on

delivering instruction via online. In 1994, OEF started to focus on computer-assisted

learning. Several computer laboratories were opened to help learners. By the end of 1999,

learning materials were made available online for main courses. In 2000, OEF took one

step further and offered two bachelor degree programs to be delivered partially via online

education. One of these programs is the English Language Teacher Training program.

Foundation of the Distance English Language Teacher Education Program

The Distance English Language Teacher Education Program (DELTEP) was

founded in the 2000-2001 academic year in accordance with the protocol signed between

the Turkish Ministry of National Education and Anadolu University. It is a four-year









blended bachelor degree program in which instruction takes place mostly face-to-face in

the first two years, and then it is continued via distance education in the third and fourth

year of the program. In the 2004-2005 academic year, the online component was added to

the program, which gave students more opportunities to interact with DELTEP faculty.

In order to understand the nature of this program fully, first it is important to

discuss some of the developments in Turkey that led to the foundation of this program.

The main mission of this program is to provide equal learning opportunity to all learners.

Another goal of the program is to minimize the ELT teacher shortage in Turkey, which

has been an ongoing problem for both the Ministry of National Education and the

Council of Higher Education. According to the eight-year development plan formulated

in 1999, the number of English teachers needed by the end of 2006 is approximately

63,000 (Kose, Ozyar, & Ozkul, 2002). However, the Ministry of National Education is

unable to recruit such a big population of teachers for several reasons. First, the total

number of graduates from traditional English teacher preparation programs is 3,000 every

year. With the available traditional programs, the need could not be met before 20 years.

In addition, not all graduates of ELT programs choose to be English teachers. Due to low

salary, low status, and limited resources, many ELT graduates prefer to work in business

or private firms, which offer considerably higher salaries, especially to employees who

know English. Second, English is the most popular foreign language in Turkey. Even

though German and French are offered in high school, the number of students taking

these courses are much less than the ones who prefer English; there are currently no

teacher shortage problems in teaching German or French.









Third, when Turkey applied to enter the European Union, the popularity of

English as a foreign language increased even more. In accordance with the European

Union's policies, in 1997, the compulsory of basic education in Turkey was expanded

from five to eight years. Prior to this extension, foreign language learning started in the

sixth grade in state secondary schools. However, with this new policy, students began to

learn English starting from the fourth grade. Therefore, there was a sudden explosion in

the number of students who were required to learn English. Consequently, there was a

great need for English teachers to be appointed in a very short amount of time. But, the

number of English teachers was not enough to meet such demand. To minimize the ELT

teacher shortage, the Ministry of National Education started to hire graduates of English

medium universities regardless of the departments from which they graduated. For

example, a mechanical engineer, a sociologist, or someone with a business major could

work as an English teacher because they were the graduates of a university whose

language of the instruction was English. However, the result has not been successful

because these graduates knew how to speak, read, and write in English, but they lacked

the pedagogical skills needed to teach English as a foreign language. Therefore, the

Ministry of National Education collaborated with OEF in Anadolu University to establish

and carry out an ELT teacher training program via distance education. The program can

be viewed as the Ministry of National Education's long-term investment for solving the

ELT teacher shortage problem in Turkey.

Founded in the 2000-2001 academic year, DELTEP today has more than 9,000

students enrolled. The students are admitted to the program after they receive at least 185

points from the Foreign Language (English) section of the University Entrance Exam.









The program has attracted much attention both by the press and the public due to the

growing popularity of English as a foreign language in Turkey. The popularity of the

program may be related to the use of online education in the program. The Internet is

widely used among young people in Turkey. It is also more accessible and more

interactive than pre-recorded one-way television and radio broadcasts. Moreover, the

Ministry of National Education offers immediate jobs to the graduates of DELTEP.

Students who pass their second year in the program successfully can also start working as

part-time teachers as they continue their education in DELTEP, which may be another

factor that makes the program more attractive.

Curriculum and Instruction in DELTEP

The DELTEP, which has a blended model of instruction, provides both face-to-

face and distance education. The first two years of the program are conducted mainly

through traditional classroom instruction, and the third and fourth years of the program

are conducted via distance education. The program also has an online component, which

started in the 2003-2004 academic year to provide guidance to students for two distance

education courses. In 2004-2005, all distance courses in DELTEP were also supported by

Internet-assisted instruction.

Prior to the 2004-2005 academic year, traditional classroom courses were given

after 4:00 pm during weekdays and between 9:00 am and 4:20 pm during weekends in 10

different major cities around Turkey. Traditional classroom courses, which mainly cover

four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), were given by

approximately 170 teachers who work in various high schools affiliated with the Turkish

Ministry of National Education. The location of traditional classroom instruction changed









in the 2004-2005 academic year, and students started to receive face-to-face courses at

Anadolu University's campus in Eskisehir.

Curriculum

The curriculum in DELTEP is prepared according to the guidelines provided by

the Council of Higher Education, and it is equal to the one being taught in face-to-face

ELT programs in Turkey. There are a total of 30 courses in DELTEP (see Appendix F for

a list of the courses in DELTEP). Eight of these courses are face-to-face and 20 of them

are distance education courses. The remaining two courses are related to teaching

practice. All third and fourth year distance courses also include online education in which

students receive Internet-assisted instruction through online materials, self-study tasks,

facilitation services by teachers through online bulletin board, and opportunities to use

chat rooms and forum peers.

Course Materials

All textbooks for Turkish distance courses are prepared and distributed by OEF at

Anadolu University, and students receive their textbooks via mail free of charge. In

English language learning and teaching courses--both face-to-face and distance--the

course materials are chosen by the faculty members in the Foreign Language Department

of Anadolu University who also work in DELTEP. The textbooks are selected among

various books published by well-known publishers, such as Longman. Faculty members

also choose textbooks that have supplementary materials for students. Students also

receive video CDs as supplementary materials to the textbooks for three courses, which

are "Approaches to ELT," "Teaching English/American Literature," and fourth year

"Teaching Practicum". In addition, for each academic year, students receive one syllabus

and material packs that guide students on how to study the course materials and on which









areas they need to focus more. Information in the syllabus and material packs for the third

and fourth year distance courses are also available online in extended form. They serve as

the base for the online course materials.

