An Investigation of Academics’ and Administrators’ Perceptions of Blended Pedagogies at Saudi Universities
The 2030 future vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to contribute via education to economic growth and reduce dependency on oil through increasing learning outcomes. One of the objectives of this vision is to determine the optimal means of employing technologies and communication systems in the education sector. Currently, the increased use of these technology tools and software in an online environment within the education system has attracted researchers in the field of educational technology to investigate the means through which such tools can be used to enhance education outcomes. The intent of this study was to investigate the perceptions of the academics and administrators at the King Abdulaziz University (KAU) regarding integrating online tools with traditional learning to form blended learning environments and to investigate the policy of the University in this respect. In addition, the study looks into factors that face the target participants that encourage or prevent them from using these tools alongside traditional teaching at KAU. Moreover, it is designed to develop a blended learning model for technology tools that is used at the University. To deliver the aims of this study, a qualitative approach based on the constructivist philosophical paradigm is presented in the case study approach that was adopted. Triangulation of qualitative data resources was conducted as represented in a synthesis of qualitative questionnaires (70 academics’ questionnaire and 22 administrators’ questionnaire), online interviews (Nine academics’ online interview and five administrators’ online interview) and website content analysis. Qualitative data were collected for this study and thematically analysed. The core findings of this study highlight the effective integration of online tools with traditional learning to form a blended learning approach through knowledge of the factors that affect this integration both positively and negatively from the perspectives of the academics and administrators at KAU. This study makes four contributions. Firstly, the research responds to calls in the literature for further investigation in the blended learning area by filling the gaps in terms of knowledge and methodological approaches. Secondly, the study investigates and provides further insights and better understanding of the relations between the administrators and academics regarding the use of different technology tools and social sites as blended tools at KAU. In addition, the study finds the relation between the academics’ technology use and their attitudes towards the blended environment. Finally, the study identifies factors that influenced acceptance or rejection of the academics and administrators in terms of the use or implementation of these technologies in the educational environment.
- PhD