Under the patronage of HRH Princess Lolowa Al-Faisal, General Supervisor of Effat University and Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, the university organized the 11th Learning and Technology Conference on 24th of February 2014. The conference was held at Effat University campus, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under the theme “MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses.
Following the opening speech by the Provost of Effat University, Dr. Houria Oudghiri, the conference proceeded with three sessions and workshops given by international academics and pioneers in the field of learning and technology, including Dr. David, R. Wallace, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; and Dr. Nabil Sultan, the Head of Vision of Management, Business and Enterprise at University Campus Suffolk, UK.
The President of Effat University, Dr. Haifa Jamal Alail, expressed her happiness regarding the personal support given by HRH Princess Lolowa Al-Faisal for this important event. She also refered to the fact that education in Saudi Arabia is facing great challenges in terms of the increasing number of students across the Kingdom.
Dr. Haifa went on to say: “Based on the Ministry of Higher Education statistics, the number of enrolled graduate and post graduate students increased to one million one hundred thousand males and females in 1433-1434 H. Accordingly, there is an urgent demand to embrace these students’ needs by implementing the strategic requirements necessary for enhancing education and learning as well as adopting the latest tools and methods in teaching. This is especially true with the continuous prosperity of the Saudi economy and its huge capacity to absorb the costs of the increasing needs of the educational system.”
In terms of the significance of the Learning and Technology conference, Dr. Haifa commented: “In the last decade the world has witnessed huge developments in the technological advancement of education and learning. Such developments are helping to spread knowledge and education on a global scale. For example, leading universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Melbourne, Toronto, Edinburgh and MIT are sharing their academic content on the World Wide Web which is providing a valuable resource for students all around the world. In this respect, the title of the conference was chosen according to Effat University’s strong belief in the importantce of implementing the technological advancements to enhance MOOC education.”
Effat University celebrated the conference guests during a gala dinner held at Jeddah Hilton Hotel, which was attended by dignitaries, academics, students and others in the sphere of learning and technology. Dr. Malak Alnory, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Effat University, gave the welcome note speech, which was followed with a presentation by the keynote speaker, Dr. Muhammed Turki, the Chair of IEEE Western Saudi Arabia Section. The conference concluded with a speech delivered by Dr. Kathleen Guillaume, Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences College at Effat University. The gathering ended with the announcement of the best research paper presented at the conference and the honoring of the participants by the organizing committee of Effat University.
The annual Learning and Technology Conference organized by Effat University is considered to be the ideal destination for researchers and pioneers of education and decision makers to discuss recent updates in the field of teaching and learning, as well as to face current challenges and embrace the latest developments. Now in its 11th year, the conference aims to be a starting point for many cooperative activities that attract leading figures in teaching such as advanced and beginner researchers and entrepreneurs, in order to exchange knowledge, experiences and creative ideas to strengthen and enrich the expertise of the professional network.