A COVID-19 Impact Study on K-12 Online Learning in Saudi Arabia

Executive Summary

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia swiftly moved its K-12 education programs and services online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure quality online learning, the Kingdom commissioned a developmental study to understand the state of online K-12 education during the fall 2020 semester, follow onto its earlier 2020 research into the status of online learning in the Kingdom and begin visioning the post-COVID environment for its nation.The Kingdom’s Phase I study chiefly affirmed that the pandemic required rapid acceleration in the development and delivery of fully online courses for a high volume of students. These requirements were piled atop the needs already articulated in the nation’s ambitious Vision 2030 agenda for education. Based on Phase I findings and recommendations, more than 70 new initiatives were launched and implemented by the Ministry. By Phase II, the intention was to determine opportunities for improvement while identifying areas of excellence that could be highlighted against a new evaluation framework for quality K-12 online learning. This study was conducted to analyze the progress made on the recommended initiatives and measures the satisfaction of key stakeholders, challenges, as well as the opportunities for future investment against the dimensions of that National eLearning Center’s (NELC) online learning evaluation framework.
A total of 385,957 members of the Saudi Arabia education community (students, parents, teachers, and administrators) participated in this follow-up study. Data was collected through qualitative and quantitative surveys administered across the country. Updated themes and trends emerged from this study and provide a clear picture of the strong progress made.

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