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The Influence of Blended Learning Model on Developing Leadership Skills of School Administrators - Ubiquitous Computing and Communication Journal

The Influence of Blended Learning Model on Developing Leadership Skills of School Administrators - Ubiquitous Computing and Communication Journal

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UBICC, the Ubiquitous Computing and Communication Journal [ISSN 1992-8424], is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of information technology. With a world-wide membership, UBICC is a leading resource for computing professionals and students working in the various fields of Information Technology, and for interpreting the impact of information technology on society.
www.ubicc.org
UBICC, the Ubiquitous Computing and Communication Journal [ISSN 1992-8424], is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of information technology. With a world-wide membership, UBICC is a leading resource for computing professionals and students working in the various fields of Information Technology, and for interpreting the impact of information technology on society.
www.ubicc.org

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02/02/2012

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THE INFLUENCE OF BLENDED LEARNING MODEL ON DEVELOPINGLEADERSHIP SKILLS OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS 
Tufan AYTAÇ
The Ministry of National Education, Ankara, TURKEYtaytac1@yahoo.com
    
ABSTRACT 
The usage of b-learning approach on in-service education activities in Turkish education system aregetting more and more important these days. Generally, traditional education and computer basededucation applications are used on in-service education activities. Blended learning (b-learning)combines online learning with face-to-face learning. The goal of blended learning is to provide the mostefficient and effective learning experience by combining learning environments. The purpose of thisresearch is to find out the effect of b-learning approach on developing administrators’ leadership skills.To identify what the school administrators’ educational needs and to know their existing leadershipskills, needs assessment questionnaire was applied to 72 school administrators who were selected from33 primary schools in 11 region of Ankara capital city. According to the descriptive statistical analysisresults of questionnaire, in-service training programme was prepared for the development of schooladministrators’ leadership skills. The school administrators were separated into three groups ascomputer based learning (CBL) (25 participants), blended learning (BL) (23 participants) andtraditional learning (TL) (24 participant) groups. These groups were trained separately with these threedifferent learning environments by using the in-service training programme. According to the results of pre-test, post test and achievements score means, it was observed that BL groups’ score is the highestwhen compared to TL and CBL groups. As a result of this research, in terms of achievements andeffectiveness, b-learning was found to be the most effective learning environment when compared to theothers. Both learners and tutors findings strongly suggest that blended learning is available alternativedelivery method for inservice education activities.
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This research project article has been supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) (SOBAG 1001Programme).
 
Keywords:
Blended Learning, e-Learning, Information Technology, In-service education   
1
 
INTRODUCTION
Blended Learning (b-Learning or Hybrid Learning) consistsof the combination of e-Learning and traditional educationapproach. Blended learning combines online learning withface-to-face learning. The goal of blended learning is toprovide the most efficient and effective learning experienceby combining different learning environments. b-Learningstands in the forefront in respect of interactivity with targetlearner group, enriching learning process and integration of technology into education [1,2,3,16,21].  E-learning has had an interesting impact on the learningenvironment. Blended learning is the most logical and naturalevolution of our learning agenda. It suggests an elegantsolution to the challenges of tailoring learning anddevelopment. It represents an opportunity to integrate theinnovative and technological advances offered by onlinelearning with the interaction and participation offered in thebest of the traditional learning [20]. The ground of blended learning approach constitutes thepowerfull side of traditional education and computer basededucations instead of using one or the other on its own. Basic characteristics of Blended learning which reflectsthe values of 21
st
century education are [2];
 
Providing a new way of learning and teaching,
 
Teaching how to learn,
 
Creating digital learners,
 
Be more economical,
 
Focusing on technology and communication
 
Improving project-based learning,
 
And improving teaching process. 
Special Issue on ICIT 2009 Conference - Applied ComputingUbiCC Journal Volume 4 No. 3 538
 
   Blended Learning practices provide project based learningopportunities for active learning and interaction amonglearners and especially provides as a way to meet theeducational needs of the learners. Blended learning programsmay include several forms of learning tools, such as real-timevirtual/collaboration software, self-paced web-based courses,electronic performance support systems (EPSS) embeddedwithin the learning-task environment, and knowledgemanagement systems. Blended learning contains variousevent-based activities, including face-to-face learning, e-learning, and self-paced learning activities. Blended learningoften occurs as a mixture of traditional instructor-led training,synchronous online training, asynchronous self-paced study,and structured task based training from a teacher or mentor.The aim of blended learning is to combine the best of classroom face-to-face learning experiences with the best of online learning experiences. Overall, blended learning refersto the integration (or the so-called blending) of e-learningtools and techniques with traditional face-to-face teachingdelivery methods. The two important factors here are the timespent on online activities and the amount of technologyutilized, see Concept of Blended Learning figure 1 below:[3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,16,19].   
Fig. 1:
Concept of Blended Learning If two or more of these learning environments which arestated above are used to teach an educational objective, it canbe said that blended learning is realized. However blendedlearning has more meaning than showing a web page duringa lesson in the classroom and using information immediatelyin the web page to explain the lesson. Blended learning is alearning of environment which combines environments of face to face learning and web-based distance learning. Blended learning overcomes this limitation of an e-learning only approach [12]. Today blended learningprimarily functions as a replacement for extension of face-toface environments. For instance, it might be used to foster learning communities, extend training events, offer follow-upresources in a community of practice, access guest experts,provide timely mentoring or coaching, present online lab or simulation activities, and deliver prework or supplementalcourse materials. While such uses may be unique andengaging, they are not exactly novel [13].
  