The online course materials are also prepared by faculty in the ELT Department at

Anadolu University. There is one coordinator, who is usually a senior ELT faculty

member, for each course. Each coordinator edits the materials gathered by several content

specialists who are also ELT faculty members. Some content specialists are instructors

working at the School of Foreign Languages at Anadolu University. The ELT faculty

members also provide online facilitation service for each third and fourth year distance

course. The facilitation service is done through online discussion boards by both the

coordinators and content specialist of each distance ELT course. There are a total of 10

Internet-assisted online courses, and the total number of students who are registered for

online courses is 25,463 (5,529 individual students) (Mutlu & Ozkul, 2005). The online

courses are designed to help students study their textbooks of distance education courses

through self-study materials, quizzes, tasks, and activities. Students can also post

messages in the forum to receive further guidance from facilitators who are also the

content providers of the online materials. Students can also see and reply to each other's

postings. Each student's posting is answered within 24 hours by the facilitators and for

every 1,000 students there is at least 1 facilitator. For example, if in one course there are

4,000 students, at least 4 facilitators are assigned to work in that course. The total number

of facilitators for the online discussion is 35. Students can also use chat rooms to

communicate with peers and technical support, but no formal instruction is delivered via

chat rooms. Attending the online component of the program is purely voluntary for









students. Therefore, student participation in the online discussions or activities is not

assessed. Online courses include self-study units, materials, and tasks for learners and

they are designed to provide learners with only supplementary materials for independent

study.

Exams

All exams in DELTEP are conducted face-to-face. For traditional classroom

courses, students take exams in their classrooms with their assigned teachers. For

distance education courses, students take the exams at designated exam centers in 10

major cities around Turkey. The DELTEP students have to take five tests (three

midterms, one final, and one make-up) for each course. They are expected to receive an

average score of 70 for ELT courses and 50 for the courses that are in Turkish. In 25

courses, students are assessed through multiple choice type tests. The remaining five

courses have different exam formats because of their content. For example, writing

courses are assessed through essay format and speaking courses are assessed through oral

exams. For the teaching practicum, students are assessed based on their observation

reports, lesson plans, and practice teaching.

Faculty who Teach via Distance in DELTEP

There are two main groups of faculty members who teach in DELTEP. The first

group consists of approximately 35 faculty members who work in traditional ELT

programs at Anadolu University. These faculty members are qualified teacher trainers

who hold a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, or a doctorate degree in various areas within

ELT. In other words, ELT faculty who work in the traditional Anadolu University ELT

program also work in DELTEP and teach the same courses both face-to-face and via

distance. These faculty members can be viewed as decision-makers in terms of course









content and course materials in DELTEP. In addition, they also work as facilitators in the

online component of the program and provide students with guidance on their questions

related to the ELT field through asynchronous online bulletin board discussions.

The second group consists of faculty members of the Open Education Faculty

(OEF) who work in collaboration with ELT faculty in DELTEP. This group is not

responsible for the content of the courses, but it provides ELT faculty with support on

how to deliver courses via distance. The OEF faculty members play an important role in

DELTEP because they are responsible for organizing and producing distance courses

according to self-study principles. In addition, they coordinate the communication and

work flow among ELT faculty and other faculty from various departments who work in

online production teams. These two groups of faculty members worked in collaboration

to produce online materials for each distance course in DELTEP.

Online Course Production Teams in DELTEP

In order to support ELT faculty on technological and pedagogical aspects of

online teaching, a team of experts was formed for each online course. Each online course

included a variety of materials and activities. Online courses mainly consisted of 15 to 25

units, which were prepared by the faculty members. Each online course also included an

online bulletin board in which students interacted with faculty members and peers.

Students were required to communicate in English in the online bulletin boards and

asynchronous discussions were conducted on ELT-related issues. Students could also

take part in synchronous discussions in the chat rooms with their peers. However, faculty

members did not use the chat room for instructional purposes. It was merely for students

to socialize with each other. Figure 4-1 shows the general outline for each online course:











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Figure 4-1: A snapshot of one DELTEP online course home page. The snapshot was
taken from DELTEP's web site: http://iolp.aof.edu.tr/

In each team, several ELT faculty members, OEF faculty members, and team


members from other departments worked in collaboration to produce online materials. In


other words, there were a total of 10 teams, and each team had at least 10 members with


various responsibilities. Each team consisted mainly of an editor, content specialist,


distance education instruction designer, graphics/animation designer, sound/video


designer, web designer, production coordinator, publishing coordinator, proofreader, and


a facilitator. In general, one course had more than one content specialist and facilitator.


Also, some teams shared the same distance education instruction designer or


graphics/animation designer. Each team member's role and responsibilities in a typical


online course production team are described as follows:









Editor: The editor, who is usually a senior ELT faculty member, is responsible

for the content of the online course. The editor, who is also the coordinator of the course,

writes materials, edits materials gathered by content specialists, and reviews the finished

version of the unit before it is uploaded on the web.

Content specialist: The content specialist is responsible for gathering ELT

materials and design activities for online delivery. The content specialists give the

content of the unit to the editors for additions and revisions. The number of content

specialists varies depending on the course and sometimes one content specialist may

work with more than one editor on more than one online course.

Generally, editors, as senior faculty members, were responsible for editing the

content that was provided by junior faculty members. However, senior faculty members

always provided input, especially at the beginning of the project on the first two or three

units. One faculty member stated that their system was similar to a "master-apprentice"

relationship. In the early stages of online course production, the editors trained content

specialists on how to prepare and gather materials for online delivery, and then let them

carry on as they monitored and edited the work produced for the coming units.

Distance education instructional designer: Distance education instructional

designers had the role of ensuring that the raw content is in line with distance and online

education principles. Distance education instructional designers were responsible for

producing sample units, presenting these units to ELT faculty, and guiding production

coordinators, if necessary, to meet the needs of ELT faculty in relation to the pedagogical

aspects of online education. There were two distance education instructional designers in

DELTEP and these were the faculty that worked in Open Education Faculty.









