Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges April 2021                         Pp. 381-397

Full Paper PDF

Female Saudi University Students’ Perceptions of Online Education Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Nasrin Altuwairesh
College of Languages & Translation
King Saud University
Riyadh- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Received:  3/6/2021                Accepted: 4/21/2021                             Published: 4/24/2021

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc and caused world-wide disruptions to daily activities, including education. Numerous mitigation measures were taken to slow down the rapid spread of this pandemic. The situation, subsequently, entailed utilizing technology to ensure the continuation of the educational process. The abrupt shift to online education presented significant challenges to teachers and learners alike. Uncovering students’ perceptions of their online education experience will help address and deal with these challenges. This study attempted to explore the perceptions of Saudi female undergraduate students of their online education experience amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The total of 241 female students at the College of Languages and Translation at King Saud University in Riyadh answered a multi-item online survey. The results revealed that many of the respondents were happy with their online learning experience, enjoyed learning online and looked forward to their online classes. However, when asked to compare online learning to brick-and-mortar classes, more than half of the participants stated that they prefer traditional, face-to-face learning. The results of this study also revealed that the significant problems students faced in online education related to staying motivated, technical issues and the absence of face-to-face interaction. Despite the many challenges they face when learning online, the most cited advantage for online education mentioned by the participants is that it is more convenient. The results also indicated that this education mode seemed to suit shy students more, as they stated that they participate and ask questions more in online classes.
 Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, female Saudi EFL university learners’ perceptions, e-learning; online education; technology

Cite as: Altuwairesh, N. (2021). Female Saudi University Students’ Perceptions of Online Education Amid COVID-19 Pandemic. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges (1)381-397.


Bailey, C. J., & Card, K. A. (2009). Effective pedagogical practices for online teaching: Perception of experienced instructors. Internet and Higher Education, 12(3–4), 152–155.

Bailey, D., & Lee, A. (2020). Learning from experience in the midst of covid-19: Benefits, challenges, and strategies in online teaching. Call-Ej, 21(2), 176–196.

Carter, R. A., Rice, M., Yang, S., & Jackson, H. A. (2020). Self-regulated learning in online learning environments: strategies for remote learning. Information and Learning Science, 121(5–6), 311–319.

Cohen, A., & Baruth, O. (2017). Personality, learning, and satisfaction in fully online academic courses. Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 1–12.

Cole, M. T., Shelley, D. J., & Swartz, L. B. (2014). Online instruction, e-learning, and student satisfaction: A three year study. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(6), 111–131.

Hodges, C. B., & Fowler, D. J. (2020). The COVID-19 Crisis and Faculty Members in Higher Education: From Emergency Remote Teaching to Better Teaching through Reflection. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Higher Education, 5(1), 118–122.

Koehler, M. J., Mishra, P., & Yahya, K. (2007). Tracing the development of teacher knowledge in a design seminar: Integrating content, pedagogy and technology. Computers and Education, 49(3), 740–762.

Mahyoob, M. (2020). Challenges of e-Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic Experienced by EFL Learners. Arab World English Journal, 11(4), 351–362.

Means, B., & Neisler, J. (2020). Suddenly Online: A National Survey of Undergraduates During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017–1054.

Redmond, P. (2011). From face-to-face teaching to online teaching: Pedagogical transitions. ASCILITE 2011 – The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, January 2011, 1050–1060.

Sun, A., & Chen, X. (2016). Online education and its effective practice: A research review. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 15, 157–190.

Received: 3/6/2021   
Accepted: 4/21/2021 
Published: 4/26/2021 

Nasrin Altuwairesh is Assistant Professor at the College of Languages and Translation (COLT) at King Saud University in Riyadh/ Saudi Arabia. She holds an MA and a PhD in Education/ TESOL from the University of Leeds/ United Kingdom. She has taught several translation courses at COLT. Her research interests focus on language teaching, the teaching of translation and training translators. ORCID id: