GUST Shares its Online Teaching Experience with a Virtual Conference
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research (CTLR) at Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) organized a conference titled “COVID-19 Education Crises Virtual Conference: Discussing GUST’s Experience in Remote Learning During the 2020 Spring and Summer Semesters”. The event brought together several members of faculty from different university departments on a virtual platform, to share the university’s most recent experiences and findings in online teaching. The conference, which took place on the 25th of July, was held on the Microsoft Teams platform and hosted five webinars tackling different topics.
GUST President Prof. Walid Bouhamra was first to speak at the virtual conference with a presentation detailing the developments and improvements the university’s infrastructure had undergone over the previous year which greatly aided in accommodating the recent changes and developments in the educational scene. The president also detailed how all university faculty members and students were trained on the new e-learning system in record time, reflecting the advanced technological capabilities of the university.
The opening session also included a talk from Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Economics & Finance Department, Dr. Osama Al Falah, on the importance of quality in education and ways of enhancing and sustaining it. This was then followed by a talk from Associate Professor at the Mass Communication Department, Dr. Ali Dashti, where he discussed his personal experience in engaging and motivating students online, and the need to diversify ways of evaluation to ensure a fair evaluation process. CTLR Director, Dr. Fatemah Al Hashem concluded the opening session by inviting the attendees to participate in the conference workshops presented by other faculty members on various relevant educational topics.
The conference workshops, held in both English and Arabic, discussed and tackled several interesting topics on the subject of distance learning. These topics included: ‘Teaching Literature’ with English Dept. Assistant Professor Dr. Shahd Al Shammari, ‘Managing Science Classes Online’ with Mathematics & Natural Science Dept. Lab Instructor Firas Al Masri, ‘Interactive Mathematics’ with Mathematics & Natural Science Dept. Associate Professor Dr. Wassim Daher, ‘Digital Platforms’ with Head of Computer Science Dept. Dr. Ali Roumani, and ‘Social Justice and Equity in Education During the Pandemic’ with Humanities & Social Sciences Dept. Associate Professor Dr. Rania Al Nakib.
The conference showcased GUST’s swift response and ability to adapt to the dramatic changes that have recently taken place worldwide, all the while ensuring a quality education. It also stressed the importance of exchanging experiences in e-learning to contribute to the overall progress of the local education field.
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research is an educational center established by GUST in 2016 in collaboration with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). CTLR’s goal is to assist educators in their professional development, provide teachers and students with new educational methodologies, techniques, and technologies, and serve as a research hub for educators, teachers & students locally and regionally, whether in the private or public sector.
Conference Opening Session