Advancing Academic Writing in a Mobile Skype-Based Blended Model
Keywords:Blended Learning, Skype Media, Academic Writing, Mobile, Faculty Member
Background: Web media like Skype, Twitter, WhatsApp, and SMS not only make it viable to deliver, receive and share educational information, but to simplify communication with other people in various skills such as writing, link sharing, and voice or video files. There are three areas addressed to direct the plan and implementation of this survey as main objectives:
the faculty members' feelings and impression on applying Skype site as a media to teaching and learning academic writing process, the weak and strong points of the Skype site application during the teaching and learning academic writing, and the faculty members' perceptions toward using Skype site as a supporting tool for course delivery based on selected variables: year of teaching, past experience with Skype, and their specialization.
Method &Material: The sample consisted of 70 faculty members of Kashan University of Medical sciences, all having problems writing English well by using selective sampling. The study was a descriptive quantitative-qualitative research which a general survey model was used in. The survey questionnaires consist of 30 statements, which were devised in five categories based on Premise Base and Conducive Assumptions to clarify the Skype-based educational utilities and application. The interview item was also applied to explore if the participants affirmed the media-based approach augments their learning of academic English writing process or not.
Finding: Results related faculty members' perceptions toward using Skype site as a supporting tool for course delivery based on selected variables: their specialization, year of teaching, and past experience with Skype explored that there were no statistically significant differences at (α = 0.05) in the use of Skype units due to faculty members majors. There are statistically significant differences at (α = 0.05) in the use of Skype units due to the year of teaching variable, in favors of, the third and fourth year faculty members. The result also, revealed that there are statistically significant differences at (α = 0.05) in the use of Skype units due to the past experience with Skype variable, in favors of faculty members with no Skype use experience. Also, the calculated mean and Standard Deviations in six areas each having five statements arranged from the highest to the lowest ranking indicate the participants' impressions to Skype-based blended model in teaching academic writing.
Conclusion: Skype media as an educational media is a beneficial medium to be applied to deliver academic writing materials and support learning. Faculty members not having enough time to participate in classes feel comfortable with the use of the Skype-based methodology in academic writing. They participating in the course expressed their acceptance of this media in learning academic writing. Skype-based teaching could become a very effective educational medium for learning academic English writing.
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