Webinar on “Digital Education during Pandemic in Pakistan” held at UoS

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Sargodha: Universities around the world were under immense pressure on connectivity, continuity, excellence, equity and the quality of education in the online learning process. Radical transformation of the education system would be the only way out to provide, maintain and ensure the quality of education in this new landscape.
The policy makers have to think about strategically utilizing and allocating resources in a manner that allows smaller institutions to develop expertise from larger universities as digital learning has become imperative in these testing times and even it would be in post COVID-19 scenario.
These deliberations were made by the international and national education experts, who got together for a webinar on Wednesday, to discuss the “Digital Education during Pandemic in Pakistan” from the perspective of higher education.
Educationists from across the globe including Professor of Eastern Michigan University USA, Dr Joe Bishop, Director Department of Education University Grenoble-Alpes, France Dr Laurent Lima, Director University of Hong Kong Dr Susan Bridges, Associate professor of University of Malaya, Malaysia Dr Faizal bin A Ghani, Professor of Aga Khan University, Pakistan Dr Anjum Halai, AIOU Professor Dr Nasir Mehmood and prominent education expert Dr Faisal Bari, Associate Professor of Economics and Education, LUMS Lahore attended the webinar moderated by Ms Rubina of the Department of International Relations and Politics Sargodha University.
Commenting on the connectivity problem of the students, Dr Joe Bishop said “Even the students of the advanced countries like United States faced internet issues. However, we expanded the Wi-Fi delivery and students having internet access issues joined online classes by sitting in the cars at parking lots of the university.” He also shared the strategy and suggestions adopted by the US universities including mapping the classroom spaces, and plastic glass inserting between teachers and students.
Dr Laurent Lima highlighted the problems of connectivity, methods of teaching, economic crises and various family issues faced by the students. He suggested project based assessment to avoid the issue of copy pasting and similar assignments with shuffling of words.
Dr Susan Bridges was of the view that innovation, authenticity and creativity would be required to enhance digital education. Hybrid course design has enabled to attain synchronization and generate interest among the colleagues in making online material (video production, graphics).
Expressing his concerns over the higher education institutions, Dr Bari stressed on updating model of higher education as the COVID-19 has provided us an opportunity to think about new ways and to create much more customize response teaching method. He divided universities into three tiers; first would expand services while second and third tier universities would suffer due to lack of resources.
Dr Faizal bin A Ghani suggested that the spectrum classes would be the suitable option as it provides students a welcoming learning environment. He also recommended updating curriculum, facilities and resources and developing online culture by implementing rules and regulations for digital education
“The meaning and purpose of education is to enable one to fit in the society and to raise collective intellect, induce decision making and problem solving skills. The basic purpose of education should be remembered while modifying any medium of education” said Dr Anjum Halai.
Dr Nasir Mehmood shared various modes of assessment including open book examination, project work, small quiz and collective document development. He emphasized on cohesive global efforts to cope with the challenge of connectivity and quality in online education.