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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to compare three giant video conferencing platforms, i.e., Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, as alternative teaching and learning tools during COVID-19. Analyses were made for three main issues: systems requirements, teaching and learning features, and security features. Firstly, Zoom has relatively low hardware requirements for video conferencing. Secondly, five teaching and learning features make Zoom the preferred choice for educators. These five features include LMS integration with Zoom, breakout rooms in Zoom meetings, polling, recordings, and in-conference chat. Finally, Zoom users are more vulnerable to security issues as compared to other video conferencing participants. Based on overall assessment, Zoom has been considered a better choice for educational purposes.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia
Author: Reima Al-Jarf

Abstract

This chapter aimed to find out whether instructors, departments and/or colleges of education, computer science, language, linguistics, and translation at Saudi universities have adjusted, or reconstructed their curricula in the distance learning (DL) environment during the first 3 semesters of the COVID-19 pandemic and how those departments are carrying out the teaching practicum and graduation projects in DL. No changes have been made in curricula in DL during the pandemic have been reported because the program courses and course descriptions cannot be easily modified or changed as these are usually approved by the departments, colleges and academic councils, not individual instructors. Numerous options for completing the teaching practicum and graduation projects in translation and computer during the pandemic are reported.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia

Abstract

The main purpose of this chapter is to explore the role of the Ministry of Education to ensure equity and inclusion in education, and how that role developed during COVID-19. Equity in education is the backbone for providing high-quality education for all students. For the purpose of this chapter, I used multiple strategies for data collection. As an educator who works at the Ministry of Education, I conducted an observation strategy to understand the aim of the process of school reopening during the years of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also reviewed official documents issued by the Ministry of Education and interviewed school principals and teachers from different schools in Makkah. The study found that centralization in decision-making was one of the key elements of a successful educational experience during the pandemic. The Ministry of Education was the only source for making the decision that helped to resume education and to initiate platforms for students to access high-quality education. The study also found that ensuring equity in distance education is very challenging. Although the Ministry of Education uses multiple education resources to ensure that all students have access to free learning materials, it requires collaboration with other aspects of society such as parents, community institutions, and public and private sectors.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia
Author: Reima Al-Jarf

Abstract

This study reports 15 types of activities that EFL, linguistics and translation instructors at a sample of Saudi universities used in distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include (1) searching for linguistic and translation key terms and concepts, (2) problem-solving questions, (3) online debates, (4) summarizing a research paper, (5) attending a thesis defense, (6) inviting guest speakers, (7) project-based assignments, (8) connecting writing and speaking topics with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, (9) collecting and analyzing translation errors, (10) translating Wikipedia articles, (11) interpreting contests, (12) linguistic analyses of family speech and videos, (13) student-created podcasts and digital stories, (14) dynamic online speaking activities, and (15) integrating technology such as Slido and Padlet. The participating students found those activities beneficial, enjoyable, and helpful. Their skills improved as a result of reading, preparing and synthesizing information and the feedback received.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic emerged with an unparalleled emergency in every walk of life. In the area of education, this emergency has led to the massive termination of face-to-face activities. This affected schools and universities in more than 190 countries globally in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia issued a directive to stop holding face-to-face classes to mitigate the widespread of the novel coronavirus. This directive led to three main areas of action: (1) placement of distance learning modes via a variety of methods and technological platforms, (2) support and deployment of educational workers and communities, and (3) a great concern for the well-being and general health of students. The aim of this chapter is to highlight impacts that these actions had on educational communities. Key recommendations are offered based on student’s feedback and training sessions. Students from 14 different universities were sampled including the host university, i.e., Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, to see pre-training and post-training responses with respect to their experiences and community engagement while learning via online resources. Over 400 responses were received and analyzed to gain the understanding of the current state of how Saudi universities tackled the impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The training-based research was conducted to measure the actual level of teaching strategies used at Saudi Arabian universities.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia
In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia
Author: Randa Hariri

Abstract

This chapter discusses the status of teaching and learning during COVID-19 with a focus on the challenge courageously accepted by the education sector to not interrupt the learning-teaching process, based on the great technological support provided to primary, secondary, and tertiary education. Significantly, this chapter calls for a new era of post-COVID-19 education! It focuses on inviting educators and education institutions’ leaders to “Rethink Education” and adopt Blended Learning-Teaching Approach. This approach integrates the learning and teaching technologies into the physical classroom settings while incorporating improvements based on education stakeholders’ perspectives about their children’s learning. More importantly, this chapter makes a revisit to the “Pyramid” of Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking Skills and suggest changing it to a “Ladder” that comprises learners’ engagement in a “Learning Challenge” in every step of this “Ladder.” It also suggests changing the “Remembering” and “Understanding” levels into “Find” and “Explain” stages respectively.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia

Abstract

This chapter reports on a research study that investigated the question, “How has progress toward sustainable development in the Kingdom of Bahrain been impacted by the COVID-19 transition to e-learning?” The study was qualitative in nature in the form of a small-scale inquiry of a specific case, where aspects of e-learning in higher education institutions in the post-COVID Bahrain were analyzed. An Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) model was used to frame the analysis. The results of the study indicated that progress toward the achievement of the sustainable development objective in Bahrain has been slightly expedited by the transition to e-learning. There were several persistent barriers, which were in need of addressing. Such examples include the absence of an overarching e-learning strategy aligned with the requirements for achieving sustainable development, and the lack of capacity-building opportunities targeting e-course instructional design that incorporates ESD components. Such instructional design includes higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) integration, interdisciplinary critical reflections, and knowledge transfer.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia

Abstract

This chapter is an auto-ethnographic narrative provides an insight into my experience as a mother, instructor, researcher, and instructional technology specialist regarding distance education during the COVID-19 pandemic. I aim to shed light on my experience of performing those roles during the period of school suspension due to the pandemic. Reflecting on my experience in the first person and quoting several reflections and comments from others in the same field will describe the experiences of various people in the context being studied. These reflections and comments revealed different perspectives on distance education, including the positives and negatives, advantages and disadvantages, facilities, and difficulties. According to these results, I developed several implications for practice.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia

Abstract

This chapter is chiefly concerned with presenting an integrated worldview of teaching to deliver positive and effective teaching solutions during times of crisis. In particular, the chapter emphasizes the role of educational leadership and management and stresses the value of performance management, performance appraisal, emotional intelligence, and continuous education during the concurrent COVID-19 pandemic. Toward this end, the chapter addresses issues pertaining to anxiety management and cultivating task-oriented learning communities that are modern, inclusive, and reinvigorating. The objective is to produce a pedagogically useful document when reorienting contemporary teaching practice and teaching staff in Saudi Arabia.

In: Teaching in the Pandemic Era in Saudi Arabia