Various features of MS Teams which help facilitate online classes more interactive and engaging were explored through a virtual workshop conducted by the ELC E-Learning Coordinator on May 19, 2021.
Mr. Antony Jawahar provided hands-on training on different features of MS Teams such as Announcements, Polls, Insights, Integrating Moodle, Class Materials, and Class Notebook. More than 70 participants from the ELC and other departments of UTAS-Salalah attended the virtual workshop, and all their queries were addressed.
Before the workshop started, Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, HoC-ELC, appreciated the staff for their efforts and encouraged them to effectively use the said online platform. Ms. Aminah Sutphen, Level 3 Coordinator and member of E-Learning Committee, moderated the workshop.
Around 45 ELC staff participated a webinar on “Ideas for Teaching Academic Reading Skills” last Tuesday, May 11, 2021, which was organized by the Staff Professional Development (SPD) committee.
The webinar was presented by Ms. Gabriella Lawson, a teacher, presenter and teacher developer at Monash College, Melbourne, Australia. She shed light on teaching various reading strategies and skills. She also shared useful websites, materials, and ideas on how to help students learn vocabulary and summary skills.
At the end of the webinar, the SPD committee chair Ms. Muna Kashoob thanked the speaker, the HoC-ELC, and the participants for making the webinar possible and successful.
Around 40 ELC staff joined a webinar on “Best Online Teaching Practices and Useful Applications” last Sunday, May 2, 2021, which was organized by the Staff Professional Development (SPD) committee.
The webinar was presented by Dr. Lorna Beduya, a former English Language Lecturer at UTAS-Salalah and now working at Hiroshima Bunkyo University, Japan. She gave a brief introduction about her teaching experiences in her current workplace. Then, she recommended useful applications and platforms which facilitate online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. She likewise shared some tips on how to use technology in online teaching.
At the end of the webinar, Ms. Muna Kashoob, SPD committee chair, stated that actively pursuing professional development among the ELC staff helps ensure that their knowledge and skills stay relevant and up-to-date. She thanked the administration of Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki for the support extended to the committee. She also disclosed that her team is planning to conduct another webinar on May 11, 2021.
A webinar on “Research from the Online Classroom and its Different Aspects” was conducted for the ELC staff on the 29th of April, 2021 by Mr. Edward Stallard, ELC Lecturer.
He explained the different ways to get the most out of Microsoft Teams and he also introduced certain applications that may make online class much interactive. Around 45 attendees contributed their ideas in making online teaching a fruitful task during the interactive session. All the queries related to the topic were addressed by the speaker.
Meanwhile, Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki, HoC-ELC, encouraged the staff to engage in research by focusing on the different aspects of online teaching. He thanked Dr. Aju Thomas and other members of Research and Consultancy Committee for organizing the said webinar.
The Research and Consultancy (R&C) committee of the English Language Center (ELC) spearheaded an informative webinar on Research Writing Proposals and The Research Council (TRC) Grant Schemes and Funding Criteria.
Dr. Aju Thomas, the R&C committee chairperson, organized and delivered a webinar, explaining in detail how to write research proposals and how to submit such proposals for TRC funding to around 40 participants last February 23, 2021.
The TRC under the umbrella of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, envisions Oman to become a regional hub for innovation, and a leader in producing new ideas, products and services. The new administration of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS)–Salalah is raising the threshold and encourages staff in all departments to take these opportunities in research writing.
“We need to focus more on the research prospects in English Language Teaching (ELT),” Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, the Head of ELC, emphasized when he addressed the participants. He also urged them to work on different research areas related to ELT and motivated them to apply for TRC grants.
Dr. Mohammed Rashid Al Mamari, the new Dean of UTAS-Salalah joined the said webinar.
The English Language Center (ELC) honoured six lecturers and eight security guards in recognition of their valuable contributions to the Center in particular and to the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS) - Salalah in general.
Held on February 23, 2021 in the Self-Access Center, the awards ceremony aimed at boosting higher staff morale apart from work productivity and efficiency. Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, the Head of ELC, believed that it is vital to make the staff valued in the organization and offer them a sense of growth.
The first set of awardees were staff who served in the ELC Council as Head of the Section, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Level Coordinators, Afternoon Shift In-Charge, and Assistant Registrar:
V. Murali Krsihna
Another batch of awardees were UTAS-Salalah security guards who helped in the smooth and safe conduct of the General Foundation Program in-person final exams during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Amal Al Huli
Naseem Al Noode
Meanwhile, the event was graced by the Dean - Dr. Mohammed Al Mamari, the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs – Dr. Nasser Al Kolbani, and the Assistant Dean for Administrative and Financial Affairs – Mr. Ammar Al Shanfari.
Safety precautionary measures were strictly observed during the awards ceremony.
The Research & Consultancy Committee of the English Language Center organized a webinar on Research Skills Enhancement and its different aspects on the 26th of January, 2021.
Step-by-step procedures on how to write an academic paper were explained in detail by Dr. Manizheh Alami, ELC Lecturer. She also presented the relevance of classroom action research in the webinar. Around 40 participants attended the webinar, and all the queries related to the topic were addressed.
Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki, HOC, ELC stressed in his introductory remarks the need to focus more on the different research aspects related to English Language Teaching. He also encouraged all the participants to engage in research which may strengthen the research-teaching nexus.
Dr. Aju Thomas, R & C Committee Chairperson, thanked all the staff who participated actively in the webinar.
