The Societal Acceptance of Online Degrees in the Arab World: Evidence from Two Countries

Alaa SadiK


The purpose of this study was to investigate the societal acceptance of degrees earned wholly online and to define the factors that affect the perceived value of these degrees in two Arab countries; Egypt and Oman. To achieve this purpose, a societal acceptance of online distance education degrees questionnaire was developed and administered online to a sample of 479 participants from different business sectors in Egypt and Oman. The responses to the rating scales and open-ended questions were organized, analyzed, and coded to address pattern of responses. Quantitative data and open-ended responses showed that the overall perception expressed by respondents was that online distance education was viewed as inferior to traditional education, and degrees earned online are not similar to ones earned in traditional settings in terms of credibility and quality. The ANOVA tests were used to analyze the differences among groups of participants and their acceptance of online degrees. Overall, responses indicated that no significant differences existed among participants. Many aspects of online degrees, such as interaction between students and the instructor, credibility with employers, admission regulations, and quality of learning outcomes have been criticized from many perspectives.



Societal acceptance, Arab society, online distance education, e-learning, quality of education, credibility of education.

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