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Attitudes towards E-Learning:

An Empirical Study in Kuwait

BY

Hamdan Mubarak Al-Khashab


(KUWAIT)

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of


Masters of Business Administration (MBA) of the Maastricht School of
Management (MSM), Maastricht, the Netherlands,

July 15, 2007


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful….

After working with this thesis research, I would say that it was one of the best things I did
in my life, exploring could be fun sometimes, but it becomes more beneficial if after
accepting the challenges in the life and exploring new knowledge.

It was really interesting to join the Master program and have the opportunity to involve
and share the experience of exploring new ways and pedagogical for developing and
improving the learning process for universities in Kuwait.

My thanks go first and foremost to my Mother, Altaf Al-Mohsen, who has supported and
buoyed me up with love, patience and understanding, and financially as a graduate
student. Special thanks go to my family and closed friends for their kind supports.

I would like to express my thanks also to my committee, my deep thanks to Dr. Huub
Ruel for organizing my thesis and all KMBS academic faculty members.

Finally, my greatest appreciation goes for my colleagues and friends in KMBS and
Kuwait-Ministry of Education, Information Center.

Hamdan Al-Khashab

I
ABSTRACT

The main goal of this research is to find out about the Kuwaiti society’s attitudes toward
e-learning held by a sample of 276 volunteers. A questionnaire based on the newly
developed e-learning scale was used to gather the data. The study proves the scale in an
Arab non-western context.

The results show that there are significant differences in the attitudes toward e-learning
based on educational level. On the other hand, the results show no differences in the
attitudes toward e-learning based on volunteers’ gender. Also, the study exposes that
Kuwaiti students generally have good attitudes towards e-learning.

The study deeply discusses factors associated with the attitudes toward e-learning in
Kuwait. This study contributes to the literature on e-learning studies by systematically
measuring the attitudes towards e-learning in Kuwait.

Key Words: E-learning, Attitudes surveys, Kuwait.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Acknowledgment…….……………………………………………........................ I
Abstract……………….…………………………………………………………... II
Table of Contents…….…………………………………………………………… III
List of Figures………….…………………………………………………………. VII
List of Tables…………….……………………………………………………….. VIII

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Thesis Overview….…………………………………………………………... 1


1.2 Problem Definition……………………………………………………………. 1
1.3 Research Objectives…………………………………………………………... 2
1.4 Research Hypothesis……………………………………………...................... 2
1.5 Research Methodology……………………………………………………….. 3
1.6 Data Analysis Method………………………………………………………… 3
1.7 Thesis Structure…………………………………………………...................... 4

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Definition of the E-learning…………………………………………………... 5


2.1.1 Some Notable E-learning Definitions………………………………. 5
2.2 The Evolution to E-Learning……………………………………..................... 6
2.2.1 History Timeline of E-learning……………………………………... 7
2.2.1.1 Instructor Led Training (Pre 1983)…………….................. 7
2.2.1.2 Multimedia Era (1984-1993)……………………………... 7
2.2.1.3 Introduction of Web (1994-1999)………………………… 8
2.2.1.4 The Next Generation Web (2000 to Now)………………... 8
III
2.2.2 Uses of E-learning…………………………………………………... 9
2.3 E-learning Dimensions………………………………………………………... 10
2.3.1 Attitudes…………………………………………………………….. 10
2.3.2 Advantages………………………………………………………….. 10
2.3.3 Disadvantages………………………………………………………. 12
2.3.4 Implementation Barriers……………………………………………. 13
2.3.5 Gender Differences in Attitudes Towards E-learning………………. 15
2.3.6 Educational Level Differences in Attitudes Towards E-Learning….. 15
2.3.7 The Future…………………………………………………………... 15
2.3.7.1 E-learning Web Services…...……………………………... 16
2.3.7.2 Rich-Media Instructors….....……………………………... 16
2.3.7.3 Mobile Learning……….…...……………………………... 17
2.3.7.4 EduCommerce……………...……………………………... 17
2.3.7.5 Knowledge Transfer…...…...……………………………... 17
2.4 E-learning Tends to Fall into One of The Four Categories…………………… 18
2.5 Examples of Seminal Studies in E-learning…………………………………... 18
2.5.1 Newton’s Study (2003)……………………………………………... 18
2.5.2 Cheng’s Study (2006)………………………………………………. 19
2.5.3 Downey et al.’s Study (2005)………………………………………. 20
2.5.4 Aldhafeeri et al.’s Study (2006)…………………………………….. 21
2.5.5 Gupta et al.’s Study (2004)…………………………………………. 23
2.5.6 Douglas and Van Der Vyver’s Study (2004)……………………….. 24
2.5.7 Alghazo’s Study (2006)…………………………………………….. 25
2.5.8 Abouchedid And Eid’s Study (2004)……………………………….. 26
2.6 Kuwait and E-learning………………………………………………………... 27
2.6.1 Kuwait Internet Backbone………………………………………….. 27
2.6.2 Awareness and Education in Kuwait…...…………………………... 29
2.6.3 Computers in Schools………………………………………………. 30
2.6.4 Kuwait University Education……………………………………….. 31
2.6.5 Kuwait E-Government Plans……………………………………….. 32
IV
2.6.6 E-Schools in Kuwait……………………………………................... 32
2.7 Summary……………………………………………………………………… 33

Chapter 3: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………… 35
3.2 Problem Statement………………………………………………..................... 35
3.3 Research Objective…………………………………………………………… 35
3.4 Methodological Framework…………………………………………………... 35
3.4.1 Research Hypotheses……………………………………………….. 35
3.4.2 Target Population and Sampling Method…………………………... 36
3.4.3 Research Limitations………………………………………………... 37
3.5 Research Design………………………………………………………………. 37
3.5.1 Data Collection Instrument and Sourced……………….................... 37
3.6 Data Analysis Method………………………………………………………… 37

Chapter 4: DATA ANALYSIS, FINDING AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Descriptive Analysis………………………………………………………….. 39


4.1.1 Reliability……………………………………………….................... 40
4.1.2 Validity………………………………………………….................... 41
4.1.3 The Kaiser-Mayer-Olkin (KMO) Measure and Bartlett Test………. 43
4.2 Hypotheses Testing…………………………………………………………… 44
4.2.1 Negative Attitudes towards E-learning Hypothesis………………… 44
4.2.2 Gender Differences Hypothesis…………………………………….. 46
4.2.3 Educational Level Hypothesis……………………………………… 47
4.3 Discussion and Finding…………………………………………...................... 49

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Chapter 5: CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATION, AND FURTHER RESEARCH

5.1 Conclusion………………………………………………………..................... 50
5.2 Implications…………………………………………………………………… 50
5.2.1 Research Implications………………………………………………. 50
5.2.2 Policy Implications…………………………………………………. 51
5.3 Recommendations………………………………………………...................... 51
5.4 Further Research……………………………………………………………… 52

References………………………………………………………………………… 53
Appendix A: Questionnaire (English)…....…………………………...................... 60
Appendix B: Translated Questionnaire (Arabic)…..……………………………... 61

VI
LIST OF FIGURES

Page

Figure 2.1 Kuwait Telephone, Internet and PC Users growth between 2002 and
2005……………………………………………………………………. 27
Figure 4.1 Scree Plot……………………….……………………………………... 43

VII
LIST OF TABLES

Page

Table 2.1 PC Use Indicator………………………………………………….. 29


Table 2.2 IT Opportunity Evaluation………………………………………... 31
Table 4.1(a). Descriptive statistics based on educational level…………………. 39
Table 4.1(b). Descriptive statistics based on gender……………………………. 39
Table 4.1(c). Descriptive statistics based on age………………………………... 39
Table 4.2 Item-Total Statistics………………………………………………. 40
Table 4.3 Total Variance Explained…………………………………………. 41
Table 4.4 Descriptive Statistics……………………………………………… 44
Table 4.5 One-Sample Two-tailed T-Test Results…………………………... 45
Table 4.6 One-way ANOVA Results for Gender differences in Attitudes
towards e-learning………………………………………………… 46
Table 4.7 One-way ANOVA Results for Educational Level differences in
Attitudes towards e-learning……………………………………… 47

VIII
CHAPTER ONE
Introduction

1.1 THESIS OVERVIEW


There has been a spectacular development in the use of E-learning in the past few years,
and consequently, computer-mediated communication has attracted more attention. When
e-learning was introduced, it had created excitement among researchers and practitioners.
Many educators and researchers had high hopes for e-learning, believing that it would
provide more access to information and communication, and would ultimately lead to a
new revolution in education. Several studies have been conducted to examine attitudes
towards e-learning in the West and other parts of the world. However, virtually no
research exists in this area in the Arab world.

1.2 PROBLEM DEFINITION


The importance and relevance of technology in education has gained momentum and
research on e-learning has become pivotal to expand the new frontiers of education. The
discourse on e-learning has focused on topics such as the effectiveness of e-learning
(Harasim, Hiltz, Teles, & Turoff, 1996; Stommen & Lincoln, 1992; Webster & Hackley,
1997), evaluation of distance education (Clark, 2000; Magalhaes & Schiel, 1997;
Thomas, 2000). E-learning issues (Banas & Emory, 1998; Jonassen, 1992; Sherry, 1995),
comparison of traditional and online learning (Ponzurick, France, Russo, & Cyril, 2000),
and learning needs of organizations and their human resources amidst the technological,
social, and economic forces affecting the world (Gotschall, 2000; Karon, 2000). Though
not exclusive, and with little synthesis existing among these topics, the importance and
challenges of e-learning is omnipresent.

Because e-learning is imperative for government, business, academia, and professional


associations, and because these institutions are major players in the advancement of e-
learning, it is important to recognize and synthesize what these institutions say about the
purpose and features of e-learning and also, trends in e-learning. This basic information

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can be the formulation for focusing research on e-learning. Thus, this analysis of e-
learning initiates the following questions:

1. What is the purpose of e-learning?


2. What are the demographic factors affecting e-learning?

Different researchers from different parts of the world discussed attitudes towards e-
learning. However, we found that there is a lack of research in this area in Kuwait. This
can be related to the belated introduction of the e-learning system and the traditional
viewpoint towards education in this part of the world. By studying the attitudes towards
e-learning in Kuwait, we try to fill this research gap in an Arab non-West context.

1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES


Few studies analyzed the attitudes towards e-learning. Our study aims to fill this gap by
analyzing the attitudes toward e-learning in Kuwait. More specifically our objective is to
analyze the Kuwaiti society's attitudes and expectations towards e-learning, examine the
impact of some variables such as gender and educational or literacy level on the attitudes
towards e-learning in Kuwait, and test the validity of the recently developed e-learning
scale in a non-Western culture sphere.

