Author Archives: khaledalshehri

About khaledalshehri

I am a Ph.D student in my second year, my program is Instructional design and technology. I am glad to take this helpful course to earn the preparing future professoriate certificate, also to learn more about the course agenda. I am doing my internship as well in Technology Enhanced Learning and Online Learning department.

How to be a real teacher in the 21st Century?

Some people think that anybody who goes to school and teaches is a good and helpful teacher. They think it is an easy job, and the main responsibility of the teacher is just to deliver the information to the students, especially, when some countries allow people to have their jobs as teachers when they finish their undergrad with a degree in education. So, they allow them to teach without having a license that proves they are qualified to teach our kids. I think this is a big problem that faces the education.

A real teacher is the one who delivers the information to students ensuring they have received it correctly. The teacher facilitates the learning to make it more effective for students, and he/she applies activities and use technologies and educational tools to make the educational process easier. The teacher tries to solve the learning problems and consider the students’ needs. In addition, the real teacher is who has the humanity, kindness, and the biggest desire in teaching to help students in learning not who works just because he/she has the job.

I remember when I start studying the English language at a school in the United States. I had a teacher who was very ineffective and lazy. As an international student, I was looking for learning in every moment because I know the English language is the master key for completing my higher education here in the United States. But, having the class with that teacher made the learning difficult for me, and I faced more issues that cannot be resolve without learning through this course. However, I have asked to change the class to be with another instructor who was very helpful and amazing. He made the learning easier for me and other students and tried to use many activities and be very helpful and friendly with the students to make the learning effective and the environment fun and useful. Thus, from this experience, I learned to be a great, helpful, and real teacher to facilitate the learning and help in the growth of this community in the 21st century.

The Theoretical Impact of an Inclusive Classroom in Saudi Arabia

Currently, the classroom situation in Saudi Arabia is segregated between men and women. Women are the disadvantaged group, with less access to resources and more hardship endured while obtaining an education. But, what if the concept of an inclusive pedagogy were introduced in the Saudi education system?

Inclusive pedagogy, as I understand it, is a classroom where the students and teacher cater learning that reaches all students, despite background, style of learning, and ability so that the classroom is a social justice charged, supportive, open environment. The main objective is to create a classroom that allows students to feel like they belong and that they are all equally valued.

The first step towards introducing an inclusive classroom is through integration of the genders in the learning environment. Traditionally, women are not seen as equal in the eyes of society, as well as the law. But more recently has there been a push to bridge that gap and women have started to feel closer to equals with their male counterparts. However, there are still inequalities that women face, and one of those is education. By introducing integration in the classroom, women and men are able to interact, allowing for introduction of more idea exchange and enhanced discussions. The application of an inclusive pedagogy excels that discussion through more progressive ideology and the emphasis on equality for all students. Classroom integration, in theory, would prove vital in promoting social justice and furthering equality for women in Saudi Arabia.

Despite the beginning of bridging the gap between men and women in Saudi Arabia, there is still going to be traditionalist and conservative people who will be against the idea of inclusivity. The desegregation of the classroom would cause backlash from those against the idea, and possibly spark protesting, boycotting, and even extremes like intimidation and violence. This could prevent students from attending classes both because it goes against their beliefs or they are afraid to go to class.

The idea of an inclusive pedagogy in Saudi education could be beneficial and provoke further conversation towards social justice and equality. On the other end, there is still a lot of change that needs to occur in the traditional mindset and in the society, both in Saudi Arabia and the world as a whole to allow the ideas of social justice and inclusivity into not only the classroom, but into the culture.

How digital games are changing learning?

Most people like to learn through digital games especially children which means using the games as learning tools. Digital games guide learners to learn subject matter in context, as part of an interactive method (Aurora University, 2019). Those games should be designed well through instructional strategies or learning theories to educate people in the good way and make the learning environment more effective. Games should make the learners more engaged and interested and that could motivate them to learn. Learners are in the position to provide feedback for the designer, the developer or the instructor related to the games if they are useful or not. Thus, the instructor should let the learners evaluate the games because that is the best window to make the education through the games more successful.