  
Figure 2:
A Blend of Learning Theories By applying learning theories of Keller, Gagné, Bloom,Merrill, Clark and Gery, (see Figure 2) five key ingredientsemerge as important elements of a blended learning process(see Figure 2):1.
Live Events:
Synchronous, instructor-led learning eventsin which all learners participate at the same time, such as in alive “virtual classroom.”2.
Self-Paced Learning:
Learning experiences that thelearner completes individually, at his own speed and on hisown time, such as interactive, Internet-based or   CD-ROMtraining.3.
Collaboration:
Environments in which learnerscommunicate with others, for example, e-mail, threadeddiscussions or online chat.4.
Assessment:
A measure of learners’ knowledge.   Pre-assessments can come before live or self-paced events, todetermine prior knowledge, and post-assessments can occur following live or self-paced learning events, to measurelearning transfer.5.
Performance Support Materials:
On-the-job referencematerials that enhance learning retention and transfer,including PDA downloads, and printable references,summaries, and job aids.
2
PURPOSE
 
The purpose of this research is to find out the effects of b-learning approach on developing school administrators’leadership skills.
3
 
RESEARCH
 
DESIGN
To determine what the school administrators’ educationalneeds on leadership skills, needs assessment questionnairewas applied to 72 school administrators who were selectedfrom 33 primary schools in 11 regions within Ankara capitalcity. According to the results of this questionnaire, in-service
Special Issue on ICIT 2009 Conference - Applied ComputingUbiCC Journal Volume 4 No. 3 539
 
   training programme on developing school administrator’sleadership skill was prepared.The most needed leadership skills of school administratorsaccording to the results of needs assessment were determinedas human relations in administration, basic managementskills for school principles, job satisfaction at organizationsand motivation.After that, content and learning activities of "SchoolAdministrators Leadership Skills Development In-serviceProgramme" were prepared. Beside that course notes astraining materials were prepared to be distributed to theparticipants in the form of CDROM and printed documents.The school administrators were separated into three groupsas Computer Based Learning (CBL) (25 participants),Blended Learning (BL) (23 participant) and TraditionalLearning (TL) (24 participant) groups. These groups weretrained according to three different methods by preparingeducation programme. The groups were given two dayscourse.Before the in-service training the school administratorswho were in BL group reached the digital content and studiedlearning activities included in "School AdministratorsLeadership Skills Development In-service Programme" whichis prepared by using Moodle Learning Managing SystemSoftwware and published on http://beg.meb.gov.tr:8088/website.The school administrators who are in the BL group wereentered to the http://beg.meb.gov.tr:8088/ webpage by usingtheir usernames and passwords given to them three weeksago, before the in-service training. The interface of thewebsite is shown in the Fig. 2. The school administrators inthis group shared information, chatted, and studied activitieswith their colleagues and subject area specialist about thecontent and learning activities included in the site whenever they want. As online learner, school administrators buildtheir confidence and learning processes as they get used toworking independently online. Blended learning activitiesincluded online knowledge gathering and construction inteams or groups, publishing of electronic content, interactiveelements like online brainstorming, discussion, several formsof feedback, evaluation and assessment, as well as other blended learning techniques. Lecturers posted messages to theBL group as a whole and to each administrators individuallyto meet their need for support. They posted explanation toguide learners in more complex tasks, encouraged them tocommunicate, to do their individual assignments, and to usethe Moddle platform tools. They have at their disposal tofacilitate their work. Tutors controlled and marked the onlineassignments, filled in learners’ performance reports, andwrite feedback on their performance in their online portfolios.Lecturers followed school administrators learningimprovements and gave encouragement when motivationlevel began to falter. And after that this group was trained bylecturer as subject area specialist. Lecturer trained this groupby using face to face education, computer based education andonline training website prepared by moodle software.   
Figure. 3:
The Moodle interfaceOn the other hand; all the in-service training content andactivities were taught to CBL group by lecturer with aid of computer and projector. Finally, TL group was trained in atraditional way by using blackboardMultiple choice test which was made up of 20 questionswere applied to the groups to investigate their achievementson leadership skills. This test was shown to content experts toidentify its content validity. To find out the statisticalsignificant difference among three groups score means, one-way Anova and Scheffe test were used. This test was appliedto all groups as pre-test at the beginning and as post-test atthe end of in-service training [5]. Blended Learning Modelwhich was used on the research process showed Figure 3. 
Figure. 3:
The Process of Blended Learning Model
Special Issue on ICIT 2009 Conference - Applied ComputingUbiCC Journal Volume 4 No. 3 540

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