Emirati student and expatriate teacher views on problem-based learning in UAE education courses

Doctorate other than PhD

Ray, Trevor P.. 2017. Emirati student and expatriate teacher views on problem-based learning in UAE education courses. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5c05c3e0d30c9

Emirati student and expatriate teacher views on problem-based learning in UAE education courses

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorRay, Trevor P.
SupervisorDashwood, Ann
Son, Jeong-Bae
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages289
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5c05c3e0d30c9

Understanding how Emirati students value Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in their learning of tertiary subjects such as Business and Information Technology (IT) is an essential
component of the pedagogy adopted in UAE Higher Education to achieve active learning in those subject areas. This research targeted the ‘voice’ of Emirati students and their expatriate teachers in the use and subjective evaluation of PBL in their tertiary education experience. Their
documented perceptions are available for future UAE education policy development. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of how effectively PBL is being implemented when teaching the subjects of Business and IT. This research took place at a UAE Higher College of Technology
where PBL was being used as a part of internal assessments for Business and IT in the students’ first bachelor year of study. Data was collected from a purposive sample of 174 Emirati students and 8 teachers using Mixed Methods design - a questionnaire, student and teacher interviews and
classroom observations of students participating in PBL group work were the tools used to establish student voice. The questionnaire results indicated that there is a strong consensus from the Emirati students (between 60 to 80%) and expatriate teachers (between 90 to 100%) in support of the PBL pedagogy being used as a form of assessment within their Business and IT classes. However, 40% of the student interviewees were not satisfied with PBL. The eight
teachers were strongly satisfied with PBL as a form of assessment for their Business/IT students. The learning of Business/IT content and implementation of group work for projects were considered to engage students and motivate them although projects were considered a challenge
in the PBL process. Students generally need better support as do the teachers in implementing new pedagogies which impact group dynamics, learning styles, resources and learning management. assist Emirati students who may be struggling with group dynamics, independent learning, and lack of teacher support and time management. Recommendations are made that for the sustainability of new pedagogies such as PBL, student and teacher voices be incorporated into curriculum decision making in UAE Higher Education taking account cultural and longitudinal implications for the whole education system.

KeywordsEmirati students; expatriate teachers; problem-based learning; PBL; tertiary education
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Permalink -


Download files

Published Version
File access level: Anyone

  • 526
    total views
  • 540
    total downloads
  • 7
    views this month
  • 10
    downloads this month

Export as