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Karachi University announces plan to develop for online classes

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Karachi University announces plan to develop for online classes
Karachi:23 April:Raising concerns over the use of external systems for conducting classes for a long period, the Karachi University (KU) on Wednesday announced developing an in-house system for online classes.

In a meeting held at the KU’s VC Secretariat to discuss matters related to the online classes, acting vice chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi said for now they would use the technological resources available with them and provided by the Higher Education Commission Islamabad for the purpose.

The meeting was attended by registrar Professor Dr Saleem Shahzad, all deans, Distance Learning Programme director Professor Dr Abdul Waheed, Karachi University Teachers’ Society president Professor Dr Anila Amber Malik, Quality Enhancement Cell Professor director Dr Syed Jamil Hasan Kazmi, QEC deputy director Jawaid Akram, students’ adviser Dr Syed Asim Ali, Main Communication Network in-charge Dr Sadiq Ali Khan and engineer Ishfaque Khanzada from the MCN.

The KU acting VC asked all deans to conduct a meeting with the chairpersons. “We intend to start online classes to facilitate the students and continue the learning process at the earliest. It is a difficult time for all of us, I pray that all our students, faculty, staff and their families are safe and secure.”

The first meeting to discuss the possibilities and opportunities to start online classes was held on April 15. A technical committee was also formed in that meeting which comprised of Professor Dr Jamil Kazmi, Dr Sadiq Ali Khan, Dr Syed Asim Ali, Javed Akram, and engineer Ishfaq Khanzada.

The committee members were asked to furnish a report in the next meeting. Subsequently, the committee gave survey forms to teachers and students for getting their input regarding the online classes, and asked them to share what kind of problems they could face in this regard. KU eLearning Committee convener Dr Kazmi, while presenting the finding of the survey, describing the readiness the university, the faculty, the courses, the technology, the library and the students for the online classes.

About the university readiness, he said the KU was in the process of implementing the eLearning Management System acquired through the HEC, and the IDs of teachers had been generated which soon would be sent to the teachers. “An oversight body would be constituted by the authority for certifying the courses as online ready.”

In order to assess the faculty’s readiness, he said, a survey had been designed to identify the problem areas and a strategy would be devised to resolve the issues.

Professor Kazmi said training videos for the faculty had been prepared to assist the faculty in this regard. Another survey had been propagated to identify the students’ interests and issues regarding online classes. “So far, around 8,000 students have recorded their responses. We are studying the responses to carter to the needs of students and to make sure that the learning process continues.”

Meanwhile, Dr Ali briefed the meeting on the viability of the Microsoft Teams and Zoom Software and the availability of the former’s license in Pakistan. He presented the HEC’s recommendation about the online learning in this regard. He also briefed the meeting on the feedback of students regarding the online classes received through different means.

Furthermore, Dr Sadiq Ali Khan shared the details about the LMS implementation and generation of log-in IDs for faculty members. He said in a short span of time, their team had been able to create the LMS IDs for teachers, so that they could start getting to know about the LMS and could utilise it in a better way.The news.
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