E-Learning Unit

Using Pools and Random Blocks to Increase Test Security

  On September 21, 2020, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a webinar titled "Using Bb Random Block for Online Midterm Exam/Quizzes". The webinar, supervised by Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Yahya Asiri, was developed to provide faculty members with tools they can use to reduce academic misconduct in their online exams and quizzes, leading to an effective mechanism used to verify that the work and assignments of students are of their own.   As the overall participation of teaching staff in the assessment and development activities of the Bachelor of Arts in English Program (BAEP) is paramount, Mr. Khan welcomed the participants and thanked them for attending, noting that a recording of the session will be available in the near future. Mr. Khan then introduced the attendees to the concepts of creating Pools and Random Blocks. He then explained that Pools are a collection of questions that function as a sort of test bank. He mentioned that we have the ability to edit or delete each question in a Pool and change the default point values for each assigned question. It is important to remember, he noted, that when instructors select Pool questions for a test, any changes made in the Pool will take effect anywhere the question appears.   Mr. Khan then moved on to Random Blocks, defining them as assessments created from Pools at random so each student’s exam is unique. He then made an important point about Random blocks in that they can be created from one or more Pools of questions. He showed why it is essential that each Pool have a variety of questions with no similarity. It is critical, he explained, that instructors edit the number of questions to display within each Random Block while monitoring the assigned points per question and variety of questions pulled from the Pool.   The Bachelor of Arts in English Program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to developing and improving the professional skills and capabilities of faculty members in line with modern developments. To view the recording of this session, please (click here). Date: 9/21/2020 Source: FLT Web Team
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From Whiteboards to Blackboard: FLT Ramps up Online Assessment Teacher Training

  On 10 March 2020, we reported that E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a university-wide webinar, which also included a curated session to the English Language Center on 11 March 2020, titled 'Transformation to Full E-Learning'. In those webinars, Mr. Khan introduced faculty members to useful content and tool areas within Blackboard that are needed to be able to effectively conduct their classes online. It is worth noting that as a result of questions from students about the logistics of virtual learning, a special webinar was held on 14 March 2020 in which Mr. Khan led students through a practical session of how to use Blackboard Ultra and efficiently use different content areas within Blackboard from the student perspective.   Commenting on the recent events, Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi noted that some of our Bachelor of Arts in English program students who live in remote areas will feel the shift to online most intensely. "We have to ensure that we are flexible and take issues on a case-by-case basis. We need a variety of assessments with grades communicated to students on a frequent and timely basis," he said.   In response to Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi's call for a variety of assessments and timely grade notifications, English Department Chair, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, and Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, commissioned Mr. Khan to deliver a webinar titled "Using Blackboard for Online Assessment" on 21 March 2020. In that webinar, Mr. Khan led approximately 70 faculty members through the fundamentals of how to create and deploy over 15 types of assessment types, including assignments and the discussion board. Additional technical training was provided on how to export created tests and share within the same course across different sections and teachers.   An active question and answer session followed shortly after the conclusion of the training in which the topic of cheating was discussed. It was noted that no purely online assessment system can prevent all forms. However, some steps were provided, such as randomizing questions and answers. At the end of the session, Chairman Alhamami recognized that the level of anxiety due to the sudden switch to online learning is high, noting that in time and with more familiarity, it will get better.   Of noteworthy mention, Mr. Khan will lead an additional Blackboard assessment training webinar tailored to students on 22 March 2020. Date: 21 March 2020 Source: Faculty of Languages & Translation
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Keep Teaching: FLT E-Learning Supervisor Delivers University-Wide Webinar on Blackboard