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES


In this research it is hypothesized that:

H1: Kuwaiti participants will report negative attitudes towards e-learning (as expressed
by lower scores on the e-learning scale).

H2: There will be no statistically significant difference in attitude towards e-learning


based on gender.

H3: There will be a statistically significant difference in attitude towards e-learning based
on educational level.

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1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
A normal sample was selected to obtain the research objectives. The sample consists of
276 students. It includes participants from different age groups and educational levels.
The questionnaire was offered in different places such as universities and different
educational institutions. Some of the participants were contacted by face to face, phone
and e-mail in order to get more details about their opinion on the questionnaire.

Cheng (2006) created a scale that assesses attitude towards e-learning. This scale consists
of 15 items. This scale is used in the current study. This scale has been reported to be
valid and reliable. Cheng (2006).

First, the fifteen item e-learning scale was translated into Arabic. Then, the scale was
translated back into English by a bilingual expert to make sure that the content was kept
without change.

1.6 DATA ANALYSIS METHOD


Factor analysis will be used as the main procedure of data analysis. Factor analysis is a
technique which presents a number of variables, or hidden variables as they are often
referred to. A factor is a continuous hidden variable which is assumed to account for
relationships in the data. The identification of factors is important for at least two
reasons:

• It can provide useful theoretical insights into fundamental relationships and


patterns in the data.
• It can enable data containing highly related variables to modelled using
generalized linear models (GLMs).

A difference can be made between two different types of factor analysis, exploratory and
confirmatory. Exploratory factor analysis which is going to be used in this study
identifies relationships among variables that are often far from the obvious in the original
data. The purpose is to summarize and describe the data by grouping related variables

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together (Hutcheson and Sofroniou, 1999). ANOVA test procedure will be used to
examine the research hypotheses.

1.7 THESIS STRUCTURE


This thesis consists of five chapters. The first chapter is the introductory chapter,
summarizing what the thesis is about. The second chapter is the literature review, in
which previous theories and models related to our study topic will be analyzed. The third
chapter discusses the research design and methodology. The main topic of chapter four is
data analysis and discussion. Finally, we end with our conclusions, recommendations,
and directions for future research in the fifth chapter.

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CHAPTER TWO
Literature Review

2.1 DEFINITION OF THE E-LEARNING


E-learning is the acquisition and use of knowledge distributed and facilitated primarily by
electronic means. This form of learning currently depends on networks and computers,
but will likely evolve into systems consisting of a variety of channels (e.g., wireless,
satellite), and technologies (e.g., cellular phones, personal digital assistants) as they are
developed and adopted. E-learning can take the form of courses as well as modules and
smaller learning objects. E-learning may incorporate synchronous or asynchronous access
and may be distributed geographically with varied limits of time (Wentling, Waight,
Fleur, Wang, and Kanfer, 2000).

2.1.1 Some Notable E-Learning Definitions


Various authors on this topic have provided many definitions on e-learning. Below are a
few notable ones:

1. E-Learning is instruction that is delivered electronically, in part or wholly – via a


Web browser, through the Internet or an intranet, or through multimedia platforms
such as CD-ROM or DVD (Hall, 1997).
2. E-Learning is a structured, purposeful use of electronic system or computer in
support of the learning process (Allen, 2003).
3. E-Learning covers a wide set of applications and processes, such as Web-based
learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It
includes delivering content via the Internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio
and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, and CD-ROM (ASTD, 2001).
4. E-learning is training delivered on a computer (including CD-ROM, Internet, or
intranet) that is designed to support individual learning or organizational
performance goals (Clark and Mayer, 2003).

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5. Web-based training [an alternate term for e-learning] is the integration of
instructional practices and Internet capabilities to direct a learner toward a
specified level of proficiency in a specified competency (Conrad, 2000).

2.2 THE EVOLUTION TO E-LEARNING


The E-learning models of today are analogous to the earlier distance learning approaches.
The roots of E-learning can be, therefore, traced back to the correspondence course
model of learning. One of the first correspondence programs in the U.S. was developed at
Pennsylvania State University in 1892, where the main mission was to provide higher
education access to remote and rural areas (Banas et al., 1998). In later years, the
correspondence model was further developed into a more robust distance education
program with the integration of technology. During its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s,
school such as Penn State experimented with the use of radio to broadcast their
correspondence course lessons nationally. To keep pace with the demand generated by
the GI Bill in the 1950s, prestigious universities such as Columbia, Chicago, and Penn
State launched several distance education programs.

In recent years, the knowledge based economy has exhibited a pervasive and ever
increasing demand for innovative ways of providing education and this has led to
dramatic changes in learning technology as well as organizations. As the new economy
requires more and more people to acquire new knowledge and skills in an appropriate and
effective manner, the advancement of computer and networking technologies are
providing a diverse means to support learning in a more personalized, flexible, portable
and on-demand manner. These radical and sweeping changes in learning needs and
technology have catapulted a revolutionary transition in modern learning tools in the
backdrop of the internet, commonly referred to as e-learning. In the midst of this
transition, corporations, government organizations, and educational institutions have to
keep pace with the e-learning phenomenon and make strategic decisions on how to adopt
e-learning techniques in their unique environments (Zhang et al., 2004).

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Practitioners (Berry, 2000; Cone and Robinson, 2001; Rossett, 2002) and researchers
(Salas et al., 2002) agree that technological advances are dramatically altering the
training and development landscape. In particular, the increased use of Internet
technologies to deliver training has been heralded as the e-learning revolution (Galagan,
2002). Although precise estimates for growth in e-learning vary, published estimates
indicate that organizations have increased and will continue to increase the use of
technology to deliver training (Rossett, 2002).

2.2.1 History Timeline of E-Learning


E-learning evolved gradually through the phase of time. Computers and Internet are
major roles in bring e-learning to what it is today. Education has various standards in
many countries and regions. Software’s are designed to meet various these standards and
academic curriculum. Below we shall discuss a brief timeline on the evolution of e-
learning.

2.2.1.1 Instructor Led Training (Pre 1983)


Prior to the availability of computers everywhere and with everyone, Instructor Led
Training (ILD) was the primary training method. ILT allowed students to focus on their
studies and to come in direct contact and interaction with their instructors and classmates.
Drawbacks of ILT were high costs and time. Students had to ensure to take time off from
all other activities and be enrolled into academic institutions and spend most of their time
there. These also hiked and educational expenses whereby it was not easy for everyone to
afford these standards.

2.2.1.2 Multimedia Era (1984 to 1993)


The mid 1980’s and early 1990’s saw a much changing computer era. Most of the people
started to understand the importance of computers and it started to become a need rather
than a luxury product. Various operating systems like Windows, Macintosh for Apple
Computers with their easy to use Graphical User interface made it easy for the users to
take a much more liking towards computers. Applications also evolved with higher
standards focusing on the ease of use by the end-users. Microsoft’s Office package that

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included standards day-to-day applications like MS-Word, MS-Excel, MS-PowerPoint,
MS-Access and such added software’s made using programs easier. Out of this
applications such as PowerPoint became handier tool for e-learning. CD-ROM’s made it
easier for these programs to be carried and stored easily rather than carrying multiple
numbers of Floppy Disks. All this led to the advancement of the multimedia era.

With the use of multimedia applications and in an attempt to make training more
transportable and visually engaging, Computer Based Training (CBT) courses were
delivered via CD-ROM. This availability of anytime, anywhere via CD-ROM’s provide
time and cost savings compared to the ILT’s and gradually reshaped the training industry.

These too had its disadvantages. Despite these benefits and saving of time and cost, these
courses lacked the personal student-instructor interaction and dynamic presentations
making the experience somewhat less satisfying. Students started to find it slower and
less engaging.

2.2.1.3 Introduction of Web - (1994 - 1999)


Introduction of the internet and the World Wide Web, gave insights into training
providers to explore its potentiality and find ways to improve training. The introduction
of email, Web browsers, HTML, media players, low fidelity streamed audio/video and
simple Java began to change the face of multimedia training.

CBT’s improved with text and graphics, but the graphics provided were of low quality.
E-mails provided standards whereby CBT’s and similar contents could be reached to
students with ease, but care had to be taken for these files to be of small file size due to
the Internet bandwidth capacity.

2.2.1.4 The Next Generation Web (2000 to now)


Various technology advancements have enhanced the way e-learning has shaped today.
Application like Java and other IP (Internet Protocol) applications help streamlining rich
media. Internet has evolved with high bandwidth lines enabling users to access large files

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easily and with speed. This has led to a combination of ILT along with electronic
highway. Today, live instructor led training (ILT) via the Web can be combined with
real-time mentoring, improved learner services and up-to-date. This growth in Internet,
Web enables instructors to deliver high quality content directly to the users.

With the evolution of PDA (Personal Desktop Assistants) and Smartphone and wireless
technologies such as WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), GPRS (Global Packet
Radio Service) web based contents and emails can be accessed from anywhere, anytime.
These enhanced training solutions provide greater cost savings, higher quality of learning
experience and are the educational standards are being revolutionise and changing to
adopt e-learning as the basis for many educations levels.

2.2.2 Uses of E-Learning


E-Learning is used in everywhere and across all types of areas. Businesses – private or
public sectors, non-profit organisations, NGO’s (Non-governmental organisations) and
educational institutions. E-learning is deployed with the objective of enhancing the
students knowledge and cost saving. E-learning also helps to reach geographically
dispersed groups, to provide “anywhere-anytime” learning, to provide consistency, to
ensure compliance with regulations, and to improve productivity, to name just a few.

Businesses used e-learning for introduction or orientation learning of the organizations


and their products and services in addition to remedial training, to provide certifications,
to promote products and services, to support organisational initiatives and to keep up to
date with the latest software’s. Educational institutions used it for broadening the
academic scope. E-learning can provide much more references and learning scopes than
the ones provided in the usual text books. Class assignments can become assigned to the
students and also submitted back using e-learning portals.

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2.3 E-LEARNING DIMENSIONS

2.3.1 Attitudes
Previous researches found by and large a favourable attitude towards e-learning. For
example, Peters (1993) explored the possible benefits provided by e-learning. Results
show great conformity to deriving benefits of e-learning in both teaching and research.
However, faculty members in this study expressed certain reservations regarding the
future implementation of e-learning at the university; for example: “One day the
university will receive all its learning provision through e-learning”, “e-learning will help
faculty members develop better teamwork and inter-personal skills” and “Implementing
e-learning at the university will make faculty members flock to sophisticated
technologies in teaching”. These attitudes reflect faculty members’ lack of trust in one
another’s ability in using advanced technologies in teaching as well as in building up
teamwork spirit in the workplace.

