Analytic Personal and Professional Essay

Analytical Personal and Professional update

Engagement in the Professional Community

            It has been slightly over three months since I presented my plans and my thoughts to the portfolio advisory committee. During this time, there have been a lot of developments in my professional life due to being surrounded by productive and collaborative faculty members and peers, which has enhanced my professional knowledge and experience. However, this achieved knowledge needs to be distributed among other interested individuals and groups to benefit them and improve my knowledge at the same time. Therefore, I share my expertise in the field of Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) and provide consultations to several Saudi individuals who have not had the opportunity to study in the United States. I have provided them with advice on the application of digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning, and assessment in educational institutes. I also have made suggestions for their research and projects.

            The advancements in information technology and social media networks have paved the way for this effective and efficient knowledge sharing. In addition to providing consultations, social media networks have allowed me to connect with researchers and academics within the IDT field. Moreover, social media networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn have allowed me to contribute to a number of discussions on the new trends of learning technologies and mobile learning. Therefore, connecting with professional communities within different social media networks has enriched my professional experience and allowed me to share my research and projects with other collogues in the field. This facilitates reaching out to other researchers’ work and increases my awareness towards current and upcoming academic events.

           In addition, I conducted a pilot study to examine factors that impact student and faculty acceptance and the adoption of mobile learning at Jazan University. This study was reviewed and accepted for presentation at the E-learning Conference 2017, in Vancouver, Canada. Presenting this paper will provide me with professional and scholarly insight that I can use to expand this research as I work on my dissertation proposal in Fall 2017. Such academic conferences provide me with opportunities to broaden my professional network and increase my awareness towards new trends in my area of interest.

            Moreover, I submitted another study, “Evaluation Practices within Instructional System Design Process,” to the Saudi Journal of Educational Technology Research (SJETR) and it is still under review. I chose SJETR because speakers of Arabic would be able to access the research in Arabic. Applicants to SJETR are required to submit their papers in both Arabic and English, which widens the audience accessing my research.

            I also submitted a research paper to be presented at the EdMedia conference this summer. The paper is entitled, “Designing Constructivist Mobile Learning Environment for Saudi Higher Education Students to Support their Learning.” which shows my DBR plan. However, I could not attend the conference because I was out of the United States and I was not able to virtually present it because of Internet problems.

Addressing Identified Gaps in Portfolio II

            There were no major issues in my second portfolio review. However, one of the recommendations was to investigate the applicability of using the Mobile Learning Acceptance Model (MLAM) in a culture other than the western culture. For my research, MLAM is going to be applied in a Saudi Arabian higher education context, specifically with Saudi students and faculty members at Jazan University. MLAM has also been applied in Jordanian context with Jordanian higher education students who share many characteristics with Saudi Arabian students. Allathkani’s (2013) study applied MLAM with Jordanian undergraduate students who are over the age of 18 and speak Arabic as their mother tongue. However my research will include faculty members at Jazan University. The results of my research will be compared to similar studies that are held in the Middle East, e.g. Allathkani’s (2013), and the Western world, e.g. Akour’s (2010) and Marrs’s (2013).

            The second recommendation was to synthesize the recommendations of Akour and others who examined MLAM. Akour (2010) found that the most significant predictor of usefulness, which is a main factor of MLAM is user readiness of M-learning. Thus, it is important to improve users’ positive attitudes towards M-learning by educating them about it in the early stages of implementation. In addition, he found that usefulness is the most significant predictor of behavioral intention. This means that M-learning services must provide students (users) with their preferred functionality. Moreover, Akour’s research found that extrinsic influence was the most significant predictor of ease of use. Akour (2010) also recommended that examining perceptions of faculty towards M-learning is necessary to evaluate the extent to which these findings can be generalized. He also recommended examining potential differences in users’ perceptions between age groups and between users with various technological skills.

