SQU launches Coursera Project
Sultan Qaboos University, represented by the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Community Services (DVC-AACS), launched Coursera Project as part of the University Administration's arduous efforts to help students acquire the skills and knowledge required to match the needs of the labour market and 21st century skills.
The inauguration took place in an induction session involving administrations of all nine colleges and the Centre for Preparatory Studies as well as the faculty members who will be complementing their courses with Coursera. The meeting began with a speech by Prof. Salim Hamoud Al-Harthy, DVC-AACS, commending the efforts of the project's team and all participants in this unique experience, and urging them to encourage students to make the most of the platform.
Dr. Sabah Ahmed Al Balushi, expert in the DVC-AACS office, and Mr. Salim Jaber Al Waili, Director of the Center for Educational Technology, gave a presentation in which they outlined the objectives of the project and the two paths provided by the agreement contract with Coursera, namely “Guided Projects” and “Professional Certificates” or “Micro-credentials”. The presenters explained the guidelines of how to select, integrate and evaluate Guided Projects. In addition, the process of adding and activating them in courses through Moodle was described. "Guided Projects" are interactive modules that enable the learner to gain work-related skills. This type of Coursera pathway provides a two-screen interface, one for viewing visual instructions from the teacher while the other allows the learner to apply what s/he sees.
The presentation also touched on Micro-credentials (professional certificates) and how they help to equip graduating students with skills required to compete in the labour market.
The DVC-AACS finally emphasized the importance of such initiatives, which promote the integration and harmony between SQU graduate output and the actual needs of the labour market.