Research Statement

Kadir Kozan

Learning, Design & Technology

Purdue University


Overview
Recent years have shown an increasing interest (Lloyd, Byrne, & McCoy, 2012), and enrollment rate in online higher education in the US (Allen & Seaman, 2011, 2013) as well as K-12 education (Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, & Jones, 2010). Means et al. (2010) argued that policy makers and practitioners should be more knowledgeable about effectiveness in online education. The ever-growing body of online education has led to such concerns (Kozan & Richardson, 2014a). According to Kozan and Richardson (2014a), these concerns are a legitimate result of the growing body of online education and such a need can be met by existing theoretical insights. Moreover, individual learner factors such as limitations of the human cognitive capacity (Sweller, Ayres, & Kalyuga, 2011) may interact with design of online learning environments and impact learning outcomes. Consequently, my primary research areas of interest include instructional design/technology, distance/online education, and human performance improvement. Particularly, I am interested in the intersection between cognitive science and instructional design/technology, effectiveness and efficiency of learning in distance/online education, and ways of improving human performance in both work place and learning environments.

Current Research
My most recent research focuses on the Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework (Garrison & Akyol, 2013a, 2013b) and Cognitive Load (CL) Theory (Sweller, 2010; Sweller, Ayres, & Kalyuga, 2011). Specifically speaking, I am focusing on testing theoretical insights of the CoI Framework since it has been largely influencing both research and practice in online education. After all, Garrison (2013) underscored the importance of further examining the CoI Framework claiming that such attempts should be continuous efforts.

For instance, in Kozan and Richardson (2014a), I designed the data analysis which involved bivariate and partial correlation analyses and interpreted the results. This study focused on the interrelationships between and among the presences which are at the heart of the CoI Framework. Theoretically and empirically it was reasonable to find significant relationships among the presences, which was confirmed by data analysis. I wanted dig deeper into this finding since all the three items had large and significant relationships between each other. In other words, I reasoned that if the three presences are related to each other, the relationship between any of the two of them would be impacted by the third one. This further implied that the significant relationships found among all the three presences would be non-significant if we control for the effect of the third one. Therefore, I employed partial correlations at this point to see whether this is the case. Based on theory and some recent research, it was reasonable to assume that social presence would have significant effect on the relationship between teaching presence and cognitive presence. However, partial correlations interpreted together with the bivariate correlations above indicated that when only cognitive presence is controlled, the relationship between teaching and social presence vanishes. The results were quite intriguing to such an extent that Dr Randy Garrison commented on them on the CoI website.

Moreover, in Kozan and Richardson (2014b), I examined the factor structure of the CoI survey. Previous research indicated a 3-factor structure for the survey thereby validating the assumptions of the CoI Framework as well. However, most of the earlier research employed principal component analysis which may lead to different results compared to exploratory factor analysis. Most importantly, previous research did not employ parallel analysis which is an objective way of determining the number of factors to extract. Nowadays, some journals especially methodological ones do not publish factor analysis studies that do not involve parallel analysis. Consequently, I designed an exploratory factor analysis study in which I employed parallel analysis. I also added a confirmatory analysis part to data analysis using a different sample in order to confirm the results of the initial exploratory factor analysis. Results supported a 3-factor structure with no items to be removed, which aligned fully with the CoI Framework.

In another study (Kozan, Ercetin & Richardson, 2015) I examined the modality effect of CL Theory. The modality effect assumes that audiovisual presentation (e.g., narration + pictures on a website) leads to better learning compared to visual only presentation (e.g., written text + pictures) partly through lessening the load on visual working memory. Most of the previous research used learning materials in the first language of the participants, and short term comprehension tests. Moreover, even though the modality effect depends largely on working memory capacity, and it is closely related to higher level cognition such as transfer of learning, it was not employed as an independent variable by previous research. Consequently, I hypothesized that beneficial effects of audiovisual presentation and high working memory capacity would combine with each other, and a main time of testing in terms of both retention and transfer performance would add to this. In other words, the hypothesis assumed that high-working memory participants in the audiovisual presentation would lose significantly less scores compared to their counterparts in the visual only presentation. After running data analysis, I saw the results partially confirmed the 3-way interaction hypothesis in that there was a significant effect of time, audiovisual presentation and working memory on retention performance of the participants. On the other hand, there was only a significant deteriorating effect of time on transfer performance.

