In the backdrop of current scenario emerged due to pandemic COVID-19, HEC has instructed the universities to prepare systems to minimize the academic disruption caused due to shutdown of educational institutions in Pakistan. Shifting to online mode of instruction would be helpful as a substitute to regular classes. A sound strategic planning has been devised by Government College Women University Faisalabad to handle this challenging situation with a feasible and rational approach. This document describes the policy and procedures to ensure these objectives at Government College Women University Faisalabad. It is prepared on the guidelines provided by HEC for developing an online teaching policy by universities.
University has formally adopted a policy for the approval of online courses. SOPs for the online delivery of courses have been prepared for approval by Online Academic Council (OAC). A formal governing body, ‘Online Academic Council’ (OAC) has been established to ensure the quality of online education through prevailing situation. Constitution of OAC is as follows:
|Coordinator, Islamic and Oriental learning||Member|
|Coordinator, Art and Social Sciences||Member|
|Coordinator, Management & Administrative Sciences||Member|
|Coordinator, Science and Technology||Member|
|Director Advanced Studies||Member|
|Director Quality Enhancement Cell||Member/Secretary|
The Committee is responsible for a thorough evaluation and approval of the online delivery of online courses by taking into account all directions received from HEC and required standard parameters of Accreditation Councils. It also adjudicates any disputes and disagreements arising in relation to these courses.
After the approval of OAC, the material is referred for uploading on University LMS to benefit the students. A functional, effective and operational LMS is in place to provide information, track progress and coordinate activities of online teaching. The accounts of faculty and students are created and complete course information is available to facilitate students to cope with this new situation.
Capacity building training session is mandatory for all faculty members who have been assigned with the responsibility of taking online classes. The Head of the department ensures that faculty members have achieved desired expertise to conduct online course. Once the course is assigned to the faculty member she starts preparing and organizing the course in accordance with the requirements of the Accreditation Councils. The prepared teaching material is submitted to the Head of Department for initial evaluation. The HOD, subsequently, manages to forward it to the Departmental Moderators and Departmental Academic Review Committees to carryout thorough checking and examination. It is also ensured that the Course information regarding following points is shared with the students on University LMS.
It is pertinent to mention that more than 50% academic activity of all running Semesters (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th) was accomplished till 2nd week of March. This Spring Semester 2020 was started from January 27, 2020 and the Mid Term was scheduled to commence from March 23, 2020, according to the Academic Calendar issued by the Directorate of Advanced Studies. Consequently more than 50% of academic activities of all running Semesters were completed until March 16, 2020. Therefore, currently the Faculty members have set out to furnish online teaching material, meant for the Final Term. Lectures of each course of all running Semesters are being prepared and submitted to the Head of Department for evaluation. To track the progress of lecture preparation and submission process, an appropriate monitoring system is in place. Weekly follow-up of prepared teaching material is submitted regularly by each faculty member through filling out a Proforma shared by QEC. This Proforma is accessible to all monitoring and governing bodies to keep track of the preparation of online teaching material.
A series of Online Training sessions are conducted by IT Experts to keep the faculty members abreast with the technical skills and online mode of teaching. They are specifically trained for the preparation of Presentations on Power Point (PPT) (accompanied with the voice notes) and video lectures.
Three lectures per week are being prepared for each course. Every lecture of I: 30 hour should be divided into 30 minutes parts (e.g., lecture No 11 a, lectures No 11 b & so on) as it will be easy to upload by faculty and download by the students. It is decided that 50 % of teaching material would be uploaded by May 15, 2020 and 100% of teaching material would be uploaded by May 31, 2020.
Every lecture will be composed of a complete power point presentation accompanied by notes for each slide, reference books, relevant links on You Tube or any other related material. The faculty, after class formation will schedule at least 02 mock classes till 09-05-2020 with her students. Any technical issue in this regard should be shared and solved in collaboration with IT Services.
The teacher will also report to the HOD regarding the following issues after conduction of mock classes to determine students’ readiness;
Besides Microsoft team and Google Class Room, faculty may coordinate with students through WhatsApp group and face book account. From June 1st, 2020, online teaching to the students of all degree programs will be started. The teacher will have two interactions with students every week as per scheduled time. The time table for interaction with students would be the same as Semester time table already shared and is available at timetable.gcwuf.edu.pk. All lectures of the designated online course duly vetted by the Moderator and HOD would be uploaded on the University portal (LMS).
