Alshahrani, Saeed (2013) The impact of website use on students' perception of the student-lecturer relationship within higher education in Saudi Arabia. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Many researchers have discussed the student-lecturer relationship in the classroom. These
studies have concluded that the association between student and lecturer must be positive in
order for each of them to benefit. Studies carried out so far have focused on the studentlecturer
relationship and the impact of factors such as age, gender and the cultural
background of the student or lecturer. Most of these studies have discussed the studentlecturer
relationship in terms of the lecturer’s power in the classroom and classroom
management. Previous studies have also discussed student engagement in the classroom and
have shown evidence of how it impacts on student learning outcomes. Studies have
discussed the positive impact of websites on students and lecturers’ performance along with
improving teaching strategies. Previous studies have also shown the importance of the
student-lecturer relationship and their academic engagement in the classroom. However,
there are as yet no studies that have highlighted the impact of internet website use by
students, as additional sources of information, in relation to their relationship with their
lecturers and their academic engagement in the classroom. This study aims to investigate this
impact from a students’ perspective. The impact of websites in this research focuses on and
investigates social power in the classroom i.e. expert power and referent power and academic
engagement i.e. academic self-confidence, academic reliance and connectedness. A mixed
method approach was employed to collect the required data from respondents. This method
included quantitative data to measure the impact and qualitative data to study the reasons
behind the impact. To achieve these objectives, a questionnaire targeting undergraduate and
graduate students was sent to 30 universities and educational organisations in Saudi Arabia.
In total, 1361 valid responses were collected. Of these, 969 identified themselves as male,
and 377 as females, while 15 did not specify their gender. Quantitative data was analysed
using PASW and thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data with results
presented and discussed together. The findings of the study show that there is an impact on
the student-lecturer relationship, when websites are used, in all tested criteria but at different
levels. Results of this study show that the relationship gap between students and their
lecturers is increasing due to website use by students. The results also show that websites
have impacted positively on students’ academic engagement in the classroom. The author’s
recommendations to reduce the negative impact of websites on student-lecturer relationship
are provided at the end of this thesis.

Saeed_Alshahrani_-_Final_Thesis_-_May_2014.pdf - Submitted Version

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