Learner Views about a Distance Education Course

 

The purpose of the study was to investigate the views of learners experienced in the Distance Learning Platform (DLP), which was prepared according to an online course design model. The participants of the study were 19 learners who took the programming languages course (via the DLP for 14 weeks). Before the application, the preparation of the DLP took nearly 500 hours. A pilot study was performed with the learners during the summer school. The design of the DLP was improved through the views of those learners. The data were obtained through face-to-face interviews with the learners. The following themes emerged from analysis of the data: factors in preferring the DLP, general characteristics of the DLP, the effectiveness of the DLP, and expansion of the DLP. These themes are further analyzed on the basis of “Diffusion of Innovations” and “Uses and Gratifications” theories. As a result of the interviews conducted with the learners, it was found that the learners had positive opinions about the DLP as it (1) offers flexibility, (2) contains elements enhancing their motivation, (3) enables the learners to communicate easily with the instructor, (4) provides the learners with instant feedback, and (5) enables them to access to the course materials easily.