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We have placed a recording of Tahseen Consulting and EDUonGo’s webinar on The Future of Educational Technology Use in Arab Education and Corporate Training in the Tahseen Academy on EDUonGo. To view the webinar:

  1. Visit http://tahseen.eduongo.com/v2/?params=website/web/course_catalogue
  2. Click the eWorkshop: The Future of Educational Technology Use in Arab Education graphic
  3. Enter the course code N7R29O
  4. Enter your name, e-mail, and a password
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Hear how Arab educators are using educational technologies and learn how you can use them more effectively to implement innovative teaching approaches

With the increased adoption of high-speed internet access and mobile devices in the Arab World, education institutions face the challenge of meeting the new expectations of learners who want engaging, interactive, and individualized learning experiences.

Join Tahseen Consulting and EDUonGo for a free 30 minute webinar to learn how Arab educators are currently using educational technologies and discover how new, cloud based technologies will shape the future of regional education.

REGISTER HERE: http://tahseen.eventbrite.com

Speakers

You will hear directly from two pioneers in educational policy and technologies in the Arab region:

• Walid Aradi, CEO Tahseen Consulting

• Ridvan Aliu, CEO and Founder of EDUonGo

Participation Bonus

When you sign up for the webinar, you will receive free access to EDUonGo, a cloud-based software as a service learning management system which is being rapidly adopted by educators in the Arab region to offer mobile learning experiences to their students.

REGISTER HERE: http://tahseen.eventbrite.com

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This week at TVET Global Innovators Conference in Doha, Qatar Tahseen Consulting and UNESCO announced plans to conduct a report on female participation in technical and vocational education and training in Qatar. In the video below, Tahseen Consulting’s CEO Walid Aradi explains the relevance of the study to TVET reform and realizing economic development aspirations in Qatar.

Tahseen Consulting’s Related Work on Qatar

Value for Money in Arab Educational Reform: Monitoring and Evaluation K-12 Education Reform in Qatar

Towards a Qatar Oil and Gas Sector National Workforce Development Initiative

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Majority of Arab higher education professors still use traditional face-to face teaching methods shying away from educational technologies

Tahseen Consulting released a study entitled “Educational Technology Usage in Arab Higher Education” which explores the use of educational technologies by university professors in 17 countries in the Arab World. The study results show that Arab educators are significantly trailing behind their peers globally in utilizing educational technologies which have been shown to increase student engagement, access, enrollment, retention, and graduation rates.

Obtain a Copy of the Study

To obtain a copy of the study “Educational Technology Usage in Arab Higher Education” please go to http://tahseen.eduongo.com.

Due to the region’s youthful demographics and widespread use of mobile technologies, Arab educators face the challenge of meeting new expectations of learners who want engaging, interactive, and individualized learning experiences.

This is one of the largest studies to look at the use of educational technologies in Arab higher education institutions,” Walid Aradi, Tahseen Consulting’s CEO and leader of the study, said.

For the study, Tahseen Consulting analyzed data from 250 respondents in public and private higher education and technical and vocational training institutions across the Arab region. Participants were asked about their awareness of educational technologies, use of technology to complement teaching, and satisfaction with the functionality and language options offered by technology providers.

The study results show that only 11% of Arab higher education professors actively use educational technologies such as learning management systems in their classrooms. Regional usage rates are substantially lower than the 93% of professors in the United States who use educational technologies to introduce blending learning approaches to their classrooms.

“Blended learning approaches have been adopted globally to combine face-to-face teaching with online content and collaboration tools that allow professors to better communicate with students, allowing them to spend more time on learning activities”, said Aradi. “The study results highlight the widespread prevalence of traditional, face-to-face instruction in the Arab World indicating the region is trailing behind other countries in adopting modern pedagogical approaches in higher education,” he added.

When asked about the reasons they do not use technology in the classroom, Arab professors point towards an institutional culture that fails to promote the use of technology in teaching, lack of training, and poor IT infrastructure. To move beyond face-to-face methods of instruction, Arab higher education institutions need to highlight the effectiveness of new technologies on student outcomes and train professors. Educational technologies can play a significant role in ensuring the academic success of Arab youth who have embraced mobile technologies and have come to rely on high-speed internet access.

