With the rapid surge in technological advancements, an equal amount of investment in technology-embedded teaching has become vital to pace up with the ongoing educational needs. Distance education has evolved from the era of postal services to the use of ICT tools in current times. With the aid of globally updated content across the board, technology usage ensures all students receive equal attention without any discrimination. Importantly, web-based teaching allows all kind of students to learn at their own pace, without the fear of being judged, including professionals who can learn remotely without disturbing their job schedules. Having web-based content allows low-cost and robust implementation of the content upgradation. An improved, yet effective, version of the education using such tools is Hybrid Learning (HL). This learning mode aims to provide luxurious reinforcement to its legitimate candidates while maintaining the quality standards of various elements. Incorporated with both traditional and distance learning methods, along with exploiting social media tools for increased comfort level and peer-to-peer collaboration, HL ultimately facilitates the end user and educational setup. The structure of such a hybrid model is realized by delivering the study material via a learning management system (LMS) designed in compliance with quality standards, which is one of the fundamental tackling techniques for controlling quality constraints. In this paper, we present the recently piloted project by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) which is driven by technology-embedded teaching model. This model is an amalgam of the traditional class room model with the aid of state-of-the-art online learning technologies. The students are enrolled as full-time students, with all the courses in traditional classroom mode, except one course offered as hybrid course. This globally adapted model helps the students to benefit from both face-to-face learning as well as gaining hands-on experience on technology-enriched education model providing flexibility of timings, learning pace, and boundaries. Our HL model is equipped with two major synchronous and asynchronous blocks. The synchronous block delivers real-time live interaction scenarios using discussion boards, thereby providing a face-to-face environment. Interactions via social network has witnessed equally surging improvement in the output performance. The asynchronous block refers to the lecture videos, slides and handouts, prepared by imminent professors, available 24/7 for students. To ensure quality output, our HL model follows the course learning outcomes (CLOs), and program learning outcomes (PLOs) as per international standards. As a proof of concept, we have deployed a mechanism at the end of each semester to verify the effectiveness of our model. This mechanism fundamentally surveys the satisfaction levels of all the students enrolled in the HL courses. With the surveys already conducted, a significant level of satisfaction has been noted. Extensive results from these surveys are presented in the paper to further validate the efficiency and robustness of our proposed HL model.
Comments: 12 Pages. Presented at International Conference on Professional Development in Higher Education: Trends and Practices, Prospects and Innovations, by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, March 2018
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