Webinar

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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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  
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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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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
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Mixed Methods Research Webinar

Earlier this month, internationally renowned author and professor James Dean Brown drew a capacity crowd of nearly 150 candidates as he unraveled his research expertise and demystified the characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research in applied linguistics research, and the continuum from which the mixed-methods research (MMR) paradigm emerged. The free webinar -- featured in Arab News and promoted throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- was conducted under the guidance of the FLT Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, and supervision of the FLT Chairman, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, in cooperation with the E-Learning Deanship and their exciting KKU Now initiative.   Al-Melhi: I would like to thank everyone who initiated the webinar series we are launching and all who are in attendance. Your participation and support are much appreciated and will allow us to continue to offer our webinars. In his presentation, Prof. Brown emphasized that mixed-methods research is best explained in terms of its three main varieties, its differences from multi-methods research, and its capacity to combine the best features of qualitative and quantitative analysis by identifying connections and searching for convergence, divergence, and elaboration. He also discussed the underlying principles of validity and reliability by cautioning that researchers need to determine whether the study is primarily statistical or qualitative in nature.  According to Prof. Brown, MMR concepts are best viewed as a menu of strategies to be utilized when planning, conducting and explaining any study. He also discussed the four characteristics of sound quantitative and qualitative research studies: consistency, fidelity, verifiability, and meaningfulness. Another approach that he delved into involved data triangulation - all of its types - and examples appropriate to ELT research. To conclude, Prof. James Dean Brown provided personal accounts of how he succeeded in this field and the people who sparked the inspiration to do so. He further related that he still finds himself learning more and more every year and that we can learn more from engaging in research. All in all, the webinar lead participants on a journey through the complexities of MMR in a concise and effective method To view a recording of this webinar, please click here. Date: 1/11/2018 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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