MICROSOFT TEAM AND PORTAL TRAINING TO KNOW

An online training session for new and visiting faculty members was successfully conducted in Capital University of Science and Technology (CUST) by Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) on October 17, 2020. Dr. Syeda Marriam Bakhtiar, Assistant Professor from Bioinformatics and Biosciences department was the trainer of the session.

The training session covered some of the significant challenges and problems students are facing. All the students actively participated in the training session, where they asked many questions regarding the problems they are facing from the trainer. All the questions were addressed by the trainer.

At the end of the session Assistant Director QEC, Mr. Umair Manzoor thanked the trainer Dr. Syeda Marriam Bakhtiar for this beneficial training.

ONLINE CLASSES: HOW TO FACE THE CHALLENGING SITUATION

Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at CUST organized an online training session for students on the topic “Online Classes: How to Face the Challenging Situation” on October 09, 2020. Dr. Syeda Marriam Bakhtiar from Bioinformatics and Biosciences department was the trainer of online training session. This online training session was arranged to address the problems faced by the students taking online classes.

The training session covered some of the significant challenges and problems students are facing. All the students actively participated in the training session, where they asked many questions regarding the problems they are facing from the trainer. All the questions were addressed by the trainer.

HOW TO MANAGE WORKPLACE STRESS DURING ONLINE CLASSES

Online teaching is an appealing endeavor for faculty members who have been teaching face to face throughout their lives. During COVID-19 pandemic, all the classes were shifted to virtual learning. Objective of this step was to save the precious time of higher education institutions’ students without compromising the quality of education. Teaching and administrative staff along with the students deserve great appreciation for their untiring efforts to make this decision successful. Though, it was a successful experience, but Virtual Learning happened to be tough as compared to conventional teaching. To address the difficulties attached to Online Classes, Quality Enhancement Cell arranged a training session for faculty members. Training seminar on “How To Manage Workplace Stress During Online Classes” was conducted on October 07, 2020.

Dr. Syeda Marriam Bakhtiar, Assistant Professor Biosciences department was the trainer for the session, where around 15 faculty members from all the departments participated. Trainer of the session covered the causes of stress during online classes. She also presented very effective solutions to avoid the stress during online classes.

All the participants very actively participated in the session, and asked questions from the trainer. The feedback given by participants shows that all of them were satisfied with the training session.

PROBLEMS FACED DURING ONLINE CLASSES AND THEIR SOLUTIONS

Capital University of Science and Technology (CUST) organized a series of training sessions for faculty and students during Online Classes. The objective of these trainings was to facilitate faculty and students in adopting the new-normal, and to remove all the hurdles being faced in providing quality education. In this connection, a training session was arranged by Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) for the students. The title of the training session was “Problems Faced During Online Classes and Their Solutions”. The session was conducted by Dr. Syed Shuja Safdar (Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department) on September 29, 2020.

During the session, Dr. Safdar presented practical solutions to all the possible problems that a student can face during online classes. Problems and their solutions regarding following aspects were very effectively covered by the trainer:

  • Adaptability Issues
  • Technical Issues
  • Administrative Issues
  • Time Management
  • Compliance Issues
  • Computer Literacy, and
  • Self-Motivation

All the participant students asked questions, that were answered by the trained. At the end of the session Assistant Director QEC, Mr. Umair Manzoor thanked the trainer Dr. Syed Shuja Safdar for this beneficial training.

EFFECTIVE ONLINE ASSESSMENT PRACTICES

Assessment is one of the most important and critical components of virtual learning. It provides students with an idea of their progress in a course, identifies individual strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately serves as the measure of whether students achieve the course’s learning objectives. Capital University of Science and Technology (CUST) arranged a training session for the faculty members on “Effective Online Assessment Practices” on September 30, 2020. Ms. Rabia Habib was the trainer of the session, accompanied with a panel comprising of Dr. Ansir Ali Rajput and Dr. Arif Vaseer, to answer the questions of participants. Around 20 faculty members from all the departments of the CUST participated in the session.