University Learning Management System is in place and fully activated. The Log in IDs of all faculty members and students have been created through Microsoft 365 and dispatched to the Head of Department for further transmission to faculty and students. HEC has provided support with Microsoft Team 365 enabling University to be sufficiently equipped to utilize the maximum features of this software for the conduction of online classes. Other internet resources are also utilized depending upon their convenience and availability.
IT Assistance to Faculty & Students
University has constituted an IT Support Committee to look after IT related requirements for enabling University to resume academic activities online. The Committee constitutes IT Manager, IT Experts, HoD IT Department and HoD CS Department. The Committee has adopted a line of action to enhance technical capability through valuable consultation, pragmatic discussions, purchasing the required equipment and above all activation and operation of Learning Management System (LMS) software efficiently and diligently. This committee is also responsible for maintaining the IT system and technological infrastructure of GCWUF. The committee is also assigned the duty of providing IT related assistance and support to all faculty and students in solving their connectivity and hardware requirements.
University library is equipped with the facilities of E-books and ELearning to assist faculty and students in the best possible ways during lockdown. University has a valid subscription to HEC digital Library. Efforts are made to develop online library system to ensure availability of required material for all courses.
University IT Services Department has prepared Log in IDs of all students and uploaded on University LMS. These IDs are shared with HOD on 26.04.2020 to forward to the faculty for class formation. Faculty members are responsible to collect necessary information about their students, i.e. the contact details, type of internet access and the nature of devices (desktop, laptop, smart phone) available to them at their residential places. A proper mechanism is going to be activated to address students’ complaints regarding connectivity and other problems with online education. Sound measures would be taken to assist students residing in far off areas facing connectivity challenges. Basic Computer Literacy trainings would also be arranged for the benefit of students.
Mock sessions have been conducted prior to the regular start of online classes to ensure that all students are conveniently availing the facility without any obstruction and hindrance. The online readiness of students can well be represented by the high percentage of Student Connectivity Survey Data, collected recently in compliance with the instructions of HEC. The results revealed that 97.99 % students of GCWUF participated/provided their demographic information and recorded their response against internet connectivity related queries. This high percentage of student participation in HEC Survey substantiates the fact that all of them are registered and connected with University Learning Management System for the implementation of online education.
Admission criteria for online BS degree programs would be the same as shared on University website/Prospectus for regular BS degree programs. Students would be offered admissions on the basis of the result declared by the respective Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.
In compliance with instructions /guidelines received from HEC, the Universities are in the process of devising their online Examination and Assessment procedure. As per devised final Examination mechanism and subsequent result declaration of all universities, the Admission Eligibility Criteria already implemented in regular admissions at GCWUF would be applicable on Fall Semester MA/MSc/MPhil & PhD admission, 2020.
University has developed a uniform policy for students’ evaluation of online courses. Following procedure would be adopted for conducting Mid Term and Final Term Examination of Spring Semester, 2020.
Two assignments would be assigned to each student. The evaluation/marking of these two assignments would be counted as Mid Term Exam. The examination would be an open book to determine the knowledge and skill of the student on particular subject.
For Final Term Exam, two assignments would be allocated to each student as an open book examination along with a viva voce examination.
The assignments should be smart, creative and innovative. They should involve material which demonstrates original and strenuous work on the part of student. Word limit for these assignments would be prescribed to the students by concerned faculty members. To ensure transparency and uniformity of evaluation process, the worth of the assignment to be awarded to the students would be vetted by the Moderator and HOD of respective discipline.
Along with the assignments, teachers will conduct viva voce Examination through any platform including telephone, WhatsApp call, Microsoft team or Google Class. The viva voce examination would be recorded to keep evidence and result would be compiled accordingly.
However, physical examination will be conducted if Government of Pakistan reopens Universities after July 15, 2020.
Taking an advantage of the facility being provided by Higher Education Commission regarding capacity building of faculty, GCWUF is launching a request to HEC to conduct faculty training sessions with respect to Open Book Examination and Evaluation methods.
