Under the patronage of Prof. Mohammad bin Ibrahim Al-Zakri, President of the Arab Open University (AOU), an AOU and Open University-UK partnership conference entitled Enhancing Students’ Experience in Flexible Learning was held at the campus of the AOU Kuwait-Branch where was manifest of the presence of specialists and experts from AOU and OU.
The conference was kicked off with a presentation on “An Update on AOU Programmes, Branches and Strategy” delivered by Prof. Naif Al-Mutairi, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research. His paper gave a clear insight on AOU’s existing programmes, branches, and its strategy with a view to its expansion plans.
Presenting and evaluating the partnership perspective, Prof. Devendra Kodwani, Executive Dean, Faculty of Business & Law, from the OU, delivered a presentation on “Arab Open University and Higher Education in the AOU Regions: Meeting future needs of higher education in changing societies”. His paper reiterated and re-instilled a sense of confidence in the collaborative partnership efforts in realizing the vision and mission of the AOU.
Various presentations were delivered by speakers from the AOU, such as “AOU Data Management and Analytics” by Dr. Hamayoun Khan, “FLS’s role in Enhancing the Teaching-Learning Process and in Equipping Students with Key Professional Skills” by Prof. Aziz Thabit, Dean of Faculty of Language Studies, “ The Role of FBS Deanship to support students and educational practice in blended learning” by Prof. Said Alhallaq, Dean of Faculty of Business Studies, “ Enhancing Student Support at AOU” by Dr. Mohamed Sayed, Assistance Director for Academic Affairs, AOU-Kuwait, “Quality Enhancement at AOU” by Dr. Omyma Karrar, Director of QAAD, AOU, and “Blended Learning at AOU-Lebanon, Supporting Students Through the Full Cycle” by Dr. Yara Abdulla, Assistant of Academic Affairs – AOU Lebanon.
On its part, OU speakers delivered various presentations on “Learning Design for the future: how OU modules are developed to maximize student engagement” by Mrs. Rebecca Galley, “Student Retention Strategies – how the OU is developing intervention and support strategies” by Dr, Joan Simons, and “Online learning and delivery – developments of OU’s VLE technology” by Dr. Steve Rycroft.
The conference was concluded with the hope of setting up effective mitigating programmes and designing innovative ways of enhancing the student experience.