ISLAMABAD: The country’s largest distance learning institute plans to enhance share of online academic programmes.
“The objective is to facilitate thousands of students, particularly those living abroad,” said a spokesman of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU).
“Automated educational services and digital academic contents will be made available to the students from basic literacy to the PhD level,” said AIOU Vice-Chancellor Dr Shahid Siddiqui, while presiding over a briefing session on e-leaning held at the institute the other day.
The university, he said had achieved another milestone by embarking on massive e-learning activities.
The AIOU will be the first in the country to adopt the massive open online courses (MOOCs) system, which emerged as a popular mode of learning worldwide in 2012.
The facility to be provided through web will have virtual classroom, besides availability of online interactive study material.
Entire learners’ support system and continuous assessment will be web-based.
Students will also be able to submit their assignments online.
They will have regular interactive sessions with teachers by text chatting, video conferencing and desktop and white board sharing.
Dr Siddiqui said that initially online educational contents delivery facility was being offered to students of five academic programmes.
“Main focus is on development of electronic content, which is essential for online learning,” he added.
The vice-chancellor said that a new overseas and e-learning website with its Urdu version was also being launched.
As an important step forward, the university has started a process of capacity-building training on e-content development and delivery to the MPhil and PhD-level courses coordinators under the auspices of the Directorate of Overseas Educational Programs and e-Learning (DOEP&EL).
DOEP&EL Director Majeed Rashid said that a series of comprehensive training programmes had been chalked out for development, processing and delivery of the e-contents based on open educational resources for the university’s teachers and e-tutors.
“Special funds have been allocated in the current budget for this purpose,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2016.
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