Under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Prof. Labib Al Khadra, the German Jordanian University signed an MoU with Queen Rania Foundation (QRF) for Education and Development to cooperate on developing online courses to be offered for students of the university through Edraak, which is one of the Foundation’s initiatives for a massive open online course (MOOCs) platform.
The collaboration is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It works according to the directions of Council of Higher Education, which agreed that Jordanian universities should start offering a number of their courses online within specific conditions and mechanisms. GJU worked with Edraak on developing an online course covering the curriculum of National Education, in accordance with the educational outputs and subjects set by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and supervised by professors and experts on National Education.
H.E. Prof. Al Khadra commended both parties on this very innovative project which will be implemented between GJU and Edraak, and will provide a quick-win due to the university’s need to use technology in education, especially in the national education course.
His Excellency further expressed his hope that other Jordanian universities would further contribute to the program in the future by adding their expertise and efforts.
Prof. Natheer Abu Obeid, President of GJU, said "the national education curriculum that was developed by the University professors will be offered in the second semester 2015/2016 in a blended way of learning: combining both online and traditional education.
The online curriculum aims to teach online classes to a large number of students where they watch “short video lectures” online and complete assignments that are graded either automatically or by other students. This format is designed to allow a single professor to teach a class of several thousand students in a personalized fashion.
Students taking the course could follow-up with the curriculum online through the Edraak platform and attend fewer in-person lectures to discuss the content and ideas that have been covered in the online course. This flipped classroom format will allow learners to interact more heavily with the professors, ask questions about the material and to acquire very important skills such around dialogue, debate, and critical thinking.
Ms. Haifa Dia Al-Attia, CEO of Queen Rania Foundation (QRF), emphasized that this cooperation was a strategic step that would provide a practical model of partnership between Edraak and other higher education institutions across Jordan and the Arab world. Ms. Al-Attia emphasized that e-learning would ease the burden on the universities due to the increasing demand for higher education and supply universities with innovative and sustainable solutions that support their mission in providing high quality education. The adoption of such technologies would allow them to keep pace with the developments that take place in the education field globally and build the capacity of Jordanian youth.
Ms. Al-Attia added: "We are very proud that a Jordanian University is at the forefront to adopt the vision of Edraak in using the technology in education. This will bring about a radical change in Arabic education and enable society to reach its potential.
Edraak was launched in 2014 by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah as the first Arab nonprofit platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs), and uses the open-source technology of edX that was developed by edX, a university consortium led by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The number of students at Edraak has reached more than 400 thousand learners from across the Arab world, registered in more than 27 different courses.