Theses for Doctor of Philosophy in Education

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    The Impact of Feedback for Lesson Observation on Improving Teacher Performance: A Study among Teachers and School Leaders at Selected Public Schools in Abu Dhabi
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-11) SHEHAB, AMAL SHAIKH ALAWI; Dr Solomon David
    Giving constructive feedback is an essential skill that school leaders should have to help teachers develop and improve their teaching efficiency. This study aims to investigate the impact of feedback by school leaders in enhancing teaching performance from school leaders’ and teachers’ perspectives in selected public sector schools in Abu Dhabi. The main research question of the study probe: What is the impact of administrative feedback by school leaders in enhancing the teaching performance of teachers? The review of central concepts, theories, and related studies indicated that a constructive strategy for feedback focusing on teaching and learning for teachers is critical for achieving reforms and gaols of an education system. The current research was inspired by the research works of authors Balyera & Özcanb 2020, Cioppa 2020 and Alhosani 2015 associated with the present subject of the study. The study adopts a sequential explanatory mixed methods design articulated in three phases: The first phase was a quantitative process followed by a qualitative process. A survey method followed by semi-structured interviews and focus group discussion (FGD) method were used for data collection. Purposive sampling was used during the course of this investigation. 119 teachers and 17 school leaders participated in the survey process, and 10 teachers and four school leaders participated in the interview process. In addition to that, 6 participants were included in the FGD. The findings indicated that taking into account all of the components of constructive feedback (usefulness, accuracy, credibility, access to resources, responsiveness) is the most effective way to provide feedback and significantly impacts teachers' performance. These findings demonstrate a twofold advantage of assessment and feedback for teachers personally and for improving their teaching, which should be noted by policy makers, school leaders, school principals, and instructors. The findings of the current research work are limited to Abu Dhabi with a mixed research methodology based on the diverse sample of teachers and school leaders, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. It is suggested for future research work to consider multiple aspects, including feedback that may affect the performance of teachers in different research settings. In the current study, it is asserted that feedback must be frequent and conducted several times during the school year, formal and informal, and focused on teaching methods and student behaviour rather than the teacher's personality. Performance improvement is only achievable if feedback is timely and accurate.
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    English Language Instructors’ and Students’ Perceptions and Practices of Integrating Educational Technology into Vocabulary Instruction
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-09) ALKHAZRAJI, MUWFQ ASMAA; Dr Emad Abu-Ayyash
    In spite of the growing interest in integrating educational technology into vocabulary instruction to develop vocabulary teaching and learning in recent years, some important areas in such integration have still not been identified and researched. As such, the current study covered these areas by investigating the perceptions and practices of English as a second language (ESL) instructors and students about integrating educational applications (apps) into vocabulary instruction. The research was framed by the social constructivist theory, the technology acceptance model, the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, the semantics theory and the four strands model. The mixed-method approach (questionnaires, interviews and observation) was adopted for ESL instructors and students by applying the explanatory sequential mixed methods design. A total of 106 ESL instructors who taught in ten private universities in the United Arab Emirates, and 461 students who studied the English language as a mandatory course in the same universities participated in this study. The results of this study showed that ESL instructors’ and students’ perceptions were positive regarding integrating educational apps into vocabulary instruction. In addition, their perceptions influenced their practice of integrating educational apps into vocabulary instruction. Some essential findings were revealed: A) the integration improved vocabulary teaching and modelling by ESL instructors; B) it developed vocabulary learning in terms of the cognitive, psychomotor and affective aspects; C) improved speaking skill and formative assessment were neglected by some ESL instructors; D) ESL instructors and students faced some difficulties while implementing this integration; and E) some demographic variables for ESL instructors and students influenced their perceptions about the integration, causing differences in their views. These results produced some implications for practice, linguistics, policymakers, theory and methodology. Some recommendations suggest more opportunities for future studies. Keywords: educational apps, vocabulary instruction, perceptions, practice.
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    A Balanced Approach Towards Teaching the Skills of L2 Reading and Writing to Enhance the Writing Proficiency of Foundation Program Students at Universities in the UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-03) ALFARAN, FATHIA HASAN; Dr Tendai Charles
    The current study aims to investigate the effectiveness of balancing reading and writing instruction in foundation programs and how that affects learners’ essay writing skills in higher education institutions in the UAE. To achieve this goal, two research questions are formulated to drive the inquiry: What are the foundations program instructors’ perceptions and practices regarding the balance of teaching L2 reading and writing? How does the balance in teaching L2 reading and writing enhance foundation programs learners’ writing performance in higher educational institution in the UAE? In the current study, the mixed methods approach is employed to assess classroom practices to investigate whether there is a balance in teaching reading and writing so as to strengthen the learners’ performance in these two skills; and examines whether these practices improve foundation programs learners’ essay-writing skills in higher education institutions. The quantitative data have been collected from teachers’ questionnaire to answer the first question. The qualitative data have been collected from an experiment that consists of a pre-posttest to answer the research second question. The results of the intervention and the achievement tests, instructors’ questionnaire and interviews revealed that the techniques used in the balanced reading and writing teaching program are suitable for first-year students and can be implemented if the instructors get appropriate training from knowledgeable people.
