AAU discusses the UAE universities’ experiences in distance learning

The College of Engineering at Al Ain University –Abu Dhabi Campus- conducted a virtual workshop entitled “Increasing online students’ engagements during COVID-19: UAE Universities’ Trials and Visions”. The workshop aimed to discuss how the colleges and universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have responded with energy and skills to engage online learning in their institutions at least until the end of the Academic Year 2019-2020 in spite of the current crisis of COVID-19.

The workshop was organized by Dr. Bayan Abu Shawar and Dr. Nuha Hamada and presented by speakers from well-known UAE universities (Khalifa University, New York University at Abu Dhabi & Al Ain University) where they shared their experiences in increasing online students’ engagements and participation during their online teaching, was attended by many students and the Faculty members from inside and outside the UAE.

The workshop started with Dr. Abdulhadi Shoufan, an Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Khalifa University, where he discussed the active online learning to improve students’ engagement and he explained his way of using a website called “Learn-Smartly”. Afterwards, Dr. Nancy W Gleason, an Associate Professor of Practice, Political Science at New York University at Abu Dhabi and Director of the Hilary Ballon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, talked about how to build a proper online community with students to enhance engagement in order to keep them focused during lecture time and the instructors to be consistent and organizing while implementing the method.

Prof. Ernesto Damiani, Full Professor at Università degli Studi di Milano Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems Institute, Khalifa University, talked about monitoring and assessing student learning in the post-COVID scenario.

Dr. Tarik Elamsy, an associate professor in Computer Science at Al Ain University, showed e-learning system used in AAU and he clarified the different features the student can use in Edugate, Moodle, and MS Teams after transferring the courses to online courses.

In the end, Dr. Nuha Hamada, an assistant professor in Computer Science at Al Ain University, explained her way of teaching the Math courses using various online learning platforms in order to increase the students’ engagements and understanding.


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