IoBM envisions using LMS for effective learning

A session on ‘Blended Learning and Learning Management System (LMS) project’ was held at the Entrepreneurship and Management Excellence Center (EMEC), Institute of Business Management (IoBM) on Thursday, May 23, 2019. It was organized in collaboration with IoBM’s Media Department and the College of Computer Science and Information System (CCSIS). Besides the presence of Mr. Talib Karim, President IoBM and Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Rector IoBM, this session was well-attended by IoBM’s HoDs, management and faculty. Presentations on this occasion were made by Mr. Nabhan Karim, Assistant Manager, Media Studies, IoBM on “The Flipped Classroom”; by Dr. Tariq Soomro, HoD, Computer Science and MIS Department, CCSIS on “Assurance of Learning of Course Outcomes.”; by Dr. Mansoor Alam, Associate Professor, CCSIS on “Faculty Training on Moodle and Dissemination” and by Dr. Muhammad Arif on “LMS in Support of QEC.”

Mr. Talib Karim welcomed the HoDs and faculty to this faculty development workshop which he said is the first of a series to be held each semester. He said that times have changed and today students pay less attention to classroom lectures and learn more technology. Therefore, IoBM envisions using technology to facilitate classroom learning. He emphasized the need to produce students who can catch up to technology and use it to fulfill their academic and professional purposes. Mr. Talib Karim further said that since the absorption rate of students today is different as compared to those from a decade back, gadgets and technology must be used to facilitate learning and lectures must be based on videos to enhance students’ learning experience. 

Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, while presenting the introductory remarks said that educators need to redefine the existing course content through emerging and converging technologies. He emphasized on the term “21st-century skills” and called for all faculty and students to equip themselves with such skills which include creativity, collaboration, teamwork, self-learning, media, technology and information literacy, flexibility, competency and innovation. Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder said that the avalanche of new learning technologies includes blended learning, flipped classrooms, virtual classrooms and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). While defining the results-based framework he envisions to be followed by faculty at IoBM he said that it begins with an input (faculty, internet courses, collaborations, tools) followed by process (Blended learning, flipped classrooms, simulations, projects), output (Blogs, documentaries, real-life interventions), outcomes (Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, freelancing) and impact (Industry, society, government impact).

During his presentation, Mr. Nabhan Karim explained the importance of a Flipped Classroom. It reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering course content to students through LMS. The concept is to complete the classwork at home and complete homework in class. He explained the benefits of a Flipped Classroom as follows: direct access to knowledge, teacher acts as a coach/facilitator, students have already prepared for the subject before the class and the thought process of the student is viewed in the class and not during the time of exams. Mr. Nabhan Karim revealed that as students are given all course lectures ahead of the new semester, they indulge in research-based classroom interaction with colleagues and faculty. He said that the attention span of Generation-Z students (born in or after 2000) is less than 8.75 seconds; therefore, we need to create video-based interactive content facilitating this learning process. He said that video content will be developed by faculty at the recording studio soon to be completed at the Shahjehan S. Karim Center of Excellence Building, IoBM. This content will be shared for students on the LMS and it will include quizzes within online videos to encourage encouragement and utilize class time for discussion and group projects. Mr. Nabhan Karim shared that 29% of students preferred asking a teacher for help while 71% figured out a solution by watching Youtube videos. This piece of information was necessary to inculcate videos into the learning process. Mr. Nabhan also mentioned using Adobe Captivate to develop interactive videos embedded with a series of quizzes. As students complete quizzes they are graded in real-time in the LMS. The faculty can view the grades of each student on their dashboard. Moreover, using Virtual Reality as a tool of learning was also suggested by Mr. Nabhan Karim.

Dr. Tariq Rahim Soomro’s topic of presentation was “Assurance of Learning of Course Outcomes.” He defined learning outcomes as a set of knowledge and skills to achieve results. Dr. Tariq Soomro emphasized the need to achieve learning outcomes to fulfill Quality Assurance objectives pertaining to IoBM’s programs and to acquire a positive ranking from accreditation agencies. He said that learning outcomes can be achieved when an institute follows its vision and mission, goals and objectives. Moreover, Program Level Objectives (PLOs) and Course Level Objectives (CLOs) are also important in this regard. He further said that where CLOs and PLOs must be aligned for best results, PLOs need to be mapped with all of IoBM’s departments and colleges. Dr. Tariq Soomro explained that this project will enable faculty to enter the data of PLO and CLO in Moodle and Smartz. Faculty will evaluate courses as per their PLOs and CLOs to help them improve course contents based on results. When talking about the roadmap, he presented the following tentative timelines: Understanding mapping of all Colleges (August 2019), Designing of database structure of learning outcome module (December 2019), User interface and implementation in Smartz (March 2020), User interface and implementation in Moodle (June 2020), Training for end users (June-December 2020). Some of the challenges as mentioned by Dr. Tariq Soomro include incorporating all faculty data from Smartz to Moodle, accommodating learning outcomes module in Moodle, customizing Moodle to accommodate user requirements and extensive coding for a dedicated resource person who will manage Moodle for faculty.

Mr. Muhammad Mansoor Alam, while delivering his presentation on “Faculty Training on Moodle and Dissemination” said that a project’s success depends on training, motivation and runtime error handling. He said that a team of early adopters will be made with the consent of Dean/Associate Dean/HoDs and volunteers will be highly appreciated. These early adopters will train other faculty members. The tentative timeline according to Mr. Mansoor for the project was as follows: CCSIS faculty training (December 2019), Electrical Engineering faculty training (December 2019), CES faculty training (March 2020), CCSIS faculty training (June 2020), CBM faculty training (September 2020), CESD faculty training (December 2020). While mentioning the current scenario, Mr. Mansoor informed that IoBM faculty are using Google Classroom software, E-mails, asking a class representative of each class to disseminate information and posting course content on Yahoo/Goole Groups. The future scenario, he mentioned, will use a single LMS platform. According to Mr. Mansoor Alam, the main challenge is to train IoBM’s 400+ permanent and 200+ permanent faculty who are teaching 1000+ courses. He said he and his team will try to overcome the resistance from end-users by motivating and convincing them to learn and use LMS.

Dr. Muhammad Arif, during his presentation on “LMS in Support of QEC” focused on the role of QEC, periodic reports furnished to HEC by QEC, the methodology of QEC for preparing reports, problems in existing methodology and the role of LMS in supporting QEC. He said that with the help of LMS, faculty, program and student data will be streamlined and QEC will receive all relevant data used in preparing periodic reports for in-house circulation and for submission to the HEC. He said that the LMS will facilitate the QEC in managing course files, generating customized data for Self-Assessment Reports (SARs), facilitating online surveys, ensuring consistent reporting and enabling QEC to focus on other strategic quality assurance issues.

Parvez Jamil – 021-35091905 – 0334-3013971 – 0324-2899563