  On March 10, 2020, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a university-wide workshop titled 'Transformation to Full E-Learning'. The workshop, under the supervision of the Deanship of E-Learning's Training Manager, Mohammed Jarallah, was developed to ensure faculty members, whether they are seasoned experts or first-time users, understand the essentials of posting documents, assignments, quizzes, tests, videos, and discussion boards. Perhaps the most important part of the webinar, which was attended by nearly 200 faculty members, was the in-depth review of the specific features and functionality of Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard Ultra.   With the evolving public health situation presented by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), proper precautions were put in place for our teachers at King Khalid University to increase their online teaching presence. "A huge part of your success will be leveraging the technology we have made available to you. Blackboard Collaborate is a synchronous video conferencing tool that you can add files to and share your screen. I recommend that you use the virtual whiteboard to interact," said Mr. Khan. He also looked at both the 'Collaborate: Ultra Experience' and the 'Collaborate: Original Experience'. The main difference between the options – which are both offered – is that 'Ultra' is an entirely web-based interface while 'Original' requires that Java be installed.   As course content, course design, and instructor readiness are essential to implementing the best practices of online pedagogy, Mr. Khan also introduced participants to the eight standards of Quality Matters, which will ensure faculty members achieve the university's goals for delivering quality online learning. This set the foundation for the suggested online classroom model, which places focus on not just the platform, but also interactivity.   Of noteworthy mention, an adapted version of this webinar was delivered to teachers of the English Language Center on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Commenting on future webinars, English Department Chairman, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, said, "We plan to hold a similar webinar this Monday. You will learn best practices, available tools, and where to find support for teaching your classes online. I will be a part of that webinar and highly encourage you to attend."   The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing a supportive organizational climate and academic environment to ensure that teaching and learning strategies are student-centered. Ensuring our students are provided with an active learning environment remains a high priority through continual teaching staff participation in professional and academic development programs. Date: 3/12/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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English Club Sponsors E-Reading Workshop

  On November 18, 2019, E-Learning Unit Supervisor Mohsin Khan held a workshop on 'E-Reading'. The workshop, organized by E-Learning Unit of the Bachelor of Arts in English program in collaboration with English Club at the Faculty of Languages and Translation, was for all English language majors. The purpose was to help students improve their understanding of ‘E-Reading’ using a variety of free services available on the internet.   The focus was on reading strategy, and Mr. Khan guided participants through iPad-based interactive exercises. The exercises, composed of e-worksheets, targeted knowledge of reading strategies. More than 20 students ranging from incoming freshmen to juniors participated, and this enabled them to collaborate and enhance their understanding of the topics learned during the presentation.   This workshop was important for all of those majoring in English. Unquestionably, reading is one of the best ways students can increase their vocabulary and consolidate their understanding of grammar. It expedites the normal language learning process, turning passive comprehension into active knowledge. Also, many studies have shown that reading strengthens cognitive abilities. These are some of the reasons that reading is one of the most valuable language skills.   "E-Reading can turn receptive lessons into interactive lessons. With interactive tasks, built-in dictionaries, and audio, students can develop their critical reading skills more effectively," said Mr. Khan. Date: 11/18/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Implementing Quality Matters to Build Online Assessments

  On November 13th, the E-Learning Unit of the Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation, in collaboration with the Deanship of E-Learning, conducted a webinar titled 'Implementing Quality Matters (QM) to Build Effective Online Assessments' from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. 185 faculty members from across the university attended.   QM is a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to properly evaluate and certify online courses and the constituent components thereof. QM has achieved both domestic and international recognition for its quality assurance and continuous improvement capabilities in online education.   Much of QM's success is attributable to its end-user focus. QM programs are: Faculty driven; Collaborative; Able to provide detailed, constructive course feedback; Collegial in nature; Learner-centered in program design and execution.   Under the supervision of Vice Dean of Academic Development and Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, and Training Manager at the Deanship of E-Learning, Mohammed Jarallah, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Raza Khan, delivered the webinar. He is a certified QM Master Reviewer and seasoned e-course design professional. At the outset, he reviewed the applicable QM standards for course assessment, followed by an explanation of each evaluative rubric.   Mr. Khan then described the various methods for successfully implementing the standards into an online course assessment. Later, he identified and discussed various QM strategies for online course integration into a variety of curricula. At the conclusion of the webinar, Mr. Khan said, "QM often seems extremely complicated and labor-intensive. However, following the program pays off in the long run with well-designed and highly useful courses that benefit the students." Vice Dean Almosa stated that "e-learning and online courses will play an increasingly vital role in education. QM is an important part of making sure the courses provide efficient learning and high value."   The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to faculty development and providing students with cutting-edge educational programs and the highest quality learning outcomes. Date: 11/16/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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E-Writing Workshop a Success in the LEP

