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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this paper is to address the use of Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) to investigate the learning style preferences of undergraduate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the use of Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) to investigate the learning style preferences of undergraduate students at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) culture. It also investigates whether there are significant differences across the four dimensions of learning styles due to students’ demographics.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were distributed to a sample of 200 undergraduate students at AURAK in the UAE. The majority of students were Arabic native-speakers. Descriptive statistics were used to present the main characteristics of respondents and the results of the study. The independent samples t-test, Mann–Whitney test and Kurskal–Wallis test were used to find out if there are significant differences across the four dimensions of learning styles due to students’ demographics.

Findings

The results of the study illustrated that undergraduate students at AURAK have preferences for the reflector (15.0), pragmatist (14.2), theorist (13.9) and activist (12.3) learning styles. Moreover, there are only significant differences between Emirati and non-Emirati students across the four learning styles and between single and married students in the theorist learning style.

Research limitations/implications

This study has a number of limitations. First, the findings of the study are based on the data collected from only one university. Second, the sample is limited to undergraduate students and, therefore, it excludes graduate students who might have different experiences. Third, the results are based on a self-reported questionnaire which might affect the reliability of the results. On the other hand, it has a number of implications for educators and students. Educators will benefit from the results of this study in the sense that they need to adopt teaching styles and strategies that match the learning styles of the majority of their students. Students themselves will benefit from knowing their own learning style.

Originality/value

The present study validates a learning style theory developed in a western culture in an Arabic culture.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 60 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The present study aims to investigate the effects of a number of demographic and academic factors, such as gender, age, nationality (Emirati vs non-Emirati), high school…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to investigate the effects of a number of demographic and academic factors, such as gender, age, nationality (Emirati vs non-Emirati), high school major (arts vs science) and high school score, on the academic performance – measured by overall grade point average – of undergraduate students majoring in statistics at United Arab Emirates University.

Design/methodology/approach

This study includes 188 undergraduate statistics students (142 female and 46 male) for the academic years 2012-2013 to 2015-2016. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the collected data.

Findings

The results indicate that gender, age and nationality have no significant impacts on the academic performance of undergraduate students in statistics bachelor’s degree program, while high school major and high school score do.

Research limitations/implications

This study had several limitations. First, only students of one university were included in this study, which would have limited the generalizability of the results. Second, the study focused on the impact of a limited number of factors on academic performance of undergraduate statistics students. But, the study has a number of implications for students, educators and university policy-makers.

Originality/value

The present study is the first attempt to explore the factors that might affect the academic performance of undergraduate students in statistics bachelor’s degree program in an Arabic setting.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this study is to examine the use of Honey and Mumford’s (1986) learning styles questionnaire (LSQ) in the context of United Arab Emirates (UAE) higher…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the use of Honey and Mumford’s (1986) learning styles questionnaire (LSQ) in the context of United Arab Emirates (UAE) higher education. In particular, it aims at exploring the learning style preferences of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) students using LSQ. It also investigates whether there are statistically significant differences in students’ learning style preferences because of their demographic and academic characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a sample of 1,463 undergraduate students at the UAEU. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to present the main characteristics of respondents, to explore the learning style preferences of UAEU students and to find out whether there are significant differences in students’ learning style preferences because of their demographic and academic characteristics.

Findings

Results indicated that UAEU students have strong preferences for the four learning styles. Results showed that about 68 per cent of UAEU students have strong or very strong preferences for the activist leaning style, whereas about 84 per cent have strong or very strong preferences for the reflector learning style, 78 per cent have strong or very strong preferences for the theorist learning style; about 60 per cent have strong or very strong preferences for the pragmatist learning style. Furthermore, there were statistically significant differences in certain learning styles because of students’ demographic and academic characteristics.

Research limitations/implications

There are a number of limitations associated with this study. First, data were collected from a single university in the UAE. Second, the results are based on a self-report survey and this in turn might affect the reliability of the results. Another limitation is that this study is of snapshot type. Hence, it might not capture the dynamic nature of learning style. On the other hand, it has a number of implications for students, educators and administrators.

Originality/value

The present study is the first attempt to explore learning styles preference of undergraduate students using LSQ, not only in the content of UAE higher education but also in the Arab world.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this study is to examine learning style instruments used in Arab countries to measure higher education students’ learning styles, identify the most common…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine learning style instruments used in Arab countries to measure higher education students’ learning styles, identify the most common instruments and determine whether the reliability and validity of these instruments have been verified in Arab contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive review of the existing literature using several databases and search engines. Descriptive statistics, such as frequencies and percentages were used to present the results.

Findings

There are only a few published studies related to learning styles in Arab countries, with the majority published between 2012 and 2016 using samples drawn from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq. The most common learning style instrument is the Felder–Silverman/Solomon Index of Learning Styles. The reliability and validity of this instrument require further investigation.

