EVALUATING THE SECOND WORKSHOP TO BUILD A SAUDI ARABIA-UNITED STATES PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
Dr. Fatemah Abdullah Alhazmi
Taibah University, SAUDI ARABIA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Taibah University (TaibahU) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) signed a partnership agreement in April 2015 with George Washington University (GWU) in the United States (US) to develop a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Educational Administration Leadership. The agreement stipulated that the first workshop would be held in KSA, which subsequently took place in December 2015. This article focuses on the structure and outcomes of the second workshop, which took place between 24 October and 03 November 2016. The workshop revealed that many of the goals of the partnership agreement established in the first workshop had been achieved. In addition, the team discussed the differences between KSA and USA students, in particular in relation to firstly, language and culture, secondly, approaches to public K-12 and higher education and thirdly, methods of identifying and overcoming any barriers resulting from these differences. In addition, there was a discussion of the potential challenges in introducing blended learning, using Blackboard and synchronous online teaching and the type of support required by students in this environment. There was also a consideration of instructor evaluation and ensuring high-quality research from students in both countries. These discussions, along with a number of site visits, led to the drawing up of plans to overcome the issues identified, as outlined in the current article.
Keywords: Cultural differences in education, blended learning, international education partnership, educational administration leadership, education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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