The trainer comprehensively addressed that how online assessment can be done effectively. She discussed various tools that help in effective online assessment. Various tools including Kahoot, Flipgrid, Github and Stocks were discussed. Moreover, the stages and types of Assessment were also discussed for the understanding of participants. The challenges faced during online assessment and their solutions were also discussed.

At the end of the session, participants asked questions from the panel. Dr. Ansir Ali Rajput and Dr. Arif Vaseer replied to all the questions of the participants. The respected trainer and the panel members were acknowledged by all the participants for deliverance of provocative knowledge and successful conduct of a seminar.

MICROSOFT TEAMS TRAINING

An online training session was arranged on Friday, September 11, 2020 by Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) for the new students (Graduate and Undergraduate) of CUST. The objective of the Online Webinar was to help the students to understand the operation of Microsoft Teams software, to be used for Online Orientation Session on Saturday, September 12, and also for the Online Classes in the Fall 2020 semester.

Mr. Muhammad Saqib from Computer Science Department was the trainer of the session. More than 600 students from all the departments of university attended the online training seminar. It was an interactive session where the trainer covered all the aspects required to effectively use Microsoft Teams. Demo was also given on how to use Microsoft Teams on mobile phone.

At the end of the session, Mr. Umair Manzoor thanked the Resource Person and all the participants for their participation.

ISSUES FACED BY FACULTY AND STUDENTS IN VLE – SESSION II

Capital University of Science & Technology organized an online training session for its faculty members on June 19, 2020. This training was the second session of Prof. Dr. Irfan Manarvi’s training session on June 5, 2020.

Problems faced by students and faculty members in VLE were further discussed in depth. All the participants actively took part in this interactive session, and shared their experiences. This session was helpful as there was combined effort and inputs from all the participants in devising solutions to the common problems faced during online classes.

For teaching faculty taking the online classes, there comes a moment of realization that everything they know about teaching in the face–to-face classroom may not serve them well in this new virtual learning environment. These training sessions are helping the teachers to fill the gaps and ensure a high standard of quality academic education.

TRANSITION TO VIRTUAL LEARNING: CHALLENGES VS ADAPTATION

Capital University of Science and Technology believes in providing quality education to its students. Current situation evolved after COVID-19 demands universities to pay special attention to continue provision of quality education. Quality Enhancement Cell at Capital University of Science & Technology, Islamabad is taking deliberate steps to bring about continual improvement in the effectiveness of the online learning experience of students. There is a great emphasis on capacity building of teaching staff to facilitate smooth conduction of online classes, where students are satisfied with the quality of education provided to them.

In continuation of the weekly capacity building sessions, fifth training session was arranged for the faculty members of CUST on Friday June 12, 2020 through Video Link. Resource person for the session was Ms. Maryam Khan from Management Sciences department. Faculty members from all the departments of university participated to attend the session titled Transition to Virtual Learning: Challenges Vs Adaptation.

The one-hour online session was designed in two parts for the faculty members to understand the way this transition to virtual setting is shaping up in both national and international set-ups. Detail of a few key modalities and tools were addressed at first, and then the typical challenges and the way to adapt this all effectively were delivered. Lastly, a few resources were shared for the faculty members to enhance their potential and built their expertise in online teaching by joining a few extensive and well-tailored international courses and sessions.

All the participants appreciated the trainer and shared that the training session was well designed that helped them to gauge and direct their performance for excellence, and devise better strategies and understanding the complexities of the paradigm shift for better adaptation.

ISSUES FACED BY STUDENTS AND FACULTY IN VLE

Capital University of Science & Technology organized an online training session as a part of its weekly Capacity Building Sessions for Faculty Members. So far four trainings have been arranged by Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC), and a number of such trainings have been arranged by all the departments for their respective faculty members. Aim of these trainings is to equip our faculty members with all the required skills to effectively execute their lectures in the current situation due to COVID-19.

