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Using the ARCS Model to motivate Adult Arabs in an online setting

      Multiple obstacles hinder the interactive engagement of Adult Arab Learners in an online setting:  their previous lecture-type educational experience, cultural sensitive issues, like the intermingling of sexes within discussion forums, their attitude towards the internet as a mere entertainment mean, lack of necessary study skills…etc. are just to mention some. A 4 weeks, flexible, interactive parental free of charge training course that engaged 87 parents could successfully overcome a lot of these by a skillful implementation of the ARCS Motivational Model. Tactics and strategies used to motivate online Arab Learners are the core of this presentation. If you are interested and want to know more engage in this discussion and come and join the presentation which is going to be on Saturday, May19th 2:00 GMT. Hope to hear from you

Mona Younes

Did anyone out there work with the same target group?

I am interested to hear from you, if anyone of you had had a previous online experience with the same target group. If yes, how did it work., what were the obstacles and how can the online knowledge construction of Adult Arabs, with low self-learning skills, be enhanced?

Waiting to hear from you

Mona Younes  

Details of target group

Hello,

The responses mention Gulf Arabs, but is that the group with whom you did the research? I think that the motivational level (with or without computers) would be quite different in say North Africa and the Arabian Gulf.

I teach in the UAE and the motivational issue is not just related to learning via computers - it can encompass motivation towards learning by any media. Students are motivated to pass/graduate but often not to learn or study!

Obviously this is a wild generalisation, but it can often be too true...

Getting the parents on board is a great idea and I will be interested to hear your presentation.

Erika/Heather in Abu Dhabi

It is going to be a case study

Hello Erika,

Nice to meet you online... The presentation is going to display the results of an online interview and questionnaire done after a group of 87 parents finalized an online course ( a parental one) the course was delivered on IslamOnline.net in Arabic, was free of charge and was 4 weeks long. THe learning setting is informal, was totally asynchronous and depended very much on their collaboration and interaction together...

You are right to engage them into an action of learning without having the graduation or a grade as their motivation, is not an easy issue... they are just used to see education and learning as for the purpose to get these two ( grade or certificate) Long Life Learning is just a very new concept in the Arab context.

Mona Younes

Blended Course in Khartoum

Hi Mona. I am Hala Fawzi from Khartoum,Sudan. I had one semester blended English language course with freshmen students, aged between17-19 years. It was their first time ever  to learn with computers, not only for learning English language, but for learning in general. I still didn't have the time to write my long reflection about the course.They reflected with many comments and WoW's, but the one that stopped me and which I believe related  to your discussion, was this one; "No one told me that I can use the Internet in that way. If I had known about all these treasures, I would have definitely spend all my time exploring"( Authentic translation)Thus, I believe if my studnets, who are  like all Arab students, were taught to use the Web from their early grades as tools for learning and  research, we would not have been discussin this issue! Here comes your interesting project with their parents!!

Good luck with your presentation!

Hala

Yes, very much true

Thank you Hala,

Your comment is very much true... and this is one of the project questions, that I am going to deal with in my Masters Project.... why is it that so little young ( 12-25) Arab internet users know about Online Eudcation.. who is responsible for that, is it the media, the educational system, their parents' lack of information... and then what should be done to enhance awareness and not only that ... but actually to enhance the necessary skills, such as self-learning, independance, time and self management and all the other skills related to online education...

Why not keeping in contact, your experience is a very relevant one to my ongoing investigation ( masters project ) I may very well need at some point your reflection and definetely need reference to the above mentioned comment ( very much indicative)

feel free to email me: monayegy@yahoo.com

I hope you will enjoy the presentation and the convergence's experience

Mona Younes

 

not the same target group, but...

I've actually never taught online, but I like using web tools in my f2f class at the U of Maryland (USA).  We are getting a lot of young (17-18 year old) Gulf Arab students in our IEP.  It's been challenging working with them, and some of the cultural issues you mentioned (lack of study skills, seeing the internet as a means of entertainment not learning) affect our success rate with these students. 

Nina Liakos

engaging students in CMC and CALL

Hi, Nina and Mona—and everyone.

One thought that you both touched on is the challenge of working with students who see the Internet primarily as a means of entertainment. I think this situation applies to many student groups—not only Gulf Arab students—and have encountered the same attitude among students from a variety of cultures, including the U.S. Finding a way to engage computer-generation students in using the Net as a learning tool rather than a superficial, "cool"-focused way of reacting rather than thinking and reflecting is a very real challenge.

Dennis in Phoenix

Challenging YES.... Impossible NO

Hello Nina,

You know i learnt a lot moderating adult Arabs online... but my first lesson, was to be very much cultural sensetive... even if I do not agree or sometimes understand the reason behind some demands, but at least to show them understanding and tolerance is very much important and they appreciate that at the end.

Moderating an online educational setting is challenging...

Moderating adults in that setting is much more challenging....

Moderating adult Arabs- due to some cultural background, linguistic challenges, previous educational background- is a real challenge....

But like I learnt this morning attending the session of Second Life and its potential in vocational education.............. nothing is anymore impossible... challenging yes, impossible no.

Have a nice fruitful day, convergence, discussions and interactions

Mona Younes

Best Practice list for E-Moderators

  • Provide rapid, effective, positive and  timely feedback.

     

  • Be enthusiastic , committed, creative, and passionate about your subject.

     

  • Keep the group working toward its goal and keep discussions on track

     

  • Set the agenda for online discussions

     

  • Post provocative and stimulating questions
  • Include at least one highly interactive learner in each sub-group
  • Vary your teaching methods and style

     

  • Weave the discussions by synthesizing points which students raised
  • Use eye-catching fonts, consistency in textual cues, simple, clear and cultural- sensitive graphics that are instructional
  • Relate course materials to students' lives and highlight ways learning can be applied in real-life situations
  • Use hands-on activities

     

  • Provide frequent, early, positive and clear feedback that supports students' beliefs that they can do well.
  • Ensure that expectations for performance and behavior are clear and consistent, provide netiquette for instance
  • Provide background information on the subject
  • Allow students to have some degree of control over learning

     

  • Open a space for personal introduction

     

  • Group learners according to common interest and goals
  • Hold realistic expectations

     

  • Be sensitive to students' learning styles

     

  • Ensure that tutor or trainer are experts in their subject.
  • Communicate positively, effectively, timely and supportively. Use a friendly, personal tone.
  • Send welcoming messages at the beginning of the course

     

  • Make students feel welcome and supported, accepted, respected and safe.

     

  • Reward positive contributions

     

  • Emphasize mastery and learning rather than grades

     

  • Send reminders and effectively use the bulletin.

 



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