In the spring of 2020, colleges and universities around the globe experienced sudden disruption from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. What followed could be considered the first global crisis in higher education, with over 200 million enrolled students experiencing unplanned shifts to remote learning, while instructors, administrators, and officials were forced to execute quickly conceived adjustments to the new abnormal.
South Asia has been one of the world’s most severely affected regions by the pandemic. At the same time, with over 25% of the world’s population and national median ages below 25, the need for continued higher education investment in the region is critical. Countries in the region, and more importantly the students, can ill afford the learning gaps caused by shutdowns and delays. Devising new methodologies utilizing the virtual medium will be key to bridging the gap.
The Hollings Center for International Dialogue recently co-sponsored an initiative with the Inter University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences (Pakistan), the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (Pakistan), and Global Academic Leaders Academy to conduct a series of workshops designed to create a pool of master trainers in online teaching, assessment, and content development. The workshops featured presentations and best practice sharing by international experts in the field. Workshop sessions were held over five weeks from July 24 – August 28, 2020.
The series of workshops covered five topics:
- Effective Online Teaching Skills
- How to Develop Content/Curriculum for Online Learning
- Effective Online Assessment Skills
- Best International Practices on Online Teaching
- How to Solve Students’ Problems in Online Learning
The five topics were covered by nine resource professionals and participants came from eight different countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Turkey). The organizers received positive feedback from participants regarding the effectiveness of the workshop.
Many of the workshop’s presentations have been posted by the organizers online (unedited).