Abu Dhabi University (ADU) has been recognised for its excellence in online learning, earning the highest rating of 5 stars by the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds - QS Stars Rating for 2021.
The ADU has achieved an outstanding overall score of 95 percent in the Online Learning category. It earned a full score in student-faculty engagement, student interaction, student services and technology, online outsourcing and commitment to online learning.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ADU has rolled out several initiatives to enhance online learning and elevate the student experience under new circumstances.
The university integrated modern technologies into its curricula, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 3D technology to allow engineering students to continue their practical work remotely. Additionally, it launched 360-degree imaging videos sent to students ahead of classes to provide them with a visual representation of the laboratories, supporting them during virtual sessions and ensuring they receive a holistic educational journey. Through its use of innovative tools, the university witnessed high engagement with more than 7,000 users and recorded over 50,000 lectures by deploying online learning for its faculty and student body.
In a bid to keep students engaged while learning remotely, the Employability and Alumni Relations Office (EARO) launched a series of initiatives, including virtual career development workshops and events for students and graduates. In addition, the EARO continues to collaborate with potential employers in the nation to present virtual career information sessions and create opportunities for students to network with future employers.
The university has reaped the fruits of its efforts through the outstanding performance of students. Most recently, Ahmed Al Hammadi, a student in the Master of Science in Information Technology programme at the ADU’s College of Engineering (CoE), designed the first mobile application of its kind known as the "virtual museum" which showcases museums and their exhibitions digitally.
Professor Waqar Ahmad, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University, said, "The wise leadership of the UAE has always focused on opening the doors for our youth and providing them with opportunities to grow, innovate and excel, and we continue to follow this school of thought. We are proud to receive yet another accolade which highlights our institution’s efforts in delivering an outstanding online learning experience and a 360 educational journey."
The technology that encompasses the ADU online lecture delivery includes Microsoft Teams and Workspace, Learning Management System (LMS), Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI), Blackboard Learn Cloud, Single Sign On (SSO) and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
The ADU faculty and student body are regularly surveyed to provide feedback on tools, curricula and the overall educational journey on and off campus to deliver a well-rounded online learning experience.
QS Stars is a rating system that provides a detailed look at an institution, enabling prospective students to identify which universities are the best in specific fields such as programme strength, facilities, graduate employability, social responsibility and inclusiveness, among others. In the methodology used for QS Stars, universities are evaluated in dozens of indicators across at least eight dimensions. After the assessment, universities receive an overall Star result ranging from 0 to 5+ Stars, depending on the points scored during evaluation.
Source: WAM - Emirates News Agency