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Title: An Examination of the Impact of Using Hybrid MOOCs on Students' Experiences and Achievements within Higher Education in Saudi Arabia: A Case Study of Male Students in Majmaah University
Authors: Alanazi, Homoud Hadad
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Globally, many universities and colleges have been experiencing a transformation in pedagogy over the last decade where face to face learning has been integrated with the digital and online. MOOCs first emerged in 2008 and are platforms that have many online components able to offer university level courses to very large numbers of learners at no additional charge or relatively low costs for them. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has not been entirely left behind in this pedagogical revolution, but MOOCs have not yet been implemented on a country wide scale. This research attempts to understand whether Hybrid MOOCs (integration of massive open online courses and in class activities) could affect student academic achievement in terms of marks obtained. In addition, the thesis investigates the learner experience, attitudes, and challenges when they study with Hybrid MOOCs. The thesis employs a quasi-experimental research design, convergent parallel mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative), and multiple sources of data collection: semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and pre/post-tests. 81 BSc students (control group =36 /experimental group = 45) who studied the ‘Educational Technology and Communication Skills’ module at the Majmaah University in the 1st semester of 2017-2018 participated in this project for a whole 14-week semester. The study found that there was a statistically significant difference in the grades obtained by the experimental group when Hybrid MOOCs were deployed which was evident in the substantial difference in Mean marks obtained between the pre-test and post-test in this group. However, when comparing the marks obtained by the control group (studying with traditional face to face pedagogy) and experimental group (studying with Hybrid MOOCs) in their pre-test and post-tests, it was shown that there was no statistically significant difference (although the experimental group's marks were slightly better). The thesis results further indicated that the students had preferred Hybrid MOOCs learning, and particularly video-based instructions. It also revealed that students’ attitudes changed radically before and after using Hybrid MOOCs, as they were quite anxious prior to studying with the new teaching method, anticipating it to be complicated and complex. However, after their engagement, their attitudes and feelings changed significantly, and they showed positive sentiments towards this mode of studying. Challenges of MOOCs were largely related to outside issues and not to studying in this new mode. The implications of this study are significant, especially in regards to Hybrid MOOCs being employed in developing countries. The study is an important one as the ability of MOOCs to influence academic grades may be the decisive factor in them becoming a possible alternative to the face to face classes within KSA higher educational institutions. However, due to the limited scope of the study being conducted at one university in one city and all the participants being male, further research is needed in order to offer a more comprehensive account of the impact of this phenomenon on students’ grades. Keywords: Hybrid MOOCs, Students' Experiences, Academic Achievements, Attitude, Challenges, Higher Education, Saudi Arabia
Description: Ed. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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