AL-ENAZI, GHANEM,TAWASH (2016) Institutional Support for Academic Staff to Adopt Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in Saudi Arabian Universities. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
Higher education institutions have increasingly invested in integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into learning and teaching activities. However, the success of e-learning initiatives is influenced by academic staff’s beliefs and attitudes towards e-learning quality, concerns about new teaching situations, increased workload, insufficient technical and pedagogical skills and availability of institutional support.
This mixed methods study aims to investigate the perceptions of academic staff in five public universities in Saudi Arabia (n=518) about the actual and desired institutional support that is provided or should be provided by their institutions to motivate them to adopt Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). Additionally, it aims to compare that actual and desired institutional support. The study also seeks to determine whether there are statistical significant differences in academic staff’s assessment of actual and desired institutional support according to their university, faculty, gender, main purpose of using VLEs and attitude toward participation in e-learning.
In terms of actual institutional support, academic staff reported that their universities rarely provide the required institutional support (mean=2.29). They rated all seven sections of institutional support (i.e. supportive institutional practices, technical support, pedagogical support, technical training, pedagogical training, flexibility of training programmes, and institutional incentives) as rarely provided with means ranging between 2.06 and 2.59. In addition, the study revealed statistically significant differences in academic staff’s assessment of actual instuitional support according to their university, faculty, gender, main purpose and attitude toward participation in e-learning.
In terms of desired institutional support, academic staff confirmed the importance of institutional support (mean=4.41). The results indicated that the seven sections of support are highly desired with means ranging between 4.28 and 4.60. Also, the results indicated statistically significant differences in academic staff’s assessment of desired institutional support according to their university, faculty, main purpose and attitude toward participation in e-learning.
In terms of differences between actual and desired institutional support, paired t-test results revealed statistical significant differences between the actual and desired institutional support. According to academic staff, the widest gap between actual and desired support is in section five, “pedagogical training” (mean=2.06 and mean=4.45). On the other hand, they reported the smallest gap in section four, “technical training” (mean=2.59 and mean=4.42).
The main contribution of this study is to provide a model based on the study findings; thus, an “Institutional Support Model” was proposed to assist universities to provide the required support for their academic staff. The model suggests forty-four items of support integrated into seven main areas of support: Institutional Support Practices (ten items), Technical Support (six items), Pedagogical Support (six items), Technical Training (six items), Pedagogical Training (six items), Flexibility of Training Programmes (five items) and Institutional Incentives (five items). In addition, many customised models can be generated from the quantitative results according to academic staff’s characteristics.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Education|
|Keywords:||Institutional Support; Supportive Institutional Practices; Technical Support; Pedagogical Support; Technical Training; Pedagogical Training; Training Flexibility; Institutional Incentives; Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||10 Feb 2016 16:41|