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Title: A sequential exploratory design for the e-learning maturity model in Middle Eastern countries
Author: Iskander, George
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2013
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E-learning involves the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It is transforming universities and has undergone immense change. Therefore, it has become the main tool for improving educational and training activities. Many universities are combining e-learning components with their conventional instruction in order to enhance the delivery of traditional courses. However, many models of e-learning initiatives fail to achieve desired learning and teaching outcomes, because of the selection of inappropriate technology, instructor characteristics, or failure to provide sufficient attention and support from the organization (Engelbrecht 2005; Selim 2007). Despite the potential models of e-learning as tools to enhance education and training, their values will not be realized if instructors, learners, and organizations do not accept them as efficient and effective learning tools. Yet, it seems that universities in the Middle East are still at a fundamental stage of adopting and implementing e-learning despite the plentiful factors that suggest e-learning as a support tool capable of enhancing the process of learning. The reason behind selecting Middle Eastern universities is that in Arab countries mostly focuses on the insertion of new technological features without taking into account psychopedagogical concerns that are likely to improve a student's cognitive process in this new educational category. Also, fragile strategies for e-learning have existed in most of the Middle Eastern universities. Consequently, describing strategy is serious to the successful deployment of e-learning initiatives in Middle East and Arab countries. The aim of this thesis is to explore the criteria affecting the introduction of a maturity model in the deployment of e-learning in Middle Eastern countries. Building on the extant literature review concerning the identification of critical success factors (CSFs) of e-learning, many factors (instructor characteristics, information technology infrastructure, and organizational and technical support) were examined and it was found that there is no complete model for e-learning. Also, this review concluded that the factors developed need modification to account for Middle Eastern status. These modifications resulted in the development of an e-learning maturity model affecting e-learning development in the Middle East. The thesis was mainly a sequential exploratory study that employed in-depth interviews, supplemented by questionnaires. Qualitative data was collected from interviews and analyzed using Grounded Theory. The results of the qualitative analysis were followed up by collecting quantitative data using online questionnaires. The quantitative data was analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. A total of 600 responses were used in the quantitative analysis, while a total of 150 interviews responses were used in the qualitative analysis. The results of this study provide an insight into six important dimensions. First, the results describe how learners’ perceive e-learning models in higher education institutions and sheds some light on learner attributes that may be prerequisites for benefiting from and accepting e-learning models. Second, they address the issue of higher education institutions’ strategies for e-learning initiatives. Third, the results describe how learners’ perceive e-learning features in higher education institutions. Fourth and fifth, they explain the criticality and importance of the instructor, and student attitudes towards e-learning environments. Sixth, they assess the effect of e-learning on students.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available