The most appreciated aspect of Web-enhanced instruction was the enhancement of


communication opportunities with the course instructor, followed by the availability of
instructor’s presentations through the internet, getting grades from the web, online
submission of assignments, posing questions through the internet, saving time, thorough
understanding of the course materials, and enhancing communication opportunities with
classmates respectively. However, most female students preferred having a hardcopy of
the course syllabus rather than printing it from the web.

2.3.2 Advantages
Previous researches listed several advantages for e-learning. These include:

1. Obtaining grades from the Web.


2. Communication with the course instructor.
3. Discussions on course content through the discussion-board.
4. Easy access to course related materials.
5. Submitting assignments through the Web.

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6. Enhancement of course understanding.
7. Communication with classmates.

In one study (Tunison, 2001); autonomy/freedom has been listed as the most common
student response to the question of benefits of a virtual school course. Although, most
students identified the teacher as the ultimate source of information, many students
enjoyed the opportunity to work on their own and to figure out things for themselves
without having to wait for their teacher to tell them what to do. A grade-8 student
(Canadian Secondary School) wrote, “You can challenge yourself, and get a real taste of
what high school is going to be like… You can see how well you can do without a
teacher to always turn to.” Another student put a slightly different spin on this theme:
“You don’t get into trouble for doing nothing; you don’t have to log on everyday”. These
students felt empowered and in control of their own learning and they appreciated the
opportunity to make decisions about when, where, and for how long they worked on their
cyber school tasks. This student’s statement encapsulates this sub-theme. “I got to choose
when I wanted to do parts of the course, like if I was sick I could leave or come back and
do more later on. I could also do more at a time instead of having to quit when the bell
rings. I didn’t feel as rushed”.

Flexibility also has been listed as a major advantage of e-learning. Flexibility in a variety
of forms was also an often-identified positive feature of the on-line school. Students were
able to work at home, to get extra credits that did not fit into the regular school day,
and/or to take a course that was not offered at their home school, particularly for the
grade-8 students.

The advantages can be summarised as follows:


• Flexibility, accessibility, convenience.
• Multimedia capability.
• Increased reliability.
• Cross-platform capabilities.
• Web browser software and Internet connections are widely available.

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• Inexpensive worldwide distribution.
• Ease of update.
• Just-in-time, personal, adaptive, user-centric.
• Travel cost and time savings.
• Can take it multiple times (improved retention, comprehension).

2.3.3 Disadvantages
Every application has two sides. E-Learning also has its disadvantages:

• Access capabilities: Application accessibility should be ensured 24x7x365.


• Internet connection speed/bandwidth: Care should be taken to ensure that
students with low bandwidth also can access these.
• Cost (longer development time): The subsequent section will discuss about the
various implementation barriers, but one of the observed factors here is the high
cost and long time of development used in bringing an effective e-learning
platform to its users.
• Developer limitation: This is still a platform in its growing stages due to which
the developers still have many limitations to consider in developing these
platforms.
• Type of content (not all content is suitable for e-learning): It has to be ensured
that all contents provided are suitable for e-learning, but with the educational
institutions are not yet ready to adapt to the e-learning capabilities due to which
many of the contents cannot be adopted to the e-learning platforms.
• Learner motivation and initiative: Students are used to ILT’s and hence the
adoption to an e-learning platform is still at the beginning stages. For this, the
initiatives of the users have to be developed upon and the interest level has to be
increased.
• Loss of a live (physically present): Instructor may cause concern for some
learners and lack of instructors may not be perceived as a positive sign at many
educational institutions. This can be perceived negatively and hence poses a threat
to the growth of e-learning.

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• Portability: E-learning platforms should be made portable and compatible to all
computer applications via CD’s, DVD’s and Internet.

2.3.4 Implementation Barriers


Several barriers to the implementation of e-learning had previously been identified in the
literature. The examples are:

1. Increased time commitment (workload) for academic staff.


2. Development time.
3. Delivery time.
4. Lack of extrinsic incentives/rewards.
5. Lack of strategic planning and visions.
6. Lack of support.
7. Lack of training in technological developments.
8. Lack of support for pedagogical aspects of developments.

For example, in one study (Mihhailova, 2006) the main problems concerning e-learning
were summed up as follows:

• Lecturers’ lack of time. Mainly it is related to preparing the e-course and


adjusting existing courses into e-course format.
• Lack of clarity in compensation system. E-learning is different from ordinary
learning and teaching. Unfortunately, so far no clear rules have been formulated
as to how to measure and pay fairly for the work of an e-teacher.
• Uncertainty on how to measure teaching quality and little interest in co-
operation between e-course developers. It appears to be still unclear about how to
measure teaching quality in e-learning and also the rules and guidelines on how to
prepare and develop a good e-course are missing.
• Learning materials and time management. In case of ordinary learning situation,
the planning and time management is being done for the student by curriculum
administration department. But in case of e-learning course, the student

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himself/herself has to take active role in it and that necessitates much more self-
discipline and becomes one of the major issues why students drop e-courses. The
best learning results can be achieved and number of dropouts reduced if an
admixture of ICT means (Web-Cameras, videoconferencing etc.) as rich as
possible, are being used and blended and when this is done, the negative side
effects of web-learning would almost be trimmed down to make the e-learning
process an exceptional and exhilaratingly great experience.
• Loss of “teacher’s aura” and possibility of discussion. Some special subjects
(e.g. social work, law etc.) require a lot of discussion and quick feedback and that
makes the notion of turning these courses into full-fledged e-courses highly
questionable. Blended learning offers solution: lectures in virtual environment,
seminars, and practical assignments in class room – in face-to-face environment.
• Time-management. Although students find themselves at ease and working at
their own pace as a benefit of the on-line school, they struggled with
procrastination in their academic work because their teachers did not set deadlines
for their Cyber School projects, making it easy to put them off. Old students of e-
learning in particular mentioned this setback that impedes the academic
attentiveness and time consciousness.
• Technology. The technology issues followed two main themes: hardware
problems with the school’s network server and Internet bandwidth issues that
prevented students from uploading their assignment files easily.
• Lack of face-to-face communication. Some younger students expressed regret
that they were not able to sit in math class with their peers.
• Comparison to regular courses. Some students felt that their on-line course work
was more difficult than the work their peers in normal regular school were doing.
Others said that they felt their Cyber School courses took more time than that of
their peers in regular courses. One had also remarked that there was a drop in his
math score in the on-line school compared to what he had obtained in a regular
course the previous year.

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2.3.5 Differences In Attitudes Toward E-Learning Based On Gender
Previous research generally found no differences between males and females in attitudes
towards e-learning. For example (Abouchedid & Eid, 2004) found no significant
differences between males and females on the interest scale except on four items. To
substantiate, females registered a lower mean rank (124.1) in web teaching than males
(144.9) with P<0.05, i.e. they did not favour Web teaching and were also not interested
when compared with males in using technology in the classroom as well as in displaying
their course syllabus on the net. Females, however, were significantly (P<0.05) more
interested than their male counterparts in receiving e-learning training.

Generally speaking, gender does not have an obvious effect on the students’ level of
acceptance in applying e-learning for business courses. However, the means for males
almost always appeared to be higher than those for females.

2.3.6 Differences in Attitudes towards E-Learning Based On Educational Levels


Generally speaking, the experience of applying e-learning has been found to play an
important role in e-learning. For example, in one study (Cheng, 2006) the survey results
indicated that the students who opted e-learning for business courses were found to be
much more willing to utilize e-learning again. It is easy to see that students who applied
for e-learning for business courses have a positive attitude and inclination towards the e-
learning.

2.3.7 The Future


As discussed earlier, e-learning has already revolutionised the educational patterns in all
areas. E-Learning is not limited to the boundaries of academic institutions like schools,
colleges and universities but is applicable to all kinds of areas where leaning is a
continuous process. We shall now discuss as to various aspects that will be affected by
the introduction of e-learning.

15
2.3.7.1 E-Learning Web Services
Today companies offer their applications to scale and meet the requirements of small,
medium and large scale organisations. E-Learning is not just limited to academic
qualifications but to all levels were learning is a continuous process. E-Learning service
providers will also start to look at this kind of product scalability where it is affordable to
all. Use of ASP (Application Service Provider) based applications will be of greater
advantage towards e-learning. An ideal e-learning ASP-based product will enable
multiple authoring permissions with editorial hierarchy. This will not only be for content
publishers within the corporation, but also for other developers and development
companies that are partners with the organization.

Many IT courses and administration today happens over the Internet. Microsoft, Cisco
and other major software and application vendors conduct their learning and evaluations
over the Internet. Product updates and improvements from e-learning ASP based
companies will simultaneously occur across their entire client base, enabling faster
deployment, lower cost per user and more profit potential.

2.3.7.2 Rich-Media Instructors


Use of rich-media instructors will become an industry standard for all types and levels of
users throughout the enterprise. Improvements to technology are happening on a daily
basis and these improvements are helping the growth of e-learning. Content developers
are customising the e-learning platforms based on age, race, style and academic levels
and these are being deployed locally and internationally. Keep these above in view;
products are developed with a global view. Companies are leveraging into this easy to
use content creation platform, brining improvements in their product. These have also
helped to keep the development costs down and increased e-learning usage across the
enterprise. These improvements will ultimately result in smarter employees and add more
money to the bottom line.

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2.3.7.3 Mobile Learning
Mobile learning or e-learning, is another potential area of growth and catching the market
a fast pace. Ease of use is one of the major focuses in this field. It will ensure that these
kind of media can be accessed easily with very little bandwidth requirement. The
platform of choice in this will be Flash based. Macromedia Flash has helped the graphic
developers to bring high quality content onto various platforms. This will bring life-like
instructors and bring classrooms to the students and deliver e-learning with greater
results.

2.3.7.4 EduCommerce
In a business environment where higher sales are expected all the time, e-learning tools
will play a big role. Sales happen today over the web in many areas. Although this is
happening and growing at a constant pace one of the main concerns of the customers is
their requirement to know more about the product. This every growing thirst for
knowledge on the product and services can only be covered with e-learning. Knowledge
of the products and services offered have to be presented in the most basic and technical
levels acceptable for customers of all age and knowledge levels.

The way to quench this thirst for customer knowledge is by providing rich-media
solutions with very little bandwidth consumption. Focus has to be always kept that all
customers do not have high bandwidth internet and hence quality, informative and
interactive contents have to provided under low bandwidth.

