Webinar

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

Literary Translation: A Cynosure of Hopeful Translators, Yet Too Hard to Master

  First-year Translation MA student, Abeer Al Asmari, delivered a webinar titled: "Literary Translation: A Cynosure of Hopeful Translators, Yet Too Hard to Master" at a regular biweekly event organized by the Language Research Center (LRC) on September 30, 2020.   Abeer, while quoting John Keats, first defined Literary Translation. She said, "It is a genre of literary creativity in which a work written in one language is recreated in another." She emphasized literary creativity by labeling literary translation as a form of creative writing. Abeer moved on to talking about the significance of literary translation. Literary translation, she added, helps us have proper exposure to other cultures and a better understanding of other countries. She argued that a literary translator should be bi-cultural in addition to being bilingual.   She highlighted controversy over literary translation by specifying that there are boundaries between translating and re-writing literary texts that require demarcation in new standards. She thought that it is upsetting to find some translators exceeding the beauty hidden in the original texts. She, therefore, emphasized that the beauty of the original texts must be maintained by the translators so that it is not lost in the translated version. She added some more lucid points by quoting Pinker (1997), Newmark (1988), and Benjamin (1973). She also quoted Daniel Hahn, director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, by calling his statement even more convincing.   Abeer highlighted the challenges involved in this genre by explaining why translators stay away from this. The worst challenge, she added, lies in the phonological level, which includes rhyme, rhythm, meter, assonance, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and consonance. This level, she noted, makes translation an arduous task for the translators. Another challenge involved is in the stylistic level that includes metaphor, puns, and similes. Culture is also another challenge a translator may face, she added. She finally focused on potential solutions by explaining the ways to overcome those challenges.   Abeer concluded by quoting Umberto Eco and said, "Translation is the art of failure."   LRC Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, and Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin MCIL CL MITI, Abeer's instructor, sincerely thanked Abeer for her effective presentation, which allowed for a better understanding of literary translation through unique insights. They stressed the importance of throwing weight behind MA students who possess burning enthusiasm and pluck up the courage to follow suit. Abeer's fellow students provided her with unflagging support by their attendance. It is hoped that such webinars would create a window of opportunity for other students to stand on the stage and take up the torch lit by Abeer. It was undoubtedly a very informative webinar, garnering the active participation of both male and female faculty members and students alike.   The Master of Arts in Translation program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing student-centered professional development activities that are consistent with program learning outcomes and labor market developments. Date: 10/1/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

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
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

Helping Students Get Ahead: English Club Delivers Online Webinar

  On May 4, 2020, the Guidance and Counselling Unit, in cooperation with the English Club, organized an online webinar titled 'Staying Home & Time Management' delivered by Dr. Karem Abdelatif Ahmed. The purpose of the webinar, which was attended by nearly 50 participants, was to show students that time management during these trying times is about taking control of the time available and optimizing it for productivity, keeping in mind life balance and well-being.   Guidance and Counselling Unit Head, Dr. Dawood Mahdi, and English Club Director, Khalid Al-Qasemi, jointly supervised the event and thanked the students for their attendance, noting that they are conscious of the challenges students face during this crisis.   Dr. Karem Ahmed began his program by stating, "The aim of good time management is to achieve lifestyle balance." He noted that spending more time on something doesn't necessarily achieve more. Focusing on results in the most simplest and productive way creates value in that managing time effectively is not about working harder. Dr. Karem Ahmed then provided 10 tips for time management and stated his strategy: "Remember that successful time management today can result in greater personal happiness, greater accomplishments at home and at work, increased productivity, and a more satisfying future." In short, Dr. Karem Ahmed admonished the students to achieve their education and personal goals through effective time management.   Near the conclusion of the webinar, students were introduced to 'Real Life Stories'. Dr. Karem Ahmed narrated a series of stories designed to instill life lessons in our students to help them reach their potential. During this time, participants were allowed to chime in with some stories of their own. Academic Development & Quality Unit Head, Dr. Hasan Jaashan, commented that students are to make use of this time, citing examples from history of philosophers who engaged in groundbreaking discoveries while the world was in quarantine. Agreeing with Dr. Jaashan, Dr. Mahmoud Radwan spoke about how Daniel Defoe's master of social distancing, Robinson Crusoe, speaks across the centuries, especially now as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. On the island, Crusoe sees the beauty of the simple things in life and discovers new and unexpected sources of fulfillment. Those fulfillments, explained Dr. Karem Ahmed, can be realized by being closer to Allah.   The Bachelor of Arts in English Program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing world-class language education and empowering the students with the tools to succeed in challenging academic programs. Date: 5/7/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

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
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

New Approaches to Building Online Courses in Blackboard

  On February 5, 2020, under the supervision of Vice Dean for Academic Development and Quality, Dr. Abulrahman Almosa, E-Learning Supervisor, Bachelor of Arts in English program, Mohsin Khan, delivered a university-wide webinar titled 'Using Blackboard to Build Online Courses'. The webinar, organized by the Tamkeen team at the Deanship of E-Learning, aimed to explore the effective use of Blackboard and expose participants to the important tools of Blackboard. Approximately 170 faculty members from the numerous faculties registered for the webinar.   Mr. Khan provided an introduction to and the best practices of: Blackboard course management tools; The Fundamentals of building online courses using the QM Rubric; Creating quizzes, tests and assignments; Using the discussion board, announcement and start here content areas; Creating online sessions using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.   The Faculty of Languages and Translation is dedicated to providing specialized training and services to all faculties. 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, for his holistic support. Date: 2/8/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation  
English

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.
English

Aptitude and Motivation in Second Language Acquisition Webinar

Lourdes Ortega, Professor of Linguistics at the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University, delivered a presentation as a part of the Faculty of Language Translation's Webinar Series on February 19, 2018. The webinar, supported by the E-Learning Deanship of King Khalid University, drew a crowd of nearly 170 participants from around the Kingdom.  Ortega’s webinar, entitled “Aptitude and Motivation in Second Language Acquisition,” examined the relationships between aptitude and motivation with a special focus on the best-researched SLA works on motivations and the complex set of constructs that follow. A relatively recent paper that was discussed in the webinar is also Dr. Fakieh Al-Rabai's -- Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at King Khalid University -- most well-known research article in the field. The 2013 paper, titled The Effects of Teachers’ Motivational Strategies on Learners’ Motivation: A Controlled Investigation of Second Language Acquisition, was cleverly devised as related by Professor Ortega. From the abstract of the webinar: In this webinar, I discuss the wealth of research on aptitude and motivation that has become available in the field of second language acquisition and which can help teachers answer some important questions: Are there special cognitive abilities (aptitude) and certain personal predispositions (motivation) that could help explain the large difference we all see in how successful students are in learning a new language in our classrooms? How much does the surrounding environment contribute to shaping aptitude and motivation: the classroom, family and peers, a society's message about the new language, its value, and its difficulty? And to what extent can aptitude and motivation to learn a new language change with experiences inside and outside of the classroom? I also point at ways in which this research can help language teachers strategize so they can support their students' aptitude and motivation and enhance their odds of lasting success with English, in the language classroom and beyond. Delivering official closing remarks, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, Chairman, advised participants to implement the lessons learned during the webinar. Ortega’s academic and research interests are broadly in second language acquisition, particularly sociocognitive and educational dimensions in adult classroom settings. Her research utilizes insights from bilingualism and from usage-based linguistics to the investigation of second language development. Date: 2-19-2018 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English