CCE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Computing and Engineering

Advisor

Ling Wang

Committee Member

Souren Paul

Committee Member

Inkyoung Hur

Abstract

Learning environments are changing rapidly in Saudi Arabia’s universities. Driven by increasing demand for education, and by geographic and budgetary constraints on traditional classroom instruction, the use of distance learning technologies is rapidly becoming more widespread. This situation creates a time-sensitive need for an improved understanding of the factors that affect the successful adoption of new technologies in higher education contexts. While some aspects of these issues have been studied before, there are crucial gaps in existing research, including which beliefs most strongly affect instructors’ attitudes toward new technology and how teaching style and distance learning interact.This study helps to fill those gaps and provides fresh insight into the challenges associated with integrating online learning into the classroom.

The study focuses on instructors at the Saudi Electronic University (SEU), where all courses use blended learning, combining distance learning technologies with classroom instruction. It adopts the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology model (UTAUT) as a theoretical framework, together with Grasha’s operationalization of teaching styles, in order to examine relationships among key variables associated with instructors’ behavioral intentions to accept and use distance learning technologies. Acceptance and teaching style were assessed using a survey composed of well-validated pre-existing instruments, distributed with the assistance of SEU staff. Regression and correlation analyses made it possible to determine that several of the UTAUT’s components, specifically effort expectancy, performance expectancy, and social influence, significantly affect instructors’ intentions with respect to new technologies. The study also reports that teaching style does not play a moderating role in those relationships, contrary to expectations. These results contribute to the existing literature on technology acceptance in the higher education context.

Available for download on Sunday, June 12, 2022

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