SJSU Faculty Return From Pakistan after Participating in the Final Faculty Exchange of the Three Year PDEEP Grant



On January 7, 2016  four San Jose State University [SJSU] faculty members left for Pakistan on a ten day trip filled with lots of learning and excitement. Pictured above is Professor Jason Laker, Lecturer Minna Holopainen, Professor Mohammad Saleem, and Pakistan Distance Education Enhancement Program [PDEEP] Project Director Mark Adams at the airport.

As this three year US State Department funded grant nears its’ end,  this was the final faculty exchange. The photos below give a small glimpse into the what their ten day trip included.



Professor Mohammad Saleem, PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams, Professor Jason Laker, and Lecturer Minna Holopainen stand together in front of the  new Accessibility Center in Pakistan and were gifted with beautiful flowers.



Dr. Daud (Allama Iqbal Open University), PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams, SJSU Professor Stand in shopping mall in Pakistan.



Dinner with Dr. Sangi and his wife and son. This was their final dinner before leaving for the United States.


Vice Chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) , Dr. Siddiqui is pictured here with Professor Jason Laker (SJSU), Lecturer Minna Holopainen (SJSU), Dr. Afshan Huma (AIOU) and Dr. Nasir  Mahomood (AIOU).



PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams, AIOU Vice Chancellor Dr. Siddiqui, and SJSU Lecturer Minna Holopainen met to review the progress of the grant and lay out next steps to make the gains sustainable.


The regional directors who accompanied their students, who were so kind to travel 30 hours — by bus–from Umerkot, and 11 hours from D.G. Khan. In spite of being tired they had great energy and enthusiasm and the strong will to give their students a chance at a better life, no matter the challenges.


Pictured here are the student interns once more. Their hard work and dedication is very appreciated.


Inside the new AIOU Accessibility Centre. Once again Congratulations AIOU !



Pictured above is Dr. Mohammad Saleem (SJSU) having dinner in Pakistan.


PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams and SJSU Lecturer Minna Holopainen pictured in lobby of hotel in Islamabad.


PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams and girls on field trip to Pakistan Monument and Museum.


PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams in Lok Versa, Pakistan.

visittoFaisal Mosque_Trip3.jpg

PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams, Dr. Daud Khattak (AIOU ), Lecturer Minna Holopainen (SJSU), and Professor Jason Laker (AIOU) pictured in front of the Faisal Mosque, Islamabad.


PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams, PDEEP Contract Manager Atif Farooq (AIOU), Professor Jason Laker (SJSU), Lecturer Minna Holopainen (SJSU) and U.S. State Department’s Richard Boyum are pictured in front of a three story bookstore.


PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams, SJSU Professor Jason Laker, and SJSU Lecturer Minna Holopainen are pictured at Fatima Jinnah Women University, where presentations were delivered on COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) and Gender Studies issues.


AIOU Professor Moiz, SJSU Professor Mohammad Saleem, PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams, AIOU’s Ms. Shabnam, and SJSU Professor Jason Laker are pictured here at AIOU.


SJSU Lecturer Minna Holopainen helped hand out certificates to e-Tutor trainees along with AIOU’s Professor Daud. There were 50 e-tutors trained at this session; and Professor Daud and Professor Zahid had just come from training another 200 at four AIOU Regional Centers.


SJSU Professor Jason Laker helped hand out certificates as well.


Ten computer science student interns in telecommuting presented their progress on five projects.  One male and one female student were selected from each regional center, in Umerkot, D.G. Khan, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad. Then they were presented with Certificates and $100 stipend pledges upon completion of this first internship project. Then the chair of CS Dr. Sangi and the Vice Chancellor of AIOU Dr. Siddiqui each spoke. This followed with tea and conversation  with the students. It was very inspiring to see the students–the start of promising careers! The next phase will have SJSU Professor Debra Caires guide them through agile software methods on another round of training them for telecommuting. This is a very risky, but very innovative project that if successful will be a potential “game changer” for poor students in remote areas.


Pictured above is SJSU Lecturer Minna Holopainen with State Department Representative Neal Murata. The SJSU faculty members met with State Department Representatives to share their ideas, accomplishments, challenges, and suggestions for future projects. It was also an opportunity to thank the State Department for funding the 3.5 year effort of PDEEP.



