Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL Number 6. July 2020 Pp. 261-277
Perceptions of Saudi Students to Blended Learning Environments at the University of
Bisha, Saudi Arabia
Department of English, College of Sciences & Arts
University of Bisha, Al-Namas, Saudi Arabia
In this study, a survey is conducted to examine learners’ perceptions and satisfaction towards blended learning environments designed around the transactional and transformational approaches of learning theories in a blended course in the College of Arts & Sciences, Al-Namas, the University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia. The study aims to evaluate students’ perceptions and preferences towards the three components of a blended learning environment: multimedia learning materials, assessment, and interactive activities. A mixed-method of research design is used to collect the data. Quantitative data is collected in the form of 12 Likert items in which 22 Saudi students are asked to evaluate their learning experiences in three categories of the blended learning environment. These categories are multimedia learning materials, assessment, and interactive activities in a blended course on Blackboard, a virtual learning platform used by the University of Bisha to support on-line learning. The researcher’s observation is used to decode, and explain the responses of the participants qualitatively. The result reveals that learners prefer illustrated text materials to video, plain text and audio materials, flexible assessments to non-flexible assessment, and embedded communication tools like WhatsApp, blogging, wikis, collaborative activities, and discussion forum.
Keywords: blended learning, instructional design, learning design, learning environment, Saudi students,
Cite as: Anas, A. (2020). Perceptions of Saudi Students to Blended Learning Environments at the University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL (6). 261-277. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/call6.17
Aldiab, A., Chowdhury, H., Kootsookos, A., Alam, F., & Allhibi, H. (2019). Utilization of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) in Higher Education System: A Case Review for Saudi Arabia. Energy Procedia, 160, 731-737. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2019.02.186
Aldosemani, T., Shepherd, C. E., & Bollinger, D. U. (2019). Perceptions of Instructors Teaching in Saudi Blended Learning Environments. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 63(3), 341–352. https://doi-org.sdl.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0342-1
Ali, J. K. M. (2017). Blackboard as a Motivator for Saudi EFL Students: A Psycholinguistic Study. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7(5), 144-151. doi:10.5539/ijel.v7n5p144
Al-Madani, F. M. (2015). The Effect of Blended Learning Approach on Fifth Grade Students’ Academic Achievement in My Beautiful Language Textbook and the Development of their Verbal Creative Thinking in Saudi Arabia. Journal of International Education Research (JIER), 11(4), 253-260. https://doi.org/10.19030/jier.v11i4.9459
Almalki, A. M. (2011). Blended Learning in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia: A Study of Umm Al-Qura University. (Unpublished doctoral thesis) RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Retrieved from https://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/view/rmit:14613
Alzahrani, M. G. (2017). The Developments of ICT and the Need for Blended Learning in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(9), 79–87. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.sdl.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1139080&site=eds-live
Al Zumor, A. W. Q., Al Refaai, I. K., Eddin, E. A. B., & Al-Rahman, F. H. A. (2013). EFL Students’ Perceptions of a Blended Learning Environment: Advantages, Limitations and Suggestions for Improvement. English Language Teaching, 6(10), 95-110. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n10p95
Beatty, K. (2010). Teaching and Researching Computer-Assisted Language Learning (2nd ed.). New York: Longman.
Chan, C. T., & Koh, Y. Y. (2008). Different Degrees of Blending Benefit Students Differently: A Pilot Study. Proceedings of the EDU-COM 2008 International Conference, 19-21 November 2008. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/ceducom/7
Chen, I. (2008). Instructional Design Methodologies. In T. T. Kidd & H. Song (Eds.), Handbook Of Research On Instructional Systems And Technology (Vol. 1, pp. 1-14). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-59904-865-9.ch001
Elbasuony, M. M. M., Gangadharan, P., Janula, R., Shylaja, J., & Gaber, F. A. (2018). Undergraduate Nursing Students’ Perception and Usage of E-Learning and Blackboard Learning System. Middle East Journal of Nursing, 12(2). DOI: 10.5742/MEJN.2018.93394
Hartman, J., Dziuban, C., & Moskal, P. (2007). Strategic Initiatives in the Online Environment: Opportunities and Challenges. On The Horizon-The Strategic Planning Resource For Education Professionals, 15(3), 157-168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120710825040
Ja’ashan, M. M. N. H. (2015). Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Blended Learning for English Courses: A Case Study of Students at University of Bisha. English Language Teaching, 8(9), 40–50. doi:10.5539/elt.v8n9p40
Levy, M. (2003). Computer Assisted Language Learning Context and Conceptualization (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Mor, Y., Craft, B., & Maina, M. (2015). Introduction Learning Design: Definitions, Current Issues and Grand Challenges. In M. Maina, B. Craft & Y. Mor (Eds.), The Art & Science of Learning Design (9-26). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense. doi:https://www.sensepublishers.com/media/2398-the-art-and-science-of_learning-design.pdf
Motteram, G. (2018). Teaching and Technology: Case Studies from India. Englishagenda.britishcouncil.org. Available at: https://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/attachments/teaching_and_technology_case_studies_from_india_final_low_res_new.pdf
National Research Council. (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. National Academies Press.
Sajid, M. R., et.al. (2016). Can Blended Learning and the Flipped Classroom Improve Student Learning and Satisfaction in Saudi Arabia? International Journal of Medical Education, 7, 281–285. DOI: 10.5116/ijme.57a7.83d4
Sawyer, R.K. (2014.) The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (2nd ed). New York: Cambridge University Press
Sharma, P. (2010). Blended Learning. ELT Journal, 64(4), 456–458. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccq043
Sims, R. (2015). Revisiting “Beyond Instructional Design.” Journal of Learning Design, 8 (3), 29–41. http://search.ebscohost.com.sdl.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1083712&site=eds-live
Smith, K., & Hill, J. (2019). Defining the Nature of Blended Learning through its Depiction in Current Research. Higher Education Research & Development, 38(2), 383-397. DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2018.1517732.
Sun, S. Y. H. (2017). Design for CALL–Possible Synergies between CALL and Design for Learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(6), 575–599. https://doi-org.sdl.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/09588221.2017.1329216.
Thomas, M., Reinders, H., & Warschauer, M. (2012). Contemporary Computer-Assisted Language Learning: The Role of Digital Media and Incremental Change. In M. Thomas., H. Reinders, & M. Warschauer (Eds.), Contemporary computer-assisted language learning (pp. 19–38). New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing.
University of Leeds. (2019). Week 1: Why Should We Focus On Blended Learning? Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started. Retrieved from https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-getting-started/4/todo/8490.