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    The Conceptualization, Perceptions, and Practice of Positive Education in University Student Accessibility Departments
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-05) KARAKI, SUHA; Professor Eman Gaad
    Recent studies have started moving the focus of academic contexts from mere achievement to the emphasis on wellbeing and positive psychology. Schools and universities are the main setting where students are prepared for their future, flourish and develop both mentally and academically. The field of education is witnessing a move towards a positive education model that encompasses skills students need in their life and the real world. The model enables learners to: become more aware of their abilities and self-worth, understand the need to be more engaged with themselves and others, and develop an ability to improve on the psychological and academic levels. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is striving towards implementing a positive education model and positions education as a key element in measuring the nation’s success. It is aiming to be the happiest country in the world; accordingly, the government and its educational entities are launching positive education and mental health initiatives, networks and workshops. More importantly, the UAE is prioritizing its fully inclusive educational system that accentuates the need for right-based education and learner support. To that end, educational policies emphasize that students of all educational needs are taking an integral part in teaching and learning and are being prepared for a future of achievement and wellbeing. With the UAE underlining inclusive education and positive education, this study aims at investigating: 1) how positive education is conceptualized and implemented in student accessibility departments at a federal university in the UAE, 2) what the perceptions of relevant stakeholders are about positive education, and 3) what model/framework can be proposed to better comprehend and implement positive education. An exploratory sequential mixed-method approach was utilized through the use of triangulation and by means of: document analysis, observations, interviews, surveys and focus groups. The PERMA model which underlines positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment was used as the conceptual framework. Data analysis showed that although these five elements are prevalent in the accessibility department efforts, there is still a need for this positive education model to be institutionalized and documented to promote practical implementation and sustainability. This is further supported by literature that states that in spite of the increasing attention toward the growth of positive education, there is still a need to: understand how they are to be implemented in inclusive higher education settings, and to incorporate this educational framework in a more systematic and overt manner. This emphasizes the significance of this study, since it provides suggestions for a relevant framework that can be used in student accessibility departments in higher education through uncovering conceptualization, practice and perceptions of positive education.
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    An Investigation into the Influence of Culture on Principals’ and Teachers’ Relationships and Practices in Public Secondary Schools in the UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-09) ABU-AYASH, YUSEF AHMAD; Professor Abdulai Abukari
    As today’s world has become more globalized and interconnected, multicultural work environments have become the norm. However, Leading and/or following in a multicultural work environment can be quite challenging. The lack of knowledge and understanding of the different cultural norms, values and even communication styles can hinder both leaders and followers’ ability to navigate cross-cultural interactions more effectively. It logically follows that in order to have a more successful and productive relationship as well as to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts, it has become imperative for both leaders and followers to learn how influential culture is and how to function in an environment in which differences are likely to be more pronounced than similarities. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of culture on principals and teachers in public secondary schools in the UAE. This purpose was further broken into several objectives: to understand how national culture and organizational culture influence the perception of leadership styles, to understand the influence national culture might have on the relationship between principals and teachers in terms of conflict creation, to understand the influence organizational culture might have on the workplace practices of principals and teachers in terms of conflict resolution, and to understand the influence cultural induction might have on improving the workplace practices of and the relationship between principals and teachers in terms of conflict prevention. The study adopted a mixed method research approach and results revealed that there was a variation in the perception of leadership styles between principals and teachers. While principals perceived their leadership style to be transformational, teachers perceived it to be transactional. This variance in perceptions was found to be stemming more from differences in national culture than in organizational culture. As for national culture influence in terms of conflict creation, results revealed that the influence was evident both directly through manifestations in behaviors and indirectly through language. As for organizational culture influence in terms of conflict resolution, results showed that organizational culture was quite influential in this respect. The same influential role was found to be played by cultural induction in terms of preventing conflict from taking place. In light of the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that future research should consider a larger sample size, a more generalizable sampling technique, and to extend studying the influence of culture on leaders and followers in settings other than educational ones. Furthermore, future research should be well-cognizant of real-self vs. ideal-self for participants. Recommendations to leaders, followers and policy makers were also provided; those included: the importance of designing a more immersive and extended onboarding/induction cultural programs for new joiners who come from different cultures, that future cultural induction programs better be led by school principals themselves in the real work-environment context/school, and that both leaders and followers should be open and welcoming of differences and engage in a life-long cultural learning journey. This study filled in a gap of knowledge concerning the influence of culture on leaders and followers in terms of conflict creation, conflict resolution and conflict prevention, particularly within the UAE public education context. The study also stands out among a limited number of studies that explored the influence of both national and organizational culture on leadership styles perception through examining the perspectives of both leaders and followers, and therefore, paving the way for a single holistic model that accounts for both national and organizational culture (‘Organational’ culture) simultaneously and equally. Lastly, this study expanded the existing literature examining the use, application and interpretation of nation-wide cultural data at the individual level; hence emphasizing the importance of being vigilant and not fall into the trap of ecological fallacy when drawing conclusions.
