An Investigation of the Critical Factors for Integration of ICT in Saudi Primary Schools: A Comprehensive Exploration of Teachers’, Principals’ and Students’ Points of View

Author: Sami Alshmrany

Alshmrany, Sami, 2018 An Investigation of the Critical Factors for Integration of ICT in Saudi Primary Schools: A Comprehensive Exploration of Teachers’, Principals’ and Students’ Points of View, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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Ongoing innovations in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have revolutionised the knowledge sharing and learning capacities of people around the globe. The adoption of this technology within the early years of education is an important goal for many nations and can have an immense impact on the creation and sharing of knowledge, which ultimately contributes to the greater good of the society. In general, developed nations have heavily reformed the traditional education system to a more technology based education system at all levels (i.e. higher, secondary, and primary). While developing nations are trying to follow this trend, many lag behind in the successful adoption ICT in their education system. A major concern, is the lack of ICT action for the primary education level within developing nations when compared to secondary or tertiary institutions. ICT is not only important for higher education, but it is a tool to reform primary education and prepare children for the digital world.While some studies have investigated reasons for lower usage of ICT in secondary schools, a major knowledge gap remains in exploring the factors that influence the behavioural intention and actual use of ICT for Saudi primary school principals, teachers and student.

Developing countries, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), have put immense importance of ICT in education, particularly for higher education. Primary and secondary schools however have not experienced the same focus as tertiary institutions. Previous research has explored ICT in higher education, which has motivated the Saudi Ministry of Education to invest considerably in ICT for the higher education sector. However, Saudi primary schools have not received the same level of attention. It is important that research is conducted to understand the reasons behind lower adoption and use of ICT by the teachers, principals and students within primary schools.

The research has utilised a mixed method approach, with post validation of research findings. In the mixed method, both qualitative and quantitative exploration of factors have been conducted via semi-structured interviews, and questionnaires. After that, triangulation of results and literature has been conducted, along with a post validation of research findings with focus group discussion with principals, teachers and students.

The study has developed three conceptual models based on Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) technology adoption model for principals, teachers and students. Using partial least square structural equation model (PLS-SEM), the models were evaluated, to find the significant factors that influence the intention and actual use of ICT by the three target groups (principal, teacher, and student). The analysis found, effort expectancy, computer literacy and system quality are common factors that influence the behavioural intention to use ICT for all target groups. Furthermore, social influence,facilitating conditions,performance expectancy and cultural factorsplay vital roles for some groups.

The research presented here has contributed significantly in both practical and academic sectors. Several recommendations are provided for policy makers, such as to improve training and professional development, monitoring ICT usage at different levels, developing ICT infrastructure, and raising awareness. From an academic point of view, the study contributed new knowledge by exploring and documenting the factors that encourage or hinder the use of ICT by principals, teachers and students. Additionally, the use of PLS-SEM with traditional technology ICT acceptance models is a novel approach. Finally, this research added new insight about ICT usage in primary education within Islamic culture for developing nations like Saudi Arabia. The research concluded by noting the practical implications, limitations and future directions for ICT in primary education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: ICT, computing, education, technology acceptance, Saudi Arabia

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2018
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Brett Wilkinson