Using digital games help learners to learn from failures and successes they face through the learning process. In addition, when the instructor finds a good game and want to implement that in the classroom for the students, the instructor should go through the game and play it to see if that could be helpful for learning before providing it to the students. Also, we should consider some issues in advance to plan for using games in education like which subjects can works through digital games, the age of learners, and the timing of the learning process because all of these aspects play important roles in education.




Aurora University, 2019 (

The Effective Learning

The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept, is a key element in understanding and accepting a variety of teaching approaches with the common goal of advancing the educational community. The ability to relate personal experiences and future goals as a teacher, is vital in discovering a multitude of teaching techniques that are comprehensible to any type of student. Contemporary pedagogy is explained in the given resources by highlighting the importance of online tools and public writing as a means of progressive learning.

In a live discussion with Seth Godin and Tom Peters, new perspectives of business focusing on blogging are explained as being undeniably imperative. Peters’ says, “There is not single thing in the last 15 years that has been more important to my life than blogging. It has changed my life, perspective, intellectual outlook, and emotional outlook…” Further in the discussion he is quoted: “It’s the best marketing tool I’ve ever had, and it’s free.” This begs the question: should this then not be attempted in the classroom?

From author Jon Udell, linking academia and business, is his steps to “think like the web.” In his manifesto, he describes the importance of working openly and ensuring data is readable by both human and machine. Having a large audience (a public blog post will receive more views than a private email) and unique/memorable URLs allows data to be efficiently managed and available for public use (i.e. Twitter hashtag for an event).

Focusing on academic importance of networking and online teaching tools is where Dr. Michael Wesch explains his research on the effects of social media and digital technology.  He believes that as a global society, technology and education do not always foster significant learning or establish genuine/meaningful bonds between students and professors. While this can be widely understood, it still seems such conclusions are based on students with a specific learning style, and we must keep in mind that although some students may not take with online learning, others may flourish. Opportunities should be merely that, an opportunity, not a requirement.

It is important as educators to understand the magnitude of ways students extrapolate and retain information. Gardner Campell embodies this idea well with this thoughts on higher education: “Offering students the possibility of experimental learning in personal, interactive, networked computing, provides the richest opportunity yet for integrative thinking within and beyond ‘schooling’.” We have the capability to more effectively reach the academic community and have a greater impact on the future of education being open to fundamentally different teaching methods (i.e. using twitter and online forums in the classroom) is the future of a deeply involved and interactive student.

Design Thinking in Higher Education

Design thinking puts high emphasis on pushing people to think outside the box and brainstorming. It looks more at prototypes and alternatives, and rewards solutions that are different than the problem. It’s split into 5 principles: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. These guiding principles push students to balance their wants with what’s doable with technology. Design thinking is very efficient in higher education due to it’s straight-forward, user-oriented basis and critical thinking processes.

When students in higher education are pushed to use design thinking, they are pushing their ideas through 5 principles: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. This helps them to better process their thoughts and ideas because they must take the time to process it through each principle. In the end, students have more articulate responses and respond to questions with deeper, more profound answers.

Before answers can happen, ideas must be born. Design thinking is important in helping to create ideas through brainstorming and brain dumps. It encourages out-of-the-box thinking and pushing boundaries, letting students push the boundaries of their imaginations. Letting go of the reigns opens the mind to creating wild and innovative ideas, which is exactly what students in higher education are looking for, especially in topics of research or study. Being able to come up with the perfect idea means the difference between researching something with fire and passion or with lackluster and envy of those who used design thinking to get their topic.

In higher education, design thinking is innovative pushes students to think critically, allows students to open their minds, and opens them to think outside the box. It’s helpful in finding those wild and eccentric ideas through brainstorming and brain dumps, and by pushing students to have out-of-the-box ideas, creating the perfect setting to find research topics. It also pushes students to take the time to think through the 5 principles, and can help them formulate smarter responses, creating a more well-thought out student.  Design thinking in higher education is critical in creating prime students.

Future of the University

Higher education is a fundamental phase in student’s life as it prepares them for a lifetime career. However, to guarantee that the higher learning institutions are relevant and meaningful, change must be incorporated into their practices. Notably, universities have to change how scholarly integrity and ethics are taught to the students. As a freshman, the first days of the semester when starting a new degree program are not only intense but also overwhelming as students try to find their way through the various workshops, orientations, meetings and the things they are expected to carry out. Amidst all this confusion, there is one workshop whose primary purpose is to educate the students on moral values and scholarly integrity.