Wes Schwalje, co-author of the study commented, “Despite internet use in the Arab World increasing 27 times over the last decade, which is one of the highest growth rates in the world, Arab higher education professionals continue to rely on traditional face-to-face teaching strategies that do not incorporate technology.”

Arab educators, particularly at the largest institutions in the region, are not satisfied with commercially available technologies presently in the market. When asked how satisfied they are with current educational technologies available at their institutions, Arab higher education professionals show high levels of concern with the regional applicability of functionalities and language options. The implication is that Arab educators appear to avoid integrating technology in their classrooms due to this dissatisfaction.

“Educators are increasingly demanding technologies that are easy to use, improve efficiency, are mobile device friendly, and which provide collaboration tools that leverage social media,” says Ridvan Aliu, CEO of EDUonGo, a recent entrant to the region and contributor to the survey. “Emerging cloud-based software as a service can help institutions educate and retain students, improve institutional management, increase staff productivity, and make the lives of students easier.”

Obtain a Copy of the Study

To obtain a copy of the study “Educational Technology Usage in Arab Higher Education” please go to http://tahseen.eduongo.com.

About the Study

Tahseen Consulting conducted the study in late 2012. The study included an English and Arabic survey of 250 professors and administrators at 100 higher education institutions in 17 countries in the Arab World.  Both public and private higher education institutions were included in the sample frame. Respondents were asked about all commercially available learning technologies widely available in the region and globally.

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The European Union’s Forum Euroméditerranéen des Instituts de Sciences cited Tahseen Consulting’s research on the changing post-Arab Spring conceptualization of knowledge-based economy as a potential model for a policy road map to restructure regional economies.

Tahseen Consulting’s Related Work

Read about Tahseen Consulting’s work on creating national skills formation for knowledge-based development

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EDUonGo, Inc., a learning platform company powering innovative mobile and blended learning in the education, corporate, and government sectors, today announces a partnership with Tahseen Consulting.   Under the agreement, Tahseen Consulting becomes the exclusive reseller of EDUonGo for several countries in the Arab World.

Move your classroom, education institution, or corporate training department online now with EDUonGo: http://tahseen.eduongo.com/v2/

“We are extremely excited to find a partner like Tahseen Consulting to help us expand our offerings to the Arab World,” said Ridvan Aliu, CEO of EDUonGo.  “Tahseen has excellent knowledge of the education market in the Arab region, and their vision for the future of education aligns extremely well with ours.”

“We reached out to more than 10,000 educators in 22 Arab countries in a survey last year and found that close to 85% of professors at higher education institutions in the region are not happy with their current learning management system”, said Walid Aradi, CEO of Tahseen Consulting. “While the Arab World’s youth want to control their own learning experiences through online learning, only 13% of educators in the region have adopted technology in the classroom to enable blended learning. This is substantially lower than other regions of the world. Many Arab education institutions can greatly benefit from the learning platform provided by EDUonGo.”

With the increased adoption of high-speed internet access and mobile devices in the Arab World, education institutions face the challenge of meeting the new expectations of learners who want engaging, interactive, and individualized learning experiences.  Collaboration has become increasingly important in today’s learning environments. Students and teachers are demanding new ways to collaborate that makes the teaching and learning experience more effective, immediate, and personal in the classroom and beyond. Companies and government institutions have also realized the value of blended learning to facilitate onboarding, leadership development, and other technical training.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to not only replace existing learning management systems in the Arab region but to revolutionize the teaching and learning experience for educators, students, and corporate trainers with EDUonGo,” said Aliu. “Our unique collaboration features greatly enrich student and instructor relationships in ways that were never before possible.”

“EDUonGo’s learning platform is the best we have seen on the market,” said Aradi.  “It is extremely easy to use and 100% cloud based which greatly reduces costs for education institutions and companies.”

 

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In our previous post on Unequal Labor Market Distribution of Youth in the Arab World we looked at an example of applying a behavioral intervention to influence youth career choice in Gulf countries. While consumer behavior and decision sciences literature in the US and Europe has shown that prompting respondents to rank their values prior to making decisions can yield positive results in terms of post-decision satisfaction and lower levels of regret, asking youth in the Gulf countries to rank attribute values that they consider important when making career choices prior to choosing a career path was not as positively influential as Western literature suggests.