Graphics and animation designer: Graphics and animation designers were

responsible for drawing the graphics in each unit. All graphics and animations were done

from scratch based on ELT faculty members' descriptions for each task or material.

Sound and video designer: Sound and video designers were responsible for

adding sounds to the graphics, animations, or online tasks. Again, this group of team

members received ELT faculty members' directions on how to design online materials

that included sounds and video.

Web designer: Web designers combined all the materials produced by all the

team members and designed the look of the final product. In other words, they were

responsible for designing the web pages, including content, tasks, and activities.

Graphics and animation designers, sound and video designers, and web designers

helped ELT faculty in the technological aspects of online ELT courses. They worked on

accessorizing the content for the web. They could suggest different ways of presenting

information on the web, but they did not interfere with content. The content of each

material, as well as its design, was created by the editors and content specialists. The task

of the designers was to follow the descriptions of ELT faculty. Designers received faculty

members' instructions from the production coordinators. When designers finished their

work, they received feedback from ELT faculty through production designers. All

graphics, sounds, and web design had to be approved by the editor of the course before

being uploaded on the web.

Production coordinator: Production coordinators were OEF faculty members

who had degrees in either computer education or distance education. Production

coordinators served as a bridge between ELT faculty and other team members. They took









the raw content and passed it on to the team members who worked on the technical

aspects of the design and production of the unit. They also sent back the finished products

to editors for final revision before uploading the unit or sections of unit on the web.

Production coordinators had a very important role in this team because they were the

ones who interacted with each team member. The ELT faculty, for the most part,

communicated with production coordinators and mainly did not interact with other team

members except content specialists and facilitators.

Proofreader: Another team member in the online production team is a fourth

year student who checks the materials for typos, mistakes, or any other problems. The

responsibility of this student was to sign on to check the finished online pages. This

student was considered as a part of the team because he was employed and was being

paid for his work.

Publishing coordinator: There was one publishing coordinator in DELTEP, who

was responsible for the coordination of uploading the materials for all courses. The ELT

faculty had access to all online courses, but did not have access to upload materials.

Therefore, the ELT faculty had to contact the production designer or the publishing

coordinator for any changes on the materials before or after the course was online. The

publishing coordinator was also responsible for addressing students' problems related to

technical issues. In addition, he served as the production coordinator of one online

course.

Facilitator: Facilitators were the ELT faculty who worked as the editors and

content specialists of online courses. In other words, the editors and content specialist

also served as facilitators of the same course. Each ELT faculty member did facilitation









for four hours a week by replying to student emails and online bulletin board discussion

postings on ELT-related issues. The ELT faculty members continued to produce one unit

per week for online delivery while they were carrying on facilitation services to students.

In general, editors and content specialists of each course divided the week to answer

students' questions. The number of facilitators for each course depended on the number

of students taking that course. In general, one facilitator was responsible for 1,000

students.

Advantages and Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via Distance Education

One DELTEP faculty member defined distance education as "an instructional

delivery in which technology meets and adapts to pedagogy" (Teacher 1, Interview A,

March 20, 2005). As the faculty member pointed out, whenever a new mass

communication tool is invented, its instructional uses are adopted in distance education.

Computers, being the latest communication tools, are also one of the latest teaching and

learning tools to be used in distance delivery. However, like any new tool or medium,

they have to be studied in relation to their effects on instruction in various disciplines.

Because DELTEP is one of the rare distance ELT teacher programs in the world, the

experiences of faculty who work in this program may be invaluable for us to gain insight

on the advantages and challenges of using this medium as an instructional tool in training

prospective ELT teachers.

Faculty Perceptions on the Advantages of Training ELT Teachers via Distance
Education

The responses to the online survey showed that faculty believed training ELT

teachers via distance education has several advantages. Table 4-1 below describes the top









three advantages of training ELT teachers via distance as pointed out by the DELTEP

faculty who participated in the online survey.

Table 4-1. Online survey results: The top three common advantages of training ELT
teachers via distance education
Participant responses Frequency in
percentages
It allows a variety of course materials 46%
We can provide greater number of students with education 38%
opportunities
Students learn to be autonomous learners 38%

The interviews with DELTEP faculty members also revealed that one of the most

evident advantages of training prospective ELT teachers was to reach a large population

of students. Because ELT teacher shortage was one of the biggest educational problems

in Turkey, and it had to be solved in a very short amount of time to meet the demands,

distance education was not just an alternative delivery of instruction, but it was also a

must. In addition, offering an ELT distance education program attracted a lot of attention

in the area of ELT:

In the past, around 19,000 students used to take the foreign
language section of the university entrance exam. In 1999-
2000, this number went up to 55,000 because students
wanted to enter our program. Among 55,000, we accept
2,500 students. There are 9,700 students in the DELTEP
system right now. We are accepting students as many as 26
traditional ELT programs can get in Turkey. (Teacher 7,
Interview A, March 31, 2005)

As described in this the quote, there was a sudden and drastic increase in the

number of students who took the foreign language section of the university entrance

exam to attend DELTEP. In other words, with the help of DELTEP, more and more

students were interested in ELT as a profession and a considerable number of students

such as 10,000 students were admitted to the program. Because the number of ELT












faculty is limited and the amount of the teacher shortage could not be met with the


available traditional ELT programs in Turkey, there was a huge need for a distance ELT


program to reach a large population of students who wanted to be ELT teachers. In


addition, DELTEP faculty stated that the use of online bulletin boards was a practical


way of communicating with their students because they had the means to address


thousands of students with one posting. Figure 4-2 shows a sample online discussion


board page illustrating the number of messages posted for each unit in the online course:


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Uni 06 Reading And Society 0 Unocked
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Un 08 Different Approaches to Reading 5 Unlocked
Uni 09 The Context Of Learning 7 Unlocked
Un 10: Selecting Reading Material 3 Un ocked
Un il Teaching Reading Skills 22 Unlocked
Unt Listening Comprehension 13 Unlocked
Unt 3 Listening In L1 And L2 18 Unlocked
Un 4: Graded Listening Programme 6 Un ocked
Teaching Listening 3 Unlocked

SDiscussions Internet



Figure 4-2: A snapshot of an online discussion board. The snapshot was taken from
DELTEP's web site: http://iolp.aof.edu.tr/


