DESIGNING, PILOTING AND EVALUATING AN ICT TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR NOVICE FEMALE PRIMARY TEACHERS IN SAUDI
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The focus of this study is the development of an ICT training package for novice female primary teachers in Saudi Arabia. In recent years, the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia has placed a lot of importance on increasing the use of ICT within schools. Evidence suggests however that little attention has been paid to the provision of ICT training, particularly in primary education. Furthermore, in the general research literature; whilst there is much talk about the need for training, very little evidence is provided regarding what kind of training is effective. The purpose of this study therefore was to systematically design and evaluate an ICT training package that was informed by learning theory, research evidence and user needs. The study was conducted in two phases: 1) determining the ICT training needs of novice female primary teachers in Saudi Arabia; 2) designing, piloting and evaluating a training package based on identified needs and preferences, in-service teacher training literature and common learning theories in the field. In phase one, a qualitative survey that employed a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews was conducted. There were 135 participants in the questionnaire and 20 interviewees. The survey findings of revealed a great gap in both the technical and pedagogical skills of teachers. Furthermore, the data identified some factors that either limit or motivate teachers’ use of ICT. The participants’ preferences for their future ICT training were also determined. These results were used to inform the design of a training package. Key design features of the training package included: covering both technical and pedagogical content; using a blended approach that combined face-to-face and online delivery and using iv social constructivism and experiential learning to underpin its pedagogy. Twenty-two teachers participated in the pilot training. Evaluation data collected from a range of sources suggest that the teachers responded well to the design features of the training package and that the training had some positive influence on their practice. Using the literature review and the training needs data as well as the data generated from my own study I have identified five key design criteria that I believe can be applied to designing similar training packages in the future: Ownership; Shared learning; Contextualisation; Transformational potential and Evidence-based.
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