Faculty of Engineering & Technology launches blended model for teaching
When earlier this year, most governments around the globe declared a state of emergency and shut down face-to-face education due to the COVID-19 outbreak, remote learning was adopted by many university programs to allow students to finish the academic year 2019/20. Birzeit University was no exception. The year 2020 will be remembered as both an unprecedented challenge for higher education and a great opportunity to adapt to a new reality that utilizes a blended model of teaching and learning.
Academic programs with a compulsory practical component, such as the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, obligated the university to develop new plans for the academic year 2020/21.
Thus, Birzeit University has partially reopened the Faculty of Engineering and Technology for students and faculty who need to use labs to complete their courses. Allan Tubaileh, the dean of the faculty, explained that the university has redesigned the study experience at the faculty, aiming to help especially first-year students connect with peers, mentors, and professors and ensuring that they can gain the course skills required to succeed.
Tubaileh pointed out that the university is implementing a blended model that focuses on ensuring that students are as engaged as possible while maintaining the health protocols of COVID-19. The students, said the dean, will attend practical courses on campus on Saturdays and Sundays and continue taking their other classes from their homes.
Studying the first year on campus is exciting and challenging for all students, taking their practical courses on campus can help them move forward with their school-university transition.
With enthusiasm, first-year student Amani Rabii’, carried out her first drawing task at the university’s engineering lab while her colleagues Cerena Tannous and Ranin Faris emphasized how excited they were to attend their first class on campus. They expressed their hope that the pandemic disappear soon, allowing them to live a full, vibrant university experience.
Birzeit University has developed a vision and concrete plans to deploy and utilize technology to allow its students to connect and engage with their professors and peers, no matter what the dynamic and uncertain future will bring.