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King Saud University’s initiative to establish e-learning and information technology units at the University’s various colleges is another step on the road to excellence and pioneering leadership. These units represent the basic support network of the Deanship of E-learning and Distance Education in KSU’s Colleges. They are an effective communication channel between colleges and the Deanship of e-learning and teaching on one side, and the Deanship of Electronic Transactions and Communications on the other.
The main role of these units is to create a supportive and stimulating e-environment for colleges, constantly assess the standard of e-learning and information technology among faculty, and help the Deanship of E-learning and Distance Education achieve its strategic goals of improving teaching and learning processes at KSU.
E-learning and information technology units at the various colleges include centers for training faculty members in the various electronic and distance learning products offered by the deanship. There are training modules for e-learning management systems, virtual classrooms, instructional design for e-learning, digital content development, smart campus’ technologies, and other programs related to e-learning.
E-learning and information technology units also provide technical support to faculty members by helping them design and develop e-curriculums, updating them on the latest developments in e-learning, and also helping them to upload curriculums to e-learning management systems. The units also provide live technical support online for those using e-learning systems, and also help solve problems that may arise when using smart campus devices and technologies.
Beyond support services, the units play an important role in developing and producing e-curriculums for the various colleges at KSU. Their knowledge of the nature of curriculums, the needs of faculty, and the nature of students mean they are well equipped to choose appropriate models for courses and curriculum. It also means the units are well placed to find suitable assessment methods and develop content, from designing, through to programming and updating to meet appropriate quality standards.
E-learning and information technology units also provide periodical follow-ups and maintenance for smart campus technologies at KSU colleges. Their objective is always to increase the speed at which they solve problems and to continuously improve the service and technology that they provide.
The e-learning and information technology units target student services, working to improve the educational services provided to them, and increase the use of e-learning applications that serve them. These services increase learning flexibility, allowing students to learn anywhere, anytime.
They also help students better choose the right time and best way to learn, without being restricted to a certain method. These e-learning and information technology units help KSU’s students to develop their skills and expertise through the vast amount of knowledge offered by digital resources.
By Sultan Al-Mutairi, the vice dean of development and quality at KSU’s Deanship of E-learning and Distance Education.