September Brings a New Year for PDEEP

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       In the month of September of 2014 the PDEEP project celebrates the completion of its second year as an official University Partnership between San Jose State University and Allama Iqbal Open University. The PDEEP project through its various intiatives has always strived to enhance the distance education capacity within AIOU by providing guidance while at the same time always looking for better ways to improve and accomplish its goals. In attempting to reach this lofty goal of enhancing distance education, the PDEEP project has enacted structural change to the various systems involved the process of distance education at AIOU and as well as  has begun implementing methods of assessment to statistically analyze the success of these same changes. Another important goal outside of the realm of just distance education enhancement, the  PDEEP project hopes to forge lasting relationships between the two Universities SJSU and AIOU while providing first rate faculty training to  each of its respective faculty.  In going along with this idea of training, the faculty exchange has  become a staple in achieving this goal and we could think of no better way to begin the new year with this, our 2014 Faculty Exchange centered around the theme of “Innovation in Education”.
September 20th – 21st
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Sarwat Maqbool (left) Nowshad Khan (left/middle),Munazza Ambreen (right/middle), and Mark Adams (right) at the Airport Terminal in SFO
       On September 20th, 2014 the results of endless PDEEP planning unfolded as  four of our selected faculty exchange guests from our partner university, AIOU, arrived at the San Francisco International Airport to begin their adventures in the United States at SJSU. Upon Arrival our visitors were met by Project Director Mark Adams who then escorted them to the Marriott in San Jose where they were able to rest after their long journey of nearly 7,500 miles.
        After having some time to rest and wind down from the long journey,the next morning Project Director, Mark Adams greeted the faculty visitors with breakfast and took them on a brief walking tour of San Jose. That night there was also a welcoming feast held at PALEEP Project Director Swathi Vanniarajan’s home in San Jose for both the faculty visiting from his grant at AJKU University in Kashmir, Pakistan and our guests from AIOU in Islamabad, Pakistan, in total 8 faculty exchange visitors.
September 22nd 
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Professors, Munazza Ambreen (left) Sarwat Maqbool (middle) and Professor Qasim Khan (right) at the San Jose state Cesar Chavez Arch 9/22/14
         On September 22nd after a very eventful weekend, our faculty visitors were taken to the SJSU campus for the first time. For many of them this was a very exhilarating experience due to the  diversity they discovered that they had previously been unaware of as a major theme of San Jose and the bay area, San Jose State being regarded as the most ethnically diverse school within the California State University system. After having a quick walk around the campus guided by Project Director, Mark Adams and Contract Coordinator, Myles Reed, the faculty were then given given the rest of the day to do as they pleased in the city or go back to the Marriott less than 1 mile from the SJSU Campus.
September 23rd
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Professors Debbie Faires( left), Munazza Ambreen (left), Sarwat Maqbool (middle) Nowshad Khan (right) Qasim Khan (right) at the Building Quality Online Programs Workshop
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 Dr. Nowshad Khan(center) Director of Science at AIOU delivers his welcoming address and explains the current situation in Pakistan.
   On September 23rd our faculty visitors had a very eventful day. They began early in the morning tuesday at 9am with their first workshop session on Building Quality Online Programs with SJSU Director of Online Learning, Debbie Faires. During this workshop our faculty visitors were provided the most recent Quality Scorecard published by the Online Learning Consortium (formerly the Sloan Consortium) with the goal of uncovering what the true facets of a successful online program are.  For more information on the Online Learning Consortium a link to their website can be found here.
With the help of Professor Faires the AIOU faculty have begun taking a liking to the course and are discovering a real knack for the development of complex online courses so desperately needed in AIOU’s departments of Computer Science, Math and in the future, in other programs as well.
        After the first of four 3-hour sessions s scheduled with Professor Faires, AIOU Faculty were then taken to the CIES International House a block away from campus for a welcoming reception.   The International House which is normally a form of off-campus housing for International Students has been kind enough to offer its facilities for many CIES events including grant projects such as the PDEEP project.  The Welcoming Reception itself housed more than 35 guests which included various SJSU faculty who have aided the PDEEP Project,  Project Staff and of course our faculty visitors who enjoyed a vary warm welcome and even warmer culturally appropriate food, bringing the tastes of the east from Spartan Catering.