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    The Effects of Dynamic Assessment and its Mediating Factors on EFL Twelfth Graders’ Grammar Achievement in the UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-11) ELMTINY, ABDELHAMID AHMED KHALIL; Dr Emad A.S. Abu-Ayyash
    The present study investigates the effects of dynamic assessment (DA) and its mediating factors on EFL twelve graders’ grammar achievement in a private school in Dubai, UAE. The study attempts to answer the following research questions: 1) What are the effects of implementing DA versus non-dynamic assessment (NDA) on the grammatical achievement of EFL twelve graders?, 2) What effects does DA have on the level of performance of EFL twelve graders’ grammar achievement?, 3) What effects does DA have on the proficiency level of EFL twelve graders’ grammar achievement? and 4) What are the views of EFL twelve graders with regard to their grammar achievement when DA is implemented? The study adopts the explanatory sequential mixed-methods research approach. The first part is the quantitative phase, which involves implementing the quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design to collect quantitative data to examine the overall impact of DA versus NDA on learners’ grammar achievement levels. It also examines DA’s effects on EFL twelve graders’ performance and proficiency levels. However, the second part is the qualitative phase, where data have been collected using semi-structured interviews to explore EFL twelve graders’ views regarding their grammar achievement when DA is implemented. In order to achieve the purposes of the study, 140 participants have been selected using convenience sampling for the quantitative phase of the study, and 20 participants, representing the low and high achievers of the advanced and the general proficiency levels, have been chosen using purposive sampling for the qualitative phase of the study. While quantitative data have been analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, including independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA, two-way ANOVA, and post-hoc multiple comparisons, qualitative data have been analyzed using thematic analysis. Based on the results of the study, there is a significant effect of DA on the level of grammar achievement for EFL twelve graders for the experimental group that has undertaken the DA intervention compared to the NDA group. This indicates how learners of the experimental DA group have improved their grammar achievement more effectively than their peers of the control NDA group. The results also demonstrate a statistically significant difference in the level of grammar achievement among learners of the three levels of performance in which low-achieving learners have improved their grammar achievement substantially better than their counterparts of the average and high-performance learners who have undertaken the DA intervention. In addition, the results of the study point out that there is a statistically significant effect on the proficiency level for EFL twelve graders in the experimental and control groups, which means that the impact of DA on grammar achievement is higher for participants of the advanced proficiency level than it is for participants of the general proficiency level. The qualitative findings have indicated that most learners have positive views and prefer DA over NDA methods due to their engaging, communicative, supportive and comfortable nature. Moreover, the qualitative findings have resulted in some themes pertaining to (1) learners’ awareness and understanding of DA, (2) learners’ involvement in DA interactions, (3) the most effective DA interaction techniques, (4) learners’ general positive feelings towards DA, (5) learners’ positive views towards DA, (6) the role of DA in developing learners’ cognitive abilities, (7) diagnosing and improving learners’ weaknesses using DA, (8) learners’ challenges during the implementation of DA, (9) general drawbacks related to the use of DA in EFL classrooms, (10) the usefulness of DA in dealing with specific grammar rules, (11) learners’ preference of DA over NDA to be implemented in their future examinations, (12) learners’ recommendation of integrating DA into the English curriculum, and (13) learners’ views on how to improve the use of DA in EFL classrooms. Finally, the pedagogical and theoretical implications of implementing DA in EFL classrooms have been outlined.
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    The Perceptions of Science Teachers and Students with Learning Difficulties in Improving and Developing Science Learning in Middle Stage of Private Schools in Dubai
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-06) ALSADOON, MUNA; Professor Sufian Forawi
    Studies have shown that one of the biggest barriers preventing students with LD from receiving instructions in fully comprehensive learning environments is that general education teachers lack the necessary skills to adequately reinforce this group of students in that setting. The environment may have an impact on how the material is presented, how students are encouraged to respond (for example, in writing, reading, or speaking), the environment's physical features, and how instruction is scheduled and organized. According to research studies, there are a variety of strategies that should be used when instructing science to students with LD, including the use of technology, which is a useful tool for connecting these students to science curriculum materials, guided science inquiry instructions, and note-taking techniques. Therefore, this research study aimed to investigate 1. science teachers’ perceptions and practices in developing and improving science learning of students with LD and 2. these students’ perceptions toward science learning in middle stage of private schools in Dubai beside 3. the other factors that might affect the students with LD to develop science learning such as parents’ academic qualification and school’s curriculum. Directed by social cognitive theory, social model of disability, Adelman Model of Learning Disabilities, and Fox’s Personal Learning Theories. An explanatory sequential mixed method design was used in this research study, including a science teacher’s questionnaire responded by 156 science teachers, students with LD questionnaire that responded by 110 students of this group, and a semi-structured interview with science teachers. Further, using document analysis to collect more evidence that reflects the science teacher’s practices. The results revealed that there is a positive perceptions of science teachers to develop science learning of this group of students in their science classes and they use the most known strategies and practices related to science learning to make the learning process more effective, but, this effort and potential have been done by their own and the field lacks a guidance and coordination among other stakeholders to direct these positive perceptions. On another hand, the students with LD have low to moderate interest in science learning which might be due to the complicated structure of the science topics. It is highly recommended for the researchers to enlarge the constructs of the study to include the whole country and compare results among the emirates. Key Words: Science Learning- Teacher Perceptions- Learning Difficulties
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    An Exploration of the Bystander Impact on Primary Students during Cooperative Group Work in the United Arab Emirates Schools
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-05) SHEIKH, NORA NOUR
    The study is based on a mixed-method analysis of the bystander effect impact on primary students working in cooperative group work in the context of the United Arab Emirates. Nowadays, education has changed and drifted from standard teaching to online with the restrictions of social distancing. The reason behind this is the COVID-19 pandemic. The literature review clearly shows the facets that influence the students’ behaviour while working in groups—moreover, the challenges faced by the primary students and how to avoid and overcome those challenges resulting in avoiding the bystander effect. The research methodology section delivers proper strategies and design to conduct the research. The researcher used two tools in this study, the survey for students in upper primary to answer and the interview for the teachers. The data findings and analysis section clearly represent data gathered from the students all over the Emirates focusing on Dubai. The information collected from the students’ questionnaire is interpreted and analysed through SPSS software and provides deep analysis. The data gathered for the interview is examined with the support of the qualitative data analysis technique. The research study is significant as it covers the bystander effect on primary students, providing recommendations for future and further research
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    Investigating the perceptions of undergraduate nursing students of their clinical learning experience and readiness for clinical practice in the UAE context.