Research limitations/implications

This study is not without limitations. First, it covers only publications in the English language. Second, the paper focuses on research involving higher education students. Third, only research that was available online was used in this study. Nonetheless, the findings have several implications for researchers, educators and human resource development managers. For researchers, this study highlights research gaps that need to be filled. It also serves as a basis for more analytical and in-depth studies. The data also helps educators become more informed about the learning style instruments commonly used in the Arab context and whether the results from these instruments are dependable. Human resource development managers can draw on these findings to choose instruments that have proven reliable and valid.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to examine learning style instruments used in Arab countries and to explore whether the reliability and validity of these instruments have been verified in Arab contexts. This paper is a useful contribution to research into learning styles and learning style instruments.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The paper aims to explore the academic performance (measured by quality points (QP)) of undergraduate business students in introductory courses of quantitative methods at…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the academic performance (measured by quality points (QP)) of undergraduate business students in introductory courses of quantitative methods at a private university in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It also examines the impact of a number of academic and demographic factors pertinent to the performance of the business students in the courses concerned.

Design/methodology/approach

A random sample of 250 students drawn from the Faculty of Business Administration was chosen. Descriptive statistics were used to present the main characteristics of the participants. The study relied on one-way ANOVA, independent-samples t-test, and correlation to analyse the data collected.

Findings

The results generated revealed that the means of quality points (QP) for Business Statistics-1 (Stat. 1), Business Statistics-2 (Stat. 2) and Quantitative Methods (QM) for Business were slightly below 3. The results also showed significant correlations among quantitative courses' QP and overall grade point average (GPA). The results of one-way ANOVA and independent-samples t-test suggested that the performance of undergraduate business students in introductory quantitative methods courses differs significantly across business majors (except for QM for Business), nationality, high school major (except for QM for Business), gender and age.

Research limitations/implications

There are a number of limitations associated with this study. First, the findings of the study are based on data from only one private university. Second, this study focuses on business students, and in turn it excludes students of other colleges (e.g. engineering) who also take quantitative courses and might have different experiences. On the other hand, it has a number of implications for the curriculum planners and the instructors.

Originality/value

The present study is the first attempt to explore the performance of undergraduate business students in introductory quantitative methods courses and to examine the impact of a number of factors on the performance in such courses in a private university setting in the UAE.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this paper is to present results of a survey that investigates levels of awareness and usage of Operations Research (OR)/Management Science (MS) in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present results of a survey that investigates levels of awareness and usage of Operations Research (OR)/Management Science (MS) in industrial and service organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 450 individuals at different management levels were co‐opted and descriptive statistical analyses were employed.

Findings

Results reveal that the majority of the respondents are aware of OR/MS and use it to some extent. Results also showed that the most common OR/MS techniques are: decision analysis, cost benefit analysis, computer simulation, financial modeling, and risk analysis. The most common application areas are: project evaluation, sales analysis, manpower planning, accounting procedures, and stock control.

Research limitations/implications

This study like any other study has some limitations. First, the sample size is somewhat small, and therefore this might limit the generalization of the results of this study. Second, this study is confined to medium sized and large organizations and in turn it excluded small organizations. This might also affect the generalization of the results. Finally, this study is confined to certain emirates and in turn it might not provide clear picture of OR/MS awareness and use in the UAE as a whole.

Practical implications

The findings of this study have some implications for both practitioners and researchers. For decision makers (practitioners) they will be aware of the type of problems being solved using OR/MS techniques and type of OR/MS techniques being used to solve those problems. Furthermore, decision makers will be aware of the barriers to the wide use of OR/MS techniques. This will help them identify means of overcoming those barriers. For researchers/academicians, they will be aware of OR/MS techniques which are widely used in the country and consequently, more emphasis will be placed on those techniques.

Originality/value

Due to lack of recent survey type studies in the Arab countries in general and in the UAE in particular, this study is the first which provides a comprehensive picture of the status of OR/MS in the UAE at the present time.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Keywords

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this paper is to investigate current status of operations research/management science education at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) business schools in terms…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate current status of operations research/management science education at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) business schools in terms of the position of operational research/management science (OR/MS) course in the curriculum, the title assigned to this course, its objectives, contents, teaching methods, text‐books used, assessment methods, and pre‐requisites.

Design/methodology/approach

Owing to the nature of this paper (exploratory), and the data collected (non‐numerical) this paper has adopted qualitative approach to analyze the collected data.

Findings

Results reveal that all business schools offering this course offer only one OR/MS course. Results also show that OR/MS course is a business core course in the majority of schools offering this course. It is also found that different titles are assigned to this course at different business schools offering this course. Furthermore, results indicate that the main teaching mode used in this course is lectures and main assessment method is exams. It is found that the prevalent objectives of OR/MS course at the business schools offering this course are: teaching students quantitative skills needed to tackle real‐world problems, and teaching students how to use certain OR/MS techniques and how to use software to solve OR/MS models.

Research limitations/implications

This paper like any other paper in the social sciences suffers a number of limitations. For example, this paper is based mainly on course syllabus as a mode of obtaining the required data. Therefore, if other modes of data collection, such as, for example, questionnaires are used, more advanced analysis techniques could be used and this in turn might enhance the results of the study. Furthermore, this paper is based mainly on the point of views of the instructors teaching OR/MS course and therefore neglecting the views of the students taking the course.

