QOU wins in the WSIS 2020 competition in its ninth edition in Palestine
Al-Quds Open University won the first places in the World Summit on the Information Society competition 2020, organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union. OLC has developed the Arabic language application for non-native speakers with the aim of training Arabic language teachers to develop content to the first level of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. The course includes six levels aimed at providing services to students, researchers, and those interested in Arabic issues. The application will be of interest to representatives of international institutions wishing to learn the Arabic language, and contribute to strengthening means of communication and exchange of cultures between the Palestinian society and the Western world. The Center has also worked on developing electronic content supported by audio, video, infographics, interactive exercises, virtual classes, social networks and technologies that help stakeholders achieve learning outcomes.
Recording Educational Sessions
Recording educational sessions that aim to provide learning channels for students during emergency any obstacles that prevent students from participating in face-to-face lectures. Such sessions will engage and aid students achieve the required learning goals. These sessions are broadcast to students, and the links are published on the course pages and on the University’s YouTube channel as educational channels that students can access as needed. The sessions are also reused in various educational and learning contexts and they comprise the following courses: Cost Accounting, Research Operations, General Mathematics, Network Management and Security, Data Processing, Linguistics and others.
The Center conducted the following:
- Virtual workshops for faculty members on BigBlueButton technique which is used in the virtual meetings of the BA and MA courses.
- Virtual workshops for branches’ coordinators on discussion sessions: How to access them through the University academic portal and the mechanism of the virtual class.
- Orientation meetings for the new students entitled “e-Learning and e-Services at the University”. The Open Learning Center conducted regular orientation meetings for the new students to introduce them to the Center, its achievements and the services, and the e-services and links at the University website.
- A workshop in collaboration with Media Production Center and Faculty of Education Sciences on “Recoding Educational Sessions: Mechanisms and Standards.” The workshop tackled the novel mechanisms that the University employed in recording educational sessions which was a precedent step, and the most effective and successful experience during COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of the educational sessions lies in clarifying the difficult concepts to the students. The success of this technique was clear in the extent of their interaction and the number of views that was tracked via al-Quds educational satellite channel on the “YouTube” platform and the University’s video-sharing platform Qtube. The number of educational sessions reached more than 600 sessions and the number of views amounted to 3 million views. Finally, the workshop introduced the templates used in recording the educational sessions and the property rights of the images used.
- A virtual workshop for ELT courses: OLC participated in the virtual workshop for faculty members of the new ELT I and ELT II courses that were developed through a joint project with Kent State University, implemented by the Faculty of Educational Sciences targeting faculty members who teach ELT I & ELT II courses in all University branches. The workshop was held via virtual classroom technology.
- Participating in a focused discussion workshop with experts designing training materials in Moodle system (e-training platform). The workshop was held under the project to support sustainable development through the digital integration program in the Palestinian territories.
- Participating in the training on developing English Language courses under the project of building the capacities of faculty members and students in English language at al-Quds Open University.
- Participating in the technical training on Moodle’s settings within TEFL-Epal project.
- Workshop on launching the results of the project first phase “Capacity Building of Professional English Language Skills of al-Quds Open University students and the academic staff.”
- Participating in a training on e-learning tools within project the teaching of English as a foreign language
- Workshop on developing OER policies and plans: OLC participated in a workshop entitled "OER Policy Development", which was organized by the UNESCO.
- 12. The faculty of Graduate Studies at the University organizes a workshop entitled "Employing Moodle e-Platforms in the Learning Process and the New Mechanisms to Access the Virtual Classroom", where OLC provided presentations on the copyrights for digital content and how a faculty member deals with the virtual classroom technology.
- Workshop on Virtual Reality as a Development, Simulation, and Learning Tool in the Palestinian Higher Education Institutions.
- The Open Learning Center and the Continuing Education and Community Service Center of the University participated in a four-day training which was organized by the Istiqlal University in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education . The training took place on Tuesday, June 6, 2021 at Al-Istiqlal University within the TESLA project entitled "Virtual Reality as a Development, Simulation, and Learning Tool in the Palestinian Higher Education Institutions". The workshop focused on developing the skills in writing educational scenarios in terms of developing ideas and using best educational practices to develop digital content using (TPACK) framework, and various assessment and evaluation tools.
A physics course (Newton's laws) prepared by Staff members as part of the virtual reality project was also presented, as well as an overview of the open source (Open Simulator) technology. Drafts of educational scenarios were produced as part of the workshop's outputs, and will be used to construct virtual reality educational courses in the future.
