Technology Adoption and Integration at a University in Saudi Arabia: A Descriptive Study

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Date
2020-10-26
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Publisher
Virginia Tech
Abstract

Information and communication technology (ICT) is becoming a critical part of operations and innovations in many sectors around the world (Basri, Alandejani, and Almadani, 2018). As such, ICT is commonly integrated in academic institutions on a global level, and has been used in the educational process inside and outside the classroom. Currently in Saudi Arabia, the integration of technology in educational environments is viewed as essential in the growth of Saudi education (Alali, 2015). However, the integration of such technology in teaching and learning may face some barriers especially in emerging academic institutions. Some scholars report that while the use of ICT is advocated in many universities and schools, and in particular in Saudi Arabia, some instructors are not likely to use it in their teaching processes because of barriers hindering their utilization and integration of such technology (Asiri, 2012; Albugami and Ahmad, 2015; Al Mulhim, 2014; Muhametjanova and Cagiltay, 2016).

This study aimed to examine how ICT is being used for teaching and learning within the context of an emerging university in Saudi Arabia, as well as what factors faculty identify as barriers and enablers to its use. The current study replicates the research conducted by Nyirongo (2009) in the country of Malawi, and is based on the theoretical principles of technology adoption proposed by Rogers, Ely, and Surry (Ely, 1999; Rogers, 2003; Surry, 2002). Faculty members at Al-Baha University, a new university in Saudi Arabia, served as the participants. This study found that there are several common factors that impede the adoption and integration of ICT for teaching and learning at Al-Baha University. Those factors are: lack of computer availability and accessibility for faculty members and students, poor Internet connection, lack of faculty participating in decision making regarding electronic technology, access to training and pedagogical support regarding such technology, and lack of technical support. These findings correlate with the same kinds of factors that have been identified as barriers in other educational contexts (Al Mulhim, 2014; Albugami and Ahmed, 2016; Alkahtani, 2017; Hsu, 2016; Kilinc, et al. 2018; Kler, 2014; Machado and Chung, 2015; Nyirongo, 2009).

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Keywords
Instructional technology, Electronic technologies for teaching and learning, Adoption and integration of electronic technologies, Diffusion and adoption of innovations, Information and communication technology (ICT).
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