A Hybrid Instructional Delivery System in UAE Graduate Education

By Patrick Dougherty, Josephine Butler and Gregory Vrhovnik.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This case study investigated the student-perceived benefits and drawbacks of an experimental multi-site, hybrid instructional delivery system for post-graduate education in the United Arab Emirates. Five courses as part of a Master of Education program were taught simultaneously from four separate locations. The classes were linked electronically via videoconferencing technology that allowed class members to see one another and lecture materials in real time. The instructor was physically present at each of the four sites on a rotating basis, and was supported by location-designated tutors who remained at each site permanently. This method of delivery was intended to allow students in remote locations to participate in degree programs, increase the offerings available, and utilize the full potential and expertise of the teaching staff. Initial research had been done when the hybrid delivery model unified two cohort sites. With the doubling of the number of cohort sites, and with institutional interest in further expansion of the system to even more sites and its use to support other academic programs, the researchers decided to return to previously explored research questions. With a new set of subjects and under the new dimensions of the program the research was conducted to see if student perceptions had changed as the system had become more complex. The data indicated continued student satisfaction with the hybrid delivery system and identified several benefits of, and drawbacks to, the delivery structure.

Keywords: Tele-presence, Blended Delivery, Video Conferencing

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.119-127. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 282.871KB).

Dr. Patrick Dougherty

Programme Leader, Masters of Educational Studies, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dr. Dougherty is Chair of Graduate Programs in Education for the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. An educator for twenty-five years, he has worked as a high school teacher, teacher-trainer, university lecturer, and educational administrator in the United States, Japan, Bangladesh, and the UAE. His research interests are in teacher development, the use of creative writing in the EFL classroom, student heritage in the language classroom, and the use of technology to increase student access to education.

Josephine Butler

Faculty, Bachelor of Education Program, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Ms. Butler is a faculty member of Liberal Studies at Abu Dhabi Women’s College delivering Research Methodology courses to undergraduate female students. Josephine has been working for almost a decade with students taking a postgraduate Masters in Education. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education. Her interest is in using technology to provide innovative solutions for program delivery.

Gregory Vrhovnik

Faculty, Abu Dhabi Men's College, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Originally from the United States, Mr. Vrhovnik started his teaching career with a BS-Education in Foreign Languages from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After obtaining an MBA in International Business from AGSIM, Arizona, and a brief period of international consulting in Europe, he reverted back to teaching, primarily in the area of Business Communication, which he has done for the past 20 years in Asia and the Middle East. He has recently completed an MA-TESOL (DL) from the Institute of Education/ University of London. He is particularly interested in technological applications in ESL for both teaching and learning.