Assessing faculty attitudes toward the significant factors for facilitating the implementation of online courses at the Institute of Public Administration in Saudi Arabia
Ajlan Mohammad Alshehri, Mississippi State University, United States
Mississippi State University . Awarded
This study was designed to examine faculty's attitudes toward the significant factors for facilitating the implementation of online courses at the Institute of Public Administration (I.P.A.) in Saudi Arabia. The population of this study included all faculty members at the Institute of Public administration. The total population was 595 faculty members. For this study 50% (298 Participants) were selected randomly by the Planning and Developing Department and the Research Center at the I.P.A. as a sample of the study. From 298 questionnaires distributed to the participants, 264 (89%) were returned. Thirty-two (12%) were excluded due to incomplete answers. Two hundred thirty-two questionnaires (78%) were analyzed and used for this study.
The findings showed that faculty members have had positive attitudes toward online courses. Furthermore, faculty members rated their attitudes toward online courses as “agree.” Also, the findings showed that there were several significant differences among the demographic variables of the participants; moreover gender, place of work, age, academic rank, qualification (degree), number of years teaching, and number of year's technology experience appear to have had an impact on participants' responses to their attitudes toward online courses.
In terms of the most important factors that facilitate implementing online courses at the Institute of Public Administration, the study yielded five factors accounted for 56.1% of the overall variance. Those factors were resources, willingness to implement online courses, knowledge and skills, administrative and technical support, and the type of course as theoretical or practical.
In this study, faculty members ranked lack of knowledge and skills of faculty members as the first barrier that hinders implementing online courses at the I.P.A., and resistance to change as the least important barrier. Additionally, participants identified other obstacles that might limit the implementation of online courses, and proposed several suggestions that might overcome those obstacles.
Finally, in accordance with the findings, this study offered several major recommendations to faculty members and the educational institutions that should be considered before implementing and delivering online courses. Some of those recommendations related to knowledge and skills of using technology by faculty members, establishing good infrastructures to offer excellent online courses or programs, qualifying and recruiting the human resources needed to administer online courses successfully, and helping educational institutions by reducing the cost of using technology, especially the Internet.
Alshehri, A.M. Assessing faculty attitudes toward the significant factors for facilitating the implementation of online courses at the Institute of Public Administration in Saudi Arabia. Ph.D. thesis, Mississippi State University.
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