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-02) MAALOUF, IMAD
    A supportive clinical practice environment is crucial to improve nursing students’ engagement in clinical practice and enhance both their clinical skills and satisfaction with their learning experiences. The purpose of this study is to investigate undergraduate nursing student’s perceptions of their clinical learning experience, effective teaching methods, and their readiness for clinical practice. A sequential explanatory mixed method case study design was used in this study. In the quantitative study, a convenience sample of 217 year three and year four nursing students volunteered to participate in this study. In the qualitative study, the researcher employed the purposeful sampling technique to select a total of thirteen year three and year four nursing students in the UAE. Data collection was achieved by a questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis of nursing study plans and student clinical evaluation reports. The study concluded that peer support, availability of learning opportunities, and competence, supervision, and guidance of clinical instructors facilitated the clinical practice of students. However, the gap between theory and practice, high clinical instructor-to-student ratio, high study load, an inadequate collaboration between clinical instructors and preceptors, and unfavorable clinical rotation were barriers to clinical practice. Moreover, the study revealed that many students were not fully ready for clinical practice. As most of the factors that could affect the clinical practice of students have been identified, it is recommended that administrators introduce changes to the management of clinical and laboratory courses in terms of clinical rotations, sequencing pattern of courses, number of students and resources in laboratories, and co-requisite requirements for clinical courses. Besides, clinical instructors are required to be supportive of students, acknowledge their achievements, engage them regularly in reflective practices, ask critical thinking questions, use formative assessment to identify learning needs rather than to grade student performance, and collaborate with preceptors and nurse managers.
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    An Investigation of the Gifted Education Programs and its Effectiveness across the Private Middle Schools in Dubai
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-12) SHARMA, NEHA HARESH
    The concept of inclusion remains at the heart of successful education and the UAE follows the rights-based model of inclusion. Gifted education programs are essential to offer academically aligned curriculum and instructional practices, cater to the socio-emotional needs of advanced learners, and provide the skills to advance their careers. This study investigated the gifted programs offered and evaluated its effectiveness in private middle schools in Dubai. Currently, we cannot estimate the number of gifted learners that go unidentified or underserved leading to individual needs being unrecognised. This disheartening situation exists owing to the dearth of prior research in giftedness in the local context. Following the pragmatic paradigm and exploratory sequential mixed methods, the current investigation used the NAFC 2019 PreK-12 gifted education programming standards for guidance alongside appropriate theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Qualitative research including interviews and the document analysis of the KHDA school inspection reports was followed by quantitative analysis of student attainment data in core subjects in the cognitive domain alongside the self-perception data in the affective domain, and concluded with the qualitative analysis of the findings, guided by the giftedness literature. Few suggestions regarding improvements in the gifted programs and recommendations for future research are reported.
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    Investigating Teachers’ and Students’ Perceptions of STEM Education in Private Elementary Schools in Abu Dhabi
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-06) CHAYA, HEBA
    One of the furthermost essential reforms in education is STEM education. It comes as a priority in the well-industrially and economically national agendas of the developed nations, as it is acknowledged for preparing scholars for the technological revolution that the world is experiencing. In the UAE, many initiatives were taken by the STEM promoters to implement effective STEM education as the UAE economy is moving from being oil-based to knowledge-based and that requires more students to graduate as scientists and engineers. STEM education must be implemented starting from the early years as this period is critical for the children's cognitive, social, and academic development. For STEM to be implemented effectively at the elementary level, the teachers must be well equipped to face the complicated and entangled web that enshrouds the STEM education field. Additionally, identifying teachers’ perceptions of STEM education is considered as one of the ultimate significant processes that need to be considered by the STEM education stakeholders as the teachers’ STEM practices are highly influenced by their perceptions of STEM. Similarly, the students’ perceptions and practices of STEM education and the student's motivation to pursue careers in STEM fields are highly affected by teachers’ perceptions of STEM education. The purpose of this study was to explore the current provisions that are on offer in relation to STEM education and to investigate the teachers’ and the students’ perceptions of STEM education in Abu Dhabi private elementary schools. No studies had been conducted in the UAE context on this topic. The researcher conducted an empirical study with an exploratory sequential mixed methods design to meet the purpose of the study. The mixed research methods included both qualitative and quantitative methods including document analysis, teacher questionnaire, and student questionnaire. The document analysis reported eight themes related to the STEM status and implementation in private elementary schools in Abu Dhabi: (1) Integrated STEM-based curriculum, (2) Project-based learning, (3) Technology and Engineering Integration, (4) Teacher willingness to implement STEM, (5) 21st century skills and STEM, (6) Authentic STEM classroom environment, (7) Authentic STEM Assessment, and (8) School Administration support of STEM integration. Results from the teacher and student questionnaires revealed that most of the elementary teachers and students in STEM private schools in Abu Dhabi have positive perceptions of STEM education. Also, elementary students were interested in STEM careers. Furthermore, quantitative findings related to the teacher questionnaire revealed that the majority of the elementary teachers in STEM private schools in Abu Dhabi strongly understand what STEM education is and they strongly agree that STEM competencies are extremely important. Yet, half of the teachers agree that they find difficulties in implementing STEM education. Qualitative data related to the teacher questionnaire revealed that these difficulties were related specifically to the lack of STEM resources, the constraint of time, and the need for professional development. The study ends by discussing the findings of the study, highlighting the researcher’s recommendations, and by outlining the limitations of this study.
