Examination of the relationship between self-directedness and outcomes of the online COP training program in the Turkish National Police context
Mustafa Bulent Halicioglu, Michigan State University, United States
Michigan State University . Awarded
It is widely accepted that online learning is a self-directed learning environment and the participants need to have self-direction in learning. However, there is lack of empirical studies focusing on the relationship between online learning and self-directed learning and examining the relationship between self-directedness of learners and outcomes of online learning programs. Especially in the occupational training field or the police training field we cannot locate any significant study on these issues. Therefore, this study focused on an online community oriented policing (COP) training program conducted by the Turkish National police and aimed to examine the relationship between self-directedness of the participants (officers) and outcomes of this training program. Moreover, this study also sought to figure out what other factors predict officers' success in the online training program.
Based on Brockett and Hiemstra's (1991) Personal Responsibility Orientation (PRO) model indicating a relationship between self-directedness and outcomes of self-directed learning environments, and previous literature related to online learning and police training, during this study a logic model was developed to predict outcomes of the online COP training program. The outcomes were defined as perceived learning level of officers, their satisfaction with the training program, and change in their attitudes toward COP. Officers' attitudes toward COP was measured by six different constructs, and to measure the changes in attitudes, a one-group pretest posttest research design was applied. Whereas self-directedness of the officers was measured by the 24-item Oddi Continuing Learning Inventory (OCLI) in the pretest, the other independent and control variables are measured in the posttest. All participants of the 4th term online COP Basic Training program (n=1406), conducted between May 25 and June 5, 2009, were selected as the sample of this study and questionnaires were delivered through a web-survey method administered before and after the training program. Whereas the response rate was 83% (1162) for the pretest, it was 72% (1006) for the posttest.
To examine the relationship between self-directedness of the officers and outcomes of the online training program and to figure out what other factors predict those outcomes, multivariate Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analyses were conducted. Results showed that self-directedness of the officers was an important predictor of the outcomes of the online COP training program According to the findings, the other important predictors of those outcomes were the assigned unit of the officers (COP related or not), gender, and internet accessibility.
On the other side, officers working in COP related units are trained only through the online training program in Turkey. Therefore, for the success of COP, it is vital to understand if online training is effective. This study also provides some information about effectiveness of the online COP training program. Finally, some practical implications of this study and some recommendations for future research are suggested.
Halicioglu, M.B. Examination of the relationship between self-directedness and outcomes of the online COP training program in the Turkish National Police context. Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State University.
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