Rules are laid out during the seminar with an additional discussion on some case studies. Conversely, a lot of it is forgotten despite the relative importance of the workshop on ethics compared to other aspects taught to the students. This might be facilitated by the nature in which the workshops are conducted. For beginners, it should be clearly stated that ethical dilemmas are queries of when rather than if. The students will encounter ethical dilemmas while they find their way through the higher learning institution pursuing the degree. Thus, it is important for the workshops to assert the fact that ethics is not a mere reflection of blacks and white as it encompasses other gray areas. Significantly, the students ought to be provided with reminders on ethics that enhances ease in resetting the ethical compass. Notably, ethical standards often differ from nation to nation posing a challenge to international students who face a hard time adopting the stricter standards for example in the United States. The syllabus on ethical issues should cover the important aspects that the students should grasp. The courses should be introduced in all higher learning institutions to enhance the graduation of altruistic students who are aware of the ethical dilemmas and are perfectly prepared to handle them.

How Conducting Researches Improves Higher Education?

In higher education, students are always trying to take their education one step further. Whether it’s through highly focused studies or intense dedication to their field, these students are constantly proving they can take the next big step in higher education. A large part of higher education is research. Research allows students to take their passion for their field and focus it into a topic they are interested in. Using research in higher education improves it and helps the students in many ways.

When students research in higher education, they are looking at what has been studied before themselves and how it benefits what they are studying. This means that their research is comprised of a lot of information from previously finished studies and experiments. By compiling this data together for their own research, the student is not only getting the information they need for their own research, but creating a bibliography of sources that are highly useful for someone with a similar topic. Having a bibliography means that if their work is ever looked upon or used as research by another student, there is the index of more sources similar to the research for other students to refer to. Using reliable sources is key in producing work that others can look at for their own research down the line.

The references are important, because the student is responsible for establishing credibility from the work to establish it in their own work. Having to find sources with credibility means students learn to be vigilant about weeding out those that aren’t good enough to be used for research. This teaches students to pay attention to details, as well as double checking their sources and facts to make sure they have everything straight. Another very important skill learned during research is time management. When students research in higher education, there is a large amount of time given for them to complete their research. This means it is up to the students to create and push themselves to stick to a timeline to get everything done in an appropriate timeframe. It’s a skill not all students learn, and some still procrastinate until the very end. But for those who do learn, they can thrive and take these skills into their everyday lives, utilizing time management for any kind of task that comes into their path.

Research in higher education teaches skills that students wouldn’t think they would learn, but can take into their everyday lives. It also shows students how to have a sharp eye, allowing them to find the most accurate sources, leading to a highly credible project. Having a solid end project is important and having the tools and skills to create that is something that only research can teach. Yes, everyone can write a paper, but it takes a lot of skill in higher education to create a masterpiece research piece that’s bulletproof all around. Having research in higher education is extremely important and very beneficial.

Open Access Journal

The open access journal is from Indiana University that is situated in Indiana, United States. The journal is published by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. The multidisciplinary, online peer-reviewed journal is devoted to publishing descriptions of environments, artifacts, and experiences created to support and promote learning within all contexts by specialists in any field. Significantly, the online journal is a platform for scholars to share their knowledge-in-practice in the form of detailed considerations on decision making and representations of their respective designs. The primary aim of the journal is to show dedicated support in the making of high-quality precedent materials and to promote their accessibility while highlighting the value of doing so. Notably, the audiences for the journal include teachers, designers, students and scholars who study the practice of design.

The International Journal of Designs for Learning addresses open access by ensuring that it publishes descriptions of environments, artifacts, and experiences that promotes learning by making the descriptions available to the interested audiences. The move by the faculty ensures that the publications will be vital components of research to scholars, teachers, and students as it enhances the provision of knowledge without the need for payment. The adoption of this policy by Indiana State University substantially reduces the existing barriers to research by making the publications available online to be downloaded for use. Significantly, this facilitates the accessibility of the literature on the public internet thus becomes more read and cited compared to the literature that only appears in licensed journal databases and closed access. The OA movement is a social association in academics that is dedicated to information sharing which is free of charge to the user. Similarly, the journal is devoted to sharing their knowledge-in-practice regarding their respective designs and decision-making considerations thus promoting their accessibility. This policy upholds the principle of the open access movement.

