The Influence of Technology on the Academic and Social Lives of Students and Lecturers in Kuwaiti Higher Education (HE)
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The central purpose of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study was to identify the perceptions of higher education (HE) students and lecturers in Kuwait, as regards the use of technology in their academic and social lives. In the quantitative phase of the study, the research questions were designed to identify the factors of influence on students’ and lecturers’ use of technology. The data were collected by administering survey questionnaires and the participants’ answers to the items on the survey scales were then analysed using statistical analysis software (SPSS). This involved descriptive analysis and Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), which additionally included principal components analysis (PCA), a data reduction method. In the qualitative phase of the study, the research questions were aimed at understanding how students and lecturers used technology for learning and teaching, as well as for social purposes. Thematic analysis was subsequently applied in analysing the interview, diary and observation data. The findings of the quantitative (factors) and qualitative phases (themes) were integrated while interpreting the outcomes of the study. Some of the significant findings to emerge from this thesis were that the expediency of the technologies and disruptive practices of the lecturers empowered the students; triggered student engagement in self-regulated learning; intellectually stimulated students’ ability to identify and solve problems creatively, and improved student learning through social interaction and collaboration, all within a facilitating and encouraging learning environment. However, the analysis also acknowledged certain disadvantages of students being too dependent on technology. Meanwhile, although the lecturers espoused constructivist beliefs, thus helping them to orchestrate classroom activities and create socio-constructivist learning environments, as a means of facilitating learning through the adoption of learner-centred approaches, they were also frustrated. In the final analysis, the students were found to be overwhelmingly positive in their attitudes towards technology, while the lecturers saw themselves as associates in this process, creating communities of learners.
Kleine Staarman, Judith
PhD in Education