Our research findings suggest that behavioral interventions on career choices of youth in the Gulf decrease the likelihood that they will choose career disciplines characterized by labor market gaps or which are outside traditional career disciplines. This finding illustrates that behavioral interventions that seek to influence career choice of youth in the Gulf may be less effective due to students being unaccustomed to considering values when making career decisions, a finding that has also been demonstrated by previous research in the Arab World (IFC, 2011).

Related Blog Posts

Exactly How Many Jobs Are on Offer at Recruitment Shows in the Arab Region?

Skills Shortages and Gaps May Limit the UAE’s Islamic Finance Hub ambitions

Looking more closely at the assumptions on which behavioral interventions are designed can potentially reveal the extent to which such interventions or ‘nudges’ for improving decision quality are applicable in the Arab region. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) describe behavioral interventions or ‘nudges’ as ‘any aspect of choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives’. Their notion that people are ‘nudge-able’ is primarily based on the assumption that human nature often prompt individuals to follow heuristics in decision making that may lead to biases and errors. Heuristics, or rules of thumbs, are adopted by humans because they cost less time and effort and seem much more convenient given our ‘bounded rationality’ and selective attention. Kahneman and Tversky (1973) explain how heuristics such as anchoring, availability heuristics, framing effects, and higher sensitivities to losses than gains, may lead to judgment errors or biases that distort decision making processes and yield sub-optimal outcomes.

A major weakness in behavior intervention literature is the assumption that heuristics used to make decisions are similar across cultures. Cultural differences are often overlooked in designing behavioral interventions (Levinson and Peng, 2006). While some heuristics may be universal (for instance, our study showed a similar tendency of Arab youth, as is common amongst youth elsewhere, to stick to prevalently chosen and socially acceptable career disciplines given the increased perceived accountability associated with the decision (Dolan et al., 2010), studies show that not of all them are. The belief of one’s ability to influence events, risk tolerance, honoring of sunk costs, probability judgments, and cultural dimensions listed by Hofestede (2001) such as uncertainty avoidance (Keil et al., 2000) can all influence heuristics applied career decision making.

The need for further research into behavioral interventions and measures that would be more effective, familiar, and meaningful to youth in the Arab world is evident in order to promote socially optimal career decisions amongst Arab youth. Such work must be accompanied by the development of a behavioral model to ensure cultural variation is accounted for rather than treated as statistical noise (Levinson and Ping, 2006). At the same time, exploring the applicability of career guidance behavioral interventions and their pre-requisites in the Arab region and cultures other than the West would help in understanding the origin of biases. Exploring why biases or nudges are not as effective  in influencing career decisions of Arab youth as elsewhere may provide a different approach for exploring solutions that persuade Arab youth to enter career fields which face skills shortages and new and emerging fields which may not have the same level of social acceptability as more traditional career tracks.

Khamael Al Safi Khamael Al Safi

Khamael Al Safi specializes in the analysis and design of innovative organizational practices, and the development of tools and approaches for the governance of organizations and markets. Khamael has worked for the people and knowledge development functions of several organizations specialized in financial services, non-profit education and media and publishing. She has a particular interest in the role of behavioral decision making in human and organizational development and has focused her recent research on career choices of youth in the Gulf Arab world. She is a recent graduate of the London School of Economics where she studied for a MSc in Organisations and Governance.

Follow Khamael:

Khamael Al Safi on Academia.edu

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In “The Vocational School Fallacy in Development Planning” Foster (1964) remarks “Aspirations are determined largely by the individual’s perception of opportunities within the exchange sector of the economy, destinations by the actual structure of opportunities in that sector”(p. 151). Last week Abu Dhabi hosted its annual Emiratization career fair Tawdheef. Assuming that Foster’s assessment of labor market decision making is accurate, the over 30,000 people, 44% of whom were Emirati, presumably shape their opinions of labor market opportunities based on the companies participating in the such events. From this perspective, career shows serve as an important bell weather that calibrates the public’s perceptions of labor market needs.

