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Title: Investigating factors influencing students’ attitude and performance when using web-enhanced learning in developing countries: The case of Saudi Arabia
Authors: Al-Nefaie, Saud
Advisors: Love, S
Keywords: E-Learning;Learning management system;Blackboard;Critical success factors;Developing countries
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis aims to explore learning management systems use and usefulness in Higher Education (HE) environments in a Middle Eastern developing country (Saudi Arabia) and gauge what factors influence the attitudes of the learners and by the same token investigate which of these, if any, do affect their performances in such environments. This study intends to delve into these factors and single out any relationships that might exist among these factors. The LMS (learning management system) chosen for the purpose of this research is the „Blackboard‟ LMS. To enable the researcher to look thoroughly at the issue, three separate studies were conducted to achieve comprehensive results. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies were combined for maximum Data collection from participants using questionnaires, interviews and numerical data from the Blackboard tracking system. A framework encompassing all the perceived critical variables that could play a part in affecting students' attitudes in the use of the Blackboard LMS and their overall achievements was designed, developed and then tested. The framework consists of four main parts, 1) Learners interaction with their peers; their ability to use the Internet and associated technologies, named 'learner dimension'. 2) Instructors‟ technical knowledge and competence, the manner in which they deliver lessons to learners using 'Blackboard' and the interactions taking place between the two parties named ' instructor variable or dimension'. 3) The technology itself variable or dimension: usability, flexibility and quality. 4) The HE institution's support dimension: training and technical support. The results have indicated that students were keen to adopt the LMS Blackboard for their courses. Instructor attitudes and behaviours when using Blackboard were found to play a major role in students' attitudes and performances. A major relationship was found in relation to student gender, academic specialization and attitude towards using the LMS, but not in the way the system is used. Students varied and various academic specializations were found to impact positively on their attitude towards the use of the system and in their learning (in terms of performance on a specific course). The learner variable was found to be a good indicator of how students behaved towards VLE and Blackboard and their achievements. The Instructor dimension was also found to be a positive indicator of students' attitudes, their use of Blackboard and achievements in its use. Similarly the technology and the HE institution variables were also found to be sound indicators of their attitudes.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London.
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Theses

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