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Among the online courses given at METU, there is an online history course conducted by the author of this paper (who is a member of the Department of History in the Middle East Technical University) with her two colleagues. This experience gives the author a privilieged insight into views regarding the adoption of web-based history education in Turkey, and a perspective from which to evaluate the reluctance of history academics toward web-based history education.
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Significantly, the Turkish Council of Higher Education is encouraging web-based history education in the Turkish universities, starting with the general required history courses. However, it is not easy to attract the history departments and academic historians at universities to the idea of preparing and conducting history courses via the Internet (Asynchronous Learning). Historians and instructors of history voice two reasons for this reluctance to adopt web-based history education. First, they argue, history courses should be conducted in the classroom as face-to-face teaching facilitates students' understanding of historical events, and where the instructor can enliven the learning experience in a way that would not be possible in front of a computer screen. Second, they believe that without technical aid and an effective network system, web-based education is not possible. The latter argument may be reasonable with failing networks due to the inefficiencies of the technical infrastructure. But as for the former argument, it is probably mistaken when the positive results of the online history course which has been conducted at the Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey) and the already wide use of web-based history teaching in the world are taken into account. This study is intended to share the results of our experimentation and to examine the reluctance of the Turkish academic historians as to web-based history education, taking into account possible reasons for their hesitation beyond those two given above.