Including the participants and their experience during the crisis.

After having transferred the first trainings to the virtual space, the DKA extends its online offers. 

With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, the DAAD Kairo Akademie (DKA) obliged to the concept “stay home and attend online” and shifted its first modules into online formats.  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.

Until now, the DKA works completely online. Since April 2020, 44 modules have been conducted online, including:  

  • 10 modules for different universities in Egypt   
  • 6 special modules
  • 2 modules together with the DAAD Regional Office Tunis  
  • one module for German studies for the whole MENA region

The modules were conducted by 17 trainers, 8 of them coming from Germany.  Participants were coming from all over Egypt, covering almost all universities in Egypt.

Upcoming modules

For more information about upcoming modules, plese visit the website of the DKA.

For registration, please use the link provided in the description of each module.

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.

Read the report of selected online modules, provided by the trainiers:

Ms. Heba Selim: “Strategic Leadership"

The first time to deliver “Strategic Leadership online with the DKA was an enriching experience for everyone. Eventhough the physical presence will always be missed, the interaction was really good. The participants sharing was tentative at first, but when probed it was back to normal by mid-workshop.  

Other than talking about definition and styles of leadership, the focus was on the key skills of leadership and the icing on the cake of those skills of course is “motivation”.  

The eye opener in this part of the workshop was the exercises that were done with participants to come up with their own motivators and then how much they can influence those motivators.  

To their surprise we have calculated the average of percentages for how much they can influence their own motivation and that of their teams; and it was more than 60% (which is average of any other workshop I conducted before).  

We concluded that the limiting belief leaders sometimes have is that creating a motivated team is out of their hands, but the truth is exactly the opposite.  

At the end, each participant shared how they will apply concepts discussed in the workshop.  

Hopefully that would trigger true action and therefore impact, the ultimate goal of training! 

Mr. Niklas Zierke: "Evaluation of higher education projects: Basics, application and reflection"

 

[The report about this module is only available in German]:

Ziel des Workshops war es einen breiten, fachübergreifenden
Anwenderinnen- und Interessentenkreis in Hochschul- und Wissenschaftseinrichtungen mit wichtigen Konzepten und Werkzeugen der Evaluationsforschung vertraut zu machen und dabei auch das nötige reflexive Gespür für diese weiterhin im Aufwind befindlichen Profession einzuüben. Das Modul wurde durch den Trainer Niklas Zierke, Dozent an der Universität des Saarlandes und wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Centrum für Evaluation (CEval), geleitet, der den Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmern das Themenfeld nahebrachte und Impulse für eigene Projekt- und Programmevaluierungen gab. Der Kurs stieß auf sehr großes Interesse und rege Beteiligung, was die anhaltende
Relevanz des Gegenstandes zu unterstreichen vermag.

Der Workshop umfasste evaluationstheoretische Grundlagen, die Anwendung von Instrumenten der Evaluationspraxis sowie die Reflexion der gängigen Evaluationspraxis. Aufgrund des digitalen Formates und didaktischer Erwägungen wurde der Workshop-Inhalt auf zwei Wochenenden aufgeteilt. Am ersten Tag beschäftigten sich die Teilnehmer und Teilnehmerinnen intensiv mit dem Begriff der Evaluation, der Abgrenzung zu anderen Praktiken wie dem Monitoring sowie unterschiedlichen Evaluationsansätzen.
Beispielsweise wurde hier die Stakeholderorientierung der Evaluation diskutiert und die Frage wie man lokales und subjektives Wissen responsiv einbezieht. Es wurde die gesellschaftliche
Funktion von Evaluation in den Augenschein genommen, die vielfältigen Rollenmodelle der Evaluation beleuchtet und über die so wichtigen Standards und Qualitätskriterien der Evaluation
diskutiert. Zu all diesen Facetten standen den Teilnehmenden Übungsaufgaben bereit, die über die Videokonferenzsoftware Adobe Connect in Kleingruppen bearbeitet und anschließend
präsentiert sowie gemeinsam besprochen wurden. Am Ende des ersten Workshoptages beschäftigte sich die Lerngruppe mit der Projekt- und Programmplanung und der Rolle der Evaluation
in diesem Zusammenhang. Es wurde sich also zuletzt einer sehr anwendungsbezogenen Frage zugewandt, was zentrale Fähigkeiten der Evaluationspraxis vermittelte.

