• Faculty Perceptions About Attributes and Barriers Impacting the Diffusion of Online Education in Two Saudi Universities

      Alhawiti, 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.
    • Perception of Social Presence in Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Discussion from The Perspective of Native and Non-Native Speaker

      Alruhaimi, Abdullah (2011-09-16)
      The technology innovation of telecommunication gave confidence to educational institutions to substitute some of their courses from traditional courses into virtual ones. This switch in education inspired globalization. The learners use either synchronous or asynchronous communication tools to interact with each other. Most previous studies in this field show that social presence is correlated with learner achievement satisfaction and interaction. So the researcher measured the level of social presence for both groups of learners, native and nonnative speakers, across both types of online communication, synchronous and asynchronous communication. The researcher conducted a 2x2 split-plot ANOVA design with repeated measure for this study. The four cells in this design help the researcher to find how every group differs in both discussion formats. The findings of this study will lend a hand to institutions, instructional designers, instructors, and software and hardware developers to improve and concentrate on preferable methods of communication for global virtual institutions. The researcher did not find a statistically significant difference between native and nonnative speakers across the methods of online communications. There was no statistically significant difference between the learners in general across the methods of online communications. But the reported low level of agreement toward the level of social presence in both methods of online communication emphasizes the importance for all people who are concerned about virtual education to work hand in hand to elevate the level of social presence in online learning.The researcher encourages those who are concerned about online learning, and education in general to be the early adopters of technology such as Smartphone applications and the advanced features of social networking such as Facebook and Google wave.
    • Perceptions of Faculty Caring: Comparison of Distance and Traditional Graduate Nursing Students

      Hall, Lea R. (2010-07-20)
      The concept of caring has played a vital role in nursing education. Role modeling has been identified as the primary way to teach caring and has been investigated extensively. As caring has evolved, so has the ways in which we educate nurses. Countless institutions now offer distance education programs in nursing in an effort to address the nurse and nurse educator shortage. It is unclear, however, from the nursing education literature if the modeling of caring can be transferred to students in a distance learning environment. This study investigated the impact of learning environment, program satisfaction, and persistence on graduate nursing students’ perceptions of faculty caring measured by the Organizational Climate for Caring Questionnaire. The 162 participants were recruited from 76 different accredited institutions throughout five states. Preliminary review of the data revealed no variability in persistence among the sample as all students were planning to persist or were graduating. Therefore a two-way analysis of variance was conducted and found no significant interaction between learning environment and student satisfaction and no significant main effect for learning environment. Satisfied students, however, did perceive their faculty as more caring than unsatisfied students. Results from this study indicate that as students feel cared for by their faculty, they are more satisfied with their programs of study, which may lead to better outcomes and increased student retention rates. Furthermore, no differences were found among the three learning environments indicating that role modeling of caring can occur in the distance environment as in the traditional face-to-face environment. Nurse educators need to be aware of both caring and non-caring behaviors they portray regardless of learning environment, and the impact they have on student satisfaction and student persistence.
    • Saudi College Student's preference for synchronous and asynchronous web-based courses:An exploratory study.

      Al-Jabri, Abdullah (2012-05-17)
      Technology has become an essential component of the teaching-learning process,and online-learning,in particular,has captivated the interest of many educational institutions throughout the world.Web-based learning has provided both students and teachers with new and unique ways of communicating with each other.As a result,many studies have been conducted to investigate factors affecting the establishment of productive communications in web-based settings.Likewise,the focus of this study is how the number of courses completed and the participants perception of their English language competence impacted their preferences for synchronous and asynchronous web-based learning in English instruction and in Arabic instruction.The sample consisted of 82 Saudi undergraduate students enrolled at Indiana State University during the spring 2011.The study used a hard copy modified version of a survey that was designed by Burton(2009)containing 27 items,which were divided into three parts.A four-point Likert scale was utilized to gain an overall score of student's preferences for synchronous and asynchronous web-based courses.Descriptive statistics(frequencies,means and standard deviations,skewness and kurtosis).one-way ANOVA tests,and repeated measures test(paired samples t-test)were utilized to answer the questions presented in this study.The results revealed that there was no significant difference in student preferences for synchronous web-based courses delivered in English or Arabic on the basis of grade level or the learner's perceptions of their level of English language proficiency.There were also no significant differences between preferences for synchronous learning in English(L2)and preferences for synchronous learning in Arabic(L1).The results also showed that the participants had greater preferences for synchronous online courses over asynchronous online courses.These findings mirror those found in earlier studies.The descriptive statistics revealed that learners had a strong preference for having direct conversations with the teacher,having more flexibility,studying on their own,and learning new materials through discussions with others or through having someone explain it to them.