More technology for Emirati students at Sharjah Women's College


More technology for Emirati students at Sharjah Womens College

Students get the opportunity to further develop their independent learning skills through the integration of latest technology and e-learning environments.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Tue 23 Sep 2014, 1:17 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:51 PM

A new facility which houses over 150 Apple iMac computers and is the first dedicated centre in the region, will give Sharjah Women’s College (SWC) students the opportunity to further develop their independent learning skills through the integration of latest technology and e-learning environments.

The college’s Online Learning Zone (OLZ) will cater to an average of 100 students every hour, equating to almost 1,000 students every day and is a further progression of the HCT’s ongoing commitment to the integration of technology in the classroom.

The new zone is an extension of the e-learning environments planned for HCT’s 20,000 students across the UAE.

The eager female students, who as ‘digital natives’ thrive on the use of technology as learning aids, will complete two hours’ independent e-learning activities each week in the OLZ, together with blending learning in the classroom and self-guided learning exercises.

“The classroom revision and formative assessments of learning taking place in the OLZ provide faculty members with valuable data on student learning; further empowering faculty to provide greater student-centered teaching,” said David Carter, Supervisor of SWC’s Learning Resource Centre and Educational Technology.

Carter, who supervised the implementation of the OLZ, said the initiative will enhance advances already being made with the students through e-learning. “Students using the space can access an advanced, creative Learning Management System which provides them with additional educational material to support and assess classroom learning. This can be in the form of videos, audio, e-text books or interactive applications,” he said.

“The approach has already produced on average a seven per cent increase in grades, and feedback from students using the online learning zone has been extremely positive.” Dr Tayeb Kamali, Vice-Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, applauded the initiative of the SWC’s online zone, which he said was part of the HCT’s commitment to excellence in education.

“At the Higher Colleges we pride ourselves on being a leader in educational innovation, particularly with technology, and as a result we are at the forefront of new developments, practices and technologies, such as the OLZ. Through this new zone our students will be able to study, use and adopt best practice methodologies. This will ensure that our students have the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to enter the workforce and make important contributions to the UAE, as well as to succeed in a rapidly technologised world,” Dr Kamali added.

HCT-Sharjah Colleges Director, Dr Muhadditha Al Hashimi said the OLZ was an integral component of the Higher Colleges of Technology’s utilisation of advanced educational technology throughout its campuses, which has seen it as a leader in educational technology integration.

“HCT was the UAE’s first higher education institution to convert its campuses into fully wireless, eLearning environments, as well as creating a learning environment based on e-Textbooks, iPads and mobile learning so that students really only need to have a laptop or tablet device for their classes,” Dr Hashimi said.

Founded in 1988 with four colleges, the Higher Colleges of Technology have grown to be the largest of the higher educational institutions in the UAE, gaining a well-respected reputation for innovative learning. Over 20,000 students attend 17 modern, technology-oriented men’s and women’s campuses in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Fujairah and the western region cities of Madinat Zayed and Ruwais.

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