Der zweite Workshop-Tag begann mit der Präsentation und Diskussion einer Hausarbeit zur Anwendung der wirkungsorientierten Projektplanung anhand eigener Praxisbeispiele. Hier diskutierte die Gruppe die verschiedenen Wirkungsebenen einer Evaluation, wie die Zielformulierung geschärft werden kann und wie man geeignete Indikatoren hierfür entwickelt. Die Reflektionen hierüber legten offen wie wichtig auch die theoretische Bezugnahme bei der Arbeit mit Indikatoren ist. Hierbei wurde exemplarisch wiederholt auf Fragen des „sozialen Impacts“ der Wissenschaft und der Hochschulen eingegangen. Es wurde eingeübt, wie man Hochschulprojekte in diesem Bereich konzipiert, Ziele festlegt und entsprechende Indikatoren entwickelt. Nicht zu kurz kam dabei auch die kritische Aus-einandersetzung mit den etwaigen (nicht-intendierten) Folgen von Maßzahlen. Anschließend wurden einige wesentliche Merkmale der ‚Evaluation im digitalen Zeitalter‘ vorgetragen und anhand einer Übung veranschaulicht, welche Implikationen die Digitalisierung für Evaluationsdesigns hat. Im Zuge der Diskussion kristallisierte sich heraus, dass Mixed Methods-Evaluationsdesigns und eine kreative Rekombination von Methoden geeignete Antworten auf zahlreiche gegenwärtige Herausforderun-gen bereithalten.

Mr. Andreas Eimer, Dr. Jan Knauer: "How to strengthen the Employability of Egyptian graduates"

Online brainstorming during the module.

For many years now, the DAAD Kairo Akademie has been supporting Egyptian universities in the important topic of employability – in other words, in preparing students well for their professional future. This topic is of course also at the top of the agenda in times of Corona. Therefore, the DAAD Kairo Akademie conducted an online-workshop in July 2020 on “How to strengthen the Employability of Egyptian Graduates”, led by Andreas Eimer and Dr. Jan Knauer from the University of Münster. 27 participants from universities all over Egypt took part. They received introductory presentations on the topic, exchanged ideas in online discussions and worked on their own ideas and concepts together in virtual breakout rooms. Finally, the participants presented their results to a “jury” – composed of senior staff from Cairo’s Helwan University. They received valuable feedback and now want to take their concepts back to their home institutions to strengthen and support the employability of their students.

Report by Andreas Eimer

Dr. Birgit Barden-Läufer: "Role of International Offices"

Including the participants.

Are you well positioned for international cooperation?
From Internationalisation Strategy to the Structures of an International Office

For the participants of the online workshop there was no question that internationalisation contributes to quality improvement in teaching and research. One participant summed it up appropriately: “Internationalisation is the process through which people contribute to the world.” But what exactly does it mean to implement an internationalisation strategy and to do it in such a way that one is successful – inside and outside the university? It is not always easy to get the support of the university management and the colleagues in the faculties and in the administration. Role models, clear responsibilities and competencies as well as supporting structures such as a centralized or decentralized International Offices or an Internationalization Officer in the faculties were discussed as possible solutions. One gratifying result was that the participants networked via the online chat and offered each other the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge. The workshop showed that digital formats can be used well and that digitalisation can support and promote internationalisation – especially in teaching.  However, it is impossible to imagine internationalisation without personal exchange in presence.

Ms. Yasmin Youssef: "Digital Transformation in Higher Education"

Discussing Digital Transformation.

As a certified trainer for higher education at the DAAD, who works in the field of education management and education technology, I was very happy that I was given the opportunity to conduct and continue my workshops online.

Using different tools and methodologies inside a virtual conference software, like polls for icebreaking, breakout rooms for generating group work and giving the participants access and control simultaneously to interact on the shared desktop and practice with interactive activities has allowed me to enjoy a higher engagement of my participants than expected. The participants were also able to share the results of their group work by sharing  their desktop in the main room after leaving their break out rooms and discussions were managed by using the raise hand tools. All you have to do is to use the right tool for the right activity and align it with your objective for an effective and engaging workshop experience. It is all about mastering your tools and always remember „Pedagogy or andragogy before technology“. This is the secret recipe for success.

Special thanks to the DAAD Team effort and ongoing support for making this possible.

Dr. Rasha Sharaf: "Taking Your Classroom Online"

Learning about the role of feedback.

 

Taking you classroom online

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.

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.

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.

Summary: Mohamed Fathy, Ann-Kathrin Schwarz