Browsing College of Education by Author "Alhawiti, Mohammed Mfarij"
Faculty Perceptions About Attributes and Barriers Impacting the Diffusion of Online Education in Two Saudi UniversitiesAlhawiti, Mohammed Mfarij (2011-06-23)Recognizing that faculty are an essential part of the success of any distance education program, this study sought to examine faculty perceptions of attributes and barriers impacting diffusion of online education at two Saudi universities: Taif University and Tabuk University. More specifically, the study intended to (a) give an overview of faculty members’ current stage in the innovation-decision process in regards to online education, (b) examine faculty perceptions about attributes (motivating factors) and barriers (inhibiting factors) impacting diffusion of online education, (c) investigate the relationship between faculty members’ selected personal characteristics (including age, years of teaching, DE experience, gender, academic rank, nationality, and level of education) and their perceptions about attributes (motivating factors) and barriers (inhibiting factors) impacting diffusion of online education, (d) investigate the relationship between faculty members’ selected personal characteristics (including age, years of teaching, distance education experience, gender, academic rank, professional area, nationality, and level of education) and their stage in the innovation-decision process, and (e) demonstrate how these factors can be used to increase faculty adoption of online education to respond to the increasing demands for this kind of education. Rogers’ (1995) diffusion of innovation theory was employed to discuss the findings from this study and to reveal which attributes of innovation are perceived to be important in the innovation decision process by faculty members as they decide to adopt or reject online education. Data was collected using a self-administrated and cross-sectional questionnaire. The findings revealed that the most important attribute of WBDE was relative advantage and that the main barriers that prevented faculty members from adopting online education were technical expertise, infrastructure, and planning issues. The inferential analysis showed that distance education experience was a significant predictor for faculty perceptions about relative advantage, compatibility, observability, and complexity. It also showed that age, academic rank, and level of education were significant predictors of faculty perceptions of financial concerns as a barrier to WBDE. Moreover, the relationship between DE experience and faculty’s stage in the innovation-decision process was found to be statistically significant.