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HomePakistanGilgitSalient features of University of Baltistan LMS based “Online Education Policy”

Salient features of University of Baltistan LMS based “Online Education Policy”

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By Our Staff Reporter

SKARDU: University of Baltistan Skardu has submitted salient features of LMS based “Online Education Policy” operational from Spring Semester-2020(Day-1 after winter vacations in GB & Covid-19 pandemic & academia lockdown, March 13, 2020), to the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

Dr. Naeem Khan, Vice Chancellor, UoBS

Background
Policy for E-Learning/Online Learning
Management (Approved by Academic Council)
University of Baltistan is a new federally chartered public sector university, established
under the “University of Baltistan Order 2016 notified on August 25, 2017. The former Skardu
Campus of Karakoram International University” (KIU) Gilgit-Baltistan, was reconstituted as
“University of Baltistan, Skardu” (UoBS). The then Campus Administrator and Head
Department of late Dr. Irshad Ali was a software scientist who with his team had developed the
Campus Management System (CMS), the Learning Management System (LMS) and the
Students Information System (SIS). The LMS in its initial form was being used at this campus of KIU.
Immediately after the approval of charter and then joining of the first Vice Chancellor in
June 2018, Dr. Irshad became the founding Registrar of the new university and the University
accelerated its pace in E-learning. The modules of LMS were enhanced/ updated that became a
regular feature of learning at the new university. However, unfortunately, Dr. Irshad passed away soon, but the system he developed is growing. The effective use of LMS have been approved, appreciated and encouraged by the statutory bodies of the Faculty Council, the Academic Council and the Syndicate of the university. Hence, University of Baltistan has the honor to be a digital native with its locally developed Learning Management System (LMS).

The vigilant response of UoBS to the Covid-19 pandemic 

Before start of the new academic session (Semester Spring 2020) in March, due to the Covid19 pandemic universities were closed. Assessing and foreseeing the emergency, the university management quickly decided to switch its academic activities on E-learning mode through LMS.

Necessary updates were made in LMS and SIS and it was launched for students. All the faculty
and senior students are familiar to the system, so they were informed and instructed to switch
over to E-learning. The Vice Chancellor shared the development with the community of VCs
during their meeting with the Chairman HEC on April 1, 2020.

Since then two meetings of all Heads of Departments were held to chalk out the strategies
and measures to respond the situation and offer a smooth learning opportunity to all students.
Both access and quality parameters have been continuously considered with technology aspect for E-learning. In orde to endorse the recommendations of the meetings of academic HoDs, discuss strategies of assessment and other policy matters, an emergent meeting of Academic Council (with online participation of few members) was called on April 22, 2020.

The meeting chaired by Vice Chancellor Dr. Naeem Khan approved decisions of the previous meetings of HoDs and other policy guidelines as below:

