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Date of Award
Traditional education is no longer viable at the present time. In light of technological development and the adoption of a number of diverse technologies in the field of education, the student has become a vital element in learning through student-centered learning environments. Saudi universities are striving diligently to keep up with the technological development and the employment of modern trends in the educational process through the gradual merging of interactive learning methods or strategies, such as the flipped classroom, active learning, cooperative learning, etc. The flipped classroom plays an important role in enhancing the positive role of the learner during the educational process by providing the students with content before the lecture by the use of technology and exploiting class time in debates, problem-solving, creating, synthesizing, and applying. There are many various technology tools and online platforms that can be used in implementing the flipped classroom, such as Blackboard LMS, Google Docs, Wikis, blogs, Facebook, etc. Also, there are a number of advanced countries that have implemented flipped classrooms by the use of various technology tools and social platforms. For example, in Saudi Arabia, Al-Harbi & Alshumaimeri (2016) applied the flipped classroom approach by uploading videos on the Edmodo site. Therefore, this study focused on faculty members' experiences in using social media as a flipped classroom tool in Saudi Universities.
The study addressed four main questions that focused on: faculty members’ experiences in using social media in teaching in Saudi universities, faculty members' attitudes towards using social media in flipped classrooms, exploring how faculty members in Saudi universities use social media as a flipped classroom tool to address students’ learning preferences per the R2D2 framework, and factors that prevent or limit Saudi faculty’s social media uses in flipped classrooms. In addition, the study discussed significant interaction of the differences between some groups in the study, such as relationship of academic rank to experience in using social media in teaching, relationship of less experienced and more experienced faculty members in Saudi universities to using social media as a flipped classroom, relationship of gender differences to faculty members' attitudes towards using social media in flipped classrooms and factors that prevent or limit Saudi faculty’s social media uses in flipped classrooms. It should be mentioned here that this study adopted Bonk and Zhang’s R2D2 framework for online learning (Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing) in order to explore to what extent learning environments and instructional strategies used in Saudi universities support the diversity of students. Mixed-method research was employed in this study. The questionnaire was used as the quantitative method giving the whole picture about the topic and research questions, while the interview was used as the qualitative method helps in getting a deep understanding of the research questions by moving from question to question. A total of 391 participants (199 male and 192 female) participated in the quantitative data collection, among which 8 volunteers (4 male and 4 female) participated in interviews.
The results of this study imply that faculty members in Saudi universities have experiences in using social media in teaching through exchanging knowledge, response to students' questions, and creating groups to help students discuss with each other by the use various types of social media such as Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Blackboard. Also, the findings imply faculty members' positive tendency towards using social media in flipped classrooms; however the faculty members did not take students’ learning preferences into account during the use social media as a flipped classroom tool. Most activities used by faculty members through the employment of social media as a flipped classroom tool focus largely on the reading category that addresses verbal and auditory students. Finally, the findings assert that there are many factors that prevent or limit the faculty members from using social media as a flipped classroom tool such as weak infrastructure, lack of access to the Internet, reluctance to giving up the use of traditional methods in order to employ technology and modern methods in teaching practices, etc.
Alharthi, Majed Abdallah, "Using Social Media In Flipped Classrooms In Saudi Universities: Faculty Members' Experiences" (2018). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1908.