Videoconferencing for a Segregated Learning Environment

Male and female college students in Saudi Arabia study in a segregated environment. King Saud University (KSU) has 50,000 students in 3 campuses each of which is 35 kms away. Due to increasing student enrollment, all departments for female students are understaffed. Due to latest development in technology, all three campuses were upgraded and are now connected through fibre optics with a LAN. The Olaysha campus hosting women’s colleges of Education, Arts, Administrative Science, Languages, and Graduate college has installed a new videoconferencing lab and two large-lecture halls. Through these, female students and instructors can attend conferences, classes, meetings, defenses, workshops, and functions simultaneously with men. However, facilities are not optimally used. Attendees will gain insight into use of new technology (videoconferencing) in educational settings in other cultures. They will gain knowledge about their set-up, equipment, applications, uses, capacity, limitations, students’ opinions of their effect, and causes of under-use. A description of the videoconferencing lab and large-lecture & videoconferencing halls at KSU will be given in terms of setup, equipment, software, capacity, hours of use per semester, how graduate and undergraduate lectures, conferences, presentations by invited speakers, live functions such as graduation ceremonies are broadcast, how workshops and defenses are conducted, and how interaction takes place, what problems are solved by the videoconferencing technology. The uses, causes of under-use, and male and female students and instructors' opinions of the effect of videoconferencing on learning, and student-instructor and student-student interaction will be reported in detail.

Prof. Reima Al-jarf
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/aljarf

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