2.3.7.5 Knowledge Transfer


Employee training is an area that all successful companies today focus in. Employees are
the capital of a company and these successful ventures ensure that they invest into
training the employees. Many times this is done by sending the employees to various
places. Train-the-trainer and employee-to-employee knowledge transfer are also in effect.
E-learning is now being customized to meet the requirement of the particular
organizations and their departments. This is targeted at delivering quality and in depth
knowledge specific to the organization and especially for the employees and their work.

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2.4 E-LEARNING TENDS TO FALL INTO ONE OF THE FOUR CATEGORIES
Providing content (often corporate and IT training): Within this category there are three
subcategories:
1. Companies that develop content and sell to all who choose to enrol.
2. Those that aggregate content developed by others.
3. Those that custom-design content for the specific needs of an organization.

Three organizations that evaluate on-line content are LGuide.com, Brandon-Hall.com and
Arthur Andersen Consulting.

Providers of learning platforms: Learning platforms are the infrastructure that facilitates
the development and delivery of on-line courses. Providers include Blackboard.com,
focusing on the tertiary market, Saba.com, Docent.com and Mindlever.com, focuses more
on the corporate market.

Providers of consulting services: To advise institutions on how to establish and develop


an on-line learning initiative.

A complete package: Some e-learning companies are attempting to do all the above but
apparently some are finding this difficult as they acquire other companies that offer a
service that differs from their own and must try to incorporate multiple services and
organizational structures too rapidly.

2.5 Examples of Seminal Studies in E-learning


Many studies have been conducted in this field by many authors. Below we shall
highlight a few of the studies.

2.5.1 Newton’s Study (2003)


The paper deals with the issues perceived as being important “barriers” to using
technology in teaching and learning within the academic staff community working in
higher education in the UK.

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Methodology and Data Analysis:
The empirical data was gathered using questionnaires distributed to 300 academicians in
the Information Technology sector of UK. The questionnaire was divided into three main
sections: (1) teaching experience using technology; (2) staff perception on usefulness of
technology; (3) additional comments and suggestions. The respondents were selected via
institutional websites. This study focused primarily in the Information Technology field.
The statistical software package SPSS was used to analyze and present the data.

Result:
A virtual learning environment does not necessarily mean that they do not feel that these
initiatives are important. The study shows that although a lack of clarity is evident in
distance learning, yet this shows that there is a willingness to participate in this activity
which reflects the intrinsic values played by academic staff on teaching and learning.
Virtual learning environment barriers are not related to institutional support.
Organisational encouragement is important towards the progression of innovation.
Organisation should ensure that effective strategies are in place prior to implementing
web based distance learning.

2.5.2 Cheng’s Study (2006)


This research thus used a technical college in Taiwan to survey students’ level of
acceptance in applying e-learning for business courses. The purpose of the study was to
provide a clear reference for developing and promoting e-learning in all business courses.

Methodology and Data Analysis:


This research adopted a questionnaire survey in three stages. The first stage was to
receive the inputs from professional academicians in the related field. The second stage
targeted students from various departments; 45 in total. The final stage was a second
batch of students excluding the first 45 from the various departments and this batch
totalled to 180 students. The data was tested using Chi-square test.

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Result:
E-learning will not reduce the difficulty of the coursework nor improve students’ grades.
1. Gender does not have an obvious effect on the students’ level of acceptance in
applying e-learning for business courses.
2. The experience of applying e-learning for business courses played a key factor in
affecting the level of acceptance.
3. School systems do not play a key factor in affecting students’ level of acceptance
in applying e-learning for business courses.
4. Computer skills do not play a key role affecting students’ level of acceptance in
applying E-learning for business courses.
5. The experience of applying e-learning greatly influences students’ level of
acceptance in applying e-learning for business courses.

2.5.3 Downey et al.’s Study (2005)


The purpose of this study was to investigate possible relationships between national
culture and the usability of an e-learning system. The theoretical frameworks that were
used to guide this study were Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and Nielsen’s usability
attributes.

Methodology and Data Analysis:


The study was done to find out the usability and culture variables that might influence the
relationship between national culture and the usability of an e-learning system.

This section describes the methodology aspects of the study. Included in these
descriptions are discussions on the study’s variables, population and sample,
instrumentation, data collection and data analysis procedure. The Usability variable under
Downey’s study were Learnability (ease of learning), error (rate of errors), and
satisfaction (user satisfaction) were the three usability attributes that were used to guide
the usability aspect of this study (Nilsen, 1993). In this study, error rate was included in
learnability.

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The population for this study was composed of thirty attendees in an international
workshop on training improvement held in Penang, Malaysia. These people were selected
for this study because of the attendees’ diverse cultural backgrounds and their underlying
interest in all forms of training and instructional delivery. The samples consisted of
various nationalities from Canada, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, India, Indonesia,
Italy, Libya, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

Result:
The study targeted major areas “Power Distance and the Usability of an E-learning
System”; “Relationship between Individualism and Collectivism and Usability of an E-
learning System”; “Relationship between femininity/masculinity and the Usability of an
E-learning System”; “Relationship between Uncertainty Avoidance and the Usability of
an E-learning System”. The results were as follows:

1. The higher an individual’s power distance score (e.g. greatest acceptance of


unequal distribution of power), the higher their time and clicks in the e-learning
tasks.
2. Individuals from collectivist societies found the system more satisfying to use
versus those from individualistic societies.
3. With regard to the femininity/masculinity factor, there was no significant
relationship with any of the three usability variables. For all the three variables the
relationship was negative but very small.
4. Participants who were least likely to accept risk were also the ones who made the
most errors in navigating the e-learning system.

2.5.4 Aldhafeeri et al.’s Study (2006)


The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ opinions of the impact of e-
learning on the public education system in Kuwait.

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Methodology and Data Analysis:
The framework set out in this study is grounded on the assumption that the use of the
Internet in schools introduces some new competencies and leads to a new level of
standard that reflects knowledge and skills contained in the curriculum. The hypothesis
discussed about E-learning not having a statistically significant effect on making students
competent in the areas of:

• Basic operations and computer concepts.


• The ethical and human issues of technology.
• Productivity tools.
• Research tools.
• Problem-solving and decision-making tools.
• Communication tools.

Data was collected using questionnaires designed using the Likert 5 point scale from
Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. The study was done in Kuwait within the Kuwait
teachers from randomly selected public schools. The sampling was done on grade span,
school gender (schools in Kuwait are segregated by gender), and school districts (the
Kuwait educational system is divided into six school districts). Six hundred
questionnaires were sent out with an 83%.

The purpose of the testing the hypotheses was to know which requirements of the e-
learning competency areas could be met upon implementing e-learning in Kuwait public
schools. From the data collected from teachers and students, the study revealed that the
personnel involved in the educational system in Kuwait ought to consider the e-learning
competency areas upon implementing e-learning in Kuwait’s educational system.

Result:
Six e-learning areas were tested in this study. These were:

1. Basic operations and computer concepts.

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2. Ethical and human issues
3. Productivity tools
4. Research tools
5. Problem-solving and decision-making tools
6. Communication tools.

This was done to understand which requirements of the e-learning competency areas
could be met upon implementing e-learning on Kuwaiti Public Schools. The importance
of e-learning vests upon the Kuwait Ministry of Education (MOE). MOE should have the
basic infrastructure in place and support from Political areas and adequate funding. E-
Learning should be recognised as a guide to standard learning in curriculum
developments. The results also show the gender differences in communication where
male school teachers scored higher than female school teachers.

2.5.5 Gupta et al.’s Study (2004)


The aim of this study was to determine the attitudes about the e-course website of third
year dental students and members of teaching staff. The level of access and the successful
aspects of the e-course website were specifically sought.

Methodology and Data Analysis:


A questionnaire was used to obtain the opinions from students about the e-course
website. This questionnaire was piloted and refined before being distributed to the third
year students (65 students). The third year students were selected because most of the
content on the E-course website relates to specialty teaching, which takes place mainly in
the third year and early fourth year of the dental program. All responses to the
questionnaire were treated anonymously and this was stated on each questionnaire.
Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were carried out with four members of staff,
representing contributors and non-contributors to the e-course, to ascertain their opinions
and attitudes towards the e-course website. Each interview was recorded on an audiotape
and transcribed for theme analysis.

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Result:
A total of 57 questionnaires were completed, giving an 88% response rate. Out of the
total responses received, 95% of the students sample reported using the internet. From the
study it was understood that 79% wanted the e-course to be used as a supplement to the
undergraduate program and a few 7% wanted the E-course to replace formal lectures.
Students recognized the limitations of the E-course and the importance of the lectures.

2.5.6 Douglas and Van Der Vyver’s Study (2004)


This paper described the results of a designed experiment to measure the effectiveness of
two pedagogical approaches in an e-learning environment.

Methodology and Data Analysis:


The hypothesis in this study was to find out if ‘making all the text’s multiple choice
questions with answers, available to off-campus students enrolled in the database unit
improve student performance on the final examination?’ focusing on three areas:
1. Multiple choice portions.
2. Theory portion.
3. Practice portion.
To answer the major research question and test the associated hypotheses in this study, a
two group multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to analyze the data.

Result:
The multivariate statistics indicated a significant model in other words the treatment was
significant. Duncan’s Multiple Range test and Tukey’s Studentized Range (HSD)
resulted in significant differences between the treatment group and the control group for
the two dependent variables representing the scores for the multiple choice and theory
parts of the final examination. These conclusions are the same as for the t-tests. However,
the Duncan and Tukey tests did not indicate a significant difference for the practice
(programming) scores on the final examination, whereas the t-test found a significant
difference at the 0.1 level of significance. Thus, H1 and H2 are supported but H3 is not
supported.

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2.5.7 Alghazo’s Study (2006)
This study aimed at investigating students’ attitudes toward web-enhanced instruction in
an educational technology course taught in the College of Education at the United Arab
Emirates University.

Methodology and Data Analysis:


This study was done in the Middle East region within the United Arab Emirates within a
student sample with an age range between 19 and 21 of female gender totalling to 66
students. 88% of them own a personal computer, 26% prefer reading from paper and
74% prefer reading from a screen. At the time of the study, there were no sections of this
course offered for male students and hence only female students were selected. Data
collection was done using modified version of the Web-based Instruction Scale
developed by Sanders and Morrison-Shetlar (2001) and a Likert type response scaling
asking participants to specify the degree of agreement or disagreement with items about
their attitude toward Web-based instruction and two items as free-response questions.

