Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin J. Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Katie N. Smith, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wendiann R. Sethi, Ph.D.


Online class, online instructor, online student, face-to-face classes, teaching competencies.


Since the 1990s, online programs have expanded across Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi universities have encountered a variety of challenges in implementing E-learning. A significant challenge is the lack of instructor training in online teaching skills. Consequently, instructors have been unable to adjust to the rapidly growing nature of learning technology. Thus, a few instructors have remained unenthusiastic about distance learning, and online learning has yielded unsatisfactory outcomes. While there are numerous studies related to online faculty in Saudi Arabia, only one of these studies considers students' perspectives for online faculty competencies in Saudi universities. Hence, this study contributes to the literature and adds new data regarding faculty's perceived instructional competencies from students' perspectives. The research questions inquire about the competencies that faculty must possess for conducting online classes and assess if there are any differences in students' perspectives due to participants' gender and academic major selection. The sample includes 226 currently enrolled students (n = 226) from the Saudi Electronic University (SEU). The data was collected via an online survey. The responses were analyzed using a t-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and two-way ANOVA using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The results revealed that the top five high-rated skills focus on the interaction between instructor and students through feedback and communication. Also, results indicated that males and females differed in their perceptions in six out of seven online competencies. The findings also revealed there were no differences among students due to their academic discipline.