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A cloud-based collaborative virtual learning environment for the higher education institutions in the Sultanate of Oman.

Al Hajri, M., 2020. A cloud-based collaborative virtual learning environment for the higher education institutions in the Sultanate of Oman. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

Advances in cloud computing have made it possible for collaborative environments to be developed for educational services. However, some HEIs are still using traditional VLE tools which receive minimal utilisation by users mostly for uploading and downloading course materials. This study focuses on challenges and concerns that limit or even prohibit the use of a cloud-based collaborative virtual learning environment (CBCVLE). More specifically, this study considers the influences of Omani culture upon utilisation of CBCVLEs. A mixed methods research approach is adopted which includes a preliminary study, a questionnaire-based survey, and a set of interviews. The issues are identified by reviewing the related literature and the surveys and grouping them under five headings: (1) ICT infrastructure and services, (2) operational environment, (3) user’s experience and expectations, (4) factors affecting the use and acceptance, and (5) cultural influences. The findings indicate lack of sufficient ICT infrastructure and services, as well as insufficient financial resources in some higher education institutions for establishing their own ICT infrastructures. Moreover, the findings highlight users’ experience as an important influence for utilisation of CBCVLEs. Regarding the operational environment, a wide range of concerns and challenges are identified by participants in the surveys. A number of issues are found to have an effect on the use of VLE tools and collaborative environments. Factors affecting the use and acceptance of a CBCVLE are also identified and classified as motivators or deterrents. Most importantly, cultural influences are found to be critical and vital for the use of CBCVLE. Family, religion, language, customs and traditions and gender can have a critical effect on users’ participation in collaborative projects. The study’s findings contribute to a better understanding and promotion of high utilisation and acceptance of CBCVLEs. A novel framework is proposed which incorporates key elements and their relationships associated with a cloud-based collaborative environment. The framework aims to mitigate issues and factors influencing low utilisation and the acceptance of CBCVLEs.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:virtual learning environment; VLE; cloud computing; ICT; higher education; culture
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34021
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:20 May 2020 11:09
Last Modified:20 May 2020 11:09

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