E-Learning

Social Constructivist Approach: A Panacea for EFL Learners' Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic

  Ms. Sufia Sultana and Ms. Richa Rastogi gave a presentation titled "Social Constructivist Approach: A Panacea for EFL Learners' Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic" at a webinar arranged by the Language Research Center on October 14, 2020. The presentation was based on their research that explored learners' attitude towards online learning methods.   Sultana and Rastogi introduced the topic by mentioning how COVID-19 severely affected human life in general across the world and how it impacted educational institutions, resulting in a conspicuous shift from face-to-face to distance learning.   The primary objectives of their study, they said, were to explore students' attitudes towards online learning methods, identify teachers' capability for utilizing online platforms, highlight challenges involved in teaching, and recognize students' anxiety and stress levels as a crucial factor in deciding their academic performance and well-being.   Sultana and Rastogi highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. While reviewing the literature, they mentioned a research study conducted by the World Bank in response to the crisis. According to the study1, they said, "A failure to sustain effective tertiary systems can lead to perilous social upheavals, as youth fall outside the education system, unable to engage in active learning and uncertain about the future of their education and prospects." They also mentioned a study conducted at Arizona State University on how this crisis affected students of low-income groups.   The presenters further focused on the students' perspective during the pandemic. They substantiated the major reasons for stress and anxiety. The reasons, according to their research, are insufficient information about precautionary measures, fear of personal losses with respect to standard of living, lack of support network, claustrophobic confinement at home, and lack of motivation in self-isolation. Sultana and Rastogi's research also revealed that insufficient command of the target language, lack of exposure to electronic exams, and time-consuming schedules result in higher stress and anxiety levels.   They finally made some recommendations, such as increasing teacher training in implementing high-quality courses, creating a diverse learning environment for the students, orientation programs that train the students for self-directed learning, and developing critical thinking skills. They concluded that students' overall performance was very satisfactory despite the stress they experienced. They added students' readiness for self-directed learning and training curricula are the foundations of an integrated learning experience.   It was undoubtedly a very informative webinar as the presenters successfully pinpointed the major academic issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how to address them. The webinar was a great success with the active participation of both male and female faculty members of the Bachelor of Arts in English program. 1Citation "World Bank. 2020. The COVID-19 Crisis Response: Supporting Tertiary Education for Continuity, Adaptation, and Innovation. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34571 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO." Date: 10/15/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Virtual Teaching of English Courses: Ways to Make it Effective

  Ms. Amatul Hafeez Alvi conducted a workshop on Virtual Teaching of English Courses: Ways to Make it Effective, at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on September 16, 2020.   Alvi started the session by stating the objectives of the webinar – creating interactivity, reliability in building online learning experiences, forging online connections to build the teacher-learner relation, the application of key principles to create teaching presence and avoidance of "turning off" students to the online paradigm.   First, she emphasized the proper knowledge a teacher should have about instructional technology. She specifically focused on being familiar with devices, the Internet, e-content, related problems associated with the course website and connectivity. She also added the importance of having proper knowledge of how to handle problems with students and troubleshoot them efficiently.   Secondly, Alvi emphasized the teacher's presence. She focused on how a teacher should introduce himself or herself by, for instance, uploading an introductory video or emailing. Doing this, at least, can create an impression that the teacher is around. A teacher should use both synchronous and asynchronous communication methods to connect with the learners, she added. Furthermore, she stressed on being a reflective teacher who is able to evaluate himself or herself after what he or she has done.   Alvi also talked about fostering communication by being a role model, allowing students to know each other, creating a safe learning atmosphere and social opportunities, and emphasizing teamwork. Clarity and simplicity are also essential in designing a course, said Alvi. A teacher must be able to consider different learning styles, she added. For example, there are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners who acquire things differently.   Alvi concluded that a teacher must keep on searching for new ideas, for example, from the Internet and colleagues.   The webinar was very interactive and a great success with the active participation of both male and female faculty members from the Bachelor of Arts in English program.  Date: 9-16-2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Fall 2020 Freshmen Orientation

