Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates—21 March 2020: Following the UAE Ministry of Education's recent announcement on the closure of all educational facilities for four weeks, Abu Dhabi University (ADU) has focused its efforts to convert our programs for distance learning delivery using the range of educational technologies available to the university.
The tools and resources in place include Blackboard, a learning management system that serves as a virtual hub for students which provides access to online course materials and collects students' tests and assignments. It is complemented by Microsoft Teams, a unified communication and collaboration platform, that enables live interaction between students and faculty and allows students to work collaboratively in groups online. This provides a convenient platform to enable learning and maintain overall academic excellence. Abu Dhabi University has also transferred its range of academic supports online including its academic success centre and studies advisors ready to provide continuous support to our students.
Commenting on the announcement, Professor Philip Hamill Associate Provost for Student Success, said, “Many academic institutions institutions across the globe have shut, or switched to distance learning to curb the spread of COVID-19. Abu Dhabi University has used its distance learning expertise to make the transition from classroom delivery programs to distance learning. Faculty and staff have worked hard over the past two weeks to ensure our students are able to continue their studies. All our staff and faculty are committed to fully supporting our students during this period.”
He added, “The health and welfare of our students, faculty and staff is our priority. We are consicious of the need to take any measures necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. Abu Dhabi University will continue to be guided by the advice of relevant authorities, and is currently monitoring the situation closely and examining additional options should an extension of distance learning be deemed necessary by the authorities.”
Professor Hamill continued: ‘A key reason for our readiness to deliver our programs online is our investment in technology and infrastructure for online delivery. For example, we have a state of the art television studio and a dedicated studio for recording online content, our library provides access to an extensive database of resources digitally, and our classrooms are equipped for at distance teaching.'
The University has adopted stringent and pro-active precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of its students, faculty members and staff, and will continue working with the concerned health and education authorities to monitor the situation and ensure that any risks are carefully managed, while also following the recommendations and protocols related to risk reduction.