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(Online) Wednesday Research Seminar - Technology readiness of students and faculty members for adoption of distance learning

Event information

START DATE 25 March 2020


END DATE 25 March 2020

We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held online on 25 March from 4pm via GoToMeeting platform.

Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured more than 270 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Mohammad Meraj, Ajit Karnik and Pallavi Kishore will deliver seminar on:

“Investigating technology readiness of students and faculty members for adoption of distance learning: a case-study from an International Branch Campus in the UAE”

Mohammad Meraj, Ajit Karnik and Pallavi Kishore


With the outbreak of Coronavirus (Convid-19) in January 2020, the higher education sector found itself in ‘unchartered territory’. In the worst hit countries, schools and higher educational institutions (HEIs) were ordered to be shut with no students allowed on campuses for weeks. The setting for this research is a London-based HEI’s international branch campus (IBC) operating in the Emirate of Dubai. The shutdown of the University constitutes a “natural experiment” and provides a unique context for the study as IBCs, by their very nature, have a high proportion of international students and are expected to maintain the learning experience for their students comparable to that of the home campus. The objective of this study is to examine the preparedness of faculty and students to the adoption of technology to deliver lectures online. The study has obvious links with the Technology Adoption Model, which has been a workhorse model in numerous areas. We seek to investigate the factors that might influence technology adoption among faculty members and students for e-Learning.

The methodology for the study will be as follows. Our literature review will explore the factors that impact the user acceptance of e-Learning. Primary data will be collected from the two key user groups i.e. faculty members and students. We plan to use a mixed methodology to achieve these objectives, beginning with a qualitative phase consisting of in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted via online video-conferencing with a small group of users (N=5-10, for faculty members and students each), to identify the issues faced by them regarding e-Learning. We will use convenience sampling for both qualitative and quantitative data collection. We will develop our hypotheses using our findings from these interviews and our literature review. Finally, we will use a quantitative study (online survey) (N=250-300) in the early stages of online learning and again after a four/five-week period using comparable questionnaires. We will analyze this data using appropriate software packages (e.g. NVivo, AMOS and SPSS) to test our hypotheses. We will then discuss our findings, their conceptual and managerial implications as well as future research directions.


Mohammad Ali Meraj is Quality Manager. He is an educator and senior manager with over 15 years’ experience within the higher education sector in the United Arab Emirates. Over thirty (30) postgraduate dissertations and entrepreneurship projects have been completed under his supervision. During his career as a practitioner, he has successfully established new departments in fields of institutional research, quality management and customer service earning several Excellence awards in the process. He has professional training, certification and experience in project management, research methodology and quality management.  He possesses sound understanding of the cultural sensitivities and business practices in the UAE and thorough knowledge of popular educational systems (UK, EU, Australia and the Commonwealth national qualifications frameworks).

Ajit Karnik is Professor of Economics. He was previously Professor of Political Economy before assuming the role of Director of the Department of Economics at the University of Mumbai, and served as Professor of Economics at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. He has been Indo-American Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin (USA), Overseas Visiting Fellow at St John’s College (Cambridge University, UK), Fulbright Scholar at the Haas Business School, University of California (USA) and Smuts Fellow at Wolfson College (Cambridge University, UK). He teaches across areas spanning Econometrics, Introductory and Advanced Economics, Marketing Research, Operations Strategy, Research Methods, and Trade and Multinational Enterprises. To date he has supervised the dissertations of 11 PhD students, 5 MPhil students, 25 MA students, 10 MSc Banking and Finance students, and over 75 MBA students.z\

Pallavi Kishore is Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance. She holds a Master’s in International Business from the University of Wollongong Dubai and a BSc in Statistics from Delhi University (India). She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK), the Accountants and Auditors Association (UAE) and is a Chartered Accountant of the United Arab Emirates (UAECA). Pallavi has taught for over a decade and has received both the ‘Innovation Award for Teaching and Learning’ and the ‘Distinction and Excellence in Teaching and Student Centred Learning’.

We look forward to seeing you at the seminar.

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