When you post a message in the online bulletin board, all
the students that were signed on can see it. Thousands of
students see it. In a traditional classroom, you teach an
average of 25 students. Also, in a classroom, sometimes
students may not listen to some comment or input and they









can miss it. But in the online forums students always have
the chance to come back to the message and read it. They
can also ask their questions any time they like. (Teacher 9,
Interview A, March 29, 2005)

Also, through the use of online bulletin boards, distance education learners could

communicate with their teachers by posting questions and comments on any day of the

week. The online environment gives students the flexibility of reaching ELT materials

and tasks without being restricted by time and place. The DELTEP students had the

freedom of studying online materials at their own pace and could refer to their teachers'

postings any time because all online materials were saved in the program server:

There is a five month time gap between the 2nd year and
3rd year in the program. I tell my students, "You can go
ahead and visit online courses to study some of the
materials before you start taking the courses". (Teacher 7,
Interview A, March 31, 2005)

All the materials are downloadable. We tell our students in
villages to download materials to save time if they have no
access to the Internet. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29,
2005)

In distance education, students thus have the advantage of working through the

tasks and materials at their own pace without being restricted by time. Also, through self-

study materials and activities, distance learners are encouraged to be autonomous

learners. Being geographically at a distance from peers and teachers, distance learners

develop independent learning skills, which are essential to becoming lifelong learners. In

addition, online communication tools were very beneficial and practical to increase the

level and amount of interaction among DELTEP students. Thus, having an online

component in a distance education program was essential to establishing ongoing









communication between students and teachers. For example, through online

communication tools, students can see each other's work and can learn from each other:

Students learn from each other's questions in the forum.
They read each other's questions and write comments like,
"Oh, we have never thought of that before". (Teacher 9,
Interview A, March 29, 2005)

In other words, interaction and communication are integral elements of any

foreign language learning program, and the use of computer-assisted communication

tools increased the amount and quality of communication among students, as well as

between teachers and students. Because all communication on online bulletin boards was

conducted in English, students not only had the chance to interact with peers and

teachers, but also practiced their reading and writing skills in English. Students as well as

the teachers used only English to communicate in the online bulletin board. The language

that DELTEP faculty used in the forums also acted as a role model for prospective ELT

teachers.

Another advantage of having an online component in the program was to

familiarize students with important ELT jargon or ELT-related concepts before they

appear in textbooks or materials. The first two years of DELTEP included courses mainly

on English language learning skills whereas in the last two years of the program students

learned English language teaching skills. Thus, there was a sudden shift in terms of focus

and content of DELTEP courses. And, DELTEP faculty made use of online materials and

activities to assist students in understanding new terminology related to ELT theories and

principles:

When students pass on to their third year in the program,
some concepts and terminologies change. This causes some
problems. So, we used the online component to explain the









concepts in the textbook. We gave students concepts
related to ELT discipline so that they can understand the
topic better. (Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005)

We should consider the needs of the students. We cannot
just copy the ELT terminology as it is and expect students
to understand. In online delivery, we explained what that
terminology or concept refers to, for example, language
learning and teaching methods like grammar-translation or
communicative method. (Teacher 7, Interview A, March
31, 2005)

With the help of online materials, DELTEP students were not left alone with the

materials, and teachers had the opportunity to guide their students as they made a

transition between learning English skills and developing English teaching skills. In this

sense, online delivery allowed DELTEP faculty to clarify potentially challenging topics

or areas for students. Also, DELTEP faculty members made use of these online materials

not only in their distance education courses, but also in their traditional education

classrooms. In other words: faculty members transferred their experience with online

classrooms into face-to-face classrooms:

The materials prepared for the online methodology course
are so good and colorful that we are thinking about giving
the same materials to students in our traditional education
courses. (Teacher 1, Interview B, April 7, 2005)

Figure 4-3 is from the methodology course that the faculty member is referring to

in the previous quote. In this course, faculty members created a classroom environment

for their students through graphics and animations. Students can both see and hear the

teacher and teacher trainee as they go over the online materials. Each lesson is designed

for learners to experience the real classroom environment at their own pace. Prospective

teachers can also identify themselves with the characters in the simulation because they

are also being trained to be ELT teachers. Faculty members believed that the same












materials could also be used for their students in the traditional education programs to


provide them with self-study materials. Using the same materials in both distance and


face-to-face courses also allowed faculty to learn more about student needs in various


areas. Most faculty members that I interviewed stated that teaching the same course both


online and face-to-face gave them the opportunity to try out materials and develop tasks


according to student needs and interests in both instructional delivery.

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Figure 4-3: A snapshot of a DELTEP methodology course web page. The snapshot was
taken from DELTEP's web site: http://iolp.aof.edu.tr/


In short, distance education had several advantages, such as reaching a greater


number of students, encouraging students to be autonomous learners, and learning from


each other. The DELTEP faculty members believed that online bulletin boards were









especially beneficial for their students because communication was an integral part of

language learning and learning to teach languages.

Faculty Perceptions on the Challenges of Training ELT Teachers via Distance
Education

The DELTEP faculty members genuinely believed in the use of distance

education to train ELT teachers. However, faculty members also stated that they

preferred face-to-face education to distance education, if they had a choice, due to several

challenges of distance education. According to the online survey results, the most

common challenges of training ELT teachers via distance education were lack of role

modelling, face-to-face communication and the difficulty of addressing the practical side

of teaching. Table 4-2 below shows the percentages of responses from the DELTEP

faculty.