Fourth training session of this training series was conducted on Friday, June 5, 2020. A good number of faculty members participated in this training session from all the departments of university. Dr. Irfan Anjum Manarvi, Professor from Mechanical Engineering Department was the resource person of this session titled “Issues Faced by Students and Faculty in VLE”.

The training was based on a survey conducted among students and faculty regarding the issues being faced by them in VLE on daily bases. It covered inputs from students and teachers both, as well as similar issues being faced by students and teachers around the world. The solutions to issues being faced at CUST were discussed in this session. Whereas the issues from international students and teachers were provided based on literature review.

At the end of training session, it was noted that all the participants were satisfied with the session. Sessions like these continue to help strengthen the efforts made by teachers to effectively impart knowledge to students in online mode of education. Knowledge helps
empower.

EVALUATING LEARNING ONLINE: DESIGNING OPEN BOOK EXAMS

Capital University of Science & Technology has given special focus to the capacity building of faculty for effective online teaching, after the situation due to COVID-19. Regular trainings are being conducted to enhance the online teaching skills of faculty members. Third session of this training series was conducted on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. More than 65 faculty members participated in this training session from all the departments of university. Dr. Sabahat Haqqani, Assistant Professor from Management Sciences Department was the resource person of this session titled “Evaluating Learning Online: Designing Open Book Exams”.

Several important insights and action items were accomplished through this training session. It focused on designing online assessment from andragogic perspective to allow teachers help students demonstrate achievement of their course learning outcomes in a fair, reliable and valid manner. The training session covered the key elements of well-designed open book assessment in accordance with the limitations and strengths of the online environment. Examples of best practice were demonstrated for structuring and crafting questions for online open book assessment.

Dr. Amir Qayyum, Dean QEC in his concluding remarks expressed his satisfaction to note that the resource person has made all efforts to create a good understanding of designing open book exams. Faculty members participated whole heartedly in this session and made best use of their time.

ONLINE ASSESSMENT OF COGNITIVE NATURE ACTIVITIES FROM QUESTION DESIGN TO MARKING

An online training session titled “Online Assessment of Cognitive Nature Activities from Question Design to Marking” was organized by the Quality Enhancement Cell of CUST on May 13, 2020. Dr. Majid Ali, Professor Civil Engineering Department was the Resource Person. The objective of this workshop was to enlighten the faculty members with the assessment of cognitive domain activities in online classes. The training session covered the areas including OBE brief overview, conventional vs online teaching, cognitive domain assessment in its different taxonomy levels and assessment of cognitive domain activities in online classes. The event was attended by around 70 faculty members from all the departments of CUST. It was an effective session where participants actively interacted with Dr. Majid Ali.

Dr. Amir Qayyum, Dean QEC in his concluding remarks expressed his satisfaction to note that the training session was able to achieve its objectives. The respected presenter was acknowledged by Dean QEC for deliverance of provocative knowledge and successful conduct of a seminar.

MICROSOFT TEAMS TRAINING

An online training seminar on Microsoft Teams was organized by the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) on May 4, 2020. Mr. Salman Ahmed, Lecturer Computer Science Department was the Resource Person. Around 90 faculty members from all the departments of university attended the online training seminar.

The resource person gave a comprehensive presentation covering major aspects of Microsoft Teams. The presentation majorly focused on the mechanism of effective online teaching on Microsoft Teams. He highlighted the problems faced during online classes and discussed how to avoid them. It was an interactive session where participants actively interacted with the resource person to learn from his knowledge and experience. Dr. Amir Qayyum, Dean QEC laid emphasis on the importance of capacity building of faculty staff for effective online teaching. He also showed his pleasure to note that the seminar was able to achieve its most important objectives. At the end of seminar, he thanked the Resource Person and all the participants for their participation.