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Exploring the Challenges Encountered by Students of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia Employing Hybrid MOOCs.

Lookup NU author(s): Homoud Alanazi, Professor Caroline Walker-Gleaves



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Infonomics Society, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Challenges confronting students' learning via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as intrinsic parts of Flipped Classrooms within Saudi Arabian higher education is an untouched area of enquiry within education research. The literature has shown that certain scholars have begun to explore this area, but so far for other countries only, scrutinising difficulties and obstacles when this new teaching method has been implemented. This paper aims to identify the challenges that exist for 1st year undergraduate students studying at the Education Faculty of Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia in the 1st academic semester of 2017/2018, during a 14-week period, to teach the students of the 'Educational Technology and Communications Skills' module by using Hybrid MOOCs with Flipped Classrooms pedagogy. It employs a mixed methods approach, including questionnaires (quantitative approach) together with semi-structured interviews (qualitative approach). The results of this research reveal that students encountered challenges regarding the platform (Rwaq), but mostly not directly related to MOOCs or their affordances, and instead, more related to internet quality. Regarding the Flipped Classrooms, at the beginning students faced some challenges which were more socially orientated rather than directly linked with the use of MOOCs with Flipped Classrooms. Furthermore, most students appeared to overcome their challenges with the aid of the platform support team and their teachers which highlights the importance of human assistance, even in a technology enhanced teaching and learning methods. This paper highlights a possible new avenue for the future of Saudi Arabian education and contributes original research to fill a conspicuous gap in the education literature of the country. Finally, the paper's implications can be seen relevant, not only for Saudi Arabia, but for the rest of the Arabian Gulf countries as they have similar cultural, educational, and economic frameworks.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al Anazi H, Walker-Gleaves C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Information Technologies and Lifelong Learning

Year: 2019

Volume: 2

Issue: 1

Pages: 62-69

Print publication date: 01/06/2020

Acceptance date: 09/08/2019

Date deposited: 06/01/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2633-7681

Publisher: Infonomics Society


DOI: 10.20533/jitll.2633.7681.2019.0010


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