THE REALITY OF TECHNOLOGY USAGE TO ENHANCE SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING AT KHADOURY UNIVERSITY'S MASTER STUDENTS DURING THE DISTANCE LEARNING PERIOD
Palestine has witnessed pivotal changes in its educational system since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it has switched suddenly to using e-learning in its various institutions. E-learning is a modern form of education that has been accompanied by challenges and difficulties that must be studied. This study aimed to find out how to use technology to enhance self-learning among graduate students at Palestine Technical University–Kadoorie in Tulkarm city in northern Palestine to improve the expected outputs and reduce the transactional distance between the teacher and the learner as much as possible during the e-learning period, and to monitor the obstacles and strategies for the teaching staff to achieve self-directed learning in that period. The researchers used the qualitative approach to analyze the study by conducting individual face-to-face interviews using a random sample as a tool for data collection. The study population covered 64 faculty members from the master programs at the university. The study sample consisted of 21 members, or 33% of the study population, who were selected in a simple random method. One of the most important results of the study was that 47.6% of the sample members confirmed that self-directed learning depends on the student's readiness and desire to learn, 14.3% of them prefer blended learning, and 9.5% of them that students are unable to manage self-directed learning. In addition, the faculty efforts to create a positive interactive dialogue in the educational process, and to design comprehensive educational content that encourages experimentation, has partially achieved the principles of adult education theory (Andragogy) by Knowles (1970), and the theory of Transactional Distance by Moore (1986), but did not accomplish the willingness to learn, and the lack of the desire for self- directed learning as the answers of the faculty members sample revealed. The study provided several recommendations, mainly the establishment of a quality accreditation body for e-learning, the need to control the quality of e-learning, and the preparation of interactive online courses that promotes self-directed learning.
Keywords: Technology, Khadoury University, E-Learning.