The Implementation and Management of the Digital Platforms and Online Resources in Online Distance learning Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic - A case study in a School in UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This research is a case study which aims to explore the implementation and management of digital platforms and online resources to provide accessibility to learning and connectivity to the learning communities in online distance learning amidst COVID-19 pandemic in a school context in UAE. Also, it simultaneously aims to examine the impacts on teachers perceived benefits. The study used mixed-methods case study research design with exploratory sequential data collection methods. The exploratory qualitative data was collected through a structured questionnaire addressed to 2 leadership members who were involved in the implementation and management of the digital platforms during the pandemic and collected additional artifacts. Then, the research proposed a structural hypothesis model to do empirical tests on the data collected from 45 teachers (grades 1-8) participated in an online survey to express their perception about the different themes in the hypothesis and the benefits of using them. The results show that there were overall positive responses to the perceived benefits as a result of the leadership support through the investment on the technology infrastructure, technical and administrative support, training, video tutorial, positive encouragement, and the effectiveness of the digital platforms used in synchronous and asynchronous modes to provide accessibility and connectivity. However, the study brought up that there were inconsistencies of the impact of middle leadership between the different phases and the satisfaction of the teachers who have been working for a longer time in the school. The research suggests improving the impact of leadership in phase3 through culture of continuous learning and breaking the barriers of teachers’ resistance to change. Also, it suggests initiating a personalised professional development program led by teachers and focuses on investing on cultural capital, coaching/mentoring, constructive personalized feedback targeting the mastery of digital competency. Also, it suggests extending the role of professional learning community to lead on learning towards deeper use of technology.
technology planning, technology management, digital platforms, online distance learning, virtual learning environment, COVID-19 pandemic., distance learning, United Arab Emirates (UAE)