Table 4-2. Online survey results: The top three common challenges of training ELT
teachers via distance education
Participant responses Frequency in
percentages
Lack of role modeling 46%
Lack of face-to-face communication 46%
Addressing the practical sides of becoming an ELT teacher 31%


For example, faculty members believed that an online environment limited the

amount of human-to-human interaction because they had to communicate with students

through a machine. They indicated that they especially enjoyed the classroom

environment where they could have more opportunities to be with students, give them

guidance, and provide them with emotional support:

I am extremely happy to be in the classroom. I forget all
about my problems when I am with students. The feeling
that you get from being in a classroom environment is quite
different.... In a classroom, when you are face-to-face with









students, you can make jokes. You can laugh together. You
can hear students' laughter. (Teacher 5, Interview B, April
7, 2005)

Neither our distance nor traditional education students are
fully autonomous learners. But what's different here ... if
you have noticed we have no office hours listed on our
doors. Students can come and ask us questions whenever
they need. We have a very warm and close relationship.
This is an advantage for traditional education students that
distance education students don't have. (Teacher 6,
Interview B, April 6, 2005)

Thus, faculty members believed that communicating with students face-to-face

was much more efficient than communicating through online bulletin boards. Faculty

members found it difficult to transfer the warm relationship that they had with students

into online environment, which was one of the most important disadvantages of distance

education for them. Faculty members greatly valued having close relationships with their

students, and they believed that it was an important factor in being a role model for

prospective ELT teachers. However, they felt that they had limited opportunities to do so

in the online environment because their communication with distance learners was only

through written dialogues and did not allow the use of tone, intonation, or facial

expressions to express their feelings or emotions.

In addition, faculty believed that it was easier to provide supervision for their

students when they were face-to-face. Because online bulletin boards provide only

asynchronous communication, there was a time lapse between "sent" and "received"

messages. Thus, faculty members felt that there was a delay in the interaction between

students and themselves, which decreased the amount of guidance that faculty could give

to their students:









In distance education, you have to provide everything in
detail for students. There's a lack of immediacy. In
traditional education, we rely on immediate repair. This is
not possible in distance education. (Teacher 9, Interview A,
March 29, 2005)

In traditional education, when students are puzzled, they
can come and ask us. In distance education, you have to
write everything in much detail. Distance education
students sometimes get stuck on trivial details. (Teacher 2,
Interview A, April 5, 2005)

Thus, faculty members preferred face-to-face interaction and communication as it

was easier for them to guide their students in understanding the content. Faculty members

felt that they should better monitor how students make use of distance education

materials. For example, one faculty member stated that checking students' proficiency in

pronouncing new vocabulary was a big challenge in distance education: "I am concerned

about students' speaking skills. I have no clue about how they pronounce the new

vocabulary we teach in distance courses" (Teacher 9, Interview A, March 29, 2005.)

Moreover, using asynchronous tools of communication decreased not only the amount of

feedback that faculty members give to students but also the amount of feedback that

faculty members receive from students because of the time gap:

It's easier to guide students face-to-face... What bothers
me in online delivery is that I cannot get immediate one-on-
one feedback. In distance education, student feedback
arrives later on. (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30, 2005)

In other words, the time lapse between incoming and outgoing messages

decreased the effectiveness of the communication among the parties in the online forums.

The faculty wanted to increase the speed and the amount of interaction through

synchronous communication. However, it was not possible to do that at the time due to

financial reasons and the challenges related to the student profile. Because it was not









mandatory to have a computer or an Internet connection, the online component of the

program remained purely voluntary for students. Thus, online delivery included only

supplementary materials to give equal opportunity for all students, including the ones

who did not have Internet access to follow online materials:

We can do simultaneous classes, but we're going to leave
out 4,000 students. It's not fair for all students. We have
different centers in cities around Turkey, but not all of our
students live in city centers.... Whether to have completely
online courses or not has a lot to do with the student
profile. It is not a technological possibility, but a financial
possibility. Even though at Anadolu University we have the
hardware, not all students have access to the Internet.
That's why it cannot be interactive at the moment, but our
goal, our next step is to make all online courses much more
interactive. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March 29, 2005)

Serving greater number of students was an important advantage of distance

education, but it also created many challenges for DELTEP faculty. Because there were

too many students in the program, the faculty found it difficult to communicate with all

students in the program. The online bulletin boards served as a communication channel.

However, not all students could participate in online discussions, so faculty members

could not contact all their students:

There are some students that I am in touch with regularly. I
have no idea what the others are doing. Why aren't the
other students participating? Don't they believe in distance
education or don't they have Internet access? I would like
to know all of them. I would like to know their situation at
least. (Teacher 10, Interview A, April 11, 2005)

A large student population was also a problem in practicum. Each year almost

3,000 four-year students had to go into practice teaching and it was difficult to manage

this number of students' practice teaching experiences with the available resources and

number of faculty at Anadolu University:









Perhaps, the most challenging part of this program is the
practice teaching.... It is not possible to have the students
practice teach here because there are too many students and
too few faculty members. That's why our students do the
practice teaching with teachers of the National Ministry of
Education around Turkey. We want lesson plans from
students, but it is not possible to evaluate and give feedback
on their teaching practice because there are too many.
(Teacher 6, Interview A, March 30, 2005)

Another challenge of training ELT teachers via distance was related to skill

development. Language learning and teaching a foreign language require a considerable

amount of skill development. For example, when we speak a language, we use "a finite

set of rules to produce and understand an infinite set of possible sentences" (Fromkin, &

Rodman, 1998, p. 27). Because it is not possible for a language learner to learn all the

sets of possible sentences, we develop certain skills to use our language creatively in a

variety of situations. Similarly, teaching English involves both knowledge and skills.

Prospective ELT teachers not only learn the English language but also develop skills to

teach it to others. Thus, ELT is inherently a skill-based discipline and requires constant

practice of the acquired knowledge.

Some people see ELT similar to disciplines that include
more content rather than skills, for example, geography or
biology. Learning skills is like learning how to play an
instrument or how to ride a bicycle. Skills development is
not something that can be done only by reading three days
before the exam. It can be developed through continuous
studying and practicing. (Teacher 6, Interview B, April 6,
2005)

Learning how to teach requires a certain amount of
experience and it is a process. Students need to get
feedback, teach, and then receive feedback again. They
need to be more aware of what they do in class. They have
to try it out and then see results. (Teacher 2, Interview A,
April 5, 2005)









However, DELTEP faculty believed that skills development was a challenging

task to do via distance. In fact, several faculty members stated that it would not be

possible to teach language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in distance

education because there had to be constant interaction between teachers and students to

develop these skills. Faculty believed that transmission of knowledge was easier to carry

out in distance education. Developing skills required lots of practice and experience on

the part of the learners. In other words, the practical side of learning a language and

learning how to teach a language could not be done effectively only through distance

education. Therefore, the first two years of the program, which involved language skills

courses, were conducted face-to-face, and more content based courses in the last two

years were offered via distance education.

