A Comparative Study of Traditional Instruction and Blended learning in Saudi Aramco Mathematics Courses

A Comparative Study of Traditional Instruction and Blended learning in Saudi Aramco Mathematics Courses

Author: 
Mohammedali Mohammedsaeed AlKhunaizi
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
Saudi Aramco, an industrial organization in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, conducts extensive training of new employees, using both traditional instruction and blended learning. The relative value of each approach is not known for trainees in an industrial situation. The purpose of the current study was to compare the effect of using instructor-led training and blended learning approaches on student mastery of mathematics skills in training centers. A quasi-experimental investigation was conducted to compare Saudi Aramco student achievement in a technical mathematics course taught by two alternative methods: blended learning and traditional instruction. During a 50-day training period, a sample of 54 trainees received mathematics instruction using traditional techniques, and a sample of 51 trainees participated in the blended learning technique of instruction. A test of prior knowledge and a posttest in mathematics were administered to all participating trainees. The test of prior learning demonstrated equivalence of the two groups before training. The scores of the posttest for the two groups were collected for analysis, and the t-test of independent samples was used to determine any existing differences in mathematics achievement between the two groups. Results demonstrated significantly higher posttest scores for the blended learning group (t(103) = 3.98, p < .001). Blended learning appears to be more effective than traditional instruction for technical mathematics. Recommendations include replicating the current study with other trainees and in different training contexts, and determining attitudes of mathematics instructors toward using blended learning. Conducting a similar study in the Arabian Gulf States where the culture is similar to the culture of Saudi Arabia may reveal useful results.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to the memory of my father, Mohammedsaeed Alsheikh Mohammedali AlKhunaizi (Abu Fuad), who has been my role-model, incentivized the lifelong learner in me, and inspired me to both set high goals and have the confidence to achieve them. Abu Fuad continuously emphasized the importance of education and taught me life lessons that are worth sharing. In addition, I dedicate this dissertation to the educational and training institutions in my beloved country, Saudi Arabia. The training and development organization in Saudi Aramco is one of the training institutions in Saudi Arabia.
Acknowledgements: 
I acknowledge the help and guidance of my mentor, Dr. Ralph Melaragno. He continuously provided me with constructive feedback at each stage of this study. Without his patience and cooperation, I may not have completed my dissertation. I also acknowledge my committee members, Dr. Keri Heitner and Dr. Carol Hall. They offered valuable insight and guidance to help shape the proposal and dissertation into the completed product. I acknowledge my mom for her prayer and support. I am grateful to my wife, Zeinab AlQudehy, and my daughters Shahd and Fatima. They were my learning team partners during most of my doctoral degree coursework. They corrected me when I was wrong, argued with me when I was steadfast, and encouraged me when I was discouraged. They are not only my family members, but also my life-long friends. I acknowledge my brothers and sisters for their continued support through prayer, and relatives and friends who were just there. Finally, I would like to acknowledge my management in training and development in Saudi Aramco who gave me full support to continue my study and earn a doctoral degree in education. Special thanks should go to Mr. Ahmed Abu Ras, Dr. Issam Abu Zaid, Fathi Mohammed, Ali Abulgasim, and many others in the Academic Curriculum and Testing Unit for their tremendous support. I cannot forget the colleagues in the ITD, especially in the Abqaiq and Mubarraz ITCs. Their feedback was useful and fruitful. There are many other training and development colleagues who kept asking me about my study. By doing so, they encouraged me to complete the study.