Final Conference of "Enhancing Quality Control in E-Learning" held at PSUT
HRH Princess Sumaya Bint El Hassan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology, expressed her appreciation of PSUT’s great efforts in developing and building the capacity of the Kingdom’s academic community in the field of e-learning. Speaking on behalf of HRH Princess Sumaya, the President of PSUT, Professor Mashhoor Al-Refai delivered a speech at the opening of the conference on “Enhancing Quality Control in e-Learning”, which was held at the University as part of the Tempus Project, which seeks to promote reform and modernization of higher education in Jordan through the introduction of a national quality assurance system for technology-enhanced learning. The overall project aims to improve, develop and implement accreditation standards, guidelines and procedures for the quality control process in e-learning programs at the national level. The project, which is led by PSUT, consists of a Jordanian-European partnership comprising five Jordanian universities: the University of Jordan, Yarmouk University, the Hashemite University, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Higher Education Accreditation Commission, the Association of Arab Universities and a number of other European universities and partners.
HRH Princess Sumaya pointed to the need for development and change, which has become an important tool and necessary to overcome the obstacles facing academic programs in Jordanian colleges and universities and raise the level and quality of educational systems and their compatibility with the needs and requirements of the labor market. She also pointed out that e-learning will push towards encouraging citizens to continue learning for life and at all ages. It is hoped that this will contribute to opening the doors to progress in training and employment.
Prof. Abdullah Al-Zoubi, Vice President of PSUT and Project Director, stressed the need to apply quality standards to encourage higher education institutions to adopt and launch new academic programs through e-learning, which has become an increasingly important phenomenon in recent years due to its strong impact on lifelong learning and specialized training. It caused particular interest when American universities such as Stanford, MIT and Harvard launched large-scale online training initiatives that attracted a large number of users through open education resources and Massive Open Online Courses –MOOCs.
Prof. Al Zoubi also pointed out that the value of global sales generated by the e-learning industry amounted to 46.6 billion dollars in 2016. North America and Europe topped the list, while Asia recorded the highest growth rates. E-learning is a strategic industry that may provide Jordan with online training and education opportunities, while creating opportunities for excellence in the ICT, culture and tourism sectors. It can also be an exceptional opportunity to attract new educational methods to Jordanian universities and to increase the international competitiveness of graduates by incorporating online courses offered by foreign institutions into existing study plans. E-learning also provides a channel for the establishment of links between Jordanian and foreign academics, as well as the exchange of academic theses, reports and articles online. Prof. Al Zoubi added that e-learning is a means to keep pace with the times to achieve a high degree of creativity, develop the skills of the recipient, and reduce the use of traditional memorization methods of learning at a time when it is easy to access information, watch videos and view illustrations, bringing information to the learner easily and with little effort.
Professor Joop Ertz, Director of the Education and Youth Program run by the European Commission in Amman, delivered a speech stressing the importance of promoting effective participation in international programs supported by the European Union. Erasmus+ aims to develop and improve the quality of higher education in a number of countries around the world. The program aims at building the capacities of higher education institutions and enhancing the opportunities for students, teaching faculty members and administrative staff to participate in programs to promote regional and European exchange of knowledge and professional skills. The project also provides scholarships to students of all academic levels. Prof. Joop Ertz gave a presentation showing the development of the program, its objectives, criteria and particular regulations for benefiting from the international exchange program, as well as talking about a number of programs to build and develop the capabilities of universities.
Dr. Christine Appel, Director of the e-Learning Center at the Open University of Catalonia in Spain, praised the fruitful collaboration of the Jordanian universities with their European counterparts and the great benefits to both parties of openness, dialogue and exchange of experiences. Dr. Appel stressed the need to further strengthen and deepen this collaboration, increase participation in European projects and seize investment opportunities to contribute to the field of e-learning, which presents a wide horizon for excellence and creativity.