  On October 22, 2019, E-Learning Unit Supervisor Mohsin Khan held a workshop on 'E-Writing'. The workshop, organized by the E-Learning Unit at the Faculty of Languages and Translation, was for all English language majors. The purpose was to help students improve their English writing using a variety of free services available on the internet.   The focus was on writing strategy, and the presenter guided the audience through the computer-based exercises. As such, students at most any level of English study benefited from the program. More than 25 students ranging from incoming freshmen to graduating seniors participated, and everybody was able to practice using the web-based writing assistance resources.   This workshop was important for all of those majoring in English. Unquestionably, writing is without question the most difficult of the language skills. On average, it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become a proficient writer. Obviously, writing in the classroom and on exams is not sufficient experience for such an achievement. Students must practice outside of class for a period of years. Further, writing is a 'perishable' skill. Writing ability deteriorates quickly without continual practice. These are the reasons that 'E-Writing' is so valuable.   E-Writing allows students to practice efficiently. The programs can point out errors and make suggestions. This allows the students to write more material with a greater degree of confidence. Before the advent of online writing coaching, a student would need an experienced coach or tutor to sit with him/her to derive a similar benefit. E-Writing allows much higher proficiency in a reasonable amount of time. "In today's E-Writing Workshop, students were exposed to online resources and websites for improving writing skills. Students were informed about online writing skill courses offered at online platforms such as FutureLearn.com, edX, Alison, Coursera, Canvas Network, and Udemy. Students were also familiarized with writing resources of the British Council, BBC and websites for IELTS and TOEFL preparation. Students were given three moderately difficult online writing tasks, and I am happy to say that they enthusiastically participated in all the tasks and completed them," said Mr. Khan.   The Faculty of Languages and Translation is dedicated to providing cutting edge language learning services to all of the students. Those wishing for more information can contact Mr. Khan at mokhan@kku.edu.sa. Date: 10/22/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Online Course Design: Teacher-Student Interaction is Key

  On October 7, 2019, Hassan Costello delivered a workshop titled 'Introduction to Building Quality Online Courses'. The workshop, organized by the E-Learning Unit at Faculty of Languages & Translation in collaboration with the Deanship of E-Learning, was initially tailored toward the English teachers at the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT). However, under the supervision of Vice Dean of Academic Development and Quality, Dr. Abulrahman Almosa, and guidance from E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, the FLT decided to open the program to all faculty members in the university system. The college expanded the program university-wide because the material is applicable to online course design across a broad spectrum of professions and disciplines. Members of the FLT and faculty from the College of Medicine attended the workshop.   As the overall quality of online courses is paramount, Mr. Costello framed the workshop in accordance with the eight general standards of Quality Matters (QM). Teaching online requires the skillful interplay of two distinct but closely related activities- course design and student interaction.   Course design requires clarity of purpose. That is, everything in the course must support the desired learning outcomes for the students. Also, online courses must be logically formatted and clearly presented with easy navigation. As students will generally not have unfettered access to the course instructor nor their classmates, the course designer should make individual student autonomy a high priority. Tracking the QM Rubric in the design process helps assure that the ultimate course objectives can be met.   Student/teacher interaction with online courses is very different than traditional classes. Students often work during irregular hours and/or at their own pace. The teacher might not be available to students at mutually convenient times. Also, a teacher may not have the time to respond to every student inquiry in a timely fashion based solely on the number of students enrolled in the class. The limitations on the level of expected student/teacher interaction must be carefully considered in the course design.   In his presentation, Mr. Costello introduced the attendees to each of the QM Rubric standards and provided a summary of 'best practices' for complying with same. The current QM Rubric (6th edition, revised in 2018) has 42 specific standards that are used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. "Applying the QM Rubric to your course is all about 'alignment'. That is, each lecture, assignment, and activity furthers an objective supporting one or more desired learning outcomes. Aligning tasks and activities with objectives translates into a fully integrated course. The end result is a successful and positive learning experience. Think of the eight general standards of the QM Rubric as a road map that we use to design a course so that both the students and teacher reach the objective in an efficient and pleasant manner," he said.   Mr. Costello provided an introduction to and the best practices of the following general standards:   The Course Overview and Introduction; Learning Objectives (Competencies); Assessment and Measurement ; Instruction Materials; Course Activities and Learner Interaction; Course Technology; Learner Support; Accessibility and Usability.   Mr. Costello also paid particular attention to the issue of accessibility. Unsurprisingly, accessibility in course design is a top priority for many schools and institutions around the world. In point of fact, accessibility is so important that the QM Rubric includes an 'Accessibility and Usability' component. King Khalid University fully embraces the goal of expanding access to course work. King Khalid University was the first university in the Kingdom to subscribe to the tenets of QM.   Mr. Costello's presentation was chock-full of information. He acknowledged that it was hard to take it all in at once. But he encouraged the attendees in saying, "I want you to think of this workshop as a primer to the 'Applying the Quality Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop'. That workshop is provided free of charge and is sponsored by the Deanship of E-Learning to all interested faculty members. The APPQMR workshop is QM's flagship presentation on the QM rubric. There you will review many of the concepts and requirements we have seen today. Being exposed to the material and having access to the resources will be valuable in the future."   Faculty members in attendance from the College of Medicine showed great interest in applying the strategies Mr. Costello explained in his presentation. The medical college currently has an online course taught by 20 faculty members, and this workshop provided the tools to make substantial improvements to that course.   The FLT hopes to repeat this workshop to benefit more of the faculty in the near future. The Faculty of Languages and Translation is dedicated to providing world-class language education to an ever-expanding segment of the population. Date: 10/9/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Webinar: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

