Vol. 35 No. 2 (2020)
Research Articles

Exploring E-Learning Delivery in Saudi Arabian Universities

Eman Walabe
University of Ottawa
Rocci Luppicini
University of Ottawa

Published 2020-12-18

How to Cite

Walabe, E., & Luppicini, R. (2020). Exploring E-Learning Delivery in Saudi Arabian Universities. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 35(2). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1176


Abstract: This qualitative research study explored E-Learning delivery in Saudi Arabian Universities from a holistic perspective to advance knowledge on the evolution of Saudi Arabia’s distance education system. Data collection consisted of 28 in-depth, one-on-one interviews with instructors and course designers to capture missing insider perspectives and was supplemented by a thematic analysis of core supporting documents related to the universities’ strategies for delivering online learning. Three core thematic areas were isolated and analyzed: (1) Distance education growing pains, (2) Learning theory integration challenges, and (3) Pedagogical and technical alignment. Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model (VSM) provided an interpretive lens to explain how Saudi Arabia’s distance education system remained viable while passing through periods of significant change. A blended learning model is proposed to address the complex interplay of factors influencing E-learning delivery within Saudi Arabia’s distance education system.

Keywords: distance education, online learning, E-learning, blended learning, pedagogical and technical support

Résumé: Cette étude fondée sur une recherche qualitative a exploré l'offre d'apprentissage en ligne dans les universités saoudiennes dans une perspective holistique afin de faire progresser les connaissances concernant l'évolution du système de formation à distance en Arabie saoudite. La collecte de données a consisté en 28 entretiens individuels approfondis avec des enseignants et des concepteurs de cours afin de recueillir les points de vue manquants venant des praticiens. Elle a été complétée par une analyse thématique des principaux documents d'appui liés aux stratégies des universités en matière de prestation d'apprentissage en ligne. Trois domaines thématiques fondamentaux ont été isolés et analysés : (1) Les difficultés de croissance de l'enseignement à distance, (2) Les défis de l'intégration de la théorie de l'apprentissage, et (3) L'alignement pédagogique et technique. Le modèle de systèmes viables (VSM) de Stafford Beer a fourni une grille d'interprétation pour expliquer comment le système de formation à distance de l'Arabie saoudite est resté viable tout en traversant des périodes de changements importants. Un modèle d'apprentissage mixte est proposé pour aborder l'interaction complexe des facteurs qui influencent la prestation de l'apprentissage en ligne au sein du système de formation à distance de l'Arabie saoudite.

Mots-clés: formation à distance, formation en ligne, e-learning, formation mixte, soutien pédagogique et technique


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