 The LMS has been made fully functional online and the IT team is available to address
queries or issues raised by the students or faculty.
 Every student is given access to all the subjects s/he is registered for, and offered for
his/her class of present semester (Spring 2020).
 The students will be able to download all lectures uploaded till the time of access so that
s/he may learn them offline, repeat them as many times as they want and prepare
questions if further clarification is required.
 Students having access to internet more frequently are advised and encouraged to share
the updates with their class-fellows on telephone, social media (FB and WhatsApp) and
share downloaded soft materials in USB.
 The faculty members have access to LMS to add lectures, upload lectures and learning
materials including self-prepared audio-video lectures, reading materials, presentations
and reference links/resources for the subjects s/he is assigned in the semester.
 It is recommended that at least one third (1/3) of the lectures have to be audio/video
lectures of shorter time (20 to 25 minutes) for easy uploading and downloading. The
audio/video lectures must explain use of all other learning materials/resources.
 If a faculty is unable to upload required number of lectures within a month, then the HOD
can drop that subject and offer it in later semesters.
 If despite all efforts, a student is unable to login or access the classes (lectures/materials)
online or downloaded for offline learning, s/he could/ would be considered for semester
freeze, without any fee.
 The fee deposited for Spring 2020, will be adjusted against fee of next semester when the
student will continue both in case of continuing and after freeze semesters, as the fee for
Spring 2020 has been waived off by the university.
 Freeze of first semester (Spring 2020) will also be permissible as special case for new
students.
 The dropped subjects offered later will be offered free without fee of additional course
registration applicable in normal cases when registered courses exceeds from 18 credit
hours.
 The office of Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) will check the quality of lectures in terms
of relevance, level, content, resources, user friendliness of materials and assignments.
 The HoDs have access to view all the courses offered in all programs of his/her
department, so to follow-up and supervise the progress.
 HoDs will communicate shortfalls of lectures (in number, time, content or quality)
to the concerned faculty and repeatedly follow-up for regular preparation and
uploading of lectures. In case of serious failure will intimate to Director Academics
for necessary action.
 The Director Academics has admin access to all departments to view progress of all
faculty members in all courses offered in the department.
 The IT team will weekly present report of lectures uploading and students’ login status.
 The IT team will assist the faculty in uploading and formatting of their lectures.
 Due to challenges in internet connectivity and hence real time access of all students is not
possible, therefore, the teachers will make lectures and learning resources available on
LMS.
 For further details and questions/answer WhatsApp groups are formed for every class and
for every subjects. Students can ask questions, share their ideas and issues if any, get
responses of teachers and other fellow students. Students can also ask question via email
or Facebook messenger or through telephone call. All electronic means are being utilized.
 Learning options and opportunities are made as flexible and multiple as possible ranging
from LMS, social media, google classroom and video/audio lectures uploaded on
YouTube, sharing on WhatsApp or FB, Twitter, simple voice call/message etc.
 It is instructed that all the subjects must have its course outline with clearly stated
learning objectives/ expected outcomes, units, textbooks (if any) and references as the
first lecture on top of the course portal .
 Assessment modes, tools and mechanisms were discussed including all options of online,
offline, project work, live call viva, group assignment etc. and proportion of marks for
sessional assignments and final examination were discussed.
 The office of Controller examination will share and notify model and SOPs for
assessments along with tentative schedule and marking scheme of E-Learning as
discussed and agreed in the (online) Academic Council meeting.
 The final copy of assessment model and SoPs notified from the office of Controller for
the pandemic period will become part of the minutes of this emergent online Academic
Council.
 All the policies and procedures in general will also be applicable for the affiliated
colleges also.
 Separate portal for Affiliated Colleges has been launched and focal persons/coordinators
from colleges have been given orientation, who will train their faculty on LMS.
In view of the remoteness and lack of access to internet connectivity in valleys, the university
has established E-Learning facilitation center/desk in each district and valley of Baltistan namely Shigar, Khaplu Ghanche, Kharmang and Rondu, while for the town and neighboring areas of Skardu the City Campus Hassan Colony are declared as facilitation centers.

Valleys Based E-Learning Facilitation Centers
 A focal person with computer and internet access will be there to guide at each center and
 Students from valleys can visit individually, get resources and lectures of their subjects
downloaded from the facilitation desks.
 Students can submit online assignments also at facilitation centers.
 Students in remote valleys can visit facilitation centers once a week so that they can
collect materials during the week.

Regular Features of LMS
The following regular features of LMS are being practiced as routine academic activity:
 All the faculty and students are given orientation in the first week of each academic year.
 All the students are provided their IDs for SIS access.
 All the teachers have their ID to access LMS.
 All regular teachers have their official university email IDs.
 Timetable and date sheets are auto-generated by the system.
 Attendance record is maintained and reports can be generated any time.
 Results are uploaded and final-results are generated by the system.
 Students have access to their results after ten days of last paper in each semester.
 Analysis of results and reports are possible when required.
 Teacher Evaluation forms are made available at the end of each semester and students’
evaluation for each subject taught by the teachers are submitted/ evaluated online.
 Teachers Evaluation reports become record of database and are generated by the system.
 Under E-Library 80,000 books are made available and students can access all the
resources from the portal.
 Students can check their dues, bus routes, and other matters related to Students Affairs
from SIS.
 Students can upload assignments on their dashboard (portal).
 Teacher can check and respond to assignments submitted online and give feedback on the
same portal visible only to the concerned student.

Controller Office University of Baltistan, Skardu
SOP’s to Monitor and Conduct the Exams during COVID-19 spring 2020.
This policy is extraordinary and is not applicable under normal circumstances.
As per guidelines of HEC and suggested by HODs meeting in the extra ordinary situation
due to current COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The following SOPS has been prepared
by the Examination Section subsequently endorsed by Academic Council for spring
semester 2020.
a. Evaluation Category “A” (in case of non-practical courses)
Sessional (Assignments, Quizzes, Project, Case study, Presentation, viva etc) = 50 %
