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Use of Sharepoint as a Learning Management System by KSU Faculty. Prof. Reima Al- Jarf King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia e-mail: Website:

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use of sharepoint as a learning management system by ksu faculty

Use of Sharepoint as a Learning Management System by KSU Faculty

Prof. Reima Al-Jarf

King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



eLSE 2009 Conference. Carol I National Defense University. Bucharest, Romania. April 8-10, 2009

what is sharpoint
What is SharPoint?
  • It is an integrated suite of server functionalities that provides comprehensive content management, facilitates information sharing.
  • It provides built-in abilities for document management & alerting, blogs, wikis & Web Parts for publishing & receiving RSS feeds.
  • It allows teams to work together effectively, collaborate on & publish documents, maintain task lists, implement workflows & share information through wikis & blogs, create a personal MySite portal to share information with others & personalize the user experience & content of an enterprise Website based on the user’s profile.

KSU launched its Web Portal using Office SharePoint Server 2007 in Sep. 2007, in order for KSU’s educational & research activities to have presence on the World Wide Web & to be a knowledge gateway for the KSU faculty, students & worldwide visitors.

  • A website with standardized components & tools was created for each of the university’s 4600 faculty members in its 39 colleges.
  • Faculty uploaded their publications, conference presentations, course materials, exams & reports.
  • A contest for best faculty websites.
sharepoint as lms
SharePoint as LMS
  • forums,
  • blogs,
  • wikis,
  • document libraries,
  • picture libraries,
  • a calendar,
  • announcements,
  • RSS feed,
  • a tool for creating
  • surveys & others, users can create as many sub-websites, blogs, wikis, forums, document libraries as they need, & for any purposes.
aims of study
Aims of Study

To find out the following:

  • % of faculty utilizing the SharePoint’s LMS features such as the forum, wiki, blog, surveys in their courses.
  • % of faculty utilizing each tools.
  • factors affecting their utilization of such features.
  • King Saud University has 39 colleges
  • 100,000 students
  • 6180 faculty (Ph.D., M.A. & B.A. holders & language instructors).
  • 29% of faculty are females.
  • A sample of 634 faculty websites, consisting of 75 faculty winning websites from 25 colleges & 10% of the faculty websites randomly selected from each college.
  • all male & female faculty websites at the Ed Tech Department & College of Computer & Information Science.

90 subjects were randomly selected:

  • 2 faculty per college,
  • 5 faculty from the Educational Technology Department,
  • 5 faculty from the College of Computer & Information Science,
  • 2 technicians from the KSU Portal Department).
data collection
Data Collection
  • I searched each subject’s website for SharePoint LMS tools.
  • Calculated frequencies & % of blogs, forums, wikis, surveys, & calendar.
  • The 90 subjects were individually interviewed by phone.
  • An open-ended questionnaire-survey was used to record the responses.
  • All subjects utilized the course tool to upload their course objectives, materials, e-books & teacher-made tests & answer keys.
  • Posted links to internet websites related to course topics.
  • Posted exam announcements.
  • course content.

Students can access their professors’ publication & conference presentation abstracts & even full text papers.

  • Some uploaded samples of their students’ projects, research papers & activities.
  • Most pictures uploaded are personal & unrelated to the

.017% created a blog;

  • .005% created a wiki;
  • .005% created a survey
  • .01% created a discussion forum.
  • Those faculty left their forums & wikis blank, some posted a question, or a couple of blog entries with little or no response from students.
  • Available surveys have a question that asks about visitors’ opinion of the website or seek suggestions for improvement with no responses at all.

None uses SharePoint as an LMS for delivering online instruction whether in full or as a supplement to in-class instruction.

  • Instruction at KSU is still traditional & it depends on class lectures only.
  • None of faculty majoring in Ed Tech or Computer & Information Science uses SharePoint for delivering online instruction & none has created a blog, a forum, a wiki & not even a calendar.
factors affecting lms utilization
Factors Affecting LMS utilization
  • Since 2006, KSU has opened up its student admission policies.
  • Many departments have large student bodies, are understaffed & many faculty teach large classes.
  • Shortage is solved by merging classes, by raising the teaching load of instructors, & by assigning classes to technicians & T.A.’s.
  • In many computer courses is 1 to 100 & 1 to 150. Available computer labs cannot accommodate large classes not online instruction.

many computer science faculty have an additional 1-5 consultation jobs.

  • They hardly stay on campus beyond class time. Once they are finished with classes they leave.
  • Teaching & consulting duties leave them with little time for exploring, developing online courses.

The University Culture

  • teaching-learning environment is not technology-oriented.
  • Many faculty feel that using the SharePoint LMS is a luxury rather than a necessity.
  • Many students are still traditional. They are not interested in using technology in learning, have no experience learning through technology, & many do not know English. Some do not know how to use the Internet. They are critical of instructors who give assignments that require internet searching.
  • In the faculty evaluation form, they rate those instructors unfavorably.

Lack of incentives

  • most faculty get a 25% computer bonus without any discrimination between those who are tech savvy’s & those who have basic computer skills.
  • No incentives are offered for using SharePoint in online instruction.
  • Many faculty are not pressured & not motivated to teach online because.
  • Online instruction is optional.

Lack of administrative support & standards

  • When the KSU administration felt that it is important for each faculty member to have a website, faculty websites were created in a month.
  • To motivate instructors to upload their publications, course files & documents, they set minimum standards & a promotional contest was announced in 2007/2008.

A second promotional contest has been announced in 2009.

  • Each week, the Portal department announces the 5 most-visited faculty websites, the 5 most-active 5 faculty, the 5 content-rich websites, & 5 most referenced websites.

Lack of Training

  • most faculty are not trained in using SharePoint LMS.
  • Many do not know how to integrate a blog or a wiki in instruction.
  • The eLearning & Distance Learning Deanship conducted several training workshops to introduce the KSU faculty to online instruction & “Jusur” LMS but not SharePoint LMS.

Technicians are computer engineers who know little about online instruction.

  • The SharePoint LMS features are not publicized.
  • Training memos are not sent to College of Computer faculty.
  • No user guides & no training workshops
  • A directive from the KSU Rector;
  • Financial & technical support;
  • A third contest that focuses on the utilization of the SharePoint LMS;
  • Setting standards, providing awards & incentives for faculty with the best utilization of the SharePoint LMS.
  • Preparing a SharePoint LMS user manual.
  • Hiring Technical Support staff that can provide training, help & guidance in SharePoint LMS.

Issuing a weekly report on faculty with highest number of instructional blog & wiki entries, forum posts, electronically-generated tests & surveys…etc.

  • Training faculty should in using the SharePoint LMS.

Training grad students & pre-service teachers in using the SharePoint LMS, as an integral part of their professional preparation programs.

  • The KSU administration should look into staff shortage, faculty teaching load, admission policies, faculty-student ratio & conditions permitting faculty participation in consultation.