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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 147-150

E-learning in Saudi Arabia: 'To E or not to E, that is the question'


Department of Public Health, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ali M Al-Shehri
Department of Public Health, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-1683.74333

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Background: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has witnessed unprecedented growth in higher education and E-learning in recent times. In the last five years, one university and five colleges have been commissioned every month; 800 scholarships have been awarded every month for overseas study; a national center for E-learning has been established; and E-units or departments have been set-up in almost every university. E-learning has become important for discussion to quote Shakespeare 'To E or not to E that is the question.' Objectives: To examine current and future developments and challenges of E-learning in KSA. Materials and Methods: A qualitative approach was used to explore views of 30 senior academicians involved in E-learning during their attendance at a two-week course on the subject. Results: All participants considered themselves as decision makers on E-learning in their units or departments. They felt that E-learning had come to stay, but acknowledged challenges in respect of resources, organization, management, and information technology. Conclusion: The fast development of E-learning poses many challenges. Clear vision and strategic planning with prospective E-learners in mind are essential to make E-learning programs cost effective.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010