  On 3 September 2020, the Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation held an orientation program for first-year students. At the gathering, new students received important information delivered in a small group and discussion format in line with COVID-19 social distancing measures. Several members of the leadership team and functional units of the FLT were there to introduce not only the curriculum but also the culture within the campus.   Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi began the program by welcoming the students. He explained that this meeting is not just a perfunctory gathering, highlighting that this welcoming activity was designed to help students overcome the challenges and difficulties they will face while keeping an eye towards success. Dean Al-Melhi then imparted important instructions about the English program and useful tips for academic success.   English Department Chair, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, echoed Dean Al-Melhi's advice and familiarized students with university rules and regulations. Academic Advisor, Dr. Dawood Mahdi, then informed students about the university facilities and resources.   At the end of the event, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Raza Khan, delivered an interactive Blackboard training session using iPads. He highlighted the key areas students need to be aware of and noted strategies for success in the online learning environment. Date: 9/6/2020 Source: FLT Web
English

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
English

FLT E-Learning Supervisor Delivers University-Wide Workshop

  On January 16, 2019, there was a face-to-face 'E-Learning Practitioners Training' organized by the Deanship of E-Learning available to all faculty members on Blackboard, which is one of the premier learning management systems in higher education. E-Learning Supervisor at the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Mohsin Khan, led the online training program. In attendance were some new 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 the flipped classroom method. 'Blackboard is a powerful tool. If utilized to its maximum capabilities, our students have better learning outcomes and benefit greatly', said Mr. Khan.   Of note, Mr. Khan introduced the standards of the internationally acclaimed and recognized Quality Matters (QM) Rubric. QM provides certification to online courses that demonstrate a commitment to creating an environment of excellence and quality. Mr. Khan discussed how these standards could be implemented in online courses.   E-Learning Training Manager, Mohammed Jarallah, thanked all of the participants for their time and attention. He noted that E-Learning is an increasingly important aspect of higher education. The university is committed to maintaining the highest standards and best practices for modern college-level curriculum. Date: 1/17/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Blackboard Training for Faculty

An e-learning orientation session was organized on 9/27/2018 for all new faculty members that have joined the college this semester. This event, held each semester, provides our new colleagues with an overview of the administrative and e-learning responsibilities that apply to every faculty member. In his introduction to the event, Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi provided a warm welcome to the new faculty and spoke about the vital role King Khalid University’s learning management system holds. He encouraged all in attendance to familiarize themselves with Blackboard and Academia. During this live-demonstration workshop led by FLT E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, participants had the opportunity to practice: Accessing and Navigating Blackboard Organizing Content Uploading Documents Communicating With Students Through Announcements Understanding How to Use Academia Date: 9-29-2018 Source: E-Learning Unit Multimedia Contribution: Javed Ahmed
English

E-Reading Workshop Held

Under the supervision of the Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, and the Vice Dean, Dr. Yahya Asiri, Mohsin Khan, e-learning supervisor, organized a workshop titled E-Reading Strategies for students at the Language Enhancement Program (LEP). It was held on 21 March 2018 in A/3/1 from 9 am to 10:30 am. Supported by Mr. Javed Ahmed, Dr. Mohammed Asif Ishfaq, and Syed Asif Abbas, the event was very beneficial for the full-capacity crowd. Mohsin showed how, as opposed to the traditional way of reading, students could develop their critical reading skills by reading faster and more efficiently. He focused on getting more out of the material by understanding it in the broad context. Participants in the workshop completed a series of interactive worksheets which targeted knowledge of reading strategies; this enabled them to enhance their understanding and retention of the topics learned during the presentation. Date: 3/22/2018 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

