A Case Study of X University: Potential Implications for the Development of E-learning in Saudi Arabia
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The global interest in adopting e-learning to enhance educational achievement is reflected in Saudi Arabia. Online and blended learning can be more effective than simple face-to-face modes of education and this new approach is spreading. Studies have identified factors that influence the implementation of e-learning. These include the teacher’s convictions, as well as the socio-economic and technological environment such as connectivity (bandwidth) and accessibility, the adequacy of telecommunications infrastructure, and the availability of a reliable power supply.
The current research aimed to inform our understanding of how e-learning is developing, at one university in Saudi Arabia. To achieve this aim, a case study was conducted at X Saudi Arabian university, chosen because it adopted e-learning relatively early in the tertiary education context, so that lessons learnt there can inform practice elsewhere. A qualitative approach was used in order to obtain rich data on the experiences of individuals and systems at the university. Data were obtained from in-depth interviews of staff, observations of practice, and analysis of institutional documents and resources. In particular, four instructors and their web-enhanced courses, supported by an e-learning centre, were considered. These four cases were chosen as examples of differing experiences and backgrounds in using e-learning at X University.
The findings stress the importance of building a strategy adapted to a specific e-learning environment and the context of the particular institution conducting e-learning. Consistent with previous research in other contexts, they highlighted the importance of the teacher’s convictions about e-learning and the way they affect the practice of e-learning in the classroom at X University. Recommendations for practice and further research are discussed.