Nowadays, in my dissertation research, I aim at examining the predictive validity of the teaching, social and cognitive presence for cognitive load thereby providing more validation insights into the CoI Framework. I expect such an attempt to help us design more effective and efficient online learning environments.

Future Research
I am interested in testing learning-related theories especially those that have been influencing our research and practice largely, which would have a significant impact not only on the refinement of existing theories but also developing new ones as well as on increasing the effectiveness of teaching and learning practice. Consequently, I will continue to compare and contrast theories thereby addressing the potential gaps between and among them. The CoI Framework and CL Theory have proved to be very fruitful starting points. In other words, I will do more research on effective learning strategies and the design of instructional/learning environments which would encourage such strategies thereby enhancing learning outcomes.

Specifically speaking, my future research will focus on higher level cognitive processes ranging from transfer of learning to creativity to problem solving and their associated learning outcomes. This means that my research focus will not be completely on cognition or cognitive processes but also address constructivism as well. I think that social cognition or collaborative cognition would prove to be an effective bridge between cognition and constructive processes. In other words, I see learning as a holistic entity happening through cognitive processes encouraged and fueled by constructive techniques such as problem solving without casting possible benefits of direct instruction into the shade. At this point, I think self-regulated learning as a way of making learning experience personally meaningful is worth researching as well. I would like to see to what extent all these would also extent to human performance and workplace learning.

As a result, I will involve in interdisciplinary research to be able to approach learning from different perspectives, which would support getting funding or grant from multiple agencies. For example, psychological insights into self-regulation would provide complementary information on how to design and implement a self-regulated online learning environment. This contribution would range from particular strategies to theoretical insights. All these diverge significantly from my advisor`s research with a specific focus on social presence and evaluation of online learning environments using the CoI Framework.

References
-Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2011). Going the distance: Online education in the United States, 2011.Babson Park, MA: Babson Park Research Group and Quahog Research Group.Retrieved from http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/goingthedistance.pdf

-Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing course: Ten years of tracking online education in the United States. Babson Park, MA: Babson Park Research Group and Quahog Research Group. Retrieved fromhttp://babson.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID =SV_4SjGnHcStH5g9G5

-Garrison, D. R., & Akyol, Z. (2013a). The community of inquiry theoretical framework. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 104-119). New York, NY: Routledge.

-Garrison, D. R., & Akyol, Z. (2013b). Toward the development of a metacognition construct for communities of inquiry. Internet and Higher Education, 17, 84-89.

-Garrison, D. R. (2013). Theoretical foundations and epistemological insights of the community of inquiry. In Z. Akyol & D. R. Garrison (Eds.), Educational communities of inquiry: Theoretical framework, research, and practice (pp. 1-11). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

-Kozan, K., Erçetin, G., Richardson, J. (2015). Input Modality and Working Memory: Effects on Second Language Text Comprehension in a Multimedia Learning Environment. System, 55, 63-73.

-Kozan, K., & Richardson, J. (2014a). Interrelationships between and among the presences. The Internet and Higher Education, 21, 68-73.

-Kozan, K., & Richardson, J. (2014b). New Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis Insights into the Community of Inquiry Survey. The Internet and Higher Education, 23, 39-47.

-Lloyd, S. A., Byrne, M. M., & McCoy, T. S. (2012). Faculty-perceived barriers of online education. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(1), 1-12.

-Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (Revised, 2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf

-Sweller, J. (2010). Element interactivity and intrinsic, extraneous and germane cognitive load. Educational Psychology Review, 22, 123-138.

-Sweller, J., Ayres, P., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory. New York: Springer.

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