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Durham e-Theses
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Factors influencing the effective use of an
online collaborative learning environment as
experienced by Saudi male students in King
Abdulaziz University

ALZAIDY, BANDER,ZAIDI (2016) Factors influencing the effective use of an
online collaborative learning environment as
experienced by Saudi male students in King
Abdulaziz University.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This research explores and identifies factors that may influence the effective use of the
Online Collaborative Learning (OCL) environment in the Saudi higher education context.
Within this setting, the current OCL is in its early stages of adoption. Therefore, this study is
a platform to assess how this environment can be used more effectively to improve teaching
and learning, as well as identifying any underlying factors that may affect the students‘
overall learning experience when using the OCL environment. In doing so, the study provides
an important contribution for educational institutes and policy makers, by drawing attention
to factors that could be addressed to improve pedagogy and the effectiveness of the learning
environment. In order to gain a clear insight into both the potential and the challenges that
ensue when using OCL setting in Saudi higher education, the study investigates the
experience of students: the participants (n=729) are Saudi male undergraduate distance
students in their preparatory year, attending King Abdulaziz University (KAU). The
participants have been exposed to the OCL environment and therefore are in a position to
provide incisive information pertaining to its overall use, including underlying factors and
challenges. The research methodology for this study adopts a sequential mixed-methods
approach. The data reveals certain factors that are significantly influencing how effectively
the OCL setting can be used within this context. Among those factors identified, the
technology related aspects (i.e. Internet speed and technical support), the student
characteristics (i.e. their awareness and willingness) and the tutors‘ roles (i.e. their attitudes towards a collaborative learning environment as well as their ICT skills) were viewed as
significant. It is envisaged that the findings from this study may be used to assist in the
development and implementation of OCL environments, not only in this context, but also
within diverse contexts and environments found in developing countries.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Online Collaborative Learning, Higher education
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Oct 2016 16:54

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