Factors affecting the use of e-learning in Saudi Arabia: an analysis of academics’ perspectives

Albazie, Haifa Abdullah (2023) Factors affecting the use of e-learning in Saudi Arabia: an analysis of academics’ perspectives. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Technology plays a vital role in higher education environments. Saudi Arabia is one of the world's fastest-growing e-learning markets. This requires the use of a wide range of technological tools and platforms to enable educators to engage students in their learning. Some academic staff educated in traditional ways face challenges when using technology in their teaching. Therefore, it is essential to consider the motivational factors that might affect faculty members’ adoption of e-learning tools such as the Blackboard system. Studies carried out in Arabic contexts rarely focus on motivation when examining the factors that might impact users' acceptance of technological tools. As a result, this study applied Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which addresses different types of extrinsic motivation (external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation, integrated regulation), and intrinsic motivation to understand the role each plays in faculty members’ attitudes to e-learning. This research also applied the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to explore the internal factors (perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and attitude) and external factors (self-efficacy) that influenced the use of Blackboard among faculty members at a Saudi university.

In order to gain a deeper understanding the subject area, the relevant e-learning literature was first reviewed. Then, an exploratory study was conducted in Saudi Arabia to examine the state of e-learning in the target university and investigate the main issues relating to the adoption of the Blackboard system. The pilot study uncovered the role of external regulation in faculty members’ use of the Blackboard system. The study then gathered and analysed both quantitative and qualitative data as part of the main empirical study, which allowed for triangulation.

The main research question that this study sought to address is, “Which factors do academics view as important in affecting the adoption and use of e-learning in a Saudi Arabian Higher Education institution?” Specifically, the study sought to understand the extent to which the Blackboard system was utilised and valued and the barriers involved; what TAM theory can reveal about faculty members’ perceptions to its use, and what SDT shows as regards the motivational factors involved.

The main findings of the study are: The faculty members were affected by external regulation in their use of the Blackboard system. They were also impacted by other motivational factors, such as introjected and identified regulation. In addition, from the data that were obtained, it was found that the faculty members perceived the Blackboard system as useful and easy to use. They also reported a high level of self-efficacy, although this varied depending on their experiences of using the system. Overall, the faculty members held a positive attitude towards using the Blackboard system; however, they required further training and support in finding solutions to the obstacles they faced while using it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Proudfoot, Dr. Kevin and Mancy, Dr. Rebecca
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83983
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2023 14:35
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 14:36
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83983
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83983
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