The aim of this research was to study the differences in social presence and autonomy concerning the two methods of education used in a training program for science teachers in the years 2015-2016. The first method was the traditional face to face and the other was the Distance Education method. In particular, the study focused on whether there are differences in the social presence and autonomy between the two teaching methods, and the teaching experience of the participants. A closed-type questionnaire of Likert type was used to collect the data, while t-test for independent samples was used for statistical analysis. The study indicated differences in the social presence and autonomy between the two methods of teaching.
The purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable psychometric scale to measure the perceived autonomy of postgraduate students in the Hellenic Open University and similar distance education environments. Two dimensions of autonomy, namely personal and educational, were revealed from the literature review and the preliminary study. For the evaluation of each dimension, two subscales were developed. Following two pilot studies, the initial item pool led to the development of a 25-items questionnaire, which was then administered to a sample of 239 postgraduate students. The exploratory factor analysis revealed two factors for the personal autonomy subscale, with 7 items in total, and two factors for the educational autonomy subscale, with 9 items in total. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient ranged between. 623 and .717. A statistically significant gender difference was found only for the personal autonomy subscale and, more specifically, for the factor ‘managing difficulties’, where female respondents received a lower score than males.