Tuesday, Oct 01, 2013
Dubai: Hamdan Bin Mohammad e-University (HBMeU) has launched its virtual classroom system via mobile devices for the first semester of the academic year 2013-2014. The development is in line with its efforts to support the Smart Government initiative launched earlier by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The technology ensures synchronous learning by enabling an e-learning platform that uses tools such as multi-way audio, live video streams, integrated chat, application sharing, and file transfer.
Just as in a physical classroom, at the scheduled class times, the faculty can make presentations, draw or write to the class, and show videos to the class. The learners can even raise their hands to ask questions or post comments in real time.
HBMeU Chancellor Dr Mansour Al Awar said: âWe believe that through the mobile app that allows instant access to the virtual classrooms, we will be able to negate the effects of unnecessary hindrances that pose challenges to our task of spreading knowledge.
âAs a new paradigm of education is emerging, we are confident of fostering a culture of lifelong learning through this relatively novel and alternative approach to learning.â
The technology enables instructors to divide the learners into groups and each group will be in their own virtual classroom discussing and working on their instructor-assigned tasks.
The instructor can also ask yes-no questions and learners can provide their answers on the system immediately (instantaneous poll). Moreover, all the virtual classroom sessions are automatically recorded and archived so that learners can access and view them later at their convenience.
Although Virtual Learning Environments have been in existence since the mid-1990s, as a phenomenon it is growing in popularity only recently among non-traditional learners in the region owing to the widespread reach of the internet and mobile devices.
The university, which is accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, said it seeks to constantly identify knowledge needs, support research and development programmes and create an âoutstandingâ environment for e-learning.
Gulf News 2013. All rights reserved.
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