The Tawdheef exhibitor list shows that 50 companies participated in the event:

  • Approximately 54% of the companies attending the event were public sector companies or government-owned corporations, with the remaining entities from the private sector
  • The majority of company exhibitors were from the Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate, Manufacturing, Public Administration, and Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services sectors

Conspicuously absent were representatives of the UAE’s small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector, despite the prominence of the sector in the UAE and the high employment concentration in small businesses in the UAE and across the Arab region. This was also the first time in the past six years Tawdheef has been hosted that only firms with immediate job opportunities for UAE nationals were permitted to exhibit. This prompts the question: exactly how many jobs are on offer at such events? We estimate around 2,900 jobs.

Related Blog Posts

In our post Company Sizes in the Arab World: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Dominate Arab Economies we found that 92% of businesses in the Arab region are under 200 employees. The concentration of SMEs in Arab economies has a significant on employment creation and potential public sector responses the region’s youth employment challenge.

In our post Regional Ranking of the Largest Arab Employers, we show the top 15 largest employers by country

To assemble the below estimates we relied on data from official Tawdheef communications in the media. To approximate the number of jobs on offer for the remaining exhibitors which did not list the quantity of jobs they were recruiting for at the event, we scoured the online recruitment sites of each company and consulted the sites of Tawdheef’s recruitment partners (Bayt.com, Akhtaboot, GovJobs, and Monster.com).  In many cases, companies which participated in Tawdheef did not have any jobs listed on online recruitment channels which career fair attendees could apply to.

CompanySector
IndustryEstimated Number of Jobs
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC)
PublicTransportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services
9
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)
Public
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
NA
Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED)
Public
Public Administration
NA
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)
Government-owned corporation
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
NA
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Private
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
NA
Abu Dhabi National Energy Company - TAQA
Government-owned corporation
Manufacturing
NA
Abu Dhabi Police GHQ
Public
Public Administration
NA
Abu Dhabi Quality & Conformity Council
PublicPublic Administration
6
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority (ADTCA)
Public
Public Administration
NA
Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA)
Public
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services
NA
Advanced Integrated Systems
Private
Manufacturing
200
Al Mansoor Group
Private
Manufacturing
NA
AL Mansoori Specialized Engineering
Private
Manufacturing
1000
Al Wathba Company for Central Services
Private
Manufacturing
NA
Commercial Bank International
Private
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
6
Department of Transport
Public
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services
NA
Dolphin Energy Limited
Government-owned corporation
ManufacturingNA
DU - Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co.
Government-owned corporation
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services
160
Emirates Advanced Investments
Private
Manufacturing
NA
Emirates Aluminum
Government-owned corporation
Manufacturing
250
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation
Government-owned corporation
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services
500
Ershaad
Private
Services
30
Etihad
Government-owned corporation
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services
46
Etihad Rail
Government-owned corporation
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services
NA
First Gulf Bank
Private
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
NA
General Holding Corporation (GHC)
Government-owned corporation
Manufacturing
43
Halliburton
Private
Manufacturing
48
Health Authority Abu Dhabi
Public
Services41
HSBC Bank Middle East Limited
Private
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
11
Khalifa Fund For Enterprise Development
Public
Public Administration
NA
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East & Africa
Private
Services
146
Mubadala, Al Mamoura
Government-owned corporation
Construction
3
Musanada
Government-owned corporation
Services
3
National Ambulance Company
Government-owned corporation
Services
NA
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Private
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
10
National Health Insurance Company (DAMAN)
Government-owned corporation
Services
50
New York University Abu Dhabi
Private
Services
15
Oasis Hospital
Private
Services
15
Petrofac Emirates LLC
Private
Manufacturing
20
Presidential Guard (PG)
Public
Public Administration
NA
SawaeedPrivate
Services
22
Schlumberger
Private
Manufacturing
1
Standard Chartered Bank
Private
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
30
State Security Department
Public
Public Administration
NA
Tabah Foundation
Public
Services
4
Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA)
Public
Public Administration
6
TotalPrivateMining
4
UAE Exchange
Private
Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
NA
Union National Bank
PrivateFinance, Insurance, And Real Estate
201
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