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A case study of collaborative learning among preparatory year students and their teachers at Hail University in Saudi Arabia

Alali, Fauwaz


Fauwaz Alali


Nigel Wright


The concept of collaborative learning (CL) relates to the educational use of small groups, in which students work together to maximise their learning and to teach and learn from each other as much as possible, after receiving guidelines and instructions from their teachers. Collaborative learning in Saudi higher education (SHE) has been promoted at the government level in recent years as part of a trend to increase the adoption of e-learning. The policy also aligns with educational reforms and the drive to make the Saudi economy more competitive and diverse. Nevertheless, it is still enforcing itself to become a norm in the teaching and learning process as it is a radical shift from the traditional centralised decision making in educational settings and teacher-centred teaching, which indicate a high power distance structure. Therefore, this study investigates the perceptions of preparatory year students and teachers at Hail University regarding the implementation of CL. A qualitative research methodology was adopted. Data were gathered from observations, six focus groups (composed of five students in each group) and individual interviews with 12 teachers on the foundation year. The findings of this study indicated two modalities for deploying CL: traditional CL (TCL/non-computer- supported collaborative learning [CSCL]) and computer-supported CL (CSCL) in Saudi higher Education. Furthermore, the results showed that CL indeed provides personal, social, and academic benefits. It is still, however, marred by challenges such that effective implementation is curtailed and thus does not produce positive learning outcomes among students. Overall, given the cultural background, the preference for retaining a high power distance, and what teachers and students are accustomed to, the study suggests further research be conducted to implement an form of CL adapted to suit Saudi culture.


Alali, F. (2022). A case study of collaborative learning among preparatory year students and their teachers at Hail University in Saudi Arabia. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date May 31, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 31, 2023
Keywords Collaborative learning (CL); Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL); Traditional collaborative learning (Non-CSCL); Saudi Higher Education (SHE)
Public URL
Additional Information School of Education, The University of Hull
Award Date May 1, 2022


Thesis (3.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2022 Fauwaz Alali. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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