In a dynamic world that is forever undergoing economical, societal, environmental and political changes, Higher Education in general and the Engineering Discipline in particular remain under constant pressure to meet the continuous demands of the industry that is in need of highly intellectual graduates with the relevant cognitive and experiential skills.
Such dynamics and demands, paired with the fast growing and rapid advancements of technology at the dawn of the 21st century, have been a great catalyst for change in Higher Education and often a cause for reform and reshaping its educational practices. These reforms were witnessed in the early 1990s with the arrival of the internet, multimedia software and several government initiatives across the globe set to develop Computer Aided Learning tools. These tools soon became redundant due to platform changes, while the technology concurred the new millennium with Virtual Reality tools and platforms in addition to the use of mobile and wireless technologies, followed by platforms for Augmented Reality, smart devices, high speed networks and Cloud Computing.
There is no doubt that technology has the potential to revolutionize the traditional teaching and learning process, enhance the pedagogy of teaching through synchronous and asynchronous modes, eliminate the barriers to education imposed by space and time and dramatically expand access to lifelong learning. Although universities have generally been quick to adopt new platforms of technologies, their utilization of the technology to enhance the teaching and learning process, has been slow for various reasons. Therefore, today more than ever, there is a need for a new reform to revolutionize Higher Education practices, while pedagogy is in its most need for the technology to survive in the face of the current ‘Coronavirus’ global crises, at a time where university students in some countries are expected to study at a distance via online modes of delivery.
This seminar shares the role of ‘Pedagogy and Technology’ in supporting Engineering Education, giving examples of some of the remarkable efforts of the Teaching & Learning Community and IT services at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE in preparedness for its migration from its traditional ways of teaching to online teaching via synchronous and asynchronous modes of delivery. These efforts are hardly free of challenges, but they form a stepping stone toward revolutionizing our educational practices with great lessons yet to be learnt. This seminar is targeted at all stakeholders with interest in Engineering Education and related disciplines within Higher Education and beyond to reform at times of crises.