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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/19336

Title: Students’ and Tutors’ perceptions of the e-learning system at the English Department of the Arab Open University in Riyadh
Authors: Al-Shammari, Tarfa Abdul-Wahab
Bulut, Doǧan
Keywords: Students’ perceptions
Tutors’ perceptions
e-learning system
English Department
Arab Open University Riyadh
Issue Date: 23-Jun-2008
Abstract: The urging need for a flexible higher education system that relieves some of the constraints on students and the advance of new Internet-based technologies have paved the way for the emergence of Saudi Arabia’s first open university; the Arab Open University (AOU). The university utilizes an e-learning platform for delivering its courses, including the courses in the English Department. This study aimed at investigating the perceptions of AOU’s students and instructors towards various aspects pertaining to the teaching/learning process such as the usefulness of e-learning in delivering language courses, learner-learner and learner-instructor interaction, feedback, independence in learning and the future of distance education. Two questionnaires were used: one for students and one for tutors. Data was collected from 251 students and 18 tutors. Results from both questionnaires revealed that 80% of students and 94% of tutors expressed that they were generally satisfied with the e-learning system; 84% of students preferred face-to-face interaction to online communication and 56% of tutors believed that the lack of face-to-face interaction negatively affects students. The issue of feedback proved to be highly significant in the context of distance education as 89% of tutors believed that distance students need feedback more than traditional students and 83% of students and 93% of tutors believed that the importance of feedback comes from the fact that it indicates students’ progress. Regarding independence in learning 89% of tutors believed that e-learning increases students’ ability to learn independently. In the same line, 86% of students reported that their independence in learning has increased since joining the University. Yet, results showed that language learning at a distance might have a negative effect on developing students’ speaking skills: an aspect that needs to be attended to by AOU’s English department. As for the future of distance education in Saudi Arabia, both groups were highly optimistic.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/19336
Appears in Collections:College of Arts

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