Pictured here is SJSU Professor Mohammad Saleem, Dr. Daud Khattak (AIOU), and PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams prior to a meeting of the AIOU and SJSU teams who reported on their work.


Pictured above are SJSU Professor Jason Laker, SJSU Lecturer Minna Holopainen, and PDEEP Project Director Mark Adams in the lobby of their hotel in Islamabad.


Congratulations AIOU : E-Tutor Training Conducted at Regional Campus in Peshawar, Pakistan


Congratulations to both Allama Iqbal Open Univeristy [AIOU] and San Jose State University [S.J.S.U] for collaborating and creating a great online tutor program for students all over the provinces. This program is self-paced and a multimedia e-tutor guide that was developed by diligent Professors from both universities. Dr. Mohammad Saleem [S.J.S.U], Dr. Daud Khattak [ AIOU] , and Zahid Majeed [AIOU] worked to help students gain new skills and techniques to encompass the versatility and benefits of an e-campus.






Pakistan’s Minister of IT, Anusha Rahman Khan, receives U.N.’s prestigious “GEM-TECH Global Achievers” Award for 2015


Congratulations to the Minister of State for IT, Mrs. Anusha Rahman Khan, the prestigious “GEM – TECH Global Achievers” award for 2015!

We hope that our initiatives within The Pakistan Distance Education Enhancement Program [PDEEP]  grant and Allama Iqbal Open University’s [AIOU] innovative student internship in telecommuting program demonstrate that we support all of your efforts.

Check out the article here


AIOU Students Speak out on Lecture Series with SJSU

In October with the help of web- based tools, San Jose State University  [S.J.S.U.]  and Allama Iqbal Open University [AIOU] held a three day lecture series.  Three AIOU students were asked about their experiences in participating in the lecture series and their responses can be seen below.

Ms. Salima Begum, PhD Scholar, Faculty of Education, AIOU.

1)    What does it mean to you to be able to speak with people in a different country about the areas you are studying? 

Education is an opportunity to explore experiences of people working in different countries. In the context of teaching and learning, interacting with education professionals across the globe is critical to learning from each other experiences, system and practices. Classroom assessment, particularly formative assessment is an emerging need of Pakistani classroom. As classroom teachers, teacher educator, I found that assessment in Pakistan is not aligned with teaching/learning process. Therefore, interacting with people of other countries is learning opportunity through sharing experiences and research. The sessions organized by Dr. Zahid Majeed in the collaboration with San Jose State University, USA were extremely important to learn and sharing experience of US scholars/experts. The session on “E-Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes” led by Professor Bobbi Makani and supported by Dr. Zahid Majeed was worth appreciating. I learnt different aspects of assessment with reference to e-learning and also using technology in assessing eLearning programs. One of the significant aspects of the session was use of rubric in assessment. The sessions also broaden my horizon and enabled me to think out of box to study different dimension of assessment and e-learning. The session conducted by Mark Adams was also eye opener for us as we were oriented about eCampus by the presenter.

2) In 2-4 sentences can you tell us about something that really impacted you positively that one of the SJSU faculty shared with you? 

There were many aspects of the session that were noteworthy learning opportunities, but the using rubric in assessment, eCampus and social inclusion were something new that contributed significantly in improving my understanding of eLearning. Using rubric in assessment both, formative and summative provide robust evidence of students learning and performance. The enthusiasm and commitment of Mark Adams, Minna Holopainen, Brockmann and Dr. Bobbi towards learning and acquiring new knowledge was inspiring for me and it helped me to devise my vision for my studies and my professional development. It was very fruitful to learn new learning strategies as a PhD scholar.

Mr. Muhammad Bashir, PhD Scholar, AIOU

1)      What does it mean to you to be able to speak with people in a different country about the areas you are studying? 

It means alot to me as its always great to hear from someone who is from other culture and academic background. The experience was great because it provided me an opportunity to hear a different perspective about eLearning. The online engagement with a foreign Professor has improved my understanding about eLearning. The interaction helped me to learn a different view point by a person who is not from our educational system. In this globalized world, it is very important to learn perspectives from multiple people and improve our worldview about different educational and professional issues. Overall, it was a great experience and it will help me my academics and professional duties.

