Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Frank Corbett, Jr.

Second Advisor

Laurie Nicholson

Third Advisor

Meghan Twiest

Fourth Advisor

Ramesh Soni

Fifth Advisor

David Loomis

Abstract

An integral part of the higher education system, technology is continuing to grow in importance. In the delivery of courses, e-learning is becoming more widely used given that it provides easy access to education asynchronously and across geographic borders, thereby meeting the diverse needs of students. The research for this quantitative study was conducted in the state of Pennsylvania with the purpose of determining the readiness of Saudi students studying in the e-learning context, whether through an entirely online format or through blended courses, based on gender, educational level, and anxiety. Recruited via a questionnaire distributed online, the participants comprised 178 Saudi students: 127 male students and 51 female students. The results showed no statistically significant difference between Saudi students in regard to their attitudes toward e-learning on the basis of gender (male or female) or educational level (undergraduate or graduate). Moreover, the participants reported having a positive attitude toward e-learning. However, in regard to the items designed to assess anxiety, the participants indicated that they experienced slightly high anxiety in regard to taking an online course, followed by moderate anxiety in regard to using a computer, but very low anxiety in regard to using Internet. On the basis of the study results, it is recommended that the Saudi educational authorities change their regulations in order to approve degrees obtained entirely online to increase enrollment in courses delivered through this platform. Further research is needed, however, to determine how factors other than gender and educational level relate to the online educational experience of Saudi students studying online.

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