- Training workshop on work environment/ cognitive psychology of workers, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
- Training on interaction design process for authoring tools, design and infrastructure.
- Training on advanced 3D modeling for e-learning environment/programming 3D engine.
- Training on 3D Programming for VR - WEBGEL, MEL / Peripheral Accessories and Sensors Introduction VR / Web Mapping - GIS.
- Training on the production of topographic maps from aerial and satellite images / production of topographic maps by ground survey and GPS analysis using GIS.
- A workshop on virtual digital reality. This workshop was held to train faculty members on the following topics:
- Introducing virtual reality, its characteristics and good practices.
- Distinguishing between virtual reality and augmented reality.
- Clarifying the uses of virtual reality in education.
- Initiating the educational scenario of the virtual reality.
- Providing technical support for scientific symposiums and conferences. OLC provided technical support for the success of conferences and symposia that were held through the virtual classroom service that is uniquely provided by the University at the national level, including the seventh international scientific forum under the title “Digital Scientific Communication, Horizons for Advancement”, a scientific symposium on the professional, psychological and social pressures faced by the journalist.
OLC Staff Capacity Building
The Center participated in the Moodle Teacher Certification Program, presented by the official partner of Moodle, Eummena association. The program was designed to enable trainers and teachers to possess the needed skills and competencies to handle with e-learning systems with confidence and ease. The training included participants from various Palestinian universities and institutions. Certificates of completion of the program were obtained with distinction.
ALECSO Award for Mobile Apps Award - TUNISIA 2017
In November 2017, QOU got the first place at the national level at the ALECSO Award for Mobile Applications in the field of culture. OLC participated in an application on the History of Jerusalem course. The award was organized by The Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Arabic Language - Dubai 2017
In May 2017, QOU received the Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Arabic Language as the best initiative in using social networks or smart application to teach Arabic language. OLC participated in Arabic Language Course1 application.
The Higher Council for Innovation and Excellence Award- Palestine 2017
The Smart Courses Project was chosen as one of the pilot projects at the second national forum of scientists in Palestine. The staff of OLC were honored during the forum, which was held under the supervision of the Higher Council for Innovation and Excellence in Ramallah.
Online Open Smart Courses
OLC has developed 6 new courses in the form of online open self-directed courses, under the direct supervision of the Academic Affairs Department. The new courses are: Palestine and the Palestinian Cause, the Arab World and Contemporary Challenges and the Islamic Culture which were developed in cooperation with the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Principles of Computer in cooperation with the Faculty of Technology and Applied Sciences, English Language 1 in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts, and Social Responsibility in cooperation with the Faculty of Social and Family Development. The courses were offered to the University students in semesters 1172 and 1181, and were made accessible to all learners around the world through the Digital Content Repository of the University and through Google Play.
Educational Games -Rahoul in the world of computer
In early 2017, the OLC established the Development of Educational Games unit. A game called (Rahoul) was developed to teach basic skills in computer and most significant features and softwares. The game targets academics and students, as well as all the community. It was developed using gaming strategies, and in cooperation with the Faculty of Technology and Applied Sciences.
Educational Games - Crossword Game
The crossword game was developed using educational games strategy. The game was added to smart courses as a self-assessment tool.
Palestine Literary Map
Within a research project led by Dr. Mahmoud Sabri, a Faculty Member at QOU, an interactive literature map had been developed. The map includes Palestinian writers from (1850 – 2000 AD) in terms of their lives, development, education, travels, and national political attitudes. The map is designed in a way that enables the administrator to place all other landmarks directly on the map.
Educational seminars on Al Quds Educational Channel
13 new courses, which consist of 100 educational sessions, had been recorded in collaboration with Al Quds Educational Channel:
Local administration and local governance
Principles of investment
Computer Logic Design
Geography of Palestine
Arabic writing & punctuation rules
Social work with individuals and families 1
Principles of Computer
History of Jerusalem
The Palestinian Cause
English Language 1
Smart Good Testing Course
This course was designed in cooperation with Measurement and Evaluation Center through a self-learning mode to enable participants design questions for the University's courses in accordance with the Question Bank system. Four training courses were held; some 50 Faculty Members joined the courses. The output of this training is that the Measurement and Evaluation Center obtained got of specific courses according to the Bank of Questions system.