Results:
This study dealt with the following issues: student attitudes toward Web-enhanced
instruction, the effect of learning preference on attitude toward web-enhanced instruction,
effect of previous experience with Web-enhanced instruction on attitude, advantages of
Web-enhanced instruction as seen by female students, and obstacles to Web-enhanced
instruction as seen by female students.

The results from the total 66 female respondents revealed that:

• They have positive attitudes toward Web-enhanced instruction


• 26% preferred reading from screen, 74% preferred reading from papers,
• 42% had previous experience with Web-enhanced instruction, and 58% did not
have such experience
• Students see many advantages of Web-enhanced instruction such as obtaining
grades, communication with instructors, discussing course contents, easy access

25
to course related materials, submitting assignments and enhancement of course
understanding and communication with classmates.
• The difficulties perceived were in accessing the course from home, limited
computers in the labs and poor internet bandwidth.

2.5.8 Abouchedid and Eid’s Study (2004)


This study demonstrates the problems and possibilities of implementing e-learning in
Arab educational institutions through analyzing the attitudes of 294 university professors
in Lebanon that follows the US credit-system of education, towards e-learning
dimensions.

Methodology and Data Analysis:


73.7% were males and 25% were females from various faculties. Questionnaires were
forwarded to these full-time faculty members through the deans. The response rate was
95.6%.

83.3% of the respondents were daily users of computers, including internet facilities with
the rest as occasional users. The overall response showed a positive attitude towards e-
learning. The study revealed that males registered a significantly higher mean ranking
than their female counterparts in their belief that e-learning will help faculty members
disseminate information more rapidly through e-learning than through traditional
approaches to learning. Males have also registered favourable views on the benefits of e-
learning by agreeing more than. As for the benefit dimension, no significant differences
were found between daily and occasional users.

Result:
Turning to gender and frequency of using computers, considerable variations were found
between males and females as well as between daily and occasional users of computers
on their mean ranking of the effectiveness of e-learning dimension.

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2.6 KUWAIT AND E-LEARNING
According to a study released by Madar Research Group, the ICT (Information
Communication and Technology) infrastructure forecast of Kuwait for the years 2002-
2005 were as shown in Figure 2.1. Kuwait has paid good attention to developing its
Information Technology and Communication networks and the focus in the educational
field is especially strong. The following sections will discuss about the Internet, E-
Government, E-Commerce and Educations.

Figure 2.1: Kuwait Telephone, Internet and PC Users growth between 2002 and 2005
Source: Madar Research Group, 2003

2.6.1 Kuwait Internet Backbone


The Internet backbone of Kuwait is via a submarine cable, fibre optic and terrestrial
satellite networks, but there are no Internet exchanges or a major Internet backbone
within the state.

27
The GCC consortium has created a Fibre Optic Gulf (FOG) network, of which Kuwait is
a part. FOG consists of a 1,300 kilometre cable system jointly owned and operated by
operators in Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The bandwidth offered on
FOG is 5GBPS is capable of carrying 180,000 telephone calls or equivalent data circuits
between the four countries to other parts of the world simultaneously. FOG was
inaugurated in 1998 and built at a cost of US $283 million. FOG provides gateway access
into Fiber Optic Link around the Globe, with a landing site in the UAE.

FOG is the main gateway for Internet, but apart from these Kuwait has connectivity links
with Arabsat, Intelsat and Inmarsat. These help carry both voice and data traffic
originating from Kuwait to the Middle East region. Local Internet access is available
through dial-up, leased line, ISDN and DSL connections.

By end 2002, Internet penetration in Kuwait stood at 13.2 percent (slightly above the 10
percent world average), with the country's 320,000 Internet users accessing the Internet
through three major ISPs and 13 sub-ISPs. Businesses are relying heavily on Internet
usage and this is a healthy sign for the growth of Internet and electronic applications such
as e-learning, the focus of our study. According to the report released by Madar Research
to major ISPs, show that over 11,000 subscribers access the Internet through DSL lines
(9,500 from home, 1,500 from work), while 650 use leased lines. Additionally, there are
150 ISDN subscriptions.

This increased use has helped more ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) to come into
existence in Kuwait. Currently there are four ISP’s in Kuwait which are closely
monitored by the Ministry of Communication (MOC). Apart from the four ISP’s there are
50 sub-ISP’s as well. There has been a healthy growth of Internet Cafés as well. This
competition has helped in Internet cost reductions which in turn has led to a considerable
rise in the number of Internet users. Mobile Service providers such as MTC and
WATANIYA are also providing Internet to their customers. This helps Notebook/Laptop
users to access internet from anywhere in the country within their signal range. Hotels
and other public places are offering Internet either free or at a very reduced priced via

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Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). With the introduction of Internet everywhere
(either via Mobile service providers or WLAN), most of the students prefer to do their
learning in coffee shops, cafés, and other such public areas. This trend has increased
rapidly in the past few years and continues to do so. (ESCWA, 2005).

Table 2.1 PC Use Indicators

2002 2005

PC Installed Base 300,000 456,000

PC Penetration Rates (percent) 12.41 18.8

Source: Madar Research Group, 2003

2.6.2 Awareness and Education in Kuwait


International Computer Driving License (ICDL) is a mandatory course to be undergone
and obtained by all teachers as per a decree issued by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Education
in May 2002. According to the decree, any teacher who is not a holder of ICDL by
academic year 2007/2008 will be disqualified from practicing their profession.

An early initiative to expose teachers to the benefits of distance education was conducted
in November 2002 through an online course conducted between MOE and the US State
Department, in collaboration with the University of Oregon and the American English
Institute. The first online course, attended by 40 Kuwaiti educators, was an introduction
to Web based resources for English language teaching with a special emphasis on
secondary school level.

These courses helped the teachers to learn more about computers and also in how to use
them as teaching aids. This improved the teaching environment. Teachers on weekly
basis participated in dynamic and insightful online discussions on wide range of
educational topics. They also gained knowledge into the use of web-based instructional
materials. This helped them segregate topics based on age, language and culture of their
students thereby providing personal care and attention to imparting knowledge to their

29
the students. These computer aided teaching was used along side the existing classroom
texts and resources with an objective to enhance the knowledge of each of the topics.

This is another positive step taken by the Kuwait Ministry of Education to ensure the use
of computers and encourage e-learning. It helps the teachers and students to stay in trend
and focus of development and to move in its path for improvement in education and
knowledge levels.

2.6.3 Computers in Schools


With decree such as the ICDL passed, the government had also ensured the use of
computers in schools and have stressed on this matter by way of decree.

“Students constitute around one fifth of the population. In 2002, the Ministry of
Education (MOE) initiated the 25-year plan to modernize the education system, in
particular, installing electronic education “Education Net” to link public schools and
libraries to a single network, and aim to increase the use of PCs in the classroom in all
620 public schools, 34 % of which were covered by the Ministry of Education and the
Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS). Short-term goals include
covering elementary schools in 2003, and achieve a ratio of one PC for every eight
students by 2006-2007” (ESCWA, 2005).

KFAS has also accelerated efforts to provide computers to schools and colleges starting
from Kuwait's kindergarten schools. The government has been subsidizing projects with
the aim to achieve a ratio of 1 PC per 8 students in public schools and private learning
institutions by 2006-2007. Schools also have a prerequisite to learn Computer Science in
schools. The new Omar Center at the Kuwait National English School has a 1:1 student-
computer ratio and a fully networked environment.

Education and the thirst for knowledge is not confined to the boundaries of the Schools,
Colleges and Universities. Training centers such as New Horizons, Infocenter and such
offer certifications in various Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Sun and Autodesk environments,

30
among a slew of technical and end-user courses. The Kuwait Institute for Scientific
Research's (KISR) continuing education program is offering short term IT courses at a
nominal fees. Courses include Introduction to AutoCAD, Introduction to Oracle
RDBMS, Access, and Microsoft Office modules, Visual Basic, Windows 2000 and Java.
Kuwait University is also a certified Cisco Regional Training Academy and IBM E-
Business Academy, and it currently offers Microsoft Academic Programs and Oracle Job
Track.

2.6.4 Kuwait University Education


“Kuwait has two higher learning institutions, the Kuwait University and the Public
Authority for Applied Education and Training. The Department of Mathematics and
Computer Science in Kuwait University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in
Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. There are about 50
faculty members in the department whose research interests cover a wide spectrum in
mathematics and computer science. The department maintains its own computer center,
which is equipped with several Sun and SGI workstations, complementing Kuwait
University's computer center that uses IBM mainframe and mini-computers (IBM9000
and VAX9000)”.

These computer centers are used by students to develop and test applications on various
platforms. These common operating systems used range from Microsoft Windows, Linux
and UNIX. The development tools used are ANSI, C++, Pascal, and Visual Basic, Visual
C++. (ESCWA, 2005)

Table 2.2: IT Opportunity Evaluation


2002 2005 CAGR
(in Millions, US$) (in Millions, US$) (2002-2005)
Software products 90 113 8 percent
Computer equipment 160 213 10 percent
IT Services 100 136 11 percent
Data Communications 60 82 11 percent
TOTAL 410 544 9.9 percent
Source: Madar Research Group, 2003

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2.6.5 Kuwait E-Government Plans
The vision of the e-government is to link various government offices into a single Wide
Area Network (WAN) without disturbing the internal structure of each government
institution, thus ensuring individuality within the each entity and providing a one point
access to the public. This kind of centralisation is a very tedious task which requires lots
of money and time and Kuwait is half way through this project. It is scheduled to go
online in 2007. This project is under the supervision of Microsoft as is expected to cost
around US$450 million, according to Madar Research (2005).

This is the governments initiative to ensure that Kuwait is in pace with the growing
technology. The focus of being electronic thus does not limit itself towards education but
stems from grass root levels in educational institutions and moves upward to all fields.
Hence it is a combination of interest whereby Kuwait ensures that its generation is
imparted with the right technology knowledge so as to use and benefit from it.

2.6.6 E-Schools in Kuwait


The Kuwait University has five main campuses (Khefan, Khaldiya, Jabriya, Adaliya, and
Shuwaik) with each campus approximately within five kilometres distance from another.
This kind of focus in networking has been focused so that the university can utilise
distance learning. Distance learning is where classrooms held elsewhere with the
instructor at one particular location and students can be present in different areas of the
campus or even access from home. Kuwait stumbling block of having separate
classrooms for males and females has been overcome with the introduction of distance
learning. Hence, the instructors do not have to do duplicate their lectures based on male
or female classrooms.

