Friday, October 4, 2019

The Effect of Online English Courses for Teaching English Grammar on Essay

The Effect of Online English Courses for Teaching English Grammar on Distance Students' Achievement at the University of Dammam - Essay Example A Proposal Submitted as a Requirement for the PhD in Education. Introduction Since the 1990s, technological advances have led to an increase in the 'integration of web-based and web-enhanced resources into instructional practices' (Rodriguez, Ooms, Montanez &Yan, 2005). Considered the most effective technologies to change the face of education, computers and the internet have caused a revolution, forcing the reformulation of curricula and the way it is delivered (Ameneh, 2011). With this revolution and development in the medium of delivery and presentation of knowledge, an increase in lifelong learning has been observed (Medford, 2004). As a result of the increasing demand for learning at all levels of society and in many different circumstances, Saudi Arabia (S.A.) has started delivering online courses. In S.A., online learning has been used to offer learning opportunities to students who are unable to attend an institute for various reasons, e.g. on medical grounds, due to living i n remote areas, or because they are over 25 years old. Online learning has many advantages for students and also for faculties. For example, it offers learning opportunities at any time, in any location and in a way adapted to modern lifestyles (Perry & Pilati, 2011). It also provides extra time for the students to apprehend the material and understand more abstract concepts through the application of different types of media (Perry & Pilati, 2011; Rose & Billinghurst, 1996). Moreover, online learning has proved to have many positive effects on student behavior, motivation, communication, and achievement (Samuel & Baker, 2005), e.g. it can encourage students' creativity, problem-solving, communication, collaboration and self-learning skills (Ameneh, 2011). In what concerns benefits for faculties, online learning provides a chance to be purposeful in their teaching (Perry & Pilati, 2011). It is an opportunity of sharing workload amongst staff and can include collaboration with other faculties. Content may also be built and modified, while satisfying the needs of different learning styles (Tang & Byrne, 2007). Furthermore, faculties can manage students' progress more easily by using the different management tools applied in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to deliver the course. Taking into consideration the advantages mentioned above, it is understandable the increasing number of students in S.A., who have demanded online learning over the last few years. This process is also supported by companies' gradual acceptance of online degrees, and the universities that offer them. The University of Dammam (U.D.) in S.A. started delivering online courses in January, 2012 to distance students in 2, out of its 28 colleges. Currently, all the departments in the Arts College offer online degrees, except the English Language department. Faculties in the English department are reluctant to use online learning techniques. A reason for this reluctance is the belief that technology cannot support or replace face-to-face (F2F) learning and teaching methods. Findings of this research may give the chance for reconsideration of this reluctance. Research Problem and Objectives U.D. adopted Blackboard as their VLE in 2011 for all students, both on-campus and distance learners. U.D. offers a BA in English language due to the consideration of English as the

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