عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
Introduction: This paper will address the question of whether there is any tendency among Iranian virtual universities to apply research findings to contribute not only to upgrading knowledge but to make their system more effective. It should be noted that some of the essential missions of the educational institutes and universities include; providing solutions for community problems and opening new horizons to increase the citizen’s welfare. Every community, as the supporter of educational institutes are expected to do research on technical, social, cultural and industrial issues in order to provide help for decision-makers and policy-makers. In this regard, variety of theoretical efforts has been made to explain how research findings can be turned into plans and practices. This has further resulted in innovating terminology, dissemination of innovation, knowledge transmission, and knowledge and research mobilization and so on. These terms indicate that application of research findings is a progressive, interactive, manifold, structured and social context process. Here, we tackle the issue further to see what is happening in Iranian virtual universities in that regard.
Problem statement: Application of research findings is a multidimensional phenomenon and requires close attention. To use the research findings in order to make decisions and put them into practice, one must trust the validity of the findings; also the research finding should be distributed among decision-makers in a reliable manner. In order to disseminate the research findings among those who would use them, there should be a reliable and comprehensive information system that can transfer the research findings to real users. After that the research findings should be defined and be translated into some operational and administrative decision-making terms so that practitioners in all institutions can use them in actual scenes. Social context and the role of various other factors in the process are also crucial. Therefore, with the emergence of information & communication technology and development of virtual universities in Iran, the question raised here is what factors affect the application of research findings in Iranian virtual universities?
Theory and method: In order to tackle the issue, we will use the model of Levine (2013) as the base model as we believe it will provide a better framework for analyzing the question of how it is possible to apply research findings in virtual universities in Iran. The model illustrates the fact that the application of research findings in practice depends on the situation and to the society that produced cyclic process, as well as to the interaction between research findings, exchange of findings and functional status of the educational institution. Levine (2013) believes research must first be validated in terms of feasibility of its methodology, as well as the problem it tackles, plus how it applies methods, how it defines its target population, how it approaches its sample population, and how it goes about to utilize methods of data analysis and finally what conclusions it makes and whether these results are reliable and plausible. According to this model, valid research findings should be distributed through systematic exchanges of ideas through conferences, journals and publications. Levin argues that the research findings in fact involve complex social activities and if they fail to be implemented they may not be of any use any more as the social context will change and will require different research findings from the previous ones.
Using Levin's model we set the aim of this study to be an identification of and ranking the factors involved in application of research findings at virtual universities in Iran. Statistical populations of this research were considered to Iranian virtual universities which included the key informants and domestic researchers of e-learning totaling about 170 individuals. In order to select the research sample, we assumed a simple random sampling method through which 118 individuals were selected to be surveyed. The content validity of research questionnaire was tested through reviews of eight expertise precise reviews. The reliability of the questionnaire was calculated amounting to /087 which is an acceptable rate. In order to analyze the collected data we used T and F parametric tests and non parametric Scheffe test.
Findings: the research findings revealed that there are six factors that influence the process of application of research findings in Iranian virtual universities. These factors include: addressing the critical research problems, choosing appropriate research methodology, considering an appropriate mechanism for presenting research findings, organizing the findings and using modes of distributing information, presenting the research finding in accurate and operational forms, expressing findings adaptable to the requirements of the educational context of the organization. Also we used the Friedman test to show that factors affecting the application of research findings in Iranian Virtual Universities, are at the level of 0/95 significant differences. Accordingly, the expression of findings with regard to the educational context of the organization is consistent with the highest impact. And the impact of other factors in sequential importance include: organizing the findings and using modes of distributing information, selecting appropriate mechanism for presenting research findings, presenting the research finding in accurate and operational forms and choosing appropriate research methodology. The factor of addressing the critical research problem indicated the lowest rate of importance.