Virtual Classrooms for Student-Centered Learning in the UAE: A Qualitative Exploratory Study

ID: 37636 Type: Full Paper
  1. Rana Tamim, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

Tuesday, October 9 10:30 AM-11:00 AM Location: Salon Joyce View on map

Presider: Gladys Milimu, Macquarie University, Australia

Abstract: In the educational context, computer technology’s introduction has supported existing delivery strategies and resulted in the emergence of new forms within distance education (DE). Blended learning is a popular new mode and is a hybrid between classroom instruction and DE. In the UAE, blended learning is gaining attention especially with one of the newer Universities offering its programs with such a delivery mode. Instruction depends on the use of synchronous virtual classrooms (VC) in combination with face-to-face sessions, and asynchronous self-study sessions. The paper presents the findings of a qualitative research study, where 18 graduate students attending the blended-learning university were interviewed to have a deeper understanding of their perceptions about advantages of the used VC (WIMBA). Interviews also probed their opinions and suggestions about challenges they are facing and how to best design online activities to involve them and increase their online interactivity

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