Launching “OSOL” Repository for Digital Content in its new form
“OSOL”, the Repository for Digital Content was launched in its new form in cooperation with the Faculty of Technology and Applied Sciences, the Deanship of Scientific Research and the Center for Information and Communication Technology. More than 1500 papers had been published in the repository in addition to hundreds of digital learning resources.
First International Conference on smart Learning and its role in serving the community
1. OLC and the Center for Continuing Education and Community Service, under the supervision of the Department of Academic Affairs, organized “Smart Learning Conference and its Role in Serving the Community”. The conference presented more than 46 scientific papers from 6 foreign countries and 4 Arab countries where the best 12 papers were presented during the conference sessions.
2. The conference was also presented concurrently online through developing the Digital Conference application (QOU Digital Summit) by OLC. This enabled a number of participants from outside Palestine to attend and participate in its sessions.
The first scientific forum on digital transformation in lifelong learning
The forum was organized jointly by OLC and the Center for Open Education and Community Service, in cooperation with the European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN), where many international speakers and researchers took part in the sessions.
Developing Educational Tools
Educational tools were developed, in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts, as enrichment materials to support Listening Skills course and Phonetics and Pronunciation course.
The first electronic version of Qodorat Magazine, in collaboration between OLC and Continuing Education and Community Service Center, presents the most important activities and services provided by the two Centers through various articles. It also covers the first symposium of its kind, which was held in July on Digital Transformation in Continuing Education.
Alecso Apps Award – Dubai 2016:
OLC staff developed the course of Strategic Management to be used on mobile devices which led the University to obtain Alecso Apps Award 2016 in the field of education. The contest was held by Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization.
Developing the infrastructure of e-learning:
- Unifying the visual identity of the University’s e-learning platforms in cooperation with ICTC.
- Developing Digital Content Framework which is easy to use and can be utilized for different purposes. It also works on computers, tablets, and mobiles.
- Setting work producers for designing and developing e-learning in compatibility with the design of digital learning content (2015).
Developing e-courses and the digital content:
- Developing self-Learning Open Online Courses in cooperation with QOU’s T.V Channel and the University’s faculties. The project aims at developing the University’s courses to fulfill the needs of learners and digital natives. The courses are uploaded as Open Educational Resources and target learners around the world.
- Developing four online self-study courses (Learn how to Learn, Arabic Language 1, Jerusalem History, and Strategic Management) for the academic year 2016/2017. The courses were uploaded to Google Play as an app and to QOU’s digital content repository to be available for all learners around the world.
- Initiating a project to produce taped lectures to be broadcasted on QOU’s T.V channel and to be uploaded on QTube as Open Educational Resources courses.
- Designing and producing 230 videotaped educational episodes for 22 courses.
- Initiating a cooperation project with Edraak in Jordan to develop the courses of MOOCs which are directed towards learners and researchers from around the world. Such as the course of remedial math and life.
- Developing four new e-courses for the Diploma of French Language.
E-training and capacity building programs:
- Developing 8 self-study training programs to build the capacity of students and faculty staff in the field of blended learning and tools of e-learning.
- Developing an informative and training program in all the branches of the University in the field of blended learning. The Center designed posters that explain the offered services of e-learning, and held more than 150 workshops directed towards the faculty staff and students on e-learning, self-study courses, and tools of e-learning.
- Contributing in an action research project that aimed at evaluating Mobile learning at Palestinian schools, through field work, activities design, statistics analysis and supervision.
- Initiating a project to train and develop the capacities of students enrolled in majors related to computers. The project enables students to train and volunteer at the Open Education Center to develop their skills. The project is in cooperation with OLC, Students Affairs Deanship, and Deanship of Technology and Applied Sciences.
- Initiating a course on IT employment in education which targets school teachers in Tubas and Jordan Valley. The course is designed within the project of mobile learning.
- Providing virtual classes for the initiative Virtual School to Tamoun Secondary School.
- Participating in the institutional self-assessment project in the field of continuing education, community service, academic programs, and teaching methods.
Awarded the first place in education nationally in ALECSO Mobile Apps Award 2016 from the Arab League Education, Culture and Science Organization (ALECSO).
The infrastructure of e-learning at the University was restructured and modernized- including its work mechanism, resources, platforms and systems- according to the latest developments of technology to address the rising requirements of e-learning at QOU. Several accomplishments of OLC can be traced in the field of e-learning infrastructure:
- Upgrading e-learning platforms (Moodle, QTube, etc.) to be used on different electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, in cooperation with E-learning Support Unit at ICTC.
