Abstract


PERCEPTION OF TEACHER CANDIDATES ABOUT DISTANCE EDUCATION DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

This study aimed to examine teacher candidates’ perceptions about distance education. In this study, a phenomenology method was employed. The participants of the study were ten teacher candidates. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews. The interview questions were developed by the researcher. Content analysis and open coding method, which are among qualitative data analysis techniques, were used in data analysis. According to the results, the participants did not adopt distance education at a higher level and considered it as a necessity in the current circumstance. In addition, the lack of communication, technical issues, technological inadequacies, inability to achieve all objectives of a course, and the lack of equality among students were identified as critical limitations of distance education. Despite of these limitations, the participants also mentioned its advantages as comfort, continuous access to course materials, time saving, and learning at self-pace. In addition, according to the participants, homework and quizzes throughout a semester should be integrated in the measurement and evaluation process rather than using only mid-term and end-term exams. In order for an effective distance education, the participants stated that instructors should have sufficient professional knowledge and skills, technical issues should be eliminated, intensive interaction should be supported, and equality among students in term of access to technological tools should be ensured. As a result, it is suggested that the course materials used in distance education programs should be interactive; the measurement and evaluation process should be fair and realistic; and learning management systems should allow interaction. In addition, the limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are discussed.



Keywords

Distance learning, covid-19, pandemic, online education.


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