Distance education in Saudi Arabia: Attitudes and perceived contributions of faculty, students, and administrators in technical colleges
Ali N. Almogbel, University of Pittsburgh, United States
University of Pittsburgh . Awarded
The government of Saudi Arabia has great interest in preparing its citizens to fulfill the requirements of the Kingdom's ambitious development plans by expanding its educational initiatives. In order to do this, a plan has been implemented to examine technical education and the perceptions of faculty, students and administrators towards distance education. Such a plan would connect all the colleges in the system of education in Saudi Arabia to all locations so that students would be able to choose from courses and majors offered in the various locations of the technical college system.
What is most vital, is understanding the perceptions and attitudes of faculty, students and administrators on the subject of distance education. Therefore, a study of this kind is extremely important in helping those in the decision-making positions be able to understand the past experiences and attitudes of the major players that relate to a successful implementation of such a comprehensive system. This study conducted a survey of attitude; toward developing and implementing a distance education program that would suit the needs of Saudi students.
Five research questions were used in the process to solicit the information needed. This study looked at similarities and differences among the parties surveyed toward distance education and how they felt about perceived contributions of distance education. How their past experiences with the Internet and computer was related to their attitudes toward and contributions of distance education.
The study used a descriptive analysis approach which provided answers to the research questions. The data were collected from faculty, students and administrators in various departments of Abha Technical College, one of the oldest colleges in Saudi Arabia.
Finally, the study concluded that the faculty, in particular, along with students and administrators at Abha Technical College agreed that an investment in distance education would benefit the College. About three-fourths of faculty agreed that there is a need for distance education for some courses offered at the technical colleges. They also showed a greater comfort level with technology than the other two groups, but they all showed no fear of technology. All participants agreed that the Internet was the best way to deliver distance education to students.
Almogbel, A.N. Distance education in Saudi Arabia: Attitudes and perceived contributions of faculty, students, and administrators in technical colleges. Ph.D. thesis, University of Pittsburgh.
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