In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the need for distance-learning programs in the universities has been gaining importance. Najran, the area in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which this study addressed, has been the target of serious attacks against both the government and the civilian population in a recent conflict with Yemen. Because all areas of Najran have been targeted, including educational institutions, the ability for students to attend the university in recent years has been severely curtailed. While conflict prompted the study, there were, and are, other reasons for promoting distance learning in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The evidence gathered in this study exhibited the value of distance learning overall. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could benefit greatly from distance learning programs in Najran and elsewhere due to limited space for classes, the need to shift away from the dependence on an oil economy, and the need to address both cultural and geographical factors such as providing an education to students in more rural locations, female students, and students unable to attend traditional classes due to the rapid growth of the student population. The research questions asked in the study addressed reshaping education in the war-stricken area of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-Yemen border areas; the perceptions of teachers, students, and hiring authorities at the Civil Service Ministry of the affordances and constraints of distance learning; and the perception of the value of distance learning. A qualitative case-study methodology framed by the epistemology of constructivism was used. The study was carried out by conducting focus group interviews with teachers and students as well as with hiring authorities at the Civil Service Ministry. Three different data collection tools were used (focus group interviews, a research journal, and the gathering of artifacts). All three provided information regarding distance learning at the University of Najran and in the hiring of distance learning graduates in the City of Najran. The findings revealed the need for access, basic infrastructure, and interest in distance learning. To allow for the continued enhancement of technology, shifts in perception and greater collaboration to promote online education and employment of distance learning graduates in Najran, changes must take place.
|Advisor:||Williams, Mia Kim|
|Commitee:||Ku, Heng Yu, Larkins, Randy, Ursyn, Anna|
|School:||University of Northern Colorado|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Middle Eastern Studies, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Distance learning, Saudi Arabia, University of Najran|
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