Source: King Khalid University - Media Center
In response to universities closing their doors and transitioning to e-learning in March as part of a national social distancing and quarantine effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Deanship of E-Learning stepped up to the call and rapidly ensured the continuation of the educational process.
During this crisis, the Deanship of E-Learning trained more than 4,000 faculty members, which facilitated opportunities for educators to learn best practices on how to incorporate active learning and maintain an interactive teaching methodology. Through 20 workshops and several training guides and manuals, faculty members were equipped with new knowledge and tools for e-learning along with an inspiration to be an active member of the digital transformation taking place at King Khalid University.
Dean of E-learning, Dr. Fahad Al-Ahmari, confirmed that his team is on a mission to adopt new approaches and tools based on the ever-evolving technological landscape, noting that King Khalid University has an ambitious roadmap for education reform that include a range of digital assessment and social learning tools. Assessment, noted Dean Al-Ahmari, is critical to the education process and teachers need to balance a variety of assessment methods and carefully weigh evidence of student learning in order to generate a reliable and valid grade to students - the main stakeholder. As such, students were the recipient of more than ten workshops to ensure that they are aware of and prepared for their final exams.
Dean Al-Ahmari also explained that his team carried out an awareness campaign on all social media accounts, which have been viewed more than 13,000 times concurrently with nearly 1 million views on the Tamkeen Training Channel on YouTube.
In the attempt of activating e-learning, Dean Al-Ahmari confirmed that among the 50,866 students and 2,847 faculty members, there is a high utilization rate, reaching 94.3%. He also highlighted that there are more than 15,000 full e-learning courses with a total of 1,133,259 entries, 1,745,955 assessments, 9,167,694 electronic activities, 5,735,757 files uploaded, as well as 54,657 virtual classrooms, 55 viva voces with another 30 scheduled to be examined in the coming month.
Dean Al-Ahmari added that the Deanship developed ten courses for people with special needs, as well as creating 563 qualitative and educational content items in line with Universal Design for Learning, which is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. The Deanship also offered 30 educational infographic files and 250,000 educational awareness text messages, as well as 106,125 emails to support and educate individuals during these trying times.
On the technical side, the Deanship of E-Learning delivered technical solutions and support to more than 10,000 users through WhatsApp, phone calls, the Anydesk technology support system, and a frequently asked questions manual containing 63 of the most commonly asked questions.
On supporting and improving e-learning, Dean Al-Ahmari explained that a remote agreement was signed between King Khalid University and Jeddah University in the field of electronic training and the Opportunity Investment During the Coronavirus Crisis Online Forum was held and attended by more than 2,000 people. He added that the KKUx platform offered free courses to the public with certification, which garnered considerable national attention to the tune of hundreds of users in its first week. Dean Al-Ahmari concluded his interview by highlighting that his team has also collaborated with the Deanship of Student Affairs, offering more than 450 iPads for international scholarship students at the Lasan Campus.