- Upgrading digital content repository in cooperation with ICTC for storing, retrieving, and indexing all digital content at QOU such as documents, research papers, eBooks, learning resources, etc.
- Developing a platform for SlideShare by E-learning Support Unit at ICTC.
- Adaptation of Metadata Dublin Core to spread and index digital content.
- Developing certain educational and technical criteria to design e-learning content.
- Adoption of Creative Common License to publish and circulate e-learning content.
- Adoption of MS Project Server to manage and organize the operations of OLC.
- Adoption of technology that enables safe browsing of digital content through various types of smart devices.
- Developing Tadreeb, an online training platform, in accordance with the latest developments in the field, through using MOOCs to train students, staff, and local institutions.
- Setting up procedures to monitor and follow up with e-learning and e-training at the branches in cooperation with the Quality Department.
Development of Digital Learning Content
Development of the new digital content and restructuring the old one.
- Developing (Learning How to Learn) course which follows self-study approach. The course is available in three formats, two of which can be accessed offline and the other is accessed online through smart devices.
- Developing four self-study courses for the French Language Diploma.
- Republishing and storing the digital content, along with its metadata in QOU digital repository.
Faculty Staff Capacity-Building Programs and online Training
The OLC offered Programs designed to build capacities of students and faculty staff in the field of e-learning and blended learning were presented in the form of workshops and trainings as follows:
- Training programs on more than eight topics such as, power point and its use in presentation and education, academic portal, virtual classes, online courses, Qtube, QOU digital repository, etc.
- Course on “Digital Learning Resources Development” which follows self-study approach, directed towards faculty staff to improve and update the digital content of courses according to the latest standards.
- Two self-study courses on basics of computer and effective use of internet as part of the project Mobile Computer Lab.
- Training course on “Teaching Methods of Technological Pedagogical Content knowledge” (TPACK), directed towards school teachers at southern Hebron, and implemented within the project of Mobile Computer Lab.
- 70 face-to-face workshops held in all QOU branches, to empower Faculty members and students in the fields of blended learning and e-Learning, under the supervision of E-Training Unit and e-learning lab technicians.
- Brochures and posters about services of e-Learning circulated among QOU’s branches.
OLC Staff Capacity-Building programs
These programs are designed to enhance the competency of OLC staff in the field of e-Learning along with its latest tools and techniques though using self-study courses, other online learning resources, and training courses designed by experienced OLC staff. The capacity–building programs included different topics such as:
- Instructional design.
- Project management.
- Task management and supervision using MS Project Server.
- Creative commons.
- Development of learning resources through using HTML5 and Bootstrap to create responsive designs.
- HTML5 for dynamic charts.
- Development of digital learning resources using Cordova Framework to design smartphones applications.
- Followed educational and technical standards for developing learning content.
- Blended Courses:
All the courses of the University is now offered as blended courses that have webpages and virtual lectures besides the traditional classrooms to offer an interactive educational tool and a network that link students and instructors from the various branches of the University. The webpage of each course contains syllabus, files management tools, discussions, students’ forum, and coordinators’ forum.
- Virtual Classes:
All classes of the University have virtual classes to reinforce the content knowledge of the courses and provide a flexible system for students where they can virtually revise the material and discuss trainings as well as exams questions.
- Development of the Digital Content:
27 courses at QOU have been developed to contain digital content divided into sections, based on the structure of assigned textbooks, and on the form of recorded lectures, trainings, and educational videos. The content also has a demo examination for self-evaluation.
- Mobile Learning
OLC has developed a service called Mobile Learning to offer educational material through smart mobile devices. A special responsive content has been designed to enable students from revising material on mobile phones.
- Virtual Experiments
15 virtual experiments have been developed by OLC using Semmlabs and Opale, five of which have been offered in the first semester 1131, the rest have been offered in the second semester 1132. The OLC are also developing an online self-study practical course for Physics to reinforce the acquainted knowledge and skills obtained in lectures. The staff of OLC are going to develop similar feature for other courses which have a practical application.
The OLC staff have been able to develop Arabic version of MOOCS using edX platform. The center also established a cooperation with Edraak (online classrooms) to upload MOOCS on their website.
- Launching E-learning Website, where it operates as an online archive for all the digital learning content in all its forms (recordings, videos, text, etc.)
