Online Education and Distance Learning in Arab Universities

  • Milad SebaalyEmail author


Few Arab universities offered Distance Learning programs for decades. Prior to the Internet age, students had to study in isolation, and sit for summative assessments once or few times per course. Consequently, learners could rarely experience any kind of communication or collaboration, and student assessment was traditionally based on passing one or few exams. Despite lot of procedural enhancements, this delivery model had suffered from very weak results, and was applicable in limited number of subjects. With time, modern instructional design methodologies, multimedia critical thinking, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality were used to enhance the learner-content interaction and transform the learning experience to become more adaptive and personalized. Delivery models are becoming more collaborative and engaging, by utilizing new communication and conferencing tools, social media dynamics, user experience design and engagement trends. University structure and processes are being updated to cope with these new technological and methodological developments. Many brick-and-mortar universities started offering part of their courses or entire programs online, or in a blended format. More accredited virtual universities are becoming a serious alternative for prospective students, especially in crisis conditions and in under-developed regions. This chapter provides a brief overview of these international trends followed by an overview of the current status in the Arab world regarding Distance and Online Learning, highlighting current difficulties and impediments, future potentials and insights, the role of regulatory bodies, and the need to change. Some case studies of specific leading projects are explored, shedding the light on lessons learned from the field.


Online learning Blended learning Distance learning Open education Learning analytics Critical thinking Arab virtual universities 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Learning International FZ-LLCDubaiUAE

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