University of Hull, United Kingdom
Technology has become a major focal point in the modern learning environment. Web 2.0 technologies are widely employed in university education and have the potential to improve the quality of education for students who have grown up socialising in the digital world. Despite the benefits that technology can bring to pedagogy, there has always been a limited use of Web 2.0 technologies for educational purposes among students at Saudi universities, especially among the female students at Princess Nourah University (Alebaikan , 2010). Saudi Arabia is built on a conservative, tribal society, and this may affect a family’s willingness to allow female students’ access to technology (Alhareth, 2014). The purpose of this research paper was to explore student attitudes towards using Wiki technology as a learning environment, as well as to culturally contextualise the perceptions of Saudi female students towards using Wiki technology to learn. To achieve this, the research was formed using a six-week case study and a mixed-method approach involving pre- and post-questionnaires, as well as post interviews. Post triangulation, the results showed overtly that five students out of the 20 that were interviewed felt their family’s willingness to allow them to study using technology had impacted on their own attitude towards using technology. The findings also showed that 64 students from a total of 83 had a positive attitude towards using Wiki after having experienced it, which was particularly enlightening in terms of the students who reported feeling shy in a traditional classroom, prior to their online experience. Wiki was perceived by seven out of 20 students to hinder these levels of shyness, especially through the anonymity that it provides.
Web2.0 technologies, student attitudes, culture, Saudi context