2) In 2-4 sentences can you tell us about something that really impacted you positively that one of the SJSU faculty shared with you? 

Although all the lectures and interactions were very informative and useful but there were two major things that really impacted me positively:

  1.  The global perspective on eLearning helped me to improve my basic ideas about the eLearning. Now, I can see things in international perspective and my vision is broader as the result of my interaction with a SJSU faculty.
  2. Secondly, I saw the integration of technology in education, that was really impacted me at personal level. eAssessment, COIL, eCampus and Social inclusions really appreciable discussions and interactions with all the Professors.

Mr. Abd ul Qayyum, PhD Scholar, Faculty of Education, AIOU.

1) What does it mean to you to have to speak with people in a different country about the areas you are studying? 

It is always a learning experience while talking with people of different areas, cultures and religions. It provides an opportunity to make innovations in our existing knowledge.

2) In 2-4 sentences can you tell us about something that really impacted you positively that one of the SJSU faculty shared with you? 

It was life time opportunity to interact with SJSU professors. I have learnt a lot about eLearning. I learned alot from the thought provoking ideas of the SJSU faculty professors. Thank especially to Professor Zahid Majeed Sahib who made it possible.

Thanks to

Professor Mark Adams, Professor Bettina BrockMann, Professor ishan, Professor Bobbi Makani, Professor Mina, and professor Zahid Majeed for the precious lectures.






Sending our Love to our Friends on the anniversary of Peshawar Massacre

On behalf of everyone here at San Jose State University, I want to express our deepest condolences on the one year anniversary of the Peshawar Massacre, Dec.16th, 2014. May we remember each life lost, each with a special story. Our contribution is through the lens of education–and is dedicated to creating a world of peace and safety for children everywhere. We are sending all our wonderful Pakistani friends our love on this difficult day of remembrance. We stand with you. We cry with you. Your children are our children. –mark

Here is a link to 144 stories

San Jose State University and Allama Iqbal Open University Made Headlines with Computer Science Lecture Series

Check out the articles  below on  the  joint Computer Science  Workshop with Allama Iqbal Open University [AIOU] and San Jose State University [S.J.S.U.]

Third and Final Faculty Exchange



(Pictured above from left to right are Dr. Afshan Huma, Dr. Tanveer Afzal, Project Director Mark Adams, Professor Mohammad Saleem, and Dr. Nasir Mahmood. The final day of the faculty exchange included receive certificates for completing the three week program.)

The Pakistan Distance Education Enhancement Program is nearing the end and what a  wonderful journey it has been.

The third and final faculty exchange program ended on November 20, 2015 and  it was filled with hard work and excitement.   Below you will find pictures from this final faculty exchange where  San Jose State University [S.J.S.U] was fortunate enough to have  four wonderful faculty members  come from Allama Iqbal Open University [AIOU] in Islamabad Pakistan for three weeks.


Pictured above from left to right are Professor Mohammad Saleem, Sandee Adams, Dr. Nasir Mahmood, Dr. Afshan Huma, Dr. Tanveer Afzal, and Project Director Mark Adams.


Pictured is Dr. Nasir Mahmood with a San Jose State Student. As part of the three week workshop, the AIOU faculty members did numerous classroom visits.


From left to right, pictured above, are Dr. Afshan Huma, Dr. Tanveer Afzal, Dr. Nasir Mahmood, and Andrew Roderick. This picture was taken at San Francisco State University [S.F.S.U.] where the AIOU faculty attended a workshop given by Andrew Roderick.


Pictured above are Dr. Tanveer Afzal, Dr. Nasir Mahmood, and Dr. Afshan Huma speaking to a classroom of S.J.S.U students. This opportunity was provided by Professor Jason Laker for opening up his classroom to our faculty members and Project Director Mark Adams for arranging three weeks full of different workshops.  This was just one of many classroom visits that AIOU faculty were provided.


Pictured is Dr. Tanveer Afzal speaking with a small group of S.J.S.U. Students.


Pictured here are the AIOU faculty members attending a session with SJSU Accessible Education Center leaders Cindy Marota and Ryan Brady.


The third and final faculty exchange closed with a lunch celebration for the AIOU faculty members and as a way to celebrate the completion of the three week workshop. The lunch included great conversation, wonderful food, and outstanding company.