  A university-wide webinar on the topic of 'Blackboard Collaborate Ultra' was held by FLT E-Learning Supervisor, Mohsin Raza Khan, on Thursday, August 22, 2019, under the supervision of Training Manager at the Deanship of E-Learning, Mohammed Jarallah. In attendance were faculty members from various colleges and locales. Mr. Khan provided some basic instruction for those who were not familiar with King Khalid University's learning management system, Blackboard. Mr. Khan then conducted a training session in which he focused on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. "Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a real-time video conferencing tool that allows users to add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact with participants. King Khalid University selected this user-friendly tool that runs in a browser and does not require Java to be installed to help support our students with a world-class communication solution."   Of note, the webinar highlighted differences between Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. The webinar focused on the important features needed to foster collaborative online learning as follows:   Session Menu; Collaborate Panel; Audio/Video Controls; Creating an Online Session; Utilizing the File Sharing, Screen Sharing, and Whiteboard Sharing Tools.   The main goal of the webinar was designed to give participants a quick tour of all the essential features and controls in the user interface. In doing so, participants will effectively be able to improve student learning, engagement, and interaction.   The Deanship of E-Learning in cooperation with the Faculty of Languages and Translation is expanding its educational resources to serve more members of the community and is committed to continuous improvement in all academic programs. E-learning is a vital component of both objectives and an essential educational development tool at the university and other educational institutions throughout the Kingdom.
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Faculty of Languages and Translation E-Learning Unit: A Look Back, and a Look Ahead

