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ERIC Number: EJ969336
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-2042-7530
The Use of Virtual Classrooms in E-Learning: A Case Study in King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Al-Nuaim, Hana Abdullah
E-Learning and Digital Media, v9 n2 p211-222 2012
The phenomenal growth and subsequent increasing use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) innovations has led to an increase in their use in higher education over the past decade. Past research has criticised e-learning (compared to traditional face-to-face lecturing) for its failure to engage students in their learning. However, King Abdulaziz University (KAU) has only limited seats available for its traditional face-to-face programmes and therefore was determined to provide a viable alternative in the form of an e-learning programme, the first in Saudi Arabia. One of the requirements of this programme was that it should fit current sociocultural customs, enabling students from the K-12 Saudi educational system who are not skilled in independent learning or discovery to construct their own knowledge. The university created a programme that underwent rigorous course development and quality control to engage students more actively through asynchronous technologies--virtual classrooms for every face-to-face hour of every course--with synchronous components, using a learning management system developed in-house to integrate with all other university systems. The virtual classrooms enable students and instructors to communicate synchronously using audio, video, interactive whiteboard, application sharing, instant polling, text chat, and other features as though they were standing face to face in a regular classroom. All instructor activities and interactions with students are monitored within the LMS and virtual classroom. Instructors and departments are provided with detailed reports on instructor performance and continuous assessments of their interactions with students. Due to their distinct methods of delivery, it is difficult to make exact comparisons between face-to-face and e-learning models of learning; to allow for the most accurate comparisons, the performance of students in face-to-face courses was compared to that of students in scheduled virtual classrooms who were taught by the same instructors. The overall results show that for most courses, there were no significant differences in the performance of online and face-to-face students assigned to the same course and taught by the same instructor. (Contains 6 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Saudi Arabia