Practical implications

This paper has a number of implications for courses' developers and instructors alike. For courses' developers, they will be aware of current status of OR/MS education in the UAE and this in turn might enable them make better decisions regarding OR/MS courses in terms of objectives, contents, teaching formats, assessment methods, etc. For instructors, they will learn from the experiences of each other and this, of course, will enhance their ability to deliver the course in much more effective manner.

Originality/value

Owing to paucity of studies concerning OR/MS education in the Arab countries in general and in the UAE in particular, this paper is the first paper which provides a comprehensive picture of the status of OR/MS education at the UAE business schools.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Keywords

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of a number of factors such as high school major, high school score, gender, Stat105, Maths I, Maths II grades, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of a number of factors such as high school major, high school score, gender, Stat105, Maths I, Maths II grades, and grade point average (GPA) on students' academic performance in an introductory operations research (OR) course at the department of Business Administration – College of Business and Economics at the UAE University.

Design/methodology/approach

All students who completed the introductory OR course during the fall and spring semesters of the academic years 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 were chosen. Collected data were analyzed using correlation and stepwise multiple regression.

Findings

The results indicate that significant correlations exist between OR grade and GPA, maths I grade, maths II grade, and stat 105 grade. Results also show that there is statistically significant difference between the performance, measured by grade, in OR of males and females. There is also statistically significant difference in performance in OR between students majoring in art and those majoring in science in high school. Regression analysis indicates that GPA is the most significant predictor of students' performance in the OR course.

Originality/value

This paper is first study to examine the influence of a number of factors on students' performance in the OR course in the developing countries in general and the UAE in particular. It has implications for both decision makers and academicians.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

Although there are many studies addressing the learning styles of business students as well as students of other disciplines, there are few studies which address the…

Abstract

Purpose

Although there are many studies addressing the learning styles of business students as well as students of other disciplines, there are few studies which address the learning style preferences of statistics students. The purpose of this study is to explore the learning style preferences of statistics students at a United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). Furthermore, it investigates whether there are statistically significant differences along the four dimensions of learning styles due to students’ demographic and academic characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were distributed to the whole population which included 79 undergraduate statistics students at the UAEU, of which 69 returned the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used to present the main characteristics of respondents and the results of the study. Additionally, a chi-square test was used to find out if there were significant differences along the four dimensions of learning style preferences due to students’ demographic and academic characteristics.

Findings

The results indicate that UAEU undergraduate statistics students have balanced preferences along the four dimensions of learning styles. Results also suggest that there are no statistically significant differences along the four dimensions of learning styles due to students’ demographic and academic characteristics, except in the active-reflective and sensing-intuitive dimensions with respect to high school type (private vs public).

Research limitations/implications

There are a number of limitations associated with this study. First, the findings of the study are based on data from only one university. Second, the sample was small and limited to undergraduate statistics students and, therefore, it excluded graduate students who might have had different experiences. Third, the results are based on a self-reported questionnaire and this, in turn, might have affected the reliability of the results On the other hand, it has a number of implications for educators and students. Educators will benefit from the results of this study in the sense that they will adopt teaching styles and strategies that match learning styles of the majority of their students. Students themselves will benefit from knowing their own learning style.

Originality/value

The present study is the first attempt to explore learning styles preference of undergraduate students not only in the UAE setting but also in the developing country setting.

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Article

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of production and operations management (P/OM) teaching in universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in terms of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of production and operations management (P/OM) teaching in universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in terms of course characteristics, objectives, content, adopted textbooks, didactic materials, teaching faculty, teaching methods, assessment tools, and course requisites.

Design/methodology/approach

Due to the exploratory nature of this study and the small population surveyed, the author employed descriptive statistical analysis such as frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations.

Findings

The results show that in the majority of UAE universities offering P/OM as a college‐requirement course, it is being taught by highly qualified and well‐trained teaching faculty. The main objectives of P/OM courses are: teaching students how to analyse and understand situations from an operations perspective; understanding the links between strategy, production, capacity and core competencies; and preparing students to be able to understand how supply chains work, including the ability to forecast production levels. More emphasis is placed upon operational and tactical issues rather than on strategic issues. The most common assessment methods used in P/OM courses were found to be theoretical examinations with questions, student projects, practical examinations, and class participation. The most frequently covered topics in P/OM courses in UAE universities include competitiveness, strategy, productivity, strategic capacity planning for products and services, supply chain management, forecasting, introduction to operations management, product and service design, and management of quality. Lecturing is the main teaching method used in P/OM courses. The main didactic materials used were found to be textbooks, manuals of problems/solution and case studies, class notes taken by students, and externally produced software.

Research limitations/implications

This study has a number of limitations. For example, it is based mainly on a questionnaire as a tool of data collection. Questionnaires have a number of drawbacks which might affect the results of the study. In addition, the study is based only on the viewpoint of teaching faculty rather than students. Nevertheless, the implications of the study for course developers, instructors, and managers are discussed.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to assess P/OM teaching in UAE universities.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

Keywords

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