Kuwait University’s new classrooms also are equipped with provisions for cameras
whereby the teaching sessions can be recorded and stored in the digital library. This can
then be accessed via Video-on-Demand (VoD) facility. This helps the students to access
the lectures at anytime at their own leisure and convenience and multiple times.

32
Students have to register for free in the Kuwait University for academic courses and also
to receive information’s through the Internet. Currently the services are limited to faculty,
staff and students. At a later stage this will also be introduced to parents of the students as
well. The Kuwait University library has been completely automated whereby students
can access and download all academic related articles from the library and download
them to their flash drives and take it with them for future reading. A student portal also
helps them access all their daily applications through a completely customized web
interface. This customized student portal helps them to stay up-to-date with University
news, calendar of events and also personalised communications with their teachers.

Kuwait University is equipped with multiple Gigabit Ethernet all around its campus and
in addition have installed WLAN to ensure access from anywhere within the University
boundary. This helps the students to be in a café, meeting areas and restaurants and do
their work simultaneously.

Kuwait is also ensuring that public, intermediate and secondary schools to be equipped
and installed with e-learning. Subjects covered in the e-learning portal will be English,
Mathematics and Science with other subjects to be introduced gradually. The Ministry of
Education hopes to roll out the project to all intermediate and secondary schools by
school year 2006-2007. (ESCWA, 2005)

2.7 SUMMARY
The literature review has shed light on the importance of e-learning from various aspects.
The initial section of this chapter shed light into the evolution and current standards of e-
learning with benefits and also some of the disadvantages. The later section talked about
the different studies done on e-learning by various authors. Only a few of the many
studies have been selected to highlight the fact on the importance and focus provided by
various authors and educational institutions on e-learning. The final part of the chapter
particularly focuses on Kuwait and the importance that Kuwait emphasises into e-
learning and other aspects of electronic applications like e-commerce and e-government.

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It can be summarised that e-learning is the standards of education today, as it opens the
doors to learning focusing on the individuals priorities and learning skills. E-Learning
tolls can be customised to meet all learning patterns, age, culture and varied subjects. E-
Learning is used in schools, businesses, government organizations, non-government
organisations, in short everywhere where there is a thirst for knowledge. Kuwait has
taken the right steps required to attain this objective, but needs to move faster to stay in
pace. In the following chapters we shall focus on the empirical studies by collecting data
from various educational institutions and relating them to our objective. Prior to which
the subsequent chapter will discuss about the methodology used in collecting the various
literature and empirical data.

34
CHAPTER THREE
Research design and methodology

3.1 INTRODUCTION
In this chapter we are going to introduce our problem statement, research objectives, and
methodological framework. In addition, research design and data analysis methods are
also supposed to be conducted to analyze Kuwaiti students’ attitudes towards e-learning.

3.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT


Different researchers from different parts of the world explored the attitudes toward e-
learning. In researching this field, we found out that there is little research efforts in this
field applied in Kuwait. This can be related to the late introduction of the e-learning
system in Kuwait. By studying the attitudes towards e-learning in Kuwait, we want to fill
this research gap in an Arab non-Western context. It is important to mention that the topic
of e-learning witnessed significant research in many western countries. There is no
reason to conclude that the finding could not be applicable to Kuwait.

3.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE


In this study we aim to analyze Kuwait students’ attitudes and expectations toward e-
learning, examine the impact of some variables such as gender and educational level on
the attitudes towards e-learning in Kuwait; and test the validity of the recently developed
e-learning scale in a non-Western context.

3.4 METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK


The model of the research is included in this section. It contains the research hypotheses,
target population and sampling methods, and the research limitations.

3.4.1 Research Hypotheses


As the e-learning is a new system, we hypothesize that:

35
H1: Kuwaiti students will report negative attitudes towards e-learning as expressed by
lower scores on the e-learning scale.
Previous studies showed no difference in attitudes towards e-learning based on gender. It
was thus hypothesized that:

H2: There will be no significant differences in attitudes towards e-learning based on the
respondent’s gender.

Previous studies found significant differences in attitudes towards e-learning based on


educational level. It follows that:
H3: There will be a significant difference in attitudes towards e-learning based on the
respondent’s educational level.

3.4.2 Target Population and Sampling Method


The questionnaire used in this study was an attractive two-page booklet with a cover page
of brief instructions (see Appendix B). Before conducting the comprehensive survey, a
pre-test with 50 students was conducted. The final version of the questionnaire included
two sections. The first section consisted of demographic data such as age, gender, and
education level. The second section covered the fifteen-item e-learning scale.

Collecting data by mail surveys in the Arab world has been very difficult (Nasif, Al-
Daeaj, Ebrahimi & Thibodeau, 1991). In order to ensure an acceptable number of
responses, a convenience sample was used. A network of contacts cooperated in
distributing and returning the questionnaire. The questionnaires were administered to
groups of students who completed them in the classroom. Students responded voluntarily
and were not compensated for their participation.

A total of 300 questionnaires were distributed. Confidentiality of responses was


emphasized in the cover letter with the title “Confidential survey” and in the text. To
reduce social desirability artefacts, the cover letter indicated that the survey seeks
“attitudes towards e-learning” and nothing else. 24 out of 300 questionnaires were

36
discarded because the respondents failed to complete the research instrument
appropriately or because they indicated that they are non-Kuwaitis.

3.4.3 Research Limitations


In the process of preparing this study, we faced some problems and obstacles that caused
some limitations to our study. One of these limitations was time. The time of collecting
data was limited, and hence, the sample size selected was relatively small. Results,
therefore, had to be interpreted scrupulously.

3.5 RESEARCH DESIGN


An empirical study was conducted to analyze Kuwaiti students’ attitudes towards e-
learning. Three hypotheses were developed to achieve the research objectives. To collect
the data, a questionnaire was distributed in different areas in Kuwait.

3.5.1 Data Collection Instrument and Sourced


The questionnaire is a fifteen-item scale that measures attitudes towards e-learning
(Cheng, 2006). This scale consists of three dimensions that measure individual
perspective, learning effects and class management within an electronic educational
system. The reported reliability alpha of the scale in Cheng’s study is 0.8076.

3.6 DATA ANALYSIS METHOD


Factor analysis will be used as the main procedure of data analysis. Factor analysis is a
technique that represents a number of variables in term of a smaller number of factors, or
latent variables as they are often referred to. A factor is a continuous latent variable
which is assumed to account for relationships in the data. The identification of factors is
important for at least two reasons. Firstly, it can provide useful theoretical insights into
underlying relationships and patterns in the data, and secondly, it can enable data
containing highly correlated variables to modelled using Generalized Linear Models
(GLMs). A distinction can be made between two different types of factor analysis,
exploratory and confirmatory. Exploratory factor analysis which is going to be used in
this study identifies relationships among variables which are often far from obvious in the

37
original data. The purpose is to summarize and concisely describe the data by grouping
correlated variables together (Hutcheson and Sofronios, 1999). One-way ANOVA test
procedure will be used to test the research hypotheses.

38
CHAPTER FOUR
Data Analysis, Findings and Discussion

4.1 DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS


A total of 276 questionnaires were collected. The data were grouped according to
different demographic factors such as gender, age, and educational level. Table 4.1(a, b
and c) show the sample’s different descriptive statistics.

Table 4.1(a): Descriptive statistics based on educational level.

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent

Valid 1.00 134 48.6 49.6 49.6


2.00 32 11.6 11.9 61.5
3.00 44 15.9 16.3 77.8
4.00 60 21.7 22.2 100.0
Total 270 97.8 100.0
Missing System 6 2.2
Total 276 100.0
Note: 1 = First year; 2 = Second year; 3 = Third year; 4 = Fourth year.

Table 4.1(b): Descriptive statistics based on gender.

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent


Valid Male 158 57.2 57.2 57.2
Female 118 42.8 42.8 100.0
Total 276 100.0 100.0

Table 4.1(c): Descriptive statistics based on age.


Standard
N Minimum Maximum Mean Deviation
Age 274 17.00 44.00 24.6715 5.62973
Valid N (list wise) 274

39
4.1.1 Reliability
Reliability is the instrument’s ability to provide consistent results in repeated uses
(Gatewood and Field, 1990). The basic measure for reliability is the Cronbach’s alpha. In
this study the fifteen-item e-learning attitudes scale has an acceptable coefficient alpha (α
= 0.834). Nunnally (1978) suggests that an alpha value of 0.7 is sufficient. According to
table (4.2) it was found that every item of the ten items of the e-learning attitudes scale
has a less Cronbach’s alpha than the calculated scale alpha (α = 0.834). This means that
no single item in the scale suppresses the alpha level. Therefore, the e-learning attitudes
scale seems to be a reliable measure of attitudes towards e-learning.

Table 4.2: Item-Total Statistics


Corrected
Scale Mean if Item Scale Variance if Cronbach's Alpha
Item-Total
Deleted Item Deleted if Item Deleted
Correlation

EL1 53.7333 46.278 .485 .823

EL2 53.6593 44.404 .640 .814

EL3 56.4148 56.110 -.389 .872

EL4 53.9259 43.638 .729 .809

EL5 54.2074 42.395 .673 .809

EL6 54.2296 43.776 .637 .813

EL7 53.7704 44.014 .644 .813

EL8 54.0741 42.418 .673 .809

EL9 53.9852 42.899 .740 .807

EL10 54.0519 44.005 .634 .814

EL11 54.2370 43.379 .541 .819

EL12 54.2370 41.713 .683 .808

EL13 53.5704 44.856 .616 .816

EL14 53.6148 46.126 .490 .823

EL15 56.4667 58.332 -.503 .883

40
4.1.2 Validity
Examining the reliability and validity of the e-learning attitudes scale in Kuwait was one
of the objectives of the study. It is important to analyze the measurement instrument
reliability and validity for different reasons. For instance, it provides confidence that the
empirical findings accurately reflect the proposed constructs. Also, the empirically-
validated scales can be used directly in other studies in the field for different populations
and for longitudinal studies (Mostafa, 2005).

Measuring the validity of the e-learning attitudes scale was done through several
measures. As it was mentioned previously, the scale was factor-analyzed by principal
component analysis. The results showed a three-factor solution with a 66 percent of the
variance explained (Table 4.3). This percentage is acceptable in social sciences (Hair et
al, 1998).

Table 4.3: Total Variance Explained.