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    The effectiveness of task-based instruction on third-year secondary students’ English speaking performance
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-06) BADR, HAYTHAM MORSHED ELSAYED ABDALLA
    This study intended to investigate the impact of task-based instruction (TBI) as a communicative teaching strategy on secondary students’ oral production of more fluent, lexically sophisticated, lexically diverse and syntactically complex language as well as exploring teachers’ perceptions and opinions towards the possibility of effective and successful use of this strategy to improve secondary students’ speaking abilities in the Egyptian classroom context. The underlying hypothesis was the ability of TBI to bring about the necessary outcome in terms of fluency, lexical sophistication, lexical diversity and syntactic complexity as a result of the communicative environment created and the mental process enhanced by TBI. The mixed-methods research approach was embraced to glean the research data from two different samples using two main research tools: pre-post tests to collect the quantitative data and semi-structured interviews to gather the qualitative data. Five other research tools were utilized in the current research including an Oxford quick placement test to ensure the homogeneity of the research sample in terms of language proficiency level prior to the experiment and four automatic computer-based tools (Praat, TAALES, TAALED and L2SCA) to accurately and objectively score and assess students’ oral performance on four fluency measures, three lexical sophistication measures, three lexical diversity measures and four syntactic complexity measures. The quantitative data was deductively collected from ninety two second language students equally and randomly divided into two intact groups, while the qualitative data was inductively gleaned from eight language teachers. The results from the quantitative data exhibited the positive impact of TBI on students’ speaking performance for some of the measures examined, despite the short treatment period which lasted for eleven weeks. Moreover, the results from the qualitative data revealed the conflicting beliefs of teachers towards TBI; namely, the ability of TBI to improve secondary students’ speaking skills but with some challenges against its implementation in the Egyptian classroom settings. Based on these results, some pedagogical implications were provided to be considered by language teachers, syllabus designers, administrative officials and researchers in the second language acquisition (SLA) domain and some other recommendations for future potential readers and researchers were made.
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    Investigation of Provision of Services to Students of Determination in the Federal Higher Education Institute in the UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2020-06) NADEEM, FARHANA
    The focus of this research is to present the challenges encountered by the Students of Determination (as known here in UAE) and their current level of satisfaction in utilizing the provisions offered by the Federal University of the UAE, on its campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The study also shows the barriers encountered by the Faculty and the Specialists in the Accessibility Unit in providing the interventions needed by the Students of Determination. The researcher used Bronfenbrenner’s Bio-ecological framework and an explanatory sequential mixed method design for this research. The data collection was done between 2019 May and June 2020. Quantitative data were collected through surveys and qualitative data was gathered through semi-structured interviews. The data was collected from Students of Determination themselves, Faculty members and Specialists of seven colleges of the Federal Higher Education University. Each campus has Student Accessibility Services Unit (SAS) offering support services to students with Specific Learning Disabilities, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Physical Impairment. In the analysis of quantitative data, t-test, was conducted to examine the differences between the mean score. Qualitative data from interviews and focus group was analyzed using thematic analysis. From the findings of this research the following recommendations have been made. Training is needed for the Faculty to be equipped with strategies to cater to diverse needs. Students of Determination coming from government schools have a low level of English as the medium of instruction is Arabic. The Foundation Course is short to make the students proficient in accessing Higher Education courses in the English Language. The number of personnel in the Accessibility Unit needs to be increased. This study recognizes the need for clear Inclusive Education Policies in Higher Education to realize the goal of “Education for All”. To improve the transition procedure from the Secondary to the Higher Education needs to be smooth. It is imperative for Students of Determination to be equipped with a positive self-concept, self-advocacy and social skills at the secondary level. The findings of this research will be useful to the higher education institutes to improve the quality of inclusive practices.
