Teaching and Learning Beyond Covid-19: The University of Nizwa Initiatives for Prosperity
Rawan Al Nadabi
The three years pandemic created challenges in the higher education sector which caused phenomenal consequences to the methods of learning, teaching and assessment. Higher education institutions shifted from face-to-face interactive learning to an online format. Such shifts affected the educational systems and students’ expectations of future learning, teaching, assessment, and grasping information and knowledge.
According to UNESCO Covid-19 affected the education of approximately 1.4 million students of different ages, so to state the pandemic significantly interrupted the regular operation of education is a massive understatement. On the contrary, the pandemic shaped a new form of teaching and learning and defined a new path titled “E-Learning”.
The topic of E-learning efficiency is hotly debated, after the return to normal life. Opinions on this matter are highly diverse whether the method of face-to-face learning or online is better.
The University of Nizwa established an E-Learning Deanship compliant with the global change in teaching and learning to keep pace with the rapid development in education.
The E-Learning Deanship aims to promote and support learning in which learners positively contribute to the local and global knowledge economy by providing effective learning solutions. The Deanship seeks to make technology easier to use and faster to access to off-campus students.
Online courses lavished during the pandemic as well as the number of registration of students, Dr Mahmood Al-Waaili, Dean for E-Learning Deanship, speaking to Ishraqah, “The global online education market expected to reach $325 billion by 2025, and the number of students taking online courses expected to increase to more than 100 million by 2025. We believe that it is inevitable to activate and apply online learning in higher education. Rather, we see that universities in their current form will not last long, as future universities are expected to adopt online micro-credentials”
The University of Nizwa didn’t experience E-Learning during the pandemic only but before that, the University conducted some courses online in cooperation with other international Universities. Dr Al-Waaili said, “The University started offering distance education programs several years agocompared to many universities in the Sultanate”
In the coming years, the University plans to expand and improve its distance education programmes.Dr Al-Waaili stated, “E-learning has a lot of advantages and provides many opportunities, including the access to various sciences, lower costs, the ability to study according to the student’s capabilities, abilities, and interests, and the opportunity to learn from experts and trainers from all over the world”
The future of E-learning is vast, promising and introducing new education methods definitions. Would online University degrees be accredited and accepted worldwide by presenting the education new normal?