The website can be accessed via the following link: http://elearning.qou.edu
- Organizing a series of workshops and trainings for faculty staff in all branches through the project “Development of Digital Content” in cooperation with the Instructional Design team.
- Publishing a series of guidebooks in the field of e-learning to raise awareness about the standards of high quality in education and develop the competency of faculty staff in e-learning, blended learning, and their tools. The guidebooks also raise awareness about e-learning and the role of the University in its development.
The Guidebooks can be accessed via the following link: http://elearning.qou.edu
- Organizing e-trainings for students to develop their academic and cognitive competencies and knowledge, as well as acquainting them with professional skills such as e-trainings in SPSS, Project Management, etc.
- Translation of the international quality standards of e-learning from English to Arabic for its importance in the educational process at the University.
- Creating an introductory profile for the center to explain about its mission, aims, and accomplishments, as well as its units.
- Obtaining a grant from IYF to implement youth capacity-building program.
- Designing and implementing a series of TOT in the field e-learning directed towards the faculty staff.
- Implementing “Empowerment and Capacity-building of OLC Staff” to acquaint the staff with the latest developments of e-learning and to discuss suggestions and proposals for updating the e-learning service at the University and the Digital Content.
- Development of “Jerusalem History” self-study online course to expand the knowledge of students.
- Participation in international conferences and exhibitions such as Expotech 2011.
- Expanding Technical Support to include faculty staff and students and making it available around the clock.
- Issuing the Knowledge Newsletter, which is a periodical newsletter issued each semester and tackles issues in the field of e-learning.
- Development of Moodle, a specialized platform for conducting e-trainings and capacity building programs. Moodle is also used as a platform for managing online learning.
- Development of training programs that targeted more than 1602 participants from faculty and administrative staff and more than 62 students (some employees were enrolled in several training programs.) All these programs were implemented and supervised by OLC.
- The total number of training hours carried out and supervised by the OLC in cooperation with all educational branches and study centers exceeded 1500 hours, they were also recorded for virtual classes.
- Monitor of more than 1500 hours of recorded lectures.
- Implementation of training on "self-assessment tools" for more than 167 participants from faculty and administrative staff.
- Management and implementation of the capacity-building program funded by World Bank and the European Union under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
- Design and teaching 128 e-courses using blended learning model (e-Activities, e-Assignments, e-Courses Template, and video streaming). More than 90 thousand students enrolled in one or more of these courses.
- Capacity-building Project, phase I: the project proposal was a result of the recommendations of QOU’s institutional self-assessment in 2007. The self-assessment showed the need of the University for following higher quality standards and developing better capacities. Consequently, a mechanism for implementation the project was proposed.
- Implementation of Capacity Building project, phase II: After the mechanism of the implementation was designed, phase II of the project initiated which targeted developing e-learning infrastructure and conducting trainings, $30,000 were received from World Bank and the European Union to fund the project.
- Development of a proposal for the project "Student Support in E-learning Environment", in cooperation with the various departments, branches and study centers of QOU.
- Development and supervision of an educational network directed towards faculty staff in cooperation with the directors of different academic programs. http://qoupal.ning.com.
- Conduct of more than 250 online tests to evaluate the participants in the training programs in the field of e-Learning from faculty and administrative staff and students.
- Development of a proposal for the project “Capacity Building Teachers and Students Competencies in E-learning at Secondary Schools in West Bank and Gaza", OLC also submitted the proposals for obtaining funds.
- Design of a database for self-assessment for faculty and administrative staff through the Capacity Building project. The database includes questionnaires, answered by the target group, and then later statistically analyzed to conclude some recommendations. The database can be accessed via the academic portal http://odlc.qou.edu. These questionnaires, pedagogical texts, and benchmarks are utilized to develop e-learning at the rest of QOU’s branches, similar to the branches in Hebron, Ramallah, and Rafah.
- Obtaining Access to 6 global e-journals and 27 books, all specialized in open learning through funds by World Bank and the European Union.
- Improving the infrastructure of OLC through the capacity-building project. The center purchased new computers along with their accessories, it also set up new advanced servers.
- Development of a new professional diploma in open learning and e-Learning at higher education institutions in cooperation with the related departments and centers at QOU.
- Supplement of instructional material to QOU’s branches to teach following the models of e-learning, blended learning and their techniques.
- Forming a team of specialists to provide educational and technical support for the concerned students and instructors at QOU.