Zahra Said AlDhafer

 -How did u use e-learning? What learning chances did Blackboard bring forth to you?
None can ever deny the informatic revolution brought about by computers in our life, especially in our educational life. Our experience with e-learning makes it clear how important this mode of learning has become in our lives – a successful experience spawning out of tremendous efforts exerted by the e-learning deanship in KKU, especially as far as Blackboard and Flash are concerned. We used both systems in our learning of computer courses in the master’s programme. We had first hand experience with the two e-learning systems, and we had serious discussions about the use of both systems in our teaching as available via the e-learning deanship website. We had been introduced to the theory of e-learning as well as to practical applications of the two systems which we made use of in designing our Flash projects.
 

-What motivated you to support our e-learning endeavours at KKU?
Our professors, especially Dr. Abdullah AlAmri, Dr. Mostapha Ibrahim, and Dr. Noha had a great influence on us; they also extended their help expansively inasmuch as communication and collaboration are concerned. We also experienced the benefits of e-learning to the advantage of our own learning efforts.
 

- What did you do to disseminate e-learning in KKU?
We felt grateful to KKU; so, on our website (www.sofra-edu.com) , we devoted a section on e-learning in KKU, supervised by Dr. Mostafa Ibrahim, assistant professor of e-learning; the man exerted strenuous efforts on the site, but the division is still seminal, and is in need to more efforts and continual developments to give its well-aspired fruition.
 

- How do you see the differences between e-learning and traditional learning modes?
It is not only a matter of modal differences, but it is a difference of quality inputs, processes, and outputs of the whole educational system. E-learning enhances inputs, processes and outputs of this educational process occurring in cyberspace because it levels up to a quality education, new methods that enliven learner motivation, and excites lively discussions and interactions; in addition, information is presented in a multi-modal fashion that addresses a variety of learning and teaching styles.
 

- What challenging difficulties did you encounter while you were e-learning, but you overcame?
Like any new idea, difficulties crop up at the beginning, but are later solved with some degree of individual variation thereto. Some who joined the master’s programme via e-learning were basically teachers with some experience of how to employ e-learning in their own learning and teaching, but still there are many who had not had access to e-learning before. Overcoming emerging problems was not impossible – we could manage our own success; we had great ambitions which motivated us to continue our graduate studies in this new e-milieu. Thanks be to Allah, anyway!
However, the significant challenges that we encountered can be tacitly summed up in the following points:
Some were not interactively responsive to the new mode of e-learning;
Less support was presented to us by authorities concerned so as to activate e-learning in our own teaching;
Older versions of curricular activities are better suited to the traditional fashion of presentation rather than e-learning modes; these need to be upgraded to be compatible with the e-learning environment;
We need newfangled methodologies of pedagogy and andragogy that are commensurate with the mission of e-learning and that can make it an efficient method of self-directed learning.
 

How do you envision the future of e-learning in KKU?
The future is brightly promising, Inshaallah! Supported by an elite professoriate in KKU, this mode of learning will give fruition in the not too distant future. We extend our helping hands to you to make it effective, and we are ready to exert more effort to make the current practice a pioneering successful story in the history of e-learning in KSA.