              Another study that applied MLAM, Marss (2013), indicated that faculty perceptions of usefulness were strongly influenced by ease of use followed by user readiness, extrinsic influence, and finally quality of services. In addition, faculty perceptions of ease of use were strongly influenced by user readiness followed by extrinsic influence and quality of services. It was also established that faculty attitudes were influenced by perception of usefulness followed by ease of use. Faculty behavioral intentions were most strongly influenced by ease of use followed by attitudes and perceived usefulness.

            Students’ perceptions of ease of use were most strongly influenced by extrinsic influence followed by quality of services and user readiness. Students’ attitudes were influenced in the same way as faculty, mostly by perceptions of usability followed by ease of use. Overall, the study results showed that the younger the user and greater the level of experience the user had in using M-devices, the more positive they were about M-learning. Marrs (2013) stresses that M-learning acceptance is still quite new and much research remains to be conducted to further the knowledge base in this field. Therefore, she recommended that researchers investigate M-learning acceptance in government, businesses, and higher educational institutions in other countries using MLAM.

Completed Coursework

I am happy to report that since my portfolio II review, I have completed EDIT 895: Emerging Trends in Learning Technologies.” EDRS 821: “Advanced Applications of Quantitative Methods,” and the last cycle of EDIT 891: “Design Research Practicum.” In the Emerging Trends in Learning Technologies course, I investigated the geo-location affordance of mobile learning in order to design a, “Just for me,” learning experience for ESL students by tying learning activities to locations. As for the EDIT 891 research practicum, I conducted a pilot study to examine the factors that impact faculty and students’ acceptance and adoption of mobile learning at Jazan University. Conducting this study in parallel with the, “Advanced Applications of Quantitative Methods,” course has helped me to select and justify the statistical method that is appropriate to test the research hypothesis, to explain what the procedure is accomplishing, and the logic underlying the selected procedure.

Current Coursework

After presenting my portfolio III, I will be done with the core courses of my PhD program and I will register for the dissertation proposal class.


The following is a list of my goals during the last few years of my professional life. The work to achieve these goals is ongoing; however, at this stage, the major efforts and work will be towards my dissertation proposal.

  •  To study, create, use, and manage technology-based learning processes and resources based on theories and models of instructional systems design.
  • To attain marked ability, scholarship, and research skills in the field of Instructional Design and Technology (IDT).
  • To improve my proficiency as a lecturer at Jazan University, Saudi Arabia, by understanding teaching styles and learning processes, and the use of educational technologies in addition to build a deep understanding of my discipline.
  • To work effectively, productively and professionally with individuals with different characteristics in a variety of dimensions.
  • To engage with, professionals in higher education in Saudi Arabia.
  • To focus more on attending and presenting in specialized conferences and workshops to expand my network and knowledge in learning technologies and mobile learning.
  • To continue to provide consultations to individuals as well as monitoring and analyzing learning technology businesses in the United States on an ongoing basis to understand their behavior, services, and customer relationships.




Altameem, T. (2011). Contextual mobile learning system for Saudi Arabian universities. International Journal of Computer Applications, 21(4), 21-26.

Akour, H. (2009). Determinants of mobile learning acceptance: an empirical investigation in higher education (Doctoral dissertation, Oklahoma State University).

Hoskyns-Long, G. E. (2009). Trends in mobile learning: A study of the adoption of podcasting as a learning tool at a community college (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University).

Koszalka, T. A., & Ntloedibe‐Kuswani, G. S. (2010). Literature on the safe and disruptive learning potential of mobile technologies. Distance Education, 31(2), 139-157.

Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2009). Conclusions: Future Directions in Researching Mobile Learning. Peter Lang Verlag.

Marrs, K. (2013). An Investigation of the Factors that Influence Faculty and Student Acceptance of Mobile Learning in Online Higher Education. Nova Southeastern University.

Williams, P. W. (2009). Assessing mobile learning effectiveness and acceptance (Doctoral dissertation, The George Washington University).