COLLEGE COURSES BECOME SUCCESSFULL WEB-BASED E-LEARNING MODELS
THROUGH THE INTEGRATION OF RESEARCH, TEACHING AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Mohamed Aichouni 1 and
Soraya Benchicou 2
in Mechanical Engineering and PhD Candidate
at 4th International Forum on Engineering Education,
Teaching & Research with Community Service -
25-27 April 2006, University of Sharjah, Sharjah , United Arab
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
of the major characteristics of modern society is the central role
of knowledge in the production processes, to such an extent that the
most frequent qualifier now used is that of the knowledge society.
We are seeing the emergence of a new economic and productive
paradigm in which the most important factor ceases to be the
availability of capital, labour, raw materials or energy and becomes
the intensive use of knowledge and information. Today’s most
advanced economies are based on the greatest availability of
knowledge. This centrality makes of knowledge a pillar of the wealth
and power of nations.
The 2003 World Declaration on Higher
Education states that “the knowledge society implies increasing
technological capacities by combining traditional and modern
methodologies to stimulate scientific creation and lead to
sustainable human development”. It affirms that “Owing to the scope
and pace of change, society has become increasingly knowledge-based
so that higher learning and research now act as essential components
of cultural, socio-economic and environmentally sustainable
development of individuals, communities and nations. UNESCO has
commited itself to promote the concept of knowledge societies; Three
strategic objectives have been set: (a) to foster digital
opportunities and social inclusion enhancing the use of Information
and Communication Technologies for capacity-building, empowerment
and social participation; (b) to strengthen capacities for
scientific research, information sharing and cultural creations,
performances and exchanges in knowledge societies; and (c) to
enhance learning opportunities through access to diversified
contents and delivery systems. The use of Information and
Communication Technologies (ICTs) should be encouraged as a means of
empowering communities and help them contribute to the building of
knowledge society. ICTs should contribute to enhancing the quality
of teaching and learning, the sharing of knowledge and information.
ICTs have the potential to introduce in the educational process a
higher degree of flexibility in response to societal needs.
Knowledge societies should offer opportunities to use ICTs as
innovative and experimental tools in the process of renewing
education. The production and dissemination of educational,
scientific and cultural materials are regarded to be crucial
elements of knowledge societies. Networks of specialists and of
virtual interest groups should be developed, as they are key to
efficient and effective exchanges and cooperation in knowledge
1.2 MOTIVATIONS AND OBJECTIVES
According to the teachings of our
prophete Mohammad, Peace be upon him, as muslim educators it is our
strong belief that the producing and disseminating knowledge in the
form of educational, scientific and cultural material is among our
The first verse of Allah`s revelation
to his prophet talks about knowledgeRead!
In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that
exists), Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick
coagulated blood) Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, Who
has taught (the writing) by the pen, Has taught man that
which he knew not Al-Alaq,
verses 1 to 5.
many other verses through the Quran, Allah encourages muslims to
will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who
believe and who have been granted Knowledge. And Allah is
well-acquainted with all ye do.
Al-Mujadalah, verse 11.
Many hadiths (the tradition) of
prophet Mohammad, Peace be upon him, teaches muslims to take
knowledge from scholras wherever they may be and to contribute in
its dissemination through teaching and writing.
صلى الله عليه و سلم :" من علم علما فكتمه ألجمه الله يوم القيامة
بلجام من نار" و قال أيضا :" إن الله سبحانه و ملائكته و أهل سمواته و
أرضه حتى النملة في جحرها و حتى الحوت في البحر ليصلون على معلم الناس
Starting from these
believes, we a group of educators at Hail College of Technology,
launched a reaserch project with
the aim to integrate teaching and cutting-edge research in the area
of e-Learning to link technical and engineering students, faculty
members and working engineers and managers in a successfully
integrated educational environment. To achieve this goal, three
major phases have been followed:
: Development of web-based courses based on academic research on the
use of ICT in engineering education and technical training.
e-Learning concepts have been searched and analysed. The golden rule
presented by Broadbent  and Beal  which states that any
one can build a web site has been adopted to successfully
build web-based courses and post them on the net.
: Teaching technical college students in a blended e-Learning
environment where both face-to-face and web-based learning
approaches are combined together. Quality measures and good
practices of the web-based courses have been adopted and implemented
to continuously improve the different versions of the courses.
: Using the web-based courses in community service activities
associated with technical discussion forums and email contacts. Here
again research played an important role in determining best
practices to construct knowledge, validate it and share it within a
community from academia, industry and business sectors.
results which will be presented in the next sections show clearly
the efficiency of such an approach to promote the concept of
knowledge society in Arab coutries through academic teaching,
research and community services.
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