Exploring a transformative pedagogy with blended learning for Emirati higher education students

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Faculty of Education and Arts


Titled: Exploring a Transformative Pedagogy with Blended Learning for Emirati Higher Education Students, this portfolio relates a process of reflective praxis with the development of a pedagogy which was co-constructed with Emirati students. These students were studying in the first cycle of a bachelor's degree in Communications and Media Management at the United Arab Emirate's Higher Colleges of Technology between 2001 and 2004. The portfolio describes this collaborative instructional design project using English as a Second Language (ESL) and constructivist theory, exploratory and web based learning within the formation of a community of !earners via asynchronous !earning networks. Dilemmas of cultural synergy are discussed that may face sojourning Western educators working within the Higher Colleges of Education: the portfolio proposes strategies for the development of an appropriate methodology, responding to the question: I. How to develop a functional pedagogy that is culturally sensitive and relevant to Emirati students? Information technologies provide the opportunity for faculty to develop and augment instructional course design. Within the functional pedagogy proposed in this portfolio is rationalised the requirement to supplement aspects of the pedagogy online. Therefore, the portfolio also propose strategies for the development of a supportive e-learning portal appropriate to this cohort of students, responding to the question: 2. How to develop an e-learning aspect that is supportive of the pedagogy? The portfolio uses two case studies to make a comparative evaluation of the receptivity of students to contrasting modes of teaching approaches, reporting the pedagogic development of a two year undergraduate degree program. Reflective practice and cohort feedback over a two year period produced thick longitudinal feedback from the gender-separated Emirati cohort. This feedback took the form of daily email communication, focus groups, tutorials and questionnaire responses. The portfolio investigation added a major retrospective response with a questionnaire adapted from the established Barker and King model of 1993. (See Appendix H for further academic validation of this model and Appendix F for the developmental feedback from students), Pertinent research and theory are discussed through analysis of the learning outcomes for both the students and faculty participants. Recommendations are made that expatriate Western staff develop awareness to the culturally defined learning needs of the HCT Emirati students. The pedagogy and online learning support were perceived by the cohort as a new style, which responded particularly well to their needs, interest and expectations.

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