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Artifact 2 ETR 525 Qualitative Research in Education:

Research Title: The Attitudes of Saudi Students toward E-Learning at Midwest University

in USA.

Objectives Addressed: 1, 3, and 8

Artifact: Introduction and Reflection

Introduction and Reflection

The artifact shown above is a completed research project developed specifically for the ETR 525

course. ETR 525 has a number of goals and objectives for its students, it gives students

preparation to comprehend qualitative research methods as well as use research methods such as

interviews, group discussions, observation, literature synthesis, etc. I participated in ETR 525 in

the spring of 2014 and found it fulfilling because it gave me an opportunity to increase my notice

and confidence about using qualitative methods. Before this class, I was comfortable mostly with

quantitative research methods. The theoretical framework that I used in my research was Rogers

diffusion of innovation. Rogers (1995) diffusion of innovation theory states that, "diffusion is

the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among

the members of a social system" (p. 11). Therefore, it is likely that diffusion is weak in places

where people have had less exposure to a particular technology.

Three research questions that were addressed in this research study revolved around the issue of

the attitude of Saudi students towards e-learning at Midwest Universty in the United States. The

three questions were:

1. What is the attitude of Saudi students toward e-learning at NIU?


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2. What cultural barriers (if any) have they had to overcome while studying abroad?

3. What improvements could be made to better enhance the education experience of Saudi

international students, who are studying in US in terms of using online education?

Data Collection

Five Saudi international students participated in this study and the data was initially captured

through the use of individual interviews. The population consisted of students enrolled and

attending Northern Illinois University undergraduate and graduate programs. The individual

interviews were audio recorded, then transcribed to paper.

Several of the informants mentioned that they liked the fact that distance education

allowed to have more free time and also saved money because they did not have to drive to

school. All if the informants said that they liked online education in general. Some of the

students brought up an important point that online learning is expensive for schools to

implement. This negative disadvantage is something that few students think about, which

surprised me that he raised this concern. In terms of the impact of multi-media on distance

education, the informants viewed it as an enhancement. When the informants were asked if they

felt that online learning encouraged learners to share rather than receive information, they

answered positively. The informants were also asked what they thought made a good and a bad

online learning facilitator. Informant M said that teachers who communicate are good

facilitators, and those who do not are inefficient.

Evidence of Mastery of Objectives 1, 3, and 8

Objective 1, design a study of an educational research problem or phenomenon

using appropriate methodologies:


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This study meets this objective because it studies issues related to e-learning and distance

education. It also analyzes a specific and unique population. The method used was interviews

and recordings that were later transcribed and persevered.

Objective 3 distinguish between ethical and unethical behavior when conducting

educational research or evaluations:

This objective is met because ethnics played a critical part in how this research was

conducted. The informants were asked prior to beginning the audio recording if they would

consent to their voice being recorded. Fortunately, none of the participates objected to this.

Also, the informants were also debriefed about the meaning and purpose of the study before

conducting the interview. Even though it is not mandatory to disclose the purpose of

experiments, in this particular one, disclosing the information allowed for a more open and

honest conversation without the participating fearing a hidden motive.

Objective 8 engage in research-related activities in diverse settings.

This objective is met because the interviews were conducted in various places ranging from

Starbucks, to libraries, and learning centers.