About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 9837 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0818

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

THE EXPERIENCE OF SAUDI TEACHER-TRAINERS ATTENDING COURSES VIA MOOCS

D. Alharthy

University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
Distant learning is receiving increasing interest in Saudi Arabia especially because it is part of the country new strategic plans, Vision 2030. Saudi Arabia is a very conservative country and the education is strictly controlled by the ministry of education. This has limited the access to learning and training materials and courses which have to be approved by the ministry and training and teaching should be provided to males and females separately. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is a vast country with youthful population where the median age of the population is about 29 years. The Saudis are also tech-savvy and they compete to have access to new technologies.

The model of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), one of the important distant learning models, is still new in the Saudi context where the first applications of this model has taken place only this year, 2018. The first learners to undergo learning through this model are teacher trainers in the Saudi ministry of education.

This study used both qualitative (interview and observation) and quantitative (questionnaire) methods to answer the following research questions:
- What are the experiences of the learners while attending the MOOC component of the course?
- What are the experiences of the teacher who designed and executed the course?

The results found through the questionnaires, observation, and interviews suggest that MOOCs have the potential to become very popular in the Saudi context. This is because of the following factors:
Providing courses via MOOCs helps overcome the geographical barrier where the vast area of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is about 2.15 square kilometres, makes transportation from one place to another time-consuming and costly. There are only about 45 centres for providing teacher training that are run by the Saudi ministry of education. Using MOOCs allows reaching far more learners than the traditional face-to-face model.

Using MOOCs to provide training to the teachers helps avoiding any disruption to the stability of the academic day. Teachers can have access to training at any time that suits while in the traditional face-to-face training they can only attend training during the day which means they might have to stop teaching. Providing traditional training after school hours didn’t solve the problem as teachers faced difficulties travel after school hours to attend training in remote areas. This also caused another burden on teachers.
Using MOOCs to provide training helps achieve equality as both genders can have access to the same training/teaching while in the traditional face-to-face model males and females need to attend separate sessions where they receive training from a teacher-trainer from the same gender. MOOCs then offer better chances to females.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has invested a lot in delegating students to study abroad. Hundreds of thousands gained high qualifications and had access to state-of-the-art knowledge. However, it is not possible for those people to share experience with other Saudis because of the limitations of time and place. MOOCs provide a possible solution where those experts can use distance learning to provide training to learners from any part of the vast kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
@InProceedings{ALHARTHY2018EXP,
author = {Alharthy, D.},
title = {THE EXPERIENCE OF SAUDI TEACHER-TRAINERS ATTENDING COURSES VIA MOOCS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0818},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0818},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {9837}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Alharthy
TI - THE EXPERIENCE OF SAUDI TEACHER-TRAINERS ATTENDING COURSES VIA MOOCS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0818
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 9837
EP - 9837
ER -
D. Alharthy (2018) THE EXPERIENCE OF SAUDI TEACHER-TRAINERS ATTENDING COURSES VIA MOOCS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, p. 9837.
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