AIOU adopts online system to run its PhD, M.Phil programmes

ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University AIOU) has decided to gradually adopt online mode of education to run its PhD and M. Phil programmes.

Students of the higher classes will get their study material through electronic or digital devices (CDC) instead in books form.

There are about nineteen PhD programmes which might be shifted to online system by the end of this year, said Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui while giving a briefing to a delegation from United Kingdom on the University’s future development plan, said a news release issued here.

Similarly, efforts are being made shift M.Phil programmes to online system by the end of next year. In all there are thirty-two M.Phil programmes in different disciplines. “We want to enhance our share of online academic programmes taking advantage of the fast-growing technology,” he added.

The AIOU will be the first in the country to adopt the massive open online courses (MOOCs) system, which emerged as a popular mode of learning worldwide in 2012.

The objective is to facilitate thousands of students, particularly those living abroad,” he added.

While consolidating the existing teachings methods, the University is in process of adopting new educational trends. The facility to be provided through web will have virtual classroom, besides availability of online interactive study material.

Entire learners’ support system and continuous assessment will be web-based. Under the new arrangements, the students will also be able to submit their assignments online. They will have regular interactive sessions with teachers by text chatting, video conferencing and desktop and white board sharing.

Dr. Shahid Siddiqui further said initially online educational contents delivery facility was being offered to students of five academic programmes. Main focus will be on development of electronic content, which is essential for online learning,” he added.

The Vice-Chancellor said that a new overseas and e-learning website with its Urdu version was also being launched.

As an important step forward, the university has started a process of capacity-building training on e-content development and delivery to the M.Phil and PhD-level courses coordinators under the auspices of the Directorate of Overseas Educational Programmes and e-Learning (DOEP&EL).

A series of comprehensive training programmes had been chalked out for development, processing and delivery of the e-contents based on open educational resources for the university’s teachers and e-tutors.

Special funds have been allocated in the current budget for this purpose,” he added. APP