The link to tho journal:

Using Smartphones in Classrooms

Poll (2014) states that 84 percent of undergraduate students had smartphones in 2014, which was a high rise from the 72 percent ownership of the smartphones in 2013. Utilizing smartphones in education is becoming popular for most students. Those devices allow them to be a part of the educational process by increasing engagement. However, the use of it can negatively impact the student’s performance if it is not controlled. They can use it in another way like listening to music, using social media, and playing video games. Thus, they should receive helpful guidance and instructions on the use of smartphones in education. Instructors need to improve instructional methods in order to enhance content and take advantage of what could be a main instructional support (Buck, McInnis, & Randolph, 2013).

When students enroll in universities, they have significantly more freedom than they did in their previous schools. That freedom comes with more responsibility. Time management is an important challenge that students face at college. Students usually go through drastic changes the moment that they join universities, where their schedules are more adaptable. Also, they are responsible and have the freedom to manage their time (Roux, 2015).

Smartphones have some applications that assist on and off campus educational operation. Through utilizing the devices, students will be able to access course materials, participate in discussion, and share information with instructors or peers. They can get their test scores through their smartphones, as well (Rung, Warnke, & Mattheos, 2014). Even with those advantages, Chen and Denoyelles (2013) observe that students who are fond of smartphones are likely to have lower scores than their classmates who decrease their use of smartphones during a class. These negative influences of technology can be minimized if institutions adopt the technology and provide training for students on how to utilize smartphones for academic tasks (Rung, Warnke, & Mattheos, 2014).

As I have shown, smartphones may be used in many ways; therefore, correct use might reinforce learning, while incorrect use might be a barrier to learning in a classroom. Smartphones have to be integrated into the educational process. Thus, instructors and students can benefit in many ways from using those devices in the classroom that support sharing knowledge and improving collaboration between students and instructors (Cosier, Gomez, McKee, & Maghzi, 2015).


1- Poll, H. (2014). Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2014. National Report: College Students. Retrieved from:

2- Buck, J. L., McInnis, E., & Randolph, C. (2013). The new frontier education: The impact of smartphone technology in the classroom. “2013 ASEE Southeast Section Conference. Retrieved from:

3- Roux, A. (2015). The 3 challenges most students face making the transition from high school to college. Retrieved from:

4- Rung, A., Warnke, F., & Mattheos, N. (2014). Investigating the use of smartphones for learning purposes by Australian dental students. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 2(2). doi: 10.2196/mhealth.3120

5- Chen B., & Denoyelles, A. (2013, October 7). Exploring students’ mobile learning practices in higher education. Educause Review. Retrieved from learning-practices-in-higher-education

6- Cosier, M., Gomez, A., McKee, A., & Maghzi, K. (2015). Smartphones permitted: How teachers use text messaging to collaborate. Education and Information Technologies, 20(2), 347-358.

Helpfulness of Instructional Design in Higher Education

There are various advantages of using instructional models. One of the benefits is that the instructional design uses interaction strategies that promote participation of students. Instructional design involves different stakeholders that are trainers and experts who help in learning, unlike the other training programs that only have instructors. More so another benefit is that instructional design establishes clear accountabilities and deliverables by pointing out concrete and measurable goals (Collison, Elbaum, Haavind, & Tinker, 2000). The whole design of a program and its components are based on goals.

Instructional design allows consistency whereby consistency means that instructional design can replicate a process, and ensure integrity. Instructional design is cost effective as it allows learners to plan and identify easy and efficient methods with which learners can get information. Hence, the learning process is shortened, goals met, and resources maximized (Collison, Elbaum, Haavind, & Tinker, 2000). So instructors should know how to design their materials to be more useful and make students more active in class, that way can provide a unique educational environment in higher education classrooms.