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    An Investigation into the factors influencing Arabic speaking students’ proficiency in the Arabic language in Dubai British School
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-04) AL AHMAD, ALAAEDDIN MEHY
    Despite the fact that Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as a modern and cosmopolitan nation it is far from the only language spoken there. Therefore, there are schools where the instructional language is other than Arabic, although primarily English. However, those Arabic-speaking students attending non-Arabic schools become less proficient in the Arabic language and continually fall behind their peers in Arabic schools. This is despite the fact that both groups of students are native Arabic speakers, and that both groups of students attend Arabic classes that use the same curriculum and textbooks. Given the high number of British as well as other non-Arabic schools in Dubai, this is a significant issue as many Arabic-speaking students are failing to achieve proficiency in their native language. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the factors influencing Arabic-speaking students’ proficiency in the Arabic language in Dubai’s British schools. The theoretical framework that underpins this study is based on three theories: Language Variation, Linguistic Environment and Language Management. In order to answer the research questions, one of which was based on each theory, an explanatory a sequential mixed-method approach was used to best support, refine and triangulate the quantitative with the qualitative data. The schools selected for this study were five British and two Arabic schools. The participants of this study comprised 211 students from grades 2, 5, 7 and 10, in addition to 39 Arabic teachers, 12 leaders and 83 parents from both types of schools. The instruments used in the quantitative analysis were a set of questionnaires administered to the students, teachers, leaders and parents. Furthermore, samples of the students’ work were analysed quantitatively, as well as qualitatively through thematic analysis. The final part of the qualitative analysis consisted of semi-structured interviews with the teachers, leaders and parents. The primary findings of the study are that while all the students’ proficiency was negatively influenced by the factor of language variation of the Arabic language, such an influence was felt more by the students in the British schools. This is likely due to the difference in linguistic environment experienced by the students in the British schools, relative to those in the Arabic schools, and which this study significantly correlated with decreased proficiency. Furthermore, this study found that many of the students, parents, teachers and leaders felt that because of this difference in proficiency, the Arabic classes mandated by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) are not appropriate for this group of learners. Of the factors studied, only the final one offered a viable solution, which could potentially mitigate some of the negative influences of the first two. Obviously, reversing the language variation of Arabic is impossible, while changing the language of instruction at British schools to Arabic would defeat the very purpose of their existence. While neither factor can be changed, both of their effects can be compensated for at the language management level. Therefore, this study recommends that British schools should have their own policies, curriculum and grading criteria, taking into account both the degree to which the British school students are impacted by language variation and the difference in their linguistic environments. While the precise design of that curriculum and criterion is beyond the scope of this study, it seems likely that a design that takes these important factors that influence the proficiency of Arabic-speaking students into account will be an improvement over any design that does not.
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    Investigating the Themes and Perceptions of the Formal and Informal STEM Education Programs, STEM Career Development, and their Connections to the Triple Helix Component in the UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-01) HUSAIN, FATIMA YOUSUF
    Background: The Triple Helix model creates collaborative relationships between its three components: government, university and industry. Through the cooperation of the Triple Helix actors, the conditions for knowledge production are made possible. A knowledge-based economy is necessary to promote innovation to achieve economic growth and stability. As a result, the needs of the future economy emphasize a growing demand for a STEM workforce. Globally, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education has increased in popularity as a learning approach to address this gap. The Triple Helix model plays a vital role to benefit STEM education and increase the STEM workforce. In the UAE, the Economic Vision 2030 emphasizes developing STEM education to meet future workforce needs, creating an opportunity to use the Triple Helix model to improve STEM education and to develop future STEM careers. Purpose: The main purpose of the study is to investigate the common themes related to the formal and informal STEM education and stakeholders’ perceptions and responses on formal and informal STEM education programs, STEM careers and the Triple Helix model in the UAE. Methods: The researcher employed exploratory sequential mixed methods approach for this study. The mixed research methods included both qualitative and quantitative methods. These include document analysis, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. For the document analysis, 5 national and global policy documents from countries excelling in STEM education were analyzed for themes. For the questionnaire, 123 leaders/teachers, 101 parents, and 361 students from the governmental school cluster participated. For the industry cluster, 53 leaders/teachers and 101 students participated. For the university cluster, 54 leaders/teachers and 110 students participated. Interviews were then conducted with leaders and teachers from the government, industry and university clusters. There were 15 participants from governmental schools, 7 from industry institutions and 7 from universities. Results: The findings of this study included a positive perceptions of STEM education programs and STEM careers from the participants in all clusters. The study found that the implementation of STEM education programs would increase motivation by encouraging students and help to drive their interests towards STEM disciplines. Additionally, the stakeholders emphasized the importance of STEM education programs to prepare students for future jobs, which can benefit from the Triple Helix model. Also, there was no difference between male and female students regarding STEM career perceptions in all three Triple Helix clusters. The findings showed that there is a need for the Triple Helix components to play a larger role in STEM education to improve its implementation in the governmental schools and to increase the number of students pursuing STEM careers. To build student capacity and motivation, more incentives are needed to encourage students in the governmental schools to pursue STEM careers. Currently, schools need to collaborate with universities and industries for the benefit of STEM education. There is room for improvement due to the fact that partnerships are based on the region and the resources available. Implications/Contributions: To meet the needs of a growing demand for a future STEM workforce, policymakers can use the Triple Helix model to enhance formal and informal STEM education programs and increase the number of students pursuing STEM careers. This will improve the knowledge-based economy that is necessary to achieve the UAE’s Vision 2030.
