Saudi teachers’ and university students’ attitudes toward computing
Alothman, Manal Othman Hamad
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Computer technology is an important tool that enhances people’s learning, improves their education and influences the development of society. There is considerable research in Western countries studying attitudes towards computers but few studies have been performed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Therefore, it is worth measuring students’ attitudes to computer use in KSA as, if students are able to develop a positive attitude towards this during their educational years, they will increase their learning and knowledge, their future work will benefit and in turn this will benefit the national economy. The aim of this study is to investigate the associations between Saudi University students’ knowledge of English, their gender, computer experience, parents’ encouragement of use computer usage, place of residence and general attitudes towards the use of computers in their daily life. The main contribution of this study is the investigation of the attitude of both teachers and students within different regions of Saudi Arabia, using a large quantitative data set triangulated with qualitative data. The results show that Saudi undergraduate students have a positive attitude toward computers, and there are no significant gender differences between male and female students in their attitudes. This study also suggests students in the capital city have a more positive attitude towards computer than students from small cities. There is also a strong relationship between attitudes towards computers and English language skills, computer experiences, parental encouragement and undergraduate students’ computer attitudes. A majority of Saudi students in the study don’t have access to computers at university, especially females. The qualitative study conducted with school teachers shows gender differences, with male teachers having a more positive attitudes towards computers, and more computer experience and skills. The evidence presented in this work suggests that the educational use of computing in KSA requires an increased availability of computers; provision of computer workshops for students and educators starting from early education; levels to higher education and encouragement of students to use computers in learning methods in order to be successful.