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A strategic approach to the implementation of quality distance learning in Saudi Arabia : an embedded case study CASE STUDY

Alsoliman, BS 2015, A strategic approach to the implementation of quality distance learning in Saudi Arabia : an embedded case study CASE STUDY , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

New technological advancements in media and communication have made information increasingly accessible and have offered an environment for distance learning to expand as an alternative mode for delivering education and instruction. The advantages of this mode of delivery have encouraged educational institutions around the world to expand their educational approach and offer the opportunity for more students to join their programmes at a distance. In light of the variety of methods and technologies that are used to deliver such programmes, challenges concerning the quality of these programmes have started to emerge. In response, organisations and agencies have begun to develop quality standards for distance learning in order to assess the implementation of these programmes. Calls for the use of such standards in assuring the quality of distance learning programmes are on the rise. By 2002, many Saudi Arabian universities had begun to offer a range of distance learning programmes to meet the demand from a growing number of students. Although the Saudi government invested huge financial and human resources into the implementation of distance learning, the quality of such learning has been widely disputed. Through a case study approach involving a leading university in Saudi Arabia that offers a variety of distance learning programmes, this study aimed to develop a strategic approach for implementing quality distance learning. The study utilised a mixed methods design for assessment purposes from three different perspectives (administrators’, faculty members’ and students’). The study found that the quality of distance learning in the country faces many barriers at six levels/dimensions. These barriers, in most respects, ensued from the ambiguity of the Ministry of Higher Education regulations that organise distance learning in the country, which has incapacitated the Deanship of Distance Learning role as the centre of distance learning operations at distance learning Saudi universities. It concluded with a strategic approach that is mainly focused on the elimination of the aforementioned barriers. The study findings provide Saudi universities authorities with a comprehensive tool for evaluating the quality of their distance learning programmes and solutions to implement quality distance learning in the country to avoid the shortcomings of the perceived poor distance learning quality.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau
Depositing User: BS Alsoliman
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 13:54
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2016 13:54
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/37589

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