With the great support from the faculty and staff of both Universities in our partnership, Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad, Pakistan and San Jose State University in San Jose, California the PDEEP Project has launched its COIL Initiative and is obtaining great feedback on its potential in enhancing distance education at AIOU. This email from Professor Zahid Majeed, of the Special Education Department at AIOU, after a COIL interaction with students in an SJSU class in Counseling showcases some of the exciting and new possibilities with COIL and its effect on the learning outcomes of students.
“The session with Jason’s (Dr. Jason Laker) students was an excellent experience for me and my students. I can recall my students words ‘Its amazing how we came to know about the U.S. and the students studying there’. More importantly they were happy, even though the partnering students were not from the department of special education but they knew the importance of having information about special needs children and their education.
With pre-drafted questions students also talked about food, culture and gender issues which made discussion very friendly and conducive. At the activities conclusion my students felt that we came to know about US Culture, its educational system, student-teacher ratio/relationship, students’ perspectives about guidance and counselling and special education. Much more US students were very friendly and accommodative. I was analyzing the feelings of my students before and after this video-conferencing and found after the conference they were very much confident and happy. Actually their main fear was language but both instructors (me and Jason ) roles as mediator helped them alot.
Let me thank to all of you for providing me and my students this unique experience, it was the first time in history that students of the Special Education Department at AIOU had an interaction with International Students and their teachers.” –Professor Zahid Majeed, AIOU, Special Education