The Electronic Maqra'ah Initiative
In view of the nature of Umm Al-Qura University and its geographic location near the holy Haram in Makkah, and to activate the leading role of the university in digital transformation and in harnessing modern technology to serve the Islamic community, the university has launched a new and outstanding activity: "Electronic Maqra'ah of Umm Al-Qura University". The objective of the activity is to improve the user's experience by providing a model in the religious educational services for the native and non-native speakers of the Arabic language in the Islamic community, at the local and international levels, by offering reliable and official Islamic references. The Maqra'ah aims to master the reading and memorization of the Holy Qur'an using the latest technologies, including cloud computing and distance learning technologies. This is to accommodate the huge number of the beneficiaries, expected to amount to more than 100 thousand sessions annually from all over the world, through the platform and mobile applications, due to the uniqueness of Umm Al-Qura University in providing services relying on Qur'an reciters who are specialized in the recognized modes of Qira'at (recitations) with a continuous chain of transmission to the Prophet (peace be upon him). The activity will be carried out by harnessing modern technologies, taking into account the strong global move towards digital transformation and the importance of adopting such technologies, on one side, and the UQU strategic objective, on the other side, which is based on serving the noble Qur'an and the Muslims, given the strategic location of Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah Al-Mukarramah,
The Online Summer Training Course for Arabic Language Instructors from Indonesia and Senegal
Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the Institute of Arabic Language for Non-Native Speakers at Umm Al-Qura University, in collaboration with the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education, held the Online Summer Training Course for Arabic Language Instructors from Indonesia and Senegal this year. The course was launched on Sunday, 19 Dhul-Hijjah, 1441 A.H., remotely, due to the exceptional circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic. The training course aimed to harness the academic potential of the college to promote the sciences of the Arabic language and to continue to offer these useful courses, which have been approved by His Majesty the Saudi King since 1428 A.H. The course teaches 20 Arabic language instructors from Indonesia and Senegal, representing different regions and educational bodies. A group of specialized professors at the Institute of Arabic Language for Non-Native Speakers participated in offering this course, which included a number of quality training portfolios covering Arabic language specialties and skills. This is considered an investment and utilization of the e-learning technologies in learning and teaching the Arabic language as a second language.
It is to be mentioned here that the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education has devoted its resources to facilitate the access to knowledge for the seekers of knowledge in various countries of the world, using its virtual classrooms to serve the students with the help of the latest digital means of distance education. The deanship provided training for the trainers and trainees on how to use the WebEx system, and offered a technical support team during the sessions until the successful completion of the courses.
Ministry of Education Ramadan Competition for Memorizing and Reciting the Holy Qur'an: Read and Rise
The "Read and Rise" competition was launched by the Ministry of Education in Ramadan 1441 A.H., in collaboration with Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education and the Recitations Department. The competition targets male and female students in public education, encouraging them to memorize and recite the Holy Qur'an through the e-competition and via the WebEx educational platform provided by UQU Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education. The competition consists of two categories:
The competition was judged by 63 Academic Staff members from the Department of Recitation in UQU College of Da`wah and Fundamentals of Religion
The Virtual Summer Training
The Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education is keen to contribute to the continuation of the educational process during the summer semester by allowing the students who have a training prerequisite in their study plan before graduation to implement their summer training in the deanship. This is with the aim of preparing and qualifying them to meet the requirements of the labor market, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.
The Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education at Umm Al-Qura University, with its experienced and specialized cadres and academic expertise that qualify it to supervise the student projects, helping the students to implement them professionally and in a high quality manner, has developed many professional projects to be carried out under its supervision. The deanship wishes to engage its students in these projects as part of their summer training, for the students to gain experience and skills at the practical level.
The training program includes four streams, as follows: static and motion design stream, electronic course design stream, audio recording and video shooting stream, ِand internet applications development stream.