Collison, G., Elbaum, B., Haavind, S., & Tinker, R. (2000). Facilitating online learning: Effective strategies for moderators Atwood Publishing.

How Faculty are Using MOOCs in Higher Education

According to Kolowich (2013), when Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ presidents decided to started using edX, which they believed will improve their teaching, not take the traditional teaching place.  Many professors consider that massive open online courses (MOOCs) help them improve the performance of classroom teaching. Among them is M. Ronen Plesser, an associate professor of physics at Duke University, “I found that producing video lectures spurred me to hone pedagogical presentation to a far higher level than I had in 10 years of teaching the class on campus,” he said. The professors can develop their teaching ways through the students’ interaction while using MOOCs. For example, know which methods and resources are useful or useless for students’ learning. Michael J. Cima, a professor of materials science and engineering at MIT, collected data from his MOOC to analyze the chemistry students’ outcomes of learning. “I have evidence that the online measurements of outcomes may be better than what we have been doing in class,” he said. So the MOOC helps professors teach better, and helps students to get better learning.

Chen, Barnett, and Stephens (2013) say that MOOCs have been built on three major characteristics: massiveness, openness, and a connectivist philosophy. Massiveness: more than a million students around the world have taken MOOCs, meaning MOOCs can contain large numbers of students. An example of MOOCs massiveness is the 160,000 students that have enrolled in the artificial intelligence course that has been developed and managed by Stanford faculty Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig (Martin, 2012). Openness: “Openness involves several key concepts: software, registration, curriculum, and assessment; communication including interaction, collaboration, and sharing; and learning environments” (Chen, Barnett & Stephens, 2013). The students who use MOOCs have an interactive and open learning environment. Connectivist: in MOOCs, the connectivism means autonomy, diversity, openness, and interactivity (Rodriguez, 2012). Connectivism teaching strategies give an instructor the knowledge to conduct the role of facilitator with students actively interacting with other students. So the keys of MOOC instructional methods are active engagement and interaction.



1- Chen, X., Barnett, D. R., & Stephens, C. (2013). Fad or future: The advantages and challenges of massive open    online courses (MOOCs). In Research-to Practice Conference in Adult and Higher Education (pp. 20-21). Retrieved from:

2- Martin, F. G. (2012). Will massive open online courses change how we teach? Communications of the ACM, 55(8), 26-28. doi: 10.1145/2240236.2240246

3- Rodriguez, C. O. (2012). MOOCs and the AI-Stanford like courses: Two successful and distinct   course formats for massive open online courses. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Retrieved from

4- Kolowich, S. (2013a, March 21). The minds behind the MOOCs. The professors who make the MOOCs. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from:

Faculty Satisfaction to Teach Online

When one is discussing the online education system, it is crucial to learn about the satisfaction of the teachers in this system as well. They go through many difficulties in the form of language barriers, adjustments to their work hours, and being able to make themselves available to answer all of the queries of the students. It is sometimes hard to see how a teacher might be satisfied in this setting. But as the studies show, teachers do find satisfaction in this hectic form of teaching. Those studies have found that they get their satisfaction from the eagerness of their students. Students that they find online are often excited to communicate their thoughts because the opportunity to do so is a much more novel experience for them than it might be for students in an area where traditional schools are commonplace, and in turn, helping the students with their needs give the teachers the satisfaction they seek (Academic Partnerships, 2013).

Another reason that teachers provide is that as they are able to reach students who might not have been able to take the courses if it wasn’t for the online course systems, the teachers find it satisfying to help them with their studies. These faculty members are also satisfied when they are recognized for their efforts which are much more prominent in online courses than in the traditional classrooms. As discussed before, many teachers are gratified when they help students who need them. Teacher satisfaction can decrease when they feel that the lack of interaction with the students has become a hindrance in their teaching, as some concepts can’t be thoroughly explained online. Practical application is usually done in a real world setting, and this becomes a cause of concern for teachers. Sometimes satisfaction decreases when teachers are not able to effectively use the technical instruments that are provided to them or if the infrastructure of the curriculum is not sufficient for their needs (Academic Partnerships, 2013).