Exam Policy regarding Similarity Index
To ensure originality and genuineness of students’ submitted assignments, the teachers would check the similarity index of the submitted task, where ever applicable, otherwise teachers’ judgement of the genuineness of student assignments would be considered final.
The (Graduating) final semester students of MS/ MPhil (where ever applicable) would complete their three chapter VIZ Introduction, Review and Materials and Methods in all respects, duly checked by the respective Supervisor till 31st May, 2020. Supervisors should strictly monitor that students should comply with the schedule. In case the COVID-19 closure is extended, the students would be assigned the task of writing Review papers. It would be mandatory for the students to write quality review papers and get them published in impact factor journals. Marking/ evaluation of these Review papers would be made as per following parameters:
Publication in journals with Impact factor 2 or higher than 2 would be awarded 100%
Publication in journals with Impact factor lesser than 2 would be awarded 90%
Publication in ICI indexed journals would earn 80%
Publication in any Journal of good standing would be awarded 70% marks
Currently, no student of PhD degree program is undergoing the final phase. All students are engaged in the writing up stage of theses. They are continuously in touch with their proposed Supervisors who are providing adequate guidance and reading material through using different connectivity forums.
Lab and Research Activities
For online courses comprising Laboratory work and practical courses, it was decided that complete information regarding practical procedure, material and methods, equipment and apparatus, equipment handling precautions, results and calculations would be provided to the students through PPTs / flow sheet diagrams supplemented with voice recordings.
Policy for Failure Students
The students having F- Grade in previous courses are allowed to enroll in the current semester as a resit. Regarding the students who wish to improve their D-Grade, it is suggested that the students of only Final Semester (8th for BS/4th for Masters) who have low CGPA are allowed to improve D-Grade so that they can get the required CGPA necessary for the award of degree. Due to COVID-19 closure, the summer semester would not be offered. Therefore, the students who want to reappear in any of the courses of 1st, 3rd, 5th or 7th semesters (for BS)/ 1st, 3rd (for Masters) would opt for these courses in Fall 2020.
Policy for Unapproachable Students
Students who could not be contacted/remained unapproachable throughout during online classes due to any reason, would be allowed to avail the opportunity of Semester freeze (Spring, 2020), on reopening of University, as per University rules.
University Complaint Portal
GCWUF has already devised a sound mechanism for receiving complaints from the student side. Presently, in pursuance of HEC directions, a separate portal is going to be created for keeping record of Students’ Complaints.
Proposed Academic Calendar for Spring -2020
|1.||Official e-mails of students to be sent to HOD||
|2.||Turnitin Facility to faculty||28.04.2020||IT services|
|3||Two Mock lectures and submission of its report to HOD||09.05.2020||Respective faculty|
|4.||Uploading of all lectures on portal||31.05.2020||Respective faculty|
|5.||Midterm equivalent to two assignment to be given to the students||
|6.||Midterm equivalent to two assignment to be submitted by the students||
|7.||Assessment completion of Mid term||31.05.2020||Respective faculty|
|8.||Final term equivalent to two assignment to be given to the students||
|9.||Final term equivalent to two assignment to be submitted by the students||
|10.||Submission of Award list by Faculty to the Controller office||21-8-2020||Respective faculty|
|11.||Result Announcement||04-09-2020||Controller of Examinations|
|13||Commencement of new Semester||14-09-2020|
Proposed Academic Calendar for Fall-2020
|1. Start of classes||14-09-2020|
|2. UG-1 Forms (COE copy)||14-10-2020|
|3. Collection of Mid Term Exams material + Date sheet||02-11-2020 to 06-11-2020|
|4. Mid Term Examinations||09-11-2020 to 16-11-2020|
|5. Student Teacher Evaluation||07-12-2020 to 11-12-2020|
|6. Collection of Final term Exams material||04-01-2021 to 08-01-2021|
|7. End of classes||08-01-2021|
|8. Final examination||11-01-2021 to 19-01-2021|
|9. Submission of award list||26-01-2021 to 29-01-2021|
|10. Result Notification||29-01-2021 to 22-02-2021|
Dr. Shahla Qasim
Director, QEC/ Member, COLEC