September 24th
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Professor Anne Marie Todd gives her lecture on Infusing the Curriculum with Sustainability
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Professor Munazza Ambreen using her phone to record the multi-point visual display at Polycom.
         On September 24th our faculty visitors were excited to learn early in the morning with Environmental Communications  Professor, Anne Marie Todd. In her workshop entitled ” Infusing the Curriculum with Sustainability” Professor Todd introduces the idea of combining both the fields of education and environmentalism in a way that they become co-hospitable and and seek innovative methods to extinguish the problems of both fields without adding anymore problems. Project Director Mark Adams and the faculty attendees of last years exchange felt that this workshop was essential due to the current environmental concerns in Pakistan such as immense flooding and  unpredictable drought, in learning about solutions to these problems and opening up the floor to collaboration of these issues between universities.
         Later that afternoon the AIOU faculty along with Project Director, Mark Adams and SJSU Professor of Mathematics, Mohammad Saleem traveled to Polycom to take a look at the new developments in the field of Information Technology they are working on to make remote teaching easier. During this visit to Polycom  our AIOU faculty visitors were able to experience first hand the inner workings of an American Information technology company operates.
September 25th
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Professor Rick Kepple with AIOU Faculty during Innovation & Education Workshop.
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Professor Bobbi Makani and Project Director Mark Adams with AIOU Faculty at CIES main office for Assessment Workshop.
      On September 25th we dove headfirst into our third straight day of workshops meeting with two of our contracted distance education specialists, SJSU Business Professor Rick Kepple and SJSU  Sr. Director of IT Services Bobbi Makani. We began the morning with the workshop “Innovation and Education” by Rick Kepple. Professor Rick Kepple brings to the PDEEP team a wealth of experience in the field of business and entrepreneurship, two very important components to what we at the PDEEP project believe are essential in moving both AIOU and Pakistan toward greater economic independence and enhancing distance education. In his workshop Rick explains the facets of a good entrepreneur by providing examples of successful innovations and innovators in the field of education.
       After the morning session with Professor Rick Kepple, in the afternoon AIOU faculty were escorted from campus to the CIES main office for an Assessment planning session with SJSU Professor Bobbi Makani. During this session AIOU faculty were asked collaborate with Professor Makani on an assessment plan that she had previously written for the PDEEP Project, to offer suggestions, discuss changes and suggest steps for implementation at AIOU.
September 26th
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Professors Sarwat Maqbool (left), Debbie Faires(middle) &  Munazza Ambreen (right).
       On friday September 26th our faculty visitors were only asked to attend one workshop and  after such a long week, the rest was well deserved. They began in the morning with Professor Debbie Faires and the second  3-hour session of her workshop on Building Quality Online Programs.  During the workshop faculty were energetic and offered many examples of the systems currently employed by AIOU that would serve their propose as tools for education as online programs.
       After creating completing the workshop with professor Faires, AIOU faculty visitors were accompanied to the San Jose Mosque by SJSU Professor & PDEEP Cultural Ambassador  Mohammad Saleem for prayer service & worship.
September 27th
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 Professor Jon Pearce (center) with  each of the AIOU and AJKU faculty on the beach at Santa Cruz.
AJKU and AIOU women with Roula at Santa Cruz Harbor
 PALEEP Project Director Roula Svorou (right) with AIOU and AJKU faculty visitors
On Saturday September 27th PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams & PALEEP Project Director Roula Svorou took all of the AIOU and AJKU faculty visitors on an outing to Santa Cruz,CA. The trip included a ride of the O’Neill Catamaran, walks on the beach and lunch at the famous Crows Nest restaurant. This experience was truly amazing because many of our visitors had never seen the ocean. SJSU Professor Jon Pearce was also able to make it down to the beach and spend the day with the faculty welcoming them to his hometown.
For more information on our faculty exchange please subscribe to our blog, and for more pictures please navigate to our Photos directory > Faculty Exchange (2014) Photos.
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