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    Competency Preparedness of Baccalaureate Nursing Graduates and Practice Expectations at Entry Level as perceived by the Nursing Personnel and Nursing Leadership of the Hospitals in UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-07) ARUL RAJ, ANNIE ROSITA
    ABSTRACT Background: The competency readiness of new nursing graduates is a topic that interests nursing professionals in both academic and clinical settings. In the present era, quality health care, patient safety, cost-effectiveness, and satisfaction of the clients and their families are some of the major concerns of healthcare leaders and the top priorities in the strategic plans of their organizations. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to gain insights on the competency preparedness and practice expectations of new graduates among the preceptors and nurse leaders and professional development nurses of hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC) in UAE. The theoretical framework of the study is formulated by consulting the theories and models such as Patricia Benner’s Novice to Expert theory, The QSEN (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) competency model, COPA (Competency outcomes and performance assessment) model, Behaviorist learning theory, Constructivist learning theory, and the Conscious competence learning theory. A review of the literature, both regionally and globally, presents the competency preparedness, by various stakeholders but there has been no study, published to date, from the UAE regarding the current and expected level of competency. Design/ Methodology/ Approach: The researcher employed a mixed methodology approach, and within that, a concurrent exploratory approach was adopted to collect data using the Nursing Practice Readiness Tool among 104 nursing personnel of the hospitals. Fifty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted among them, especially the nursing leaders of the hospitals in Abu Dhabi. Results: The quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis indicated the general competency preparedness that is acceptable with gaps in domains such as critical thinking and clinical knowledge and a high level of preparedness in communication and technical skills. Implications: The study has several implications for nursing education, nursing practice setting, and policy in the United Arab Emirates and the region.
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    Investigating Enterprise Risk Management Policy in Selected UAE Higher Education Institutions
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-02) IBRAHIM, YASER ABDULRAHMAN
    Despite its challenging nature, recent educational research has proven that the implementation of enterprise risk management (ERM) in higher education can be successful and effective in many countries around the world. Since the introduction of a risk-based assessment and accreditation system by United Arab Emirates (UAE) higher education licensure and accreditation authorities in 2001 (updated in 2011 and 2019), there have been few academic studies and little research to investigate the effectiveness of ERM implementation in UAE higher education institutions (HEIs). Moreover, even fewer studies have shed light on the major constructs of quality assurance and academic effectiveness in the context of ERM and risk management from the UAE higher education perspective. This research investigates the effectiveness of ERM implementation in HEIs, with specific focus on selected UAE HEIs. The purpose of this study is twofold: to investigate the perceptions surrounding the effectiveness of ERM (as an academic accreditation, assessment and evaluation tool) and its implementation in UAE HEIs, and to propose a set of workable guidelines for UAE HEIs in relation to effective ERM implementation strategies. The Theoretical Framework of this study is built on three major institutional theories: Institutional Organisational Theory, Legitimacy Theory and Organisational Change Theory. These theories were chosen by the researcher based on the premise that they would lead to improved understanding of the research findings by informing the conceptual analysis and deciding the type of literature to rely on. The justification for the choice of each such theory was based on the nature of each of the research questions, as well as the expected outcomes. In this sense, the findings related to the relationship between the factors leading to HEI adoption and the implementation of ERM would be best represented in the concepts of Institutional Organisational Theory, while those findings that touch upon the effectiveness of the ongoing academic processes involved in ERM implementation correspond to the Organisational Change Theory. In terms of methodology, the researcher investigated and examined the major constructs of the study through a sequential mixed-method study design, utilising both quantitative and qualitative research instruments. The participants of the quantitative study were conveniently selected, while the interviews participants for the qualitative study were purposively selected from major HEIs in the UAE. The researcher mainly used a quantitative research tool through a survey questionnaire to obtain data based on the participants’ perceptions, and to examine ERM maturity levels across the selected HEIs. The participants of the survey, as well as the interviews, were selected faculty members and academic administrators whose views, professional experience and academic knowledge are indispensable for the process of academic evaluation and assessment and ensuring quality assurance. The qualitative study was carried out through two phases: first by conducting document analysis, where the themes and data obtained from the document analysis informed the researcher on the current status of risk management and ERM policies’ and manuals’ applicability and integration into the targeted HEIs’ academic processes; while the second phase of the qualitative study consisted of semi-structured interviews conducted with five purposively selected faculty members and administrators with major risk management, quality assurance and academic effectiveness responsibilities. The findings of the quantitative survey answered the major research question regarding the identification of the participants’ perceptions of ERM implementation in UAE HEIs and showed that the majority of the participants agreed with the major premise of the study, namely that the effective implementation of ERM leads to proven and sustainable academic effectiveness. The themes elicited from both document analysis and semi-structured interviews highlighted the major characteristics of applied risk management policies and gave hints of what ERM implementation strategies need to be adopted in UAE HEIs in order to best achieve academic effectiveness and meet quality assurance requirements. This study concludes by proposing guidelines and recommendations for optimum ERM implementation strategies that may be adopted in higher education contexts in order to achieve more effective and enhanced ERM integration across all institutional processes. By doing so, this research helps identify the current theoretical and practical features of ERM implementation in UAE HEIs and suggests better strategies for the more effective implementation of ERM. It also paves the way for further study that may consider among other factors the quality and effectiveness of academic programmes and processes in UAE HEIs in terms of ERM adoption and implementation. Therefore, the study resulted in major contributions to literature, theory, methodology and finally policy and practice. In terms of contribution to literature and theory, it helped establish a link between ERM research done internationally and research that can be conducted in UAE higher education context. It has also contributed to the establishment of a theoretical framework that can be used to inform future research in similar areas and in similar contexts. In this way, the study highlights the view that the academia is a unique entity that has a unique purpose and perspective to ERM, different from other organisations’ purpose and perspectives of ERM. Contributions to policy and practice are represented by proposing a set of guidelines that aim at refining the ERM implementation strategies in higher education institutions, particularly in the UAE context.
