FAISALABAD – Government College Women University (GCWU) Faisalabad has vigorously worked on its faculty development programme through series of training sessions on E-Learning pedagogy and development of quality education material to run online classes smoothly and successfully. Right after the regular classes were suspended due to the pandemic of the COVID 19, the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Robina Farooq started strenuous efforts to minimize the academic disruption caused to the university due to lockdown and shutdown of educational institutes in Pakistan.
She guided and motivated the team of GCWUF for a quick shift to the alternative infrastructure to conduct academic activities. The university formally adopted a policy for the approval of online courses. SOPs for the online delivery of courses were prepared and ‘Online Academic Council’ (OAC) was established to ensure the quality of online education.
Vice Chancellor, GCWUF was nominated as its convener whereas coordinators of all faculties, Director Advanced Studies, Director Quality Enhancement Cell, and IT manager were the members of the council. The Committee was responsible for a thorough evaluation and approval of the online delivery of the courses by taking into account all directions received from HEC and required standard parameters of Accreditation Councils. After the approval of OAC, the teaching material was referred for uploading on University LMS to benefit the students. A functional, effective and operational LMS was put in place to provide information, track progress and coordinate activities of online teaching.
OAC established to ensure the quality of online education
In GCWUF, capacity building training session was mandatory for all faculty members who were taking online classes. For this purpose University conducted multiple online training sessions on E-Learning, data management and various available LMS for teachers of GCWUF.
The resource persons of these training workshops explained basic concepts and importance of online education/e-learning, techniques to keep the audience abreast of the modern trends through various approaches of student-centric learning, integrating blended/adaptive mode of learning at classroom.
They exchanged best practices and shared their personal experiences regarding online learning and use of ICT tool to make online classes more engaging, motivating and innovative.
After training the whole faculty, the teachers were given the task to develop their teaching materials in the form of power point presentation with embedded audio/video recordings, youtube videos, voiced over slides, footnotes and any other supporting materials.
The prepared teaching material was evaluated by the Department Moderators, Department Academic Review Committees (DARC) and the HOD before it was uploaded on university LMS. Besides Microsoft team and Google Class Room, faculty coordinated with students through WhatsApp group and Facebook accounts.
In the first week of May 2020, mock sessions of online classes were conducted prior to the regular start of online classes to ensure that all students were conveniently availing the facility without any obstruction and hindrance.
The online readiness of students was checked by the high percentage of Student Connectivity Survey Data, collected in compliance with the instructions of HEC. The results revealed that 97.99 % students of GCWUF participation in HEC Survey ensuring that all of them were registered and connected with University Learning Management System for the implementation of online education.
From June 1st, 2020, online teaching to the students of all degree programs started. The teachers had two interactions with students every week as per scheduled time. The time table for interaction with students was the same as semester time table already shared. All lectures of the designated online course duly vetted by the Moderators and HODs were uploaded on the University portal (LMS) on regular basis. IT Support Committee (ISC) was efficiently maintaining the IT system and technological infrastructure of GCWUF and university library was making efforts to develop online library system to ensure availability of required e-books and other reference materials for students and teaching faculty.