The satisfaction of the teachers also depends on the importance that their institutions place on their online departments. Studies show that many teachers who received a high degree of support from their institutions regarding online courses were more satisfied with their work than those who were not supported enough. Just like in traditional classrooms, there are things that increase the satisfaction of the teachers in the online institutions. These factors include adequate compensation, a reward system for tenure, and other promotions. These things help teachers find more satisfaction in their work than they do otherwise. Institutions that have fewer restrictive policies regarding teaching also increase the satisfaction of their teachers. Teachers can reach a high level of satisfaction if these factors are taken into consideration (Bolliger and Wsilik, 2009).

As a grad students and a future faculty members, what is your thoughts?!



Academic Partnerships. (5 July 2013). Faculty Satisfaction with Teaching Online Courses. Retrieved from:

Bolliger, D. U., & Wsilik, O. (2009). Factors influencing faculty satisfaction with online teaching and. Distance Education, 103-116.

Educational Ethics “To Proceed or Not to Proceed Without Raw Data?”

Ethics are standards which determine whether an action is right or wrong. Ethics usually allows an individual to make right choices and positively influences behavior. In absence of ethics, it is difficult to regulate life and do what is deemed right. Subsequently, ethics in education are important because they help in running the system smoothly. The movie sets the standards of what’s acceptable and what’s not hence protecting the interests of both the educators and the learners.

The movie “To Proceed or Not to Proceed without Raw Data?” Was created by ORI Division of Education and Integrity (DEI) to address some of the integrity issues that were faced by people involved in the research endeavor. The movie is about a story of Dr. Jeff Thompson and his research lab.   Ashley, a graduate student and Amit and a postdoctoral fellow narrates the challenges faced by people who work in a competitive research environment. They concentrate on the topics which mostly affect researchers in their careers, i.e. mentoring, authorship and publication practices, data integrity, and other research misconduct. They use these scenarios to encourage the viewers to consider ways of making responsible choices. Also, they showed in the movie that how students use incorrect data and copy them to be used in another project. That is not good especially in the educational environment and does not meet the academic ethics.

Over the years, ethics in education has been keenly observed and many institutions have designed courses which help students in understanding these ethics. The movie helps in categorizing different values, and how to apply them daily life. The ethics in education have been applied on both the students and instructors. Dr. Jeff Thompson has brought forward important issues regarding education ethics, making the movie an important learning g tool. The movie has helped in regulating education system and encourages positive contributes towards human welfare.

I really liked this book that is about Ethics of Research in Education, I will post its citation for your references:

Busher, H., & James, N. (2002). Ethics of research in education. Research methods in educational leadership and management, 73-89.

Mission Statements for a Saudi University and an American University

Al Baha University (BU)

Mission: “The mission of Al Baha University is to provide distinguished and comprehensive higher education, research, community service and lifelong learning environment through the utilization of the available resources to ensure the best results.”

It is the only university in Al Baha city, Saudi Arabia, and was established in 2006. Many of Saudi universities named on King Abdulaziz and his sons, the king who unified Saudi Arabia. However, this university has the same name of the city. That is in south of Saudi Arabia.

In BU mission, they try to provide a distinct and comprehensive education with a high quality. That is very interesting vision. According to my experience in that university, their mission matches with their education. However the university just has been established in 2006, do you think that they can get the target of their mission in those few years? Please let me know in your comments.


Ohio University (OU)

Mission: “Ohio University holds as its central purpose the intellectual and personal development of its students. Distinguished by its rich history, diverse campus, international community, and beautiful Appalachian setting, Ohio University is known as well for its outstanding faculty of accomplished teachers whose research and creative activity advance knowledge across many disciplines.”

Ohio University is an old public university in Athens, Ohio, United States. It was chartered in 1787 and approved in 1804. They seek to the intellectual and personal development of its students, also to be graduated with obtaining many of good characteristics with great education. I have friends of mine who study at OU, and they told me that they have a very distinguished and great education. But I am wondering about the undergraduate students if they have opportunities conduct research in American universities or not, and the conducting reaearch is only in graduate levels!


As a result, as you can see there is the same interest of mission for the Saudi and American Universities. So, I belief that many universities around the world has the same goal and vision for developing and educating in higher education. DO YOU AGREE?