Including the participants and their experience during the crisis.

Due to the current situation which obliged the whole world to the concept of “staying home” in regard to COVID-19, the DAAD Regional Office Cairo decided to continue its services to Egyptian research community and to further offer DKA modules in an online format. The initiative was well received by a lot of interested researchers which was reflected in almost 500 registrations for the first module announced on the DAAD Website.

Dr. Rasha Sharaf was the first trainer who offered her module online. In “Taking Your Classroom Online”, she was addressing the current challenges that faculty members and researchers are facing.

She reports about the module:

“With COVID-19 outbreak, faculty members and researchers were obliged to rely extensively on distance education and e-learning to reach out for students. They have done all they could to reach out for students and resume teaching in order to help students fulfil the requirements for second term completion although not being prepared for beforehand. Thus, students had to deal with different types of technologies, diverse teaching strategies at a distance, different teaching approaches and styles regardless of the quality of internet connectivity both students and instructors had to deal with in different parts of Egypt. The main question here was: can anyone be quite sure that learning has taken place? This was the direct need behind initiating this module to build the capacity of teaching staff of different level on online teaching and e-learning management.”

Learning about the role of feedback.

During the module, she also faced some challenges:

“Some participants faced the problem of poor internet connection either to join the session or during streaming. This has caused few to complain about pixeled images or deferred sound transfer. Whereas most participants indicated that things were working fine for them and that they could follow-up videos and presentations efficiently. This was due to the quality of internet service participants could have access to wherever they are. Moreover, two participants had technical problems with their devices and had to restart to fix it and they were able to successfully resume following up with training activities.”

The DAAD Regional Office in Cairo will continue offering its modules as well as new innovative modules in cooperation with our professional trainers.

Authors: Dr. Rasha Sharaf, Mr. Mohamed Fathy

About the DKA

The DAAD Kairo Akademie (DKA) aims to provide training services and capacity building modules to Egyptian academics, researchers and administrative staff affiliated to universities and research institutes as well as various stakeholders and decision makers of relevant ministries throughout the country. During the one-day modules, groups of about 25 participants receive intensive training in the selected subject in the field of higher education policy, academia and research. Based on the needs of the target group, the DAAD provides these further training opportunities in order to prepare the different participants for international competition and to foster international cooperation in higher education and scientific research.