Baqai Dental College resumes academic year with virtual classes
Karachi: With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the possibility of resuming life back to normal seems like a far-fetched dream. In the midst of this, Baqai Medical University decided to resume their academic year via virtual classes.
Speaking to Dental Tribune Pakistan, Dr Ain-ul-Haq, Head of Department, Medical Education, Baqai Medical University informed that the classes for BDS students were being continued online.
Sharing the process of shifting curriculum on the online pattern, Dr Ain told that after lockdown every domain of life was halted. As academicians, we had to find an alternative mean for the students to continue their education. “So back in March, we started working on this aspect. It took the whole two months of April and May where we planned and developed all this.”
Dr Ain informed that the main focus in designing curriculum was to formulate SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and guidelines for faculty members. The guidelines were then also formulated for the students in order to guide them about online classes.
The curriculum has been divided into two phases, knowledge component and Practical component.
“Our main focus is the knowledge component, also called lectures, which will be covered first. In the first two months, we are planning to transfer as much knowledge component as we can. This will enable students to get familiarity with the course. Along with that we have also designed 5-week module for faculty, along with Dr Ahsan and Dr Shams ud din Alam, to give training to faculty members on different aspects of online teachings, its effectiveness and different strategies tools to incorporate in online lectures.”
Dr Ain expressed that all the study guides and method are streamlined as per HEC (Higher Education Commission) guidelines and are done through proper channel.
The lectures will be given in four different sessions for four hours with small breaks in between.
“For the second phase or clinical and practical component, we are using different strategies and tools. Various videos and demonstrations will be included so that students can make maximum use of these resources,” Dr Ain told.
The process of Examination and assessments would also be taken online, for which work has been under process.
Dr Ain said that the basic target of such online classes has been to encourage student-teacher interaction. “We are planning to deliver clinical teaching via videos and by forming small groups of students where they can be guided through demonstrations and real-time interaction. University is using the Learning Management System, that enables students to interact with their teachers freely as well enhance the effectiveness of teaching. Students can use chat boxes and voice their concerns. Discussions are made compulsory after every lectures and discussion boards are formed for every class to submit their queries and highlight the issues if any.”
He told that the new online system has been never practised by teachers and students before, and technical errors were being anticipated.
“I appreciate the efforts of HEC who has helped us to make things possible. I request regulatory bodies to assist us and share their feedback to make things easier for us and students,” Dr Ain shared.