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    Views and Concerns of Vocational Educators about the Adoption of the Reformed Vocational Curriculum: A Case Study Using Concerns-Based Adoption Model
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2020-02) HASSAN, SHENIN PARACKAL
    The UAE’s education sector has been undergoing tremendous reforms, keeping abreast with an overarching vision of transforming the nation to a knowledge-based economy. These revolutionizing initiatives have revamped the entire Vocational Education and Training (VET) landscape, as a response to meeting the ever-changing occupational skills demands. Governance and structural reforms in the VET sector has been perceived as a means to address UAE’s alarmingly higher skills-gap challenges, enhance national workforce competencies, and establish training systems to meet 21st century skills demands. One of the significant reforms within the VET sector is the introduction of the new vocational curriculum model, that forms the basis of vocational qualifications (Q) based on the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS), collectively referred to as the Q+NOSS. However, these innovations have posed implementation challenges to VET providers and vocational educators in particular. It is a transition phase for UAE’s vocational educators, shifting their classroom-delivery practices from a competency-based, non-NOSS curriculum framework to a NOSS-based curriculum model. Previous research studies have highlighted a number of innovation adoption challenges and emphasized the critical contributions of teachers in the successful implementation of any educational innovations. A detailed examination of vocational educators’ innovation adoption practices would be useful to understand not only their views about the curriculum, but also help identify factors that influence the adoption process. As the VET sector in the UAE is gearing up to undertake these educational innovations, a closer look at various aspects of implementation would be worth undertaking. In congruent with the aforementioned circumstances, this research aims to examine the views and concerns of vocational teachers who are engaged in the adoption process. This research attempts to 1) describe the newly introduced Q+NOSS model, 2) examine the views and concerns of adopters (vocational educators) and 3) determine the extent to which the curriculum implementation is congruent with those mandated by the regulators. Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) lays the theoretical base for this research, which is deeply rooted in Fuller’s concerns theory embodied within the developmental conceptualization framework. Teachers’ views and concerns are examined using two diagnostic constructs, namely Stages of Concern (SoC) and Levels of Use (LoU) advanced by the CBAM. The research has adopted a convergent parallel mixed methods approach influenced by the underlying theoretical constructs and the diagnostic tools. Data collection methods included document analysis, qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaire-based survey. The two CBAM diagnostic constructs (SoC, and LoU) recommends the administration of a combination of qualitative interview and a survey-based SoC Questionnaire (SoCQ) to collect teacher concerns-related data, and a qualitative interview method to capture the Levels of Usage in regards to the innovation. The research found that majority of the vocational educators view curriculum as a prescribed set of instructional directives or mandates, a characteristic of most of the prescriptive curriculum implementation models. Research findings also indicate that majority of the teachers experience highly intense personal and informational concerns. These concerns results from the lack of standardized communication between key stakeholders, issues relating to the occupational relevance and currency of the subject matter, adequacy of the classroom support systems, workload distribution, regulatory challenges and collaboration issues. In addition, the research indicates that most of the teachers are currently at a ‘routine’ usage level and does not intent to suggest or make any radical changes to the curriculum, despite the acknowledgement of a number of adoption challenges. These findings could be used as a basis for further investigation by the change facilitators and policy makers to formulate effective early intervention strategies.
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    The Impacts of Implementing Education for International Mindedness on Students’ Global Mindset in Dubai’s American Curriculum Schools
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-09) GAMAL EL DIN, AZZA MAHMOUD
    In the current age of globalization, schools are required to develop global leaders who are internationally minded to live, work and compete at an international level. International mindedness has three main pillars: multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement. International schools can set a model of educating students towards international mindedness by enhancing their knowledge of other world cultures and engaging them in global environmental issues. The study was supported by Vygotsky’s social constructivist theory, Wilber’s integral theory and Mezirow’s transformative learning theory. The main purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of implementing education for international mindedness on students’ global mindset in Dubai’s American curriculum schools. Three international accredited schools were targeted for the research. Sequential mixed methods design has been utilised in this study in three stages. Document analysis of the participating schools’ vision, mission statement, core values as well as lesson plans were conducted in the first stage of the study. In the second stage, the study explored school leaders and teachers’ perceptions of international mindedness through the Global Mindedness Scale (GMS), which was distributed to 100 school leaders and teachers. Furthermore, students’ awareness of globalization and global citizenship questionnaire was distributed to 682 high school students. The final stage of the study was the semi-structured interviews, which were conducted with 10 school leaders and 11 teachers and 3 focus groups, consisting of around 6 to 8 students in each group from grades 9 to 12. The findings revealed that school leaders and teachers demonstrated high perceptions of international mindedness with no significant differences between the three schools. Results also highlighted a significant relationship between school leaders and teachers’ international mindedness and students’ global mindset. Based on Wilber’s integral theory, students’ experience of international mindedness can be identified by the development of intercultural identity, the ability to take alternative perceptions starting from students’ direct environment presented in the school, to the local and then the global level. The study identified several school practices and initiatives that helped in promoting students’ intercultural understanding and global engagement. As for multilingualism, it has been developed through the different clubs at school and the languages taught at the three schools. Based on the findings, the study provides a set of recommendations for school leaders and teachers as well as a roadmap for developing international mindedness and students’ global mindset.