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Student Engagement in Online and Blended Learning in a Higher Education Institution in the Middle East: Challenges and Solutions
Fazza, Hany and Mahgoub, Mohamed

Published15 April 2021
JournalStudies in Technology Enhanced Learning
Volume 1, Issue 2
CountryQatar, Africa

ABSTRACT
This paper aims to identify challenges to students’ engagement in online learning at the Qatar branch campus of America’s Georgetown University, and to propose solutions. Specifically, it: 1) identifies challenges and solutions from students’ perspectives; 2) provides recommendations for developing instructional policies to maximise student engagement in synchronous learning contexts; and 3) aims to contribute to the literature on the engagement of Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) learners and Arabic Heritage Learners (AHLs) in online learning in higher education (HE) in the Middle East. It did so by collecting qualitative data, using an open-ended questionnaire from 13 Arabic as a Foreign Language and Arab Heritage learners. We investigate these learners’ perceptions and experiences of student engagement in online learning within the social presence dimension of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. In addition to presenting a set of challenges that our students experienced in their online learning, especially under the unprecedented health, social and mental constraints created by Covid-19, we highlight their solutions to these challenges. We conclude by offering a set of recommendations that we hope AFL and Arabic Heritage (AH) programmes and institutions will find useful.

Keywords student engagement · online learning · community of inquiry · social presence · Arabic as a foreign language · Arabic heritage learners

CoI focusSocial presence
MethodologyQualitative
PopulationUndergraduate
Study designCase study
Data analysisThematic analysis
InstrumentModified CoI survey
ContributionPractical
Sample size13
Study aim"We investigate these learners’ perceptions and experiences of student engagement in online learning within the social presence dimension of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework."
Finding"We conclude by offering a set of recommendations that we hope AFL and Arabic Heritage (AH) programmes and institutions will find useful."
LanguageEnglish
RefereedYes
RightsCC BY
DOI10.21428/8c225f6e.5bcbd385
ExportBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar



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