• 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.
    • The Attitude of Middle Eastern Faculty toward the use of Distance Education in the Middle Eastern State Universities: A Comparative Study between the Middle Eastern Faculty and USA Faculty

      AlTameemy, Farooq A. (2010-07-27)
      Although distance education is offered in many academic institutions, specifically universities, in most of the developed countries, utilizing it as a part of the educational system in the Middle East is still in the development stage and not at the same stage as Western and European countries. Of the institutions in the Middle East that have started utilizing distance education, many face difficulties, an example of which is that these distance programs are not accredited by the educational system in the country. In turn, this leads to other problems for graduates of these distance programs, such as inability to find a job or inability to go for a higher education degree.As the faculty members of the universities in the Middle East represent a strong and an effective part of the education stake holders in the Middle East, this study investigates their attitudes toward the use of distance education in Middle Eastern universities. A comparison between the attitudes of the faculty members in the Middle East and faculty members in the United States was conducted.The study involved 139 faculty members from the Middle East, who live and work in Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain; and 126 participants from the United States, who work at various universities. To investigate their attitudes toward the use of distance education, a web-based survey was created in two versions, Arabic and English, and a link to it was sent out to participants via email.The study results showed negative attitudes of Middle Eastern faculty members in the use of technology, culture and social, economic, location, policies, educational, academic achievement and availability of distance education tools factors. When compared to the faculty members in the USA, Middle Eastern faculty members showed more negative attitudes toward the use of distance education.