The Blackboard International Company awarded Umm Al-Qura University the Blackboard Catalyst Award 2021 for Training and Professional Development at the global level. This was for its successes in education, e-training, and digital transformation. The company announced that the university won the award during the Bbworld 2021 Conference held over the two weeks of 13–15 and 20–22 July.
The UQU Vice President, Prof. Moaddi bin Muhammad Aal Madh-hab, stated that the award testifies to the efforts exerted by the various bodies of the university to make distance education a success. He noted that the university would keep developing the online educational system, stressing that it has a digital infrastructure that has contributed to the success of the online transformation process since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The Dean of the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education, Dr. Khalid Al-Mutairi, stated that Umm Al-Qura University receiving the award testifies to the success of the distance education system at the university, which has managed to accommodate all students and affiliates online for a year and a half since the outbreak of the pandemic. He emphasized the readiness and ability of the technical infrastructure in the deanship for complete digital transformation.
On her part, the Vice Dean of E-Learning and Distance Education for Development and Quality, Dr. Hanaa Yamani, stated that the deanship won the award for its excellence in providing a variety of specialized training programs, including the digital education programs for the academic year 1442 A.H., the "Basics of Digital Education" program, and the "Excellence and Innovation in Digital Education" program.
Moreover, Dr. Yamani mentioned that the deanship has provided extensive training courses and helpful guides on the use of educational systems. This is in addition to providing microlearning videos and the training digital library, as well as allocating training manuals for people with audio-visual disabilities. More than 85,000 male and female students and more than 4,000 faculty members benefited from the deanship's outputs. Moreover, the deanship's trainers obtained the Blackboard Expert License from the International Blackboard Academy.
The Blackboard Catalyst award was established in 2005. It is an extension of the Innovation and Excellence Awards in the global community of Blackboard users. The aim of the award is to provide the opportunity for teachers and students to develop educational services using technology and to innovate modern educational methods which are in line with the advancements of the time.
**To learn about the plans of the Deanship in preparing the digital environment for distance education, click here.