Blended learning in Saudi Arabia girls' secondary schools :\ud an exploratory case study
Blended learning (BL) has been the subject of much research recently, and the present\ud dissertation adds to this growing body of knowledge as the first substantial study on BL in\ud secondary education for girls in Saudi Arabia. Based on field work comprising interviews\ud and questionnaires this thesis reports the results of an exploratory, empirical case study of a\ud large-scale programme (Tatweer project) for the introduction of blended learning into 25\ud traditional secondary girls' schools in Saudi Arabia. Adopting the interpretive research\ud paradigm the objective of the study is to gain rich insight into blended learning guided by\ud three interrelated themes:\ud Effect of BL on female education: The study demonstrates a number of positive effects of\ud BL on students' engagement and self-development, however, problems with the workloads\ud of students and the failure of teachers to integrate face-to-face learning with e-learning are\ud also observed.\ud Teacher development: Teachers' perceptions of benefits and drawbacks of BL are\ud presented and analysed. Contrary to suggestions in parts of the literature only a minority of\ud teachers perceive a change in their role from traditional, instructor-led teaching towards a\ud facilitator role.\ud Organisational change in schools: The study identifies implementation problems during\ud the Tatweer programme. Links to critical success factors of BL and research on effective\ud management and leadership are investigated.\ud Throughout the research Sharpe et al.'s (2006) 8-dimensional framework of BL is applied in\ud a new way to assess the implementation level of BL. This results in the recommendation to\ud extend this framework with an ethical dimension. Further recommendations of the work are\ud to actively seek feedback from key stakeholder groups during BL implementation, to use BL\ud for teacher training in BL, and to measure performance indicators like students' workloads\ud during the transition of traditional schools to BL.
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