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An evaluation of the effectiveness of face-to-face versus e-learning in the UAE Civil Defence sector

Almarzooqi, Jasim Mohamed Hasan Yousif

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Jasim Mohamed Hasan Yousif Almarzooqi


In the UAE, e-Learning has been adopted as a new learning mode to increase awareness and standards of building fire safety of it civil defence workforce. Training in this sector has been mainly based around traditional classroom approaches. This research specifically focuses on an online approach to delivering and sustaining the continuous professional development (CPD) of UAE fire fighters. The key aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of learning and performance between face-to-face learning and e-Learning. The central research question is: does learning effectiveness differ between traditional learning and e-Learning? This study employs a quasi-experimental research design to evaluate the three different learning interventions: face-to-face learning, high media rich e-Learning and low media rich e-Learning. A survey method was selected to gather the data on learning effectiveness following the completion of the training programme from a sample of participants (n=412) professionally engaged in the civil defence sector. A key finding was that across all measures of learning effectiveness: engagement, cognitive performance and behavioural performance, scores in the face-to-face mode were significantly better than in the e-Learning mode. Furthermore learning effectiveness was found to be significantly better in high media rich than low media rich e-Learning design. The findings indicate that learning styles impacted on learning effectiveness between the three modes of learning. There was significant interaction between learning styles and learning mode on learning effectiveness. There were statistically significant differences in learning effectiveness for all learning styles. In 7 out of the 8 learning styles (Active, Reflective, Verbal, Visual, Sequential, Global, Sensing, Intuitive) learning effectiveness was higher on average in the face-to-face learning mode than in both of the e-Learning modes. The differences in terms of effect sizes varied between these learning styles. Only reflective learning exhibited a higher learning effectiveness score for high media rich e-Learning than face-to-face. Spatial ability did not have any statistically significant effect on learning effectiveness in the two learning approaches of traditional and e-Learning. However when comparing the two types of e-Learning high spatial ability learners performed less well in the low multimedia mode than in the high multimedia mode. This research provides evidence to show that learning styles are significantly related to learning achievement in e-Learning and there are differential effects for different learning styles. The study also provides evidence that the use of rich multimedia is positively related to higher learning effectiveness. The findings contribute to empirical evidence for differences between face-to-face and e-learning and the role of media richness and learning styles. The findings have practical implications for learning strategies.


Almarzooqi, J. M. H. Y. An evaluation of the effectiveness of face-to-face versus e-learning in the UAE Civil Defence sector. (Thesis). University of the West of England. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jan 17, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 17, 2019
Public URL
Award Date Jan 17, 2019


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