This study addressed the reforming of an online civic education tutorial at the Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka (UT) based on a social constructivist learning approach and a democratic form of teaching. Several contemporary literature were reviewed to determine best practices, including civic education, social constructivism, distance education, and a democratic form of teaching. Also, based on the interviews with students, tutors and administrators who were involved in the tutorial, the current practice of the existing online civic education tutorial was analyzed. Constructed from the review of literature and the analysis of the current practice, the study proposes a model for a pedagogical approach to the online civic education tutorial at UT. The findings from the interviews showed that most students were not satisfied with the tutorial; they felt that the civic education course and its online tutorial were monotonous, the case studies being discussed in the online tutorial were not up to date, and the amount of interaction among students, as with tutors was seen to be lacking. Furthermore, most tutors faced challenges in managing the large number of students enrolled in the online civic education tutorial, such as how to respond to all students in the discussions. The proposed model for the online civic education tutorial in this study was based on the Community of Inquiry framework and a democratic form of teaching. The learning in the tutorial is theorized to occur within the community through the interaction of social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. In social and cognitive presence, students would form an online community where they would have collaborative discussions and would be expected to practice critical thinking while reading and discussing current case studies. Teaching presence would occur when tutors promoted a democratic environment in the class, where they would model civic dispositions throughout their teaching. Tutors would show their respect and tolerance to students while facilitating discussion activities and giving instructions. Through this model, students and tutors would gain civic knowledge, skills and dispositions, as well experience with a democratic interaction that mirrors the interactions in a democratic society.
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Thesis advisor: MacKinnon, Allan
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