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Evaluation of CPD opportunities offered in TEL for lecturers in Saudi Higher Education: a single case study

Al Mutlaq, A. (2018) Evaluation of CPD opportunities offered in TEL for lecturers in Saudi Higher Education: a single case study. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Rapid social and economic development in Saudi Arabia, as well as the international revolution in technological development, have emphasised the need for Saudi Higher Education institutions to meet the demand for knowledge and skills to improve the quality and performance of education. Continuing professional development (CPD) is a key component of effectively addressing the increased demand for technology-assisted learning and teaching approaches. Such CPD opportunities will allow lecturers to update, expand and maintain their technology enhanced learning (TEL) knowledge and skills so they can integrate them effectively into their teaching practices and improve students’ achievements. Although the role of TEL CPD in Saudi Higher Education has always been important to lecturers, the increasing importance placed on work effectiveness and productivity has greatly elevated the significance of this role. Previous research and anecdotal evidence suggest that effective TEL CPD is paramount to the successful integration and use of educational technologies in teaching and learning, and that systematic evaluation is needed to examine the practices of current TEL CPD programmes. In this context, the study aimed to achieve a greater understanding of lecturers’ experiences of TEL CPD, in general, in order to support the effective provision of TEL CPD programmes and extend the knowledge offered by successful TEL CPD initiatives. The study adopted an interpretive approach, and combined method investigations (survey and interviews) were used to understand the current situation of TEL CPD and the factors underlying the opportunities and challenges encountered by lecturers in Saudi Arabia. The data consist of 103 survey responses and interviews with 12 lecturers who represent the voices of lecturers in the College of Education at one Saudi university. The results show that most participants appreciated the opportunity to participate in TEL CPD programmes, and they believe that TEL CPD is valuable to lecturers, students and institutions as a whole. However, the data also identified significant challenges to the lecturers’ active participation in TEL CPD programmes, including time and workload, relevant and realistic programme content that address lecturers’ needs, opportunities to practise the use of TEL and accessibility to and awareness of TEL CPD courses. With increased expectations for the effective adoption of TEL in learning environments, lecturers need to undertake a range of TEL professional development opportunities that address their specification area, needs and preferences. The general design of the TEL CPD programmes provided reflects some issues in TEL implementation, such as a lack of balance between theoretical knowledge and practice, and an over-emphasis on technology skills. Moreover, the providers of these opportunities and management teams need to adopt the recommended criteria and offer support to lecturers in order to transfer the skills that were learnt from the TEL programmes so they can enhance their teaching practices with technologies. As a result, the study introduces a theoretical framework of TEL CPD practices to investigate the factors of participation, implementation and impact that affect the provision of TEL CPD in Saudi Higher Education. This approach, based on the interrelationships between the concepts examined in this study, provides insights into knowledge in this area. Although the findings of this study cannot be generalised, they may help providers, institutions and policy makers move towards an understanding of how to develop and implement TEL CPD programmes that address lecturers’ needs, in relation to theory, practice and further research

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Dimitriadi, Y. and McCrindle, R.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:76011
Date on Title Page:2017

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