E-Learning in English as a Foreign Language Education in Thailand’s higher education context.

Doctoral Studies Completed Theses - 2009 Archive

Page archived at: Mon, 14 December 2009 09:19:02 +1000

Poranee Deerajviset

PhD thesis, conferred 2009

In Thailand, e-learning has become the key issue in universities today and has a significant influence on current education and society. In this research, e-learning is defined as learning that is supported by information and communication technology (ICT). This research reports on the use of ICT in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) education in higher education, and shows the response of students and lecturers concerning e-learning policy on different aspects of EFL education in Thailand's higher education context. A case study approach was used to underpin this research into the use of ICT in EFL education in two Thai universities.

The case study universities were Khon Kaen University (KKU) in Khon Kaen, and King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Bangkok. Three data collection methods were used: (a) document examination, (b) questionnaires, and (c) interviews. Document examination was designed as the first stage of enquiry into the ways in which universities employ e-learning to support university education.

A total of 1,070 students completed the student questionnaires (KKU n = 547, KMUTT n = 523) and a total of 51 lecturers completed the lecturer questionnaires (KKU n = 30, KMUTT n = 21). Subsequently, the interviews were conducted with 33 students (KKU n = 14, KMUTT n = 19) and 8 lecturers (KKU n = 4, KMUTT n = 4).

The overall findings show that both students and lecturers in two case study universities have favourable attitudes towards e-learning supported by ICT. The findings also demonstrate that there are some barriers to take-up of e-learning in Thai EFL higher education which are: (a) insufficient ICT infrastructure, (b) technological problems, (c) lack of technical support, (d) insufficient ICT skills, and (e) resistance to change. These barriers are seen as key factors that need to be considered in building a richer e-learning environment and developing the best possible EFL teaching and learning practice in Thailand.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Lesley Harbon