Another challenge related to training ELT teachers via distance education was

helping students develop higher order thinking skills such as analysis and synthesis and

putting these skills into practice. Faculty members believed that face-to-face

communication was more efficient in helping their students incorporate theory and

practice because it was easier to guide their students to think more deeply through

reflection and awareness raising with the help of in class demonstrations, simulations,

and role-playing activities. Even though online materials encouraged students to practice

the theories that they learned in distance courses, faculty had limited opportunities to

observe how students transfer their knowledge into practice, which was an important

handicap of distance education.

It's very difficult to raise awareness in distance
education.... In distance education, we cannot provide
students chances to transfer what they learn into practice. In
traditional education, I give my students various









perspectives on the content. In distance education, you talk
about what is already there. In traditional education, you
can talk about what's beneath the surface like, "How would
you approach this?" or "What would you do if... ?"(Teacher
8, Interview A, April 7, 2005)

In traditional education, we do activities toward practicing
teaching skills. We cannot do this via online. It stays more
on a theoretical and abstract level. In traditional education,
students do demonstrations. How can we do this via
distance? The number of students is too many. In
traditional education, students learn by living through
examples. (Teacher 5, Interview A, April 1, 2005)

In short, distance education was more compatible with content-based courses

rather than skill-based ones. Transmission of knowledge was easier to convey through

distance education; however, monitoring how this knowledge was put into practice by

students was a big challenge for DELTEP faculty. Because the ELT discipline required a

considerable amount of skills development, and skills could be developed only through

practice, faculty members believed that the opportunities to supervise their students

throughout this process were limited in distance education compared to face-to-face

education.

One of the striking findings of the study was both the advantages and challenges

of training ELT teachers via distance showed parallelism in the sense that one issue that

is considered as an advantage can also lead to several challenges in distance education.

For example, being able to educate big population of students is viewed as one of the

most significant advantages of training ELT teachers by DELTEP faculty. Having

thousands of students; on the other hand, is also a challenge for DELTEP faculty because

they believed that managing practice teaching was difficult due to the big number of

students. Similarly, DELTEP faculty stated that online component of the program helped









them to increase communication and interaction between their students and themselves.

However, they also said that the level and amount of interaction was not enough and it

was a challenge to provide interaction with their students. By looking at the issues

DELTEP faculty raised, we can understand that one issue has both advantages and

challenges at the same time. When DELTEP faculty talked about the advantages of

training ELT teachers via distance, it implies that they compared online education to

traditional correspondence distance education that is done via letters or tv programs. In

this sense, online education is better than traditional distance education that allowed one-

way communication. When DELTEP faculty talked about the challenges of training ELT

teachers via distance, it implies that they compared online education to face-to-face

education. In this sense, they believed that face-to-face education was better than online

education. In other words, online education gave them the opportunity to serve thousands

of students, but faculty members wanted more interaction to address the needs of all of

their students. They did not want to sacrifice quality in the name of quantity.

Nevertheless, despite its challenges, DELTEP faculty members were still hopeful that

they would eliminate the challenges of distance education in time because they developed

positive attitudes towards distance education with the help of successful faculty support

techniques and approaches, which is the subject of discussion in the following section.

Available Faculty Support in DELTEP and Faculty Perceptions

The online survey results showed that the most common type of faculty support

DELTEP faculty received was group workshops. Group workshops were also a common

form of support after DELTEP faculty started teaching. However, technical support was

the most common type of support they received after started teaching as 85% of the

participants selected that option in the online survey. Table 4-3 lists the online survey









responses of the DELTEP faculty on the type of support they received before and during

training ELT teachers online.

Table 4-3. Online survey results on the type of faculty support activities that DEPTEP
faculty received before and whilst teaching online
Faculty support activity type Before teaching Whilst teaching
online online
Online tutorials 23% 8%
Online faculty development courses/programs 23% 8%
Individual training/support from faculty support 31% 31%
personnel
Groups workshops) 85% 77%
Technical support provided by the institution 69% 85%
Pedagogical support provided by the institution 15% 8%
Assistance from colleagues 23% 77%
None 8% 8%
Other 0% 0%


Interviews with participants also revealed that DELTEP faculty members received

various types of support as they worked on producing online education materials in the

program. The four main types of support they received were: administrative,

technological, pedagogical, and socio-emotional support. In general, faculty members

were very happy with the amount and level of each support type they received. Each

support type was found to be present at all stages of online course and material

production and was integrated in the faculty members' work environment, which

positively affected their perceptions about online education. The following support types

are discussed in relation to perceptions of DELTEP faculty.

Administrative Support

Administrators in DELTEP were one of the most important sources of support for

faculty members while they were preparing courses for online delivery. All key

administrators, such as the coordinator of DELTEP, the dean and vice deans of OEF, and









the president of Anadolu University, worked in collaboration to help faculty members

make a smooth transition from traditional to distance education. For example,

administrators met with teams of experts in distance education and ELT faculty at least

every month over a year to plan and organize the online component of DELTEP. During,

these meetings, how faculty would be supported was planned and determined. Also, in

these meetings, team members for each online course production team were assigned and

allocated. In addition, administrators continued to work closely with faculty members as

the online courses were being produced. The involvement of the president of Anadolu

University gave a special boost to the production of online courses. The president's

involvement was especially important because he was the major provider, coordinator,

and facilitator of institutional support. As one administrator stated:

The president's attendance and leadership at the monthly
meetings in which we discussed how much progress we
made and agreed on the course of action pushed this project
ahead. (Administrator 3, Interview A, March 28, 2005)

Because the president was present at all meetings related to online course

production, it was easier to identify and meet the support needs of faculty. Allocation of

resources, such as team members, and equipment, was carried out by the administrators.