  The Faculty of Languages and Translation's (FLT) E-Learning Unit had a very busy semester. Under the supervision of Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, and direction of E-Learning Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, the unit rolled out and implemented the Cambridge Learning Management System (CLMS), which has been a great benefit to our students. See article: "New Textbooks Are Key to 'Unlocking' the Potential of Our Students".   This system is highly flexible. It allows and encourages the learners to interact with one another, their teachers, and a host of online content outside of the classroom. CLMS was an enormous undertaking, and naturally, there were some growing pains. However, the system is highly capable and useful. Approximately 9,000 ELC students and 160 teachers at all university campuses were given access to the Cambridge Learning Management System (CLMS).   Given the size and scope of CLMS, quality assurance of course content is a high priority. The publishers take great pains to assure that the content is useful and appropriate for our students and have systems of quality management that drive continuous improvement. King Khalid University also has a quality assurance framework in place to ensure optimal learning outcomes and continuous improvement. The university utilizes the Quality Matters (QM) methodology for many academic and support functions.   QM is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of online educational programs. The program started with a small consortium of colleges and universities in the United States, and has grown to more than a thousand institutional subscribers worldwide. To date, QM has certified more than five thousand online courses and has provided professional development resources for nearly 50,000 teachers.   King Khalid University was the first QM subscriber in the Kingdom and has several certified courses in various curricula. KKU has won many accolades and awards for its QM efforts and course content. Our university’s QM Program serves as a model for other educational institutions throughout the MENA region. The university encourages the development of additional e-learning courses to serve our students and the community better. A QM certified course rubric must satisfy 43 international standards based on the following 8 design criteria:   Course Overview and Introduction Learning Objectives (Competencies) Assessment and Measurement Instructional Materials Learning Activities and Learner Interactions Course Technology Learner Support Accessibility and Usability   "I hope that all FLT faculty members will get involved with e-Learning to benefit our students. If you have any questions, please contact me by sending an email to  mokhan@kku.edu.sa," said Khan.   The FLT E-Learning Unit conducted numerous programs for both students and faculty. These programs are designed to enhance learning outcomes for the students and further developing faculty skills. Some of this year’s programs included:   E-Learning Workshops for Students; E-Learning Practitioner Course for all University Teachers; E-Learning Campaign; Virtual Classroom (University-Wide Teacher Workshop); E-Learning Orientation for New Faculty Members of the University; Introduction to the Blackboard With Special Reference to the QM Rubric (University-Wide Teacher Training Workshop).   The e-Learning Unit also has a busy calendar for the upcoming academic year. The unit has planned a suite of programs that will further benefit existing students, attract new students, and help prepare our faculty members to better serve the university and the community. Some of these programs include:   Implementation of the QM program in EFL Teaching; E-Learning Campaign; E-Learning Day; Virtual Classroom Workshop; Student Training Workshop; Teacher Training Workshop; New Trends in e-Learning Workshop; Online Course Design; QM Alignment Concept Workshop; Online Interaction Workshop.   The Faculty of Languages and Translation is expanding its educational resources to serve more members of the community, and is committed to continuous improvement in all academic programs. E-learning is a vital component of both objectives and a vital tool for educational development at the university and other educational institutions throughout the Kingdom. Date: 5-27-2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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A Perspective on KKU: Online International Testing Center

Under the patronage of the Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi and supervision of Dr. Muhammed Shuaib Asiri, Vice-Dean for Academic Development & Quality and Dr. Yahya Assiri, Vice-Dean of the College, the E-Learning Unit of the Faculty of Languages & Translation organized a presentation titled,  A Perspective on KKU:  Online International Testing Center by Mr. Rizwan Ghani on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 11:00 am in the E-Learning Training Center A/3/86. Mr. Rizwan Ghani proposed establishing an online International Testing Center (ITC) at King Khalid University for holding international tests like the ACT, CLEP, AP, PISA, ACT, GRE and SAT. Mr. Ghani said that the ITC could help students, professionals, and the public gain access to approved international courses, training, examinations, and entry/admission tests locally as part of quality education, standardized testing and community service in the Asir Region. Mr. Ghani also mentioned that the ITC could help KKU to standardize education, reduce costs for many elements of the testing lifecycle, and support candidates realize optimum convenience by offering tests on-demand and year-round. It also serves to assist accelerated graduation pathways. He also pointed out that digital education and computer-based testing (CBT) may help align high school and university education and testing in KKU and the Asir Region with global standards. As a result, our students will be familiar with them from an early age, and it will enable them to do well in courses, examinations entry, admission tests and jobs at the local and global level. Mr. Abdullah Al-Rezgi, Director of the English Language Center, Mr. Muhammed Jabir Asiri, E-Learning Specialist, and faculty members graced the occasion. Mr. Mohsin Khan, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, and Mr. Rizwan Ghani proposed a vote of thanks to the seminar participants for the insightful feedback and recommendations.  Date: 10-10-2017 Source: E-Learning Unit
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