Learner autonomy in the digital environment of Omani higher education institutions: Sultan Qaboos University as a case study

Nour Eldin Mohamed Elshaiekh, Ahmed Maher Khafaga Shehata, Sayed Elsawy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Purpose: Learner autonomy has been a subject of many studies in the past few decades. The term refers mainly to the construction of the learner’s ability to participate in taking responsibility for his/her learning. This paper attempts to explore the needs of autonomous learners in the digital environment at Omani higher education institutions. Design/methodology/approach: The study has adopted mixed methods approach. A triangulation approach of collecting data is adopted in this paper to identify the above needs. Questionnaires, interviews, and observations have been used as tools for collecting required data. Findings The results show the importance to pay attention to the participation of students in choosing and creating the assignments and academic assessments because of its impact on stimulating their interest and enhancing their confidence in learner autonomy, decision-making and assignments. It is demonstrated that students should be encouraged to do some work independently outside the classroom, using modern tools and methods that are compatible with their aspirations, and to search for information using different sources. In general, the paper indicted the need of Learner Autonomy in the Digital Environment of Omani Higher Education Institutions, as a must technique for coming future era. Research limitations/implications The study was conducted on one Omani university. Further studies need to be conducted to investigate the topic in wider context. Originality/value It is hoped that this paper will improve the quality of digital services that meet autonomous learners’ needs. Consequently, such learners will become more confident using them. Once this confidence is established, academic institutions’ goals in facilitating the spread of a culture of learner autonomy will perhaps seem more viable. It is also hoped that this paper will intrigue the interest of non-beneficiaries and introduce them to the research in the digital environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 22nd International Arab Conference on Information Technology, ACIT 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665419956
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event22nd International Arab Conference on Information Technology, ACIT 2021 - Muscat, Oman
Duration: Dec 21 2021Dec 23 2021

Publication series

Name2021 22nd International Arab Conference on Information Technology, ACIT 2021


Conference22nd International Arab Conference on Information Technology, ACIT 2021


  • Digital environment
  • Learner autonomy
  • Omani higher education
  • Sultan qaboos university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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