The investigation of using wiki technology to support self-regulated learning in the academic context at Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University, Saudi Arabia

Aldayel, Safyah Saleh A.

June 2018

Thesis or dissertation

© 2018 Safyah Saleh A Aldayel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Technology has become a major focal point in the modern learning environment. Web 2.0 is being increasingly widely employed in university education and has the potential to improve the quality of education. For optimum benefit to students’ learning practices, web 2.0 technology needs to actively foster regulation skills among students. Self-regulated learning skills (SRL skills) potentially offer a shift from traditional teacher-centred to learner-centred approaches. Wiki technology, as a form of web 2.0 technology, has the potential in education to foster such an approach to learning. The thesis investigates how a wiki can be utilised to enhance self-regulated learning among a cohort of female students attending higher education in Saudi Arabia.

The study was primarily motivated by the lack of studies investigating SRL skill enhancement in wiki–assisted learning in higher education, in Saudi Arabia, where the education system largely relies upon teacher-centred learning. This study, therefore, was an effort to potentially improve SRL skills among students attending Princess Nora University (PNU) in Saudi Arabia, with a view to the results being applicable to teaching and learning in similar contexts. The first two objectives of this study were to explore the potential of a wiki as an enhancer of executive function and evaluation skills and to explore students’ attitude towards using wiki as a learning environment. The third objective was to explore students’ perceptions of wiki learning and its contribution to the enhancement of SRL skills. A single case study was administered before and after use of a purpose-designed wiki for an Education Technology module taken by a cohort of female students at PNU. Quantitative data was collected by a questionnaire triangulated with qualitative data gathered in interviews. The findings revealed that after using wiki, students felt that six of the eight SRL sub-skills listed under executive function and evaluation skills had, on the whole, improved significantly.

Students generally reported extremely positive attitudes towards learning with wiki technology. They perceived that the reflective nature and the design of the wiki tasks, together with the pages and guidance given by the tutor, may have supported the development of SRL skills, increased their overall motivation to learn and improved their independent learning processes. Overall, this study sought to discover information on a relatively new area to Saudi higher education and acts as a stepping stone to further research into students’ perceptions of wiki technology and its effect on SRL skill enhancement. There is, of course, an opportunity in the future to measure actual SRL skill levels to corroborate the promising results which may, given the reader’s discretion, be viewed as transferable to similar cultural and study contexts.

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