E-Course Certification

FLT Language Instructor, Hassan Costello, delivered a presentation on October 17, 2017, aimed at increasing awareness of the Quality Matters (QM) peer review and certification processes in online education. The presentation, “E-Course Certification,” was organized by the E-Learning Unit under the patronage of the Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi,  the supervision of Dr. Muhammed Shuaib Asiri, Vice-Dean for Academic Development & Quality, and the guidance of  Dr. Munassir Alhamami, Chairman, and Mr. Abdullah Al-Rezgi, Director of the English Language Center. Those who attended got the chance to learn about the QM Rubric and the framework required to improve the quality of their online and blended courses ultimately leading to certification. The foundation of the workshop focused on the three stages of the course development process that need to be implemented in order to meet the rubric standards of the International Quality Matters (QM) Peer Review Board. The three stages are: •             Stage 1: Identify Desired Results •             Stage 2: Determine Acceptable Evidence •             Stage 3: Plan the Learning Experiences and Instruction  “The standards of the rubric are written, so that faculty and reviewers approach a course through the eyes of the student. In doing so, it serves as a method to assure the quality of online courses. There are a lot of great reasons to go through the Quality Matters certification process, and hopefully a few of the examples and resources I’ve made you aware of today have helped you to see that you can do it too," Costello said. A call to action was put forth at the end of the presentation by asking all participants to contact the E-Learning Deanship in cooperation with the FLT’s E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan, and our assigned E-Learning Specialist, Mr. Muhammed Jabir Asiri. If enough interest is generated, QM's flagship Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop and its use in reviewing the design of online and blended courses will be conducted in the near future. Date: 10/17/2017 Source: E-Learning Unit Multimedia Contribution: Javed Ahmad
English

10th E-Learning Awareness Campaign

Under the supervision of Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, Dean, the E-Learning Unit of the faculty organized an “E-Learning Awareness Campaign” for level 1 department and ELC students from Sunday, February 26, 2017, to Thursday, March 2, 2017.  Dr. Mohammed S. Assiri, Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, appreciated the efforts of the E-Learning Unit for organizing the campaign and maintained that these kinds of activities help students in attaining academic excellence. Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan, FLT E-Learning Unit Supervisor, said that the aim of the awareness campaign was to make new students aware of the necessity and practical use of the King Khalid University E-Learning learning management system (Blackboard). “This campaign had many objectives. However, we hoped that it served to lower anxiety, increase awareness of the need for students to self-monitor, and encourage student collaboration,” said Mr. Khan. Furthermore, Dr. Mohammed Asif Ishfaq, Campaign Coordinator, stated, "The Campaign encouraged students to use Blackboard effectively. We were excited that students actively participated in the campaign." During the campaign, the E-Learning Unit carried out the following activities: Imparted Blackboard training to students individually in their classroom, Organized workshops for students in the e-learning labs, Organized an e-quiz competition for students Set up an e-learning booth and distributed brochures and booklets. Mr. Abdullah Al Rezgi, Director of the English Language Centre, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, Chairman of the English Department, Mr. Abdullah Al-Zubain, E-Learning Specialist, Dr. Khaled Mohanna, E-Learning Team Manager, and all Level 1 teachers helped to make this awareness campaign a great success. The Faculty of Languages and Translation offers a round of applause to the following individuals for their significant contributions and involvement: Dr. Mohamed Asif Ishfaq, Coordinator of the Campaign Mr. Matthew Paul, Level 1 Instructor Mr. Jawed Ahmed, ELC General Coordinator Mr. Mazaharul Islam, ELC Lecturer The felicitation ceremony for awarding the winners of the e-Quiz competition will be organized on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Date: 03-02-2017 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation Multimedia Contribution: Jawed Ahmed
English

Incorporating Blackboard in E-Teaching

  A university-wide Blackboard training webinar was held by E-Learning Supervisor at the Faculty of Languages & Translation, Mohsin Khan, on Sunday, December 11, 2016. The webinar was organized by the E-Learning Deanship. It took place as part of a university-wide strategy to increase the amount of instructional design training to enhance the virtual learning environment for both students and teachers alike. The primary objectives of the webinar were to improve student learning, engagement, interaction, and most importantly quality learning. These objectives were solidified by the core foundation of the program that participants would be expected to be able to:   Create content items to present a variety of learning activities to enhance student learning; Deliver authentic assessments to evaluate student knowledge in a variety of meaningful ways; Effectively utilize select collaboration tools to increase student engagement by providing a means to share and create knowledge.   The webinar was an overall success and will continue successively in future webinars as a part of the Tamkeen Team efforts. Special thanks to E-learning Deanship Training Manager, Mohammed Jarallah, and ELC General Coordinator, Javed Ahmad, for their holistic support.   Update: Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan received a certificate of appreciation for his efforts at the beginning of the Spring 2017 Semester. The certificate was presented to Mr. Khan by the E-Learning Deanship.   Date: 12/11/16 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation Multimedia Contribution: Javed Ahmad
English