Web-assisted Instruction (WAI) as a Promising Solution in Developing Countries in Higher Education: A Case Study in an Omani Governmental College

Mohammad B. Mustafa


The rising expectations for changing traditional classrooms, where chalk and talk as well as desks and texts are predominant, were accelerating because of the explosion of knowledge and the growing demands of the workforce (Roschelle et al. 2000). Accordingly, if the goal then is to educate and qualify every student,  schools are challenged to create a way to move toward what is termed "student-centric" model and give every student a chance to learn and interact. The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the effectiveness of technology integration (namely, web-assisted instruction) on students’ achievement and attitudes in a Middle Eastern college. It was also the purpose of the study to examine whether WAI disrupted traditional teaching and encouraged educators to integrate it as a powerful means of instruction. The main focus of the study was to propose WAI as a solution to address the diverse learning styles in the class. Christensen’s disruptive innovation theory was used as the theoretical framework to investigate if WAI was disruptive to teaching methodologies and the way educators and administrators perceive innovations. The research design was the pretest – posttest control group design and the study was conducted in a governmental gulf college. The participants were 54 students from level 1 foundation English distributed in two classes; experimental and control. Both classes were pre-tested and post-tested at the beginning and both were given a survey at the end of the fall semester 2011. Findings of the study substantiated the theory and revealed that freshman students who took a Core Course using WAI achieved higher test scores than those in the traditional class. It was also found that students in the experimental class reported positive preference and attitudes for technology integration in their class, and students in the control class reported a great desire to have technology integrated in their class.

Keywords: web-assisted instruction, achievement, disruptive innovations, attitude, higher education.

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