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This research explores the role of Knowledge Management within the education field with a specific focus on the use of Learning Management Systems in the Distance Learning (e-learning) process. The aim of this study is to thoroughly examine how teachers and students perceive the utility of the Blackboard system as a distance learning platform. To achieve this, the study conducted qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaire surveys with the teachers and students of Taibah University, Saudi Arabia. Questions in both data collection tools were geared towards gaining insight about how these two groups of Blackboard users view its usefulness as a distance learning tool. The results of the research revealed that Blackboard is viewed as a positive influence on distance learning, and that students view this application as an opportunity to avoid traditional, classroom learning activities. Also, the research discovered that teachers generally have a positive viewpoint about Blackboard, and believe it makes teaching a lot easier. Nevertheless, few issues were also mentioned by both groups of users, particularly the challenge of slow internet connections and difficulty of creating exams (teachers) or accessing and completing exams in a time-effective manner (students). To address these challenges, and any other as well, this research recommended that universities or learning institutions that decide to adopt LMS systems such as Blackboard for distance learning have to conduct a thorough analysis of their current structure, and determine how this new method of teaching/learning can be integrated into existing learning activities in a seamless manner. A thorough investigation will aid in forestalling any future challenges such as poor internet connections, as the school would have implemented measures to ensure this does not occur.
Alaofi, S. (2016) How Do Teachers and Students Perceive The Utility of Blackboard as a Distance Learning Platform? (Case Study from Taibah University, Saudi Arabia). A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Dublin Institute of Technology for the degree of M.Sc. in Computing (Information and Knowledge Management) 2016.