The Virtual Summer Camp
Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education, in cooperation with the Institute of Consulting Research and Studies, launched the summer training camp. The camp aimed to contribute to maintaining the educational and administrative development process of the academic staff members and provide them with skills needed for the future, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, during the summer semester of the academic year 1441 A.H. In this regard, the deanship provided three camps, as follows: "Generation Maker Camp" for the instructors and academic staff members, "Administrative Skills Camp" for the administrators and departments leaders, and "The Vision Generation Camp" for the male and female graduates from high schools and universities, as well as the University Role Models.
The Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education at Umm Al-Qura University, with its qualified and specialized cadres, was very keen to provide specialized courses in e-learning, management and future skills. It attached significant attention to the quality of the training content and its relevance to the training mission. That is to be added to providing practical training for the trainees in the different streams of the summer virtual camp and assisting them to apply it in professional and high quality manners, to help them gain experience and skills at the practical level.
The virtual summer camp included three streams, as follows: A Teacher Is the Maker of Generations, Administrative Skills, Vision Generation.
The Virtual Summer Center
The Deanship of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education, launched a virtual summer center for the UQU male and female students. The center includes various training programs and qualification workshops, in addition to distinguished webinars that support the students' basic skills in various fields which are essential for character formation. It aims to unlock the students' talents in an attractive and modern way, in line with the students' aspirations and desires, while meeting the students' needs of extracurricular skills that enhance and support the educational process.
Electronic Psychological Counseling Initiative
The Electronic Psychological Counseling Initiative involves opening an electronic channel for students and affiliates to receive psychological consultation remotely with the participation of academics specialized in psychological consultation. This will take place via an electronic system which is followed by academic cadres specialized in providing psychological consultation, with the needed privacy, and overseen by specialists from the Deanship of Information Technology. The initiative provides information and tips for the beneficiaries as well as e-sessions between the consultants and the beneficiaries, while following up the case electronically in a proper way, in line with current crisis of COVID-19.
Sponsorship of the First Virtual Consulting Forum on Crisis Management
The initiative is concerned with disseminating the culture of dealing with crises, pre-planning for such emergencies, maintaining business continuity, and also educating citizens on the scientific foundations adopted by the Saudi Kingdom in dealing with Coronavirus crisis and how the kingdom has achieved excellence in providing proper services towards the health and well-being of the citizen. This was achieved through a forum consisting of three dialogue sessions, over a period of three days, with the participation of selected academic members from Umm Al-Qura University.
The forum covered important themes related to crises management, including: health, engineering, technology, law, psychology, and crowd management, presented by 14 specialized academics from the different UQU entities. This is in addition to the participation of the relevant parties in discussing 12 scientific topics related to the art of handling crises.
With the emergence of the coronavirus, the need for distance education increased. A crucial challenge faced UQU students in Makkah and its branches in the provinces of Al-Qunfudhah, Al-Leith, Adham, and Jamoum, represented in the lack of computer devices which enable students to continue their academic achievements online. Because of this situation, a unique initiative was quickly launched to serve the sons of our region and support university students who do not have tablet computers to help them to continue their education remotely. Hundreds of devices were distributed to enable our students to continue their educational process easily and conveniently during the crisis.
Distance Volunteering Initiative
The Distance Volunteering Initiative aims at disseminating and adopting the culture of volunteer work among the members of Makkah society, giving them the opportunity to serve their dear homeland besides providing quality services, for example, services for students with special needs and sign language services. The goal of the initiative is to achieve one thousand volunteering projects during the coming year, and provide the youth with tools which help them contribute to enriching and supporting development and educational processes, in line with the Saudi Vision to achieve a quality life.
MyDispense: Online Pharmacy Simulation Tool
In partnership between Monash University in Australia and Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education and the College of Pharmacy, a new electronic system that simulate medication dispensing in the pharmacies has been launched. This system contributes to reducing errors that may happen before or during the stage of practical application and training, which provides a secure and alternative system simulating practical application. It also enables the course lecturer to directly supervise the virtual medication dispensing operations.