Almost all faculty members expressed that "everything" that they needed was met "right

away" as a result of these monthly meetings. The involvement of administration made it

possible to coordinate and allocate resources as needed. Thus, the faculty members did

not have to experience delays due to bureaucracy because all the key holders of resources

were with them throughout their experience of online teaching. For example, the director

of the support personnel said "There is no delay when we need something about distance

education. I don't have to wait. President has always been supportive" (Administrator, 3,









Interview A, March 28, 2005). In addition, when the top administrators were with the

faculty members all throughout the planning and implementation of the online course

production project, administrators served as a role model for faculty. As a result, faculty

members were more encouraged and motivated to take part in the project. In other words,

faculty did not feel alone in the process. Many faculty members stated that the president's

attendance to all meetings gave them a message about the importance of the task at hand.

A comment by one of the faculty members typifies what faculty said:

President is very positive about it [DELTEP]. I mean, he as
person who is so busy, you know the president is very very
busy, he would come to our meetings every month. And, he
would tell us that "whatever you need, I'll provide it."
(Teacher 4, Interview A, March 28, 2005)

Thus, close monitoring and active involvement on the part of administrators not

only helped faculty to receive institutional support on demand, but also provided

emotional support. The administrators' involvement also acted as a source of motivation.

The faculty also stated that during these monthly meetings, they were actively

contributing to ideas about the program. The ability to express ideas freely and openly

had a positive effect on how faculty viewed support from the administration:

In our institution, there is no chain of command. I mean
there is, but we can express our ideas freely.... The
president is someone that we can talk to. He gives us
emotional support. (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30,
2005)

The concept of emotional support was regarded as very valuable among all

participants, as presented in the previous quote. Support on physical goods, such as

people, money, and equipment, was always accompanied by some form of emotional

support in DELTEP. It was especially important for faculty members to receive









emotional support from the administrators because it showed that administrators had a

genuine interest in faculty members' needs and wants. It was a way of showing that

administrators believed in the faculty members, and the faculty would not be alone in

producing online course materials. Emotional support and professional guidance received

from administrators appears to have decreased faculty resistance and increased faculty

participation in the university's move toward online distance education. In this sense,

DELTEP administrators, especially the president, guided, encouraged, and motivated

faculty members as teachers or facilitators guide and motivate their students. As one

teacher proclaimed:

The president comes to our meetings as a teacher. Not as
the top administrator. He acts as a teacher. He is there to
support us and guide us. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March
29, 2005)

Almost all faculty members, such as this faculty member, had respect for the

president's authority as an administrator and had trust in his abilities as a mentor. And,

faculty members were willing to obey the orders of the president as they trusted the

rationale behind these orders, which again increased faculty participation in the project.

Thus, gaining trust and respect of the faculty helped the president to engage in better

communication with the faculty, which increased faculty motivation and participation. In

other words, the president's leadership approach made it easier for faculty to undertake

this colossal job of finishing online courses in such a short amount of time. Through

guidance and delegation and making use of emotional support, the president was able to

help faculty members overcome their initial fears or concerns about distance education.

For example, when faculty members stated that the given time was not enough to finish









the project at the beginning of the project, the president was realistic in his expectations.

He did not expect faculty members to produce perfect materials right away:

The president said, "We have to start from somewhere.
Why don't you start now and then we will make more
additions next year." (Teacher 3, Interview A, March 30,
2005)

Another teacher has expressed the same ideas slightly differently:

What we prepared this year will be a foundation for next
year. We can change and improve things later. This was
also an advice of the president. He said, "Try to do your
best now. When years pass and when you are more
experienced in this program, you can improve a lot more."
(Teacher 5, Interview A, April 1, 2005)

Time constraints were one of the major issues of concern for faculty members

because they had heavy workloads in traditional education already. However, as seen in

the previous quotations, the faculty members were relieved and motivated with the help

of the president's guidance and assurance. The president stated that faculty members

would have time to improve their work, and would help the faculty members make

progress and learn from their progress. This was an important strategy on the part of the

president because faculty members were already stepping into something that they were

going to do for the first time and they were expected to produce online materials as they

learned how to do it. Thus, the president's approach and guidance served as emotional

support for the faculty. For examples, the president explained his approach to faculty

members' concerns about time constraints as:

We met regularly and of course faculty members were a bit
nervous at the beginning. But, as they progressed, they
produced much better materials. I was already sure that this
would be case... It was difficult to produce the first two
units, but after that they started to enjoy it. Also, they









started to feel more confident (Administrator 1, Interview
A, March 24, 2005)

As the president stated in his interview, the faculty in DELTEP needed more

support at the beginning of the project. When faculty members gained more experience,

they needed less guidance. Thus, it may be important for administrators to provide more

emotional support at the beginning of the foundation of distance education initiatives. As

in any project that requires a drastic change in how faculty members teach, when they

make a transition from traditional to online education, they may need extra emotional

support at the beginning. As faculty members teach online and gain more experience in

online education, they may feel more confident and may require less and less emotional

support. In other words, extensive support at the beginning of online education may lend

itself to less support and to more delegation on the part of the administrators.

Emotional support, which will be discussed in much more detail later in the

chapter, was very much valued by all the interviewed participants in DELTEP. However,

it may not be enough to support faculty members effectively by itself. Emotional support

from the administration was coupled together with financial support. The faculty

members received money for each facilitation hour. For example:

Participant: The presidency pays us by the hour for the
facilitation service that we do for four hours a week.

Researcher: How much is it?

Participant: It is 7 Turkish Liras (Approximately $5/U.S.)
gross. Associate professors get 8 (Approximately $6/U.S.),
Full professors get 9 Turkish Liras (Approximately
$7/U.S.). And for each online unit we prepare, we get 70 to
80 Turkish Liras (Approximately $52 to 60/U.S.). (Teacher
6, Interview A, March 30, 2005)









In terms of financial support faculty members were also given copyrights for all

the online materials they produced. The director of support personnel, who managed the

copyright issues of faculty members, explained this type of financial support as:

Researcher: How much is the money given for copyright to
faculty?

Participant: For each unit, copyright costs $ 400-500
(U.S.). This amount is divided among the members of the
online course production team, according to their titles and
positions. With online materials unlike printed books,
copyright money is given once.
(Administrator 3, Interview B, March 28, 2005)

Faculty members appreciated the fact that they were receiving financial support

from the administration. Some faculty members also stated that the money that they

received was not much; however, it was "better than nothing." They cherished the

opportunity to have an extra income. Some faculty wished to receive more financial

support whereas others did not perceive it as an important source of motivation for taking

part in this project:

Participant: I don't think any of us started doing this
because we thought about the money.

Researcher: What's the main drive then?

Participant: It's the challenge, it's the challenge,
something has to be done and it is usually said to be
impossible. I mean it is the challenge, as I said we
mumbled and grumbled but did it in the end. It is the
challenge. And also when it is done, the sense of
accomplishment you get out of that. That's unbeatable. I
mean nothing can buy that with money. (Teacher 1,
Interview A, March 29, 2005)

The DELTEP faculty seemed to be more intrinsically motivated, and this had an

effect on how they perceived the available support. It is important to note that in other









settings, different faculty members may have different expectations in terms of financial

support. As far as I could observe as the researcher, none of the DELTEP faculty valued

financial support over other forms of support. It was the last item on their priority list.

In addition to emotional and financial support, administrators also supported

faculty members by providing them with necessary equipment for online delivery. One of

the most appreciated kinds of equipment support was receiving new computers at the

beginning of this project. Because faculty members had to prepare and deliver online

materials, they needed faster and more reliable computers to do the job:

All faculty in this program got brand-new, high RAM
computers because we got involved in this program. I asked
the president: "Can we have new computers because we're
losing stuff with the old ones?" He says: "Yes, sure," and
we have them right away. (Teacher 1, Interview A, March
29, 2005)

Because computers are the main tools of teaching and learning in the online

component of the program, it was essential for faculty to have reliable computers.

Working with old computers may cause time delays and frustration for online education

faculty. Thus, having good computers is vital for the quality of instruction. The

administrators in DELTEP recognized this need and it was met right away. The DELTEP

faculty also appreciated the fact that their needs were met "right away" by administrators

as they did not have to repeatedly ask for anything. Faculty members often talked about

how quickly their needs were met. This indicates that how quickly the support is

delivered is as important as the type of support. When their needs were met quickly, the

faculty felt that their wishes were taken seriously and their needs were very much

acknowledged by the administration.









Finally, DELTEP administrators gave support to faculty in the selection and

allocation of people to work in DELTEP. Most faculty members were approached by the

administrators at the beginning of the program to take part in the project. When I asked

faculty members about their appointment in the program, they stated that they

volunteered as a result of the administration's invitation. In addition, administrators also

helped in the selection and appointment of faculty support personnel for each online

production team. For example, each editor was provided with several content specialists,

one online course production coordinator, one distance education instruction designer,

and one web designer. The president describes the allocation of people as:

We gathered the teachers for online courses and formed
one group for each course. One distance education
designer, one graphics designer, and one animation
designer came on board. Then someone with computer
background took part and then a teacher. Like this, we
formed a group of six or seven people.... We had technical
people from our Computer Teaching Program; they are
third or fourth year students. For example, we had graphic
designers from graphics department to do graphics or
animations. (Administrator 1, Interview A, March 24,
2005)

Administrators' active involvement and close monitoring in the program also

enabled faculty to team up and work in collaboration with people from various

departments at Anadolu University. Especially, the involvement of the president made it

possible to make resources across the university available for DELTEP faculty members.

Instead of hiring graphics or web designers from other institutions, technical personnel

who were familiar with Anadolu University and DELTEP were asked to work in the

project, which made communication and coordination easier among team members.









In short, administrators at Anadolu University were actively involved in DELTEP

to support faculty members as they planned and implemented online courses. Faculty

members were extremely happy with the support they received from the administration.

Administrators not only provided faculty with money, equipment, and experts in various

areas of distance education, but they also provided emotional support by being there for

the faculty members through their entire experience with making a transition to distance

education. Faculty members perceived available administrative support as more than

satisfactory because they felt that their needs were met immediately. The DELTEP

faculty members', administrators, and the support personnel have shown that each party

perceived the available support in the same way. This finding contradicts to what Lee

(2002) found in his study. According to the findings of Lee (2002), administrators and

faculty members viewed available faculty support in different ways. Faculty members

were not aware of some of the available faculty support activities as much as the

administrators. However, in the case of DELTEP, faculty members and administrators

had similar beliefs and opinions about the available faculty support. As far as the faculty

support provided by the administration, faculty members were appreciative and grateful.

This may be the result of active involvement of the administrators throughout the online

course project. Through regular monthly meetings with the faculty members,

administrators encouraged faculty members to take part in the decision making process,

which may also have an effect on faculty members' sharing the same beliefs about

faculty support with the administrators.

Technological and Pedagogical Support

Faculty members in DELTEP were provided with both technological and

pedagogical support before and during their preparation for online course materials. To









do this, in-service training and continuous support were given through various support

activities. One of the support activities that provided faculty with technological and

pedagogical support was formal training through two online faculty training courses.

These two online courses, which were called "How to Teach Online I" and "How to

Teach Online II," were offered one time at the beginning of the online course production

project before faculty started to produce online materials. Each course lasted six weeks

and was given by an American instructor who was in Japan at that time. Thus, faculty

members took these courses online through WebCT and had the chance to experience

online teaching and learning environment both as teachers and learners. Of the 10 faculty

I interviewed, 2 faculty members had completed both courses, and they were extremely

happy with the training they received.

I enjoyed these courses a lot. I really liked what I saw. I
learned about autonomous learning. And I could experience
WebCt both as an instructor and a learner. (Teacher 9,
Interview A, March 29, 2005)

Because online education requires learners to be autonomous learners, it was

important for faculty members to experience the teaching and learning medium as

learners. As Krauthamer (2002) suggested, faculty members who "experience being

online learners themselves" may have more empathy toward their students. In addition,

faculty had more ideas about classroom management because they are more familiar with

the needs and wants of an online learner. Bruder (1992) also suggested that if faculty

members use the computer for their needs first, they can apply it to their teaching in a

better way. By allowing faculty members to go through similar learning processes, these

two online courses gave them the chance to understand the pedagogical issues in online

education. In other words, faculty members were able to step into their students' shoes,