To keep teachers abreast with the changing trends and directions in the teaching and learning processes, the Staff Professional Development (SPD) committee of the English Language Center has organized a webinar series.
Ms. Muna Kashoob, Chair of the SPD committee, believes that actively pursuing professional development helps ensure that teachers’ knowledge and skills stay relevant and up-to-date. She is thankful to the administration of Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki for the support extended to the said committee.
The first webinar was presented by Dr. Muna Muqaibal on Tuesday, 19th January 2021. The webinar focused on how to use the Quizlet application in teaching vocabulary. After giving a brief introduction about the application, Dr. Muqaibal explained in detail all the steps necessary to use and create lessons via Quizlet.
On Wednesday, 20th January 2021, another webinar was conducted with Mr. Antony Jawahar as speaker. The ELC E-Learning Coordinator refreshed the participants E-Learning know-how, including how to use the MS Teams platform to conduct quizzes and to teach effectively amid the current worldwide pandemic
The next series of SPD webinars will be conducted in the first week of February 2021.
The ELC Health and Safety (H&S) and Risk Management (RM) Committees once again rose up to the challenge in helping prepare for the in-person GFP Final Exams for semester 1 conducted from December 20, 2020 to January 6, 2021.
The following steps were taken, adhering to the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health and the Supreme Committee, in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:
The security near the entrance of the college, at the ELC building, and the outsourced labs was augmented.
Additional custodians were brought in to sanitize the exam halls between each exam session.
Staff from the Student Affairs controlled the flow of students from the student parking lot to the exam locations.
A temperature scanner was installed at the entrance of the ELC building.
Auto dispensing sanitizing machines were mounted at the entrance of the ELC building.
Spray hand sanitizers were provided in all the classrooms and labs.
Masks, gloves, and paper tissue boxes for staff and students were provided in all the classrooms and labs.
The chairs in the classrooms were arranged so as to maintain social distancing.
Each floor had an in-charge staff member to regulate the flow of students and to ensure that students did not congregate in the corridors.
Students who had any symptoms of cold, cough, shortness of breath were not allowed to take the exam.
Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, Head of the ELC, commended the said committees, the SCT Administration, the ELC Afternoon Shift In-Charge, the ELC staff, and the ELC custodial workers for their help during this period.
The English Language Center (ELC) has geared up for the safe and smooth administration of the General Foundation Program (GFP) in-person final examinations, which commenced on December 20, 2020.
The ELC Management through the leadership of Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki conducted a series of meetings to address the safety and exam procedures for administering the GFP exams in English, Math, and IT during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temperature scanners with stands, sanitizers with sensors and sprays, masks, gloves, and tissue papers were requested to be used during the exam period. Additional security guards and technicians were asked, as well, to help facilitate the exams.
Classrooms and other resources were sanitized before and after conducting each exam as a precautionary measure against the Coronavirus. The ELC Management was commended by the staff and students for its great efforts to safeguard their well-being.
According to the Head of ELC, the successful conduct of the face-to-face exams was attributed to the collaborative efforts of the University and ELC Administration, the Educational Technology Center, ELC staff, and workers.
The E-Learning Committee of the English Language Centre conducted a webinar on October 20, 2020, to explore the various assessment tools of the E-Learning portal that can be leveraged to assess the performance of the students.
Mr. Antony Jawahar, ELC E-Learning Coordinator and webinar presenter, reiterated that assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning experience. He gave a live demo on how to use the assessment tools, such as Turnitin, assignment, and quiz. More than 60 participants attended the webinar, and all their queries were addressed.
Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, HoC, in his introductory remarks appreciated the staff for their efforts and encouraged them to effectively use the online platform. Meanwhile, Mr. Murali Krishna, HoS-Curriculum, stressed the importance of online assessments in the current scenario.
The webinar was moderated by Ms. Helen Jemima, Level 2 Coordinator and member of the E-Learning Committee. She thanked all the staff for actively participating in the session.
The ELC Health and Safety (H&S) and Risk Management (RM) Committees joined forces to mitigate the exposure of ELC stakeholders to COVID-19 by sanitizing the entire building and its facilities on the 12 th and 17 th of October, 2020.
Mr. Anurag Rajeev Thota, chairperson of H&S committee, Dr. Nagamurali Eragamreddy, chairperson of RM committee, along with Mr. Kamal Moaaz, Afternoon Shift In-Charge, supervised the sanitization of staff offices, classrooms, computer labs, Self-Access Center, toilets, staircase railings, and other surfaces of the 3-storey building.
Physical distancing stickers provided by the Human Resource Department were also strategically put on the floors around the ELC as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, Head of the ELC, commended the said committees, the SCT Administration, and the ELC utility workers for their help during the sanitization period.
The Research & Consultancy Committee of the English Language Center organized a webinar series on the new E-learning platform and its different aspects on the 21 st and 23 rd of September, 2020.
Step-by-step procedures on how to use the new E-Learning platform and Microsoft Teams were explained in detail by Mr. Antony Jawahar, ELC E- Learning Coordinator. More than 90 participants attended the webinar, and all the queries related to the new system were addressed.
Mr. Murali Krishna, HOS Curriculum, stressed in his introductory remarks the need to focus more on the technological aspects of the new system to ease the teaching in the online classrooms.
Dr. Aju Thomas, R & C Committee Chairperson, thanked all the staff who participated actively in the sessions and Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, HoC, who always supports the said committee in all its activities.