Understanding Lecturers� Pedagogic Practices and Perspectives in Regard to Blackboard Utilisation in Saudi and Australian Universities [thesis]

Safa Ali S Aldubaibi
This mixed method research compared Saudi Arabian and Australian university lecturers' perceptions in relation to using Blackboard as a learning management system (LMS). In particular, the research sought to understand how Blackboard affects lecturers' pedagogic practices by exploring perceived enablers and barriers behind Blackboard utilisation by lecturers that encourage or discourage some lecturers to use Blackboard in their courses to provide effective teaching and learning for students. To
more » ... ng for students. To date, there has been no research that has investigated the possible barriers and/or enablers that either encourage or discourage lecturers in Saudi Arabian and Australian universities experience in relation to using Blackboard. With the rapid growth in the use of Blackboard as a learning management system (LMS) for higher education, it is important to understand how this application is being used from lecturers' perspectives as they are the leaders and guiders of the learning process through this medium. The research used Rogers' (2003) theory of diffusion of innovation as a framework to explore the perceived barriers and enablers lecturers identified in relation to using Blackboard. The research was structured as a quasi-comparative model to determine how lecturers' perceptions in universities who have used technology for some time (Australian) compared with perceptions of lecturers who are at an early stage of utilising technology as part of their pedagogy (Saudi). This research was conducted in two phases using both qualitative and quantitative tools. For the first phase which is qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Six lecturers (3 Saudi lecturers and 3 Australian lecturers) agreed to be interviewed. The Australian interviews were conducted in English and the Saudi interviews were conducted in Arabic, making for a cross-cultural comparison of data. As the thesis is written in English, a back-translation process was followed in relation to the Arabic interviews to ensure that the data was accurately representative of voices of the Saudi lecturers. Information gleaned from the literature reviewed for the research, as well as the responses of interview questions, was used to inform the development of the survey in the second phase of the research. A cross-cultural survey (Perceptions on Using Blackboard for Teaching and Learning) was developed by the researcher to understand iii lecturers' perceptions about Blackboard use in two very diverse cultural settings. A survey was deemed to be a best fit in the current study to capture a larger population of lecturers' opinions and perceptions about using Blackboard. Participants of phase two of the research were 285 lecturers: 158 (55.4%) Saudi lecturers and 127 (44.6%) Australian lecturers. Results revealed that lecturers from both countries have an overall positive perception of Blackboard use as a repository system to organise materials and that Blackboard serves some of university students' educational needs. However, results also showed that Saudi and Australian lecturers have different perceptions regarding Blackboard uptake on their teaching and students' learning, the barriers related to Blackboard uptake and the enablers of Blackboard uptake. The differences were that lecturers working in Saudi universities have more positive perceptions about using Blackboard as an efficient platform because it makes learning more effective and more accessible for students. Saudi lecturers indicated that Blackboard allows for better communication between students with peers and with the lecturer, compared to perceptions expressed by Australian lecturers. Saudi lecturers identified that they initially found significant barriers to using Blackboard compared to Australian lecturers. However, once Blackboard was accepted as a LMS, more Saudi lecturers than Australian lecturers felt they could overcome the barriers of using Blackboard. The Perceptions on Using Blackboard for Teaching and Learning survey is a significant contribution to the research in understanding the use of the LMS, Blackboard, as a teaching and learning tool. Using Rogers' (2003) theory of diffusion of innovation, the research helps to understand who might be an early or late adopter of using such technology and how initial perceptions of adopting this technology may change over time. Having this kind of information is important for universities in considering the best ways forward when introducing new technology for teaching and learning. iv
doi:10.5204/thesis.eprints.122986 fatcat:az3srdbvkzbtnkfelu62osh7w4