Blended learning in Saudi universities: challenges and perspectives
This study is an attempt to investigate the nature of obstacles and challenges encountered at Saudi universities while implementing a blended learning approach. A literature review of blended learning rationale and designs, and the status of web-based education in Saudi higher education are demonstrated. Three main challenges of applying blended learning in Saudi higher education are addressed. One major challenge to be considered in the implementation of blended learning in Saudi universities is the adaptation of this element in the traditional university culture. Finding the right design of blended learning is another challenge that is discussed in detail. Furthermore, the time issue is considered a crucial challenge facing blended learning faculty. Practical recommendations that would facilitate transition to a blended learning university environment are presented. It is hoped that this study will help to provide insight for the faculties and the decision-makers throughout higher education in Saudi Arabia. Although this investigation is specifically related to the implementation of blended learning in the universities of Saudi Arabia, we are confident that the assumptions and recommendations contained herein will be of great value to other populations facing similar challenges.
Keywords: blended learning; challenges of blended learning; higher education; Saudi Arabia