Comparison of Learning Management Systems and Social Media Sites for Delivery of Learning Resources in Saudi Universities

Author: Marahib Alrashdi

Alrashdi, Marahib, 2016 Comparison of Learning Management Systems and Social Media Sites for Delivery of Learning Resources in Saudi Universities, Flinders University, School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics

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Abstract

Recently, many Saudi universities have started to adopt learning management systems (LMS) and some types of social media in their education systems. These LMS are to provide study and learning resources, assessments and the necessary tools to students. Universities have also started to use some types of social media for the same purpose. This research aims to compare LMS and social media and determine the most beneficial way for Saudi students to access study and learning resources. It investigates the problems and barriers that may affect the use of LMS or social media to deliver learning resources in universities. This research used an exploratory qualitative and quantitative design, utilising a descriptive questionnaire as its main methodological instrument to define the feature of LMS or social media used in Saudi universities. This research is one of the first studies dealing with different means of delivering learning resources in Saudi universities. The number of participants was greater than expected. In total, 452 students from two different universities participated by completing a pre-filled questionnaire administered online. This study used data mining software to define the association rules between using LMS and social media to deliver learning requirements in Saudi universities. Both universities provide known LMS products, which have efficient features for learning activities. These universities also provide some types of social media for the same purpose. The results were counter-intuitive. The association rules between using LMS and social media show that there are weaknesses of using the given features of LMS for the study requirements. Further, it illustrates that the majority of students knew how to use LMS and social media, and were satisfied using them for learning activities. However, students undertake most learning activities using email, such as submitting assignments, receiving announcements and communicating with teachers. Students used social media more than LMS to communicate with each other. Students were uneducated about privacy and the security weaknesses of social media and email. Teachers’ encouragement of LMS use was the main factor affecting the use of LMS. The use of LMS in Saudi universities requires further research in order to determine the barriers that were the reason for the lack of LMS use. The outcomes of the research will help faculty in Saudi universities know the current use of LMS and social media, as well as to consider the preferred way for students to undertake learning activities. In addition, the outcomes will assist universities in developing the use of LMS and social media, in order to deliver learning resources to students.

Keywords: Learning Management systems, Social media, Learning resources, Saudi universities, e-learning, Educational tools, Blackboard, Jusur. Facebook.
Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2016
School: School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Supervisor: Denise de Vries