Rotation Sums of
Initial Eigenvalues
Component Squared Loadings
Cumulative
Total % of Variance Total
%

1 7.217 48.114 48.114 5.535

2 1.538 10.252 58.366 4.697

3 1.151 7.673 66.039 4.623

4 .879 5.858 71.896

5 .805 5.369 77.265

6 .655 4.370 81.635

7 .528 3.519 85.154

8 .478 3.190 88.344

9 .405 2.700 91.044

10 .359 2.396 93.440

41
11 .308 2.056 95.496

12 .214 1.430 96.925

13 .173 1.156 98.082

14 .152 1.011 99.093

15 .136 .907 100.000

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.

As shown in Table 4.3, the eigenvalue for the first factor is 7.217 which explains 48114
of the variance, whereas the second factor explains 10.252 which an eigenvalue 1.538.
The third factor explains 7.673 which an eigenvalue 1.151.

Scree plots which show eigenvalues plotted against component number has also been
proposed as a method of identifying the number of factors required (Cattel, 1996). The
important thing to note from these plots is the discontinuity between the slopes of the line
linking the later principal components (components which account for little variance) and
the slope linking the earlier, more important components. From figure 4.1, it can be seen
that components 4 to 15 fall roughly on a straight line and that components 1 to 3 depart
from this line. The discontinuity suggests that the first three components might be
interesting with regards to the amount of variance they account for and should, therefore,
be retained in the analysis. The interpretation of the Scree plot is, however, not always so
clear-cut and can be open to differing interpretation. As with the eigenvalue, it can only
be used as a rough guide as to the optimal number of factors required to describe the data.

42
Scree Plot

e
lu
a
v4
n
e
g
i
E

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Component Number

Figure 4.1 Scree Plot

4.1.3 The Kaiser-Mayer-Olkin (KMO) Measure and Bartlett Test


The Kaiser-Mayer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy was used to measure the
adequacy of the sample for extraction of the two factors. The KMO value found (0.847)
is generally considered acceptable (Kim and Mueller, 1978). The Bartlett test of
sphericity was used to test the multivariate normality of the set distributions. A
significance value of (p<0.05) indicate that the data do not produce an identity matrix or
differ significantly from identity (George and Mallery, 2000). The analysis focusing on
the sphericity of the distribution allowed us to reject the hypothesis according to which
the matrix would be unitary (Chi square = 2598.226, df = 105, p < 0.001). This result

43
implies that the data are thus approximately multivariate normal and acceptable for factor
analysis.

4.2 HYPOTHESES TESTING


In this section of chapter four, the research hypotheses will be tested. The independent-
samples T-test will be used to test the research hypotheses to compare the mean scores of
two different groups of people or conditions.

4.2.1 Negative attitudes towards e-learning hypothesis


As the e-learning is a new system, we predicted negative attitudes towards the system in
Kuwait. First we present the descriptive statistics for the scale items in table 4.4 and then
formally test whether the score items differ significantly from the theoretical scale mean
(3 points on the Likert-type scale).

Table 4.4: Descriptive Statistics


Standard
Minimum Maximum Mean
N Deviation
EL1 276 2.00 5.00 4.4203 .74161
EL2 276 1.00 5.00 4.4928 .78390
EL3 276 1.00 5.00 1.7391 .87223
EL4 276 2.00 5.00 4.2246 .77242
EL5 276 1.00 5.00 3.9493 .95211
EL6 276 2.00 5.00 3.9203 .85333
EL7 276 1.00 5.00 4.3841 .82084
EL8 276 1.00 5.00 4.0797 .95011
EL9 276 1.00 5.00 4.1522 .84339
EL10 272 2.00 5.00 4.1029 .83537
EL11 276 1.00 5.00 3.9203 1.01667
EL12 276 1.00 5.00 3.9275 1.01364
EL13 274 2.00 5.00 4.5766 .76290
EL14 276 2.00 5.00 4.5290 .75503
EL15 276 1.00 5.00 1.7101 .98868
Valid N (list wise) 270

44
To formally test whether the score items differ significantly from the theoretical scale
mean (3 points on the Likert-type scale), a one-sample t-test was performed. Results are
shown in Table 4.5.

From Table 4.5 it can be seen that all the scores on all the items are significantly higher
than the scales’ theoretical mean (Note that items 3 and 15 are reverse-scored so lower
values indicate positive attitudes towards e-learning. This result does not support H1
which states that Kuwaiti students will have negative attitudes towards e-learning system.
Put differently, the overwhelming majority of respondents in our sample have positive
attitudes towards e-learning.

Table 4.5: One-Sample Two-tailed T-Test Results

Test Value = 3

Mean 95% Confidence Interval of


T df Sig. (2-tailed)
Difference the Difference

Lower Upper

EL1 31.817 275 .000 1.42029 1.3324 1.5082


EL2 31.636 275 .000 1.49275 1.3999 1.5856
EL3 -24.016 275 .000 -1.26087 -1.3642 -1.1575
EL4 26.340 275 .000 1.22464 1.1331 1.3162
EL5 16.564 275 .000 .94928 .8365 1.0621
EL6 17.917 275 .000 .92029 .8192 1.0214
EL7 28.012 275 .000 1.38406 1.2868 1.4813
EL8 18.879 275 .000 1.07971 .9671 1.1923
EL9 22.696 275 .000 1.15217 1.0522 1.2521
EL10 21.775 271 .000 1.10294 1.0032 1.2027
EL11 15.038 275 .000 .92029 .7998 1.0408
EL12 15.202 275 .000 .92754 .8074 1.0476
EL13 34.209 273 .000 1.57664 1.4859 1.6674
EL14 33.643 275 .000 1.52899 1.4395 1.6185
EL15 -21.674 275 .000 -1.28986 -1.4070 -1.1727

45
4.2.2 Gender Differences Hypothesis
A one-way ANOVA test procedure was used to examine the hypothesis based on gender
difference. All results are shown in Table 4.6.

Apart from item 15, all the results indicate no significant attitudes towards e-learning
based on the respondent’s gender. This result supports H2.

Table 4.6: One-way ANOVA Results for Gender differences in Attitudes towards E-learning

Sum of Mean
Df F Sig.
Squares Square

EL1 Between Groups 3.072 1 3.072 5.681 .018


Within Groups 148.174 274 .541
Total 151.246 275
EL2 Between Groups .559 1 .559 .909 .341
Within Groups 168.427 274 .615
Total 168.986 275
EL3 Between Groups .009 1 .009 .012 .913
Within Groups 209.208 274 .764
Total 209.217 275
EL4 Between Groups 1.955 1 1.955 3.305 .070
Within Groups 162.117 274 .592
Total 164.072 275
EL5 Between Groups .000 1 .000 .000 .999
Within Groups 249.290 274 .910
Total 249.290 275
EL6 Between Groups .172 1 .172 .235 .628
Within Groups 200.075 274 .730
Total 200.246 275
EL7 Between Groups .163 1 .163 .241 .624
Within Groups 185.127 274 .676
Total 185.290 275
EL8 Between Groups .172 1 .172 .190 .664
Within Groups 248.075 274 .905

46
Total 248.246 275
EL9 Between Groups .937 1 .937 1.319 .252
Within Groups 194.672 274 .710
Total 195.609 275
EL10 Between Groups .077 1 .077 .111 .740
Within Groups 189.040 270 .700
Total 189.118 271
EL11 Between Groups 6.783 1 6.783 6.699 .010
Within Groups 277.463 274 1.013
Total 284.246 275
EL12 Between Groups .307 1 .307 .298 .586
Within Groups 282.244 274 1.030
Total 282.551 275
EL13 Between Groups .942 1 .942 1.623 .204
Within Groups 157.948 272 .581
Total 158.891 273
EL14 Between Groups 1.359 1 1.359 2.395 .123
Within Groups 155.410 274 .567
Total 156.768 275
EL15 Between Groups 8.383 1 8.383 8.820 .003
Within Groups 260.428 274 .950
Total 268.812 275

4.2.3 Educational Level Hypothesis


A one-way ANOVA test procedure was used to examine the educational level
hypothesis. All results are shown in Table 4.7.

Table4.7: One-way ANOVA Results for Educational Level differences in Attitudes towards e-
learning.

Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.

EL1 Between Groups 2.401 3 .800 1.565 .198


Within Groups 136.028 266 .511
Total 138.430 269

47
EL2 Between Groups 8.179 3 2.726 4.923 .002
Within Groups 147.288 266 .554
Total 155.467 269
EL3 Between Groups 5.405 3 1.802 2.404 .068
Within Groups 199.395 266 .750
Total 204.800 269
EL4 Between Groups 5.841 3 1.947 3.365 .019
Within Groups 153.922 266 .579
Total 159.763 269
EL5 Between Groups 8.632 3 2.877 3.459 .017
Within Groups 221.235 266 .832
Total 229.867 269
EL6 Between Groups 9.244 3 3.081 4.331 .005
Within Groups 189.274 266 .712
Total 198.519 269
EL7 Between Groups 5.577 3 1.859 2.829 .039
Within Groups 174.809 266 .657
Total 180.385 269
EL8 Between Groups 11.526 3 3.842 4.437 .005
Within Groups 230.341 266 .866
Total 241.867 269
EL9 Between Groups 8.133 3 2.711 3.933 .009
Within Groups 183.334 266 .689
Total 191.467 269
EL10 Between Groups 6.477 3 2.159 3.211 .024
Within Groups 176.140 262 .672
Total 182.617 265
EL11 Between Groups 12.993 3 4.331 4.311 .005
Within Groups 267.215 266 1.005
Total 280.207 269
EL12 Between Groups 10.859 3 3.620 3.597 .014
Within Groups 267.659 266 1.006
Total 278.519 269
EL13 Between Groups 4.047 3 1.349 2.321 .076
Within Groups 153.461 264 .581
Total 157.507 267
EL14 Between Groups 2.712 3 .904 1.577 .195
Within Groups 152.488 266 .573
Total 155.200 269
EL15 Between Groups 14.219 3 4.740 4.995 .002
Within Groups 252.389 266 .949
Total 266.607 269

48
Apart from items 1, 14, all the results indicate a significant difference (at the .05 or .10)
level in attitudes towards e-learning based on the respondent’s educational level. This
result supports H3.

4.3 DISCUSSION AND FINDINGS


The four hypotheses were examined in the previous section. The research findings
derived are as here under:

The results reject H1 which predicted that Kuwaiti students will show negative attitudes
toward e-learning due to their traditional view of education. From the results we can
conclude that Kuwaiti students have favourable attitudes towards the use of technology in
education.

Examining the impact of different factors such as gender and educational level on the
attitudes toward e-learning is the second objective of this study. Our results supported H2
which predicted no significant differences in attitudes towards e-learning based on the
respondents' gender status. H3 was not supported as there was significant difference in
attitudes towards e-learning based on the student’s educational level.

The fifteen-item e-learning scale was found to be valid and reliable measure of attitudes
towards e-learning in Kuwait.

49
CHAPTER FIVE
Conclusion, Recommendation, and Further Research

This chapter incorporates the conclusion on the finding and provides recommendations
on the issues highlighted in the various chapters from this research work. The first section
covers the conclusions of this study. Research and policy implications are the main topic
of the second section. Finally, author's recommendations and further research are also
included in the sections three and four.

5.1 CONCLUSION
Few studies have analyzed the attitudes towards e-learning in the Arab world. The goal of
this study was to fill this research gap by analyzing the attitudes towards e-learning in
Kuwait. The impact of some variables such as gender, age, and educational level on
attitudes towards e-learning has also been examined. In addition, the e-learning scale’s
reliability and validity were tested for the first time in a non-western context.

From these research findings we can thus conclude that there exists a favourable attitude
towards e-learning in Kuwait. On the other hand, a gender gap was not found in attitudes
towards e-learning, while a gap was detected in this regard based on educational levels.
Finally, the results showed that e-learning scale is reliable and valid measure of attitudes
towards e-learning. Thus, other researchers can use this scale in their empirical studies.

5.2 IMPLICATIONS
The following section talks about the research and policy implications of e-learning.

5.2.1 Research Implications


This research contributes to the literature on e-learning studies by systematically and
analytically assessing the attitudes towards e-learning in Kuwait. Perhaps the findings of
this research will also lend increased confidence to researchers who have been using the

50
e-learning scale with reservations, or who might have avoided the instrument because of
concerns about validity.

5.2.2 Policy Implications


The past decade has seen tremendous growth in e-learning applications in different parts
of the world at a rate of about 5 percent or so per year. E-learning in the Arab world has
also improved qualitatively and quantitatively. However, it probably remains the lowest
in the world (Mostafa, 2005).

In order to compete in the highly competitive contemporary global economy of the


twenty-first century, Kuwait’s educational institutions cannot afford to decline a major
learning tool represented by e-learning. Institutions with policies that hinder selection and
implementation of e-learning systems will seriously diminish the scope of utilizing the
invaluable educational tool such as e-learning.

It would be inescapably detrimental for institutions that might undeservedly ignore the
boons of current technological revolution and wake up belatedly to find themselves
drastically lagged behind. It would still be no less pathetic to battle with a futile trial to
catch up with the times that always drift away from those suffering from indecision and
disbelief.

We should leave no stone unturned to reap the fruits of scientific and technological
innovations with e-learning being one of them.

5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS
Although e-learning systems in Kuwait are new phenomena, they are patronized by
positive students and peoples attitudes. In education, e-learning systems showed that they
can support and enhance the traditional educational systems.

It is suggested that Kuwait establish an association of e-learning institutions to facilitate a


planned implementation of the system across the country. This association should be

51
aware of e-learning problems and try to manage these problems by offering training
programs for students and teachers in areas as diverse as e-literacy and e-systems privacy.

5.4 FURTHER RESEARCH


This study concludes that the e-learning scale is reliable and valid in Kuwait. However,
only one form of validity was performed in this study, which is the convergent-validity
analysis. This form of validity pertains to the extent to which the scale items assumed to
represent a construct do in fact “Converge” on the same construct (Mostafa, 2005).
Future researchers using e-learning scale may use other form of validity such as
discrimination validity or predictive/concurrent validity. Also, the validity of e-learning
scale should continue to be tested by new researchers because the e-learning attitudes in
Kuwait may change over a period of time and that further researches in the field would
continue to make the aura of e-learning alive and strong and make education glow into all
directions with a new e-learning light for all of those who have yearning for it.

New researchers should investigate new areas or variables that affect the attitudes
towards e-learning that was not investigated before in the Arab world such as relationship
between culture and e-learning attitudes.

52
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APPENDIX A:

QUESTIONNAIRE (ENGLISH)
This questionnaire is conducted to measure attitudes towards e-learning in Kuwait.

Educational Level Age

Gender Nationality

Neither
Q. Strongly Agree Strongly
No
Question Agree
Agree
not
Disagree
Disagree
Disagree
1 I’m in favour of applying e-learning for
business courses
2 I think the teacher’s application of e-
learning in teaching business courses helps
me learn a lot
3 I think the teacher’s application of e-
learning in teaching business courses is a
waste of my time
4 I think my grade will improve by applying
e-learning to business courses
5 I will find business courses easier if the
teacher applies e-learning in teaching
6 By means of e-learning, I (should) like
business courses more and more
7 I hope the teachers who conduct business
courses may apply e-learning in their
teaching
8 Applying e-learning for business courses is
more relaxing and delightful than the
traditional method
9 Applying e-learning for business courses is
more sprightly and lively for the curriculum
10 E-learning make me more interested in
business courses
11 By applying e-learning for business courses,
the chance of interaction with the teacher is
enhanced
12 By applying e-learning for business courses,
the chance of interaction with my classmates
can be enhanced
13 Applying e-learning for business courses
improves my computer skills
14 Applying e-learning for business courses
encourages me to continue learning on the
Internet by myself
15 I’m unwilling to learn business courses
through using e-learning

60
‫‪APPENDIX B:‬‬
‫)‪ (Arabic‬اﺳﺘﺒﻴﺎن ‪Questionnaire‬‬
‫ﺗﻢ ﻋﻤﻞ هﺬا اﻹﺳﺘﺒﻴﺎن ﻟﻤﻌﺮﻓﺔ ﻣﺪى اﻹﺗﺠﺎﻩ ﻧﺤﻮ اﺳﺘﺨﺪام ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﺑﺪوﻟﺔ اﻟﻜﻮﻳﺖ‬

‫اﻟﻌﻤﺮ‬ ‫اﻟﺴﻨﺔ اﻟﺪراﺳﻴﺔ‬

‫اﻟﺠﻨﺴﻴﺔ‬ ‫اﻟﺠﻨﺲ‬

‫اﺧﺘﻠﻒ‬ ‫أواﻓﻖ‬
‫اﺧﺘﻠﻒ‬ ‫ﻣﺤﺎﻳﺪ‬ ‫أواﻓﻖ‬ ‫اﻟﺴﺆال‬ ‫ت‬
‫ﺗﻤﺎﻣ ًﺎ‬ ‫ﺗﻤﺎﻣ ًﺎ‬

‫ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﺿﺮورة ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ‬ ‫‪1‬‬


‫ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬
‫ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬ ‫‪2‬‬
‫ﺳﻮف ﻳﺴﺎﻋﺪ اﻟﻄﻠﺒﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﻤﺰﻳﺪ ﻣﻦ اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻢ‬
‫ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬ ‫‪3‬‬
‫ﻳﻌﺪ ﻣﻀﻴﻌﺔ ﻟﻠﻮﻗﺖ‬
‫ﻣﺴﺘﻮى اﻟﻄﺎﻟﺐ ﺳﻮف ﻳﺘﺤﺴﻦ ﻓﻲ ﺣﻴﻦ ﻃﺒﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ‬ ‫‪4‬‬
‫اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬
‫ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬ ‫‪5‬‬
‫ﻳﺠﻌﻞ اﻟﻤﻮاد اﻟﺪراﺳﻴﺔ أﺳﻬﻞ‬
‫ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬ ‫‪6‬‬
‫ﻳﺠﻌﻞ اﻟﻄﻠﺒﺔ اآﺜﺮ ﺣﺒ ًﺎ ﻟﻠﻤﻮاد اﻟﺪراﺳﻴﺔ‬
‫اﺗﻤﻨﻰ أن ﻳﻄﺒﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ‬ ‫‪7‬‬
‫ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬
‫ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﺑﺎﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﻳﺆدي اﻟﻰ ﺧﻠﻖ ﺑﻴﺌﺔ‬ ‫‪8‬‬
‫هﺎدﺋﺔ و ﻣﻤﺘﻌﺔ ﻣﻘﺎرﻧﺔ ﺑﻨﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ اﻟﺘﻘﻠﻴﺪي‬
‫ﻳﺆدي ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ‬ ‫‪9‬‬
‫ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت اﻟﻰ ﺑﺚ روح ﻣﻦ اﻟﺤﻴﻮﻳﺔ ﻓﻲ اﻟﻤﻘﺮر اﻟﺪراﺳﻲ‬
‫ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬ ‫‪10‬‬
‫ﻳﺠﻌﻞ اﻟﻄﺎﻟﺐ أآﺜﺮ اهﺘﻤﺎﻣ ًﺎ وﺗﺤﻤﺴ ًﺎ اﺗﺠﺎﻩ اﻟﻤﻮاد‬
‫اﻟﺪراﺳﻴﺔ‬
‫ﺗﺰداد ﻓﺮﺻﺔ ﺗﻔﺎﻋﻞ اﻟﻄﻠﺒﺔ ﻣﻊ اﻟﻤﺪرﺳﻴﻦ ﻋﻨﺪ ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ‬ ‫‪11‬‬
‫ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬
‫ﺗﺰداد ﻓﺮﺻﺔ ﺗﻔﺎﻋﻞ اﻟﻄﻠﺒﺔ ﻣﻊ زﻣﻼﺋﻬﻢ ﻋﻨﺪ ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم‬ ‫‪12‬‬
‫اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت‬
‫ﻳﺆدي ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ‬ ‫‪13‬‬
‫ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت اﻟﻰ ﺗﺤﺴﻴﻦ ﻣﻬﺎرات اﺳﺘﺨﺪام اﻟﺤﺎﺳﺐ اﻹﻟﻲ‬
‫ﻟﺪى اﻟﻄﻠﺒﺔ‬
‫ﻳﺆدي ﺗﻄﺒﻴﻖ ﻧﻈﺎم اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺘﺪرﻳﺲ‬ ‫‪14‬‬
‫ﺑﺎﻟﺠﺎﻣﻌﺎت اﻟﻰ ﺗﺸﺠﻴﻊ اﻟﻄﻠﺒﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻣﻮاﺻﻠﺔ اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻢ ﻋﻦ‬
‫ﻃﺮﻳﻖ اﻹﻧﺘﺮﻧﺖ‬
‫أﻧﺎ ﻏﻴﺮ راﻏﺐ ﻓﻲ ﺗﻠﻘﻲ اﻟﻤﻮاد اﻟﺪراﺳﻴﺔ ﻋﻦ ﻃﺮﻳﻖ‬ ‫‪15‬‬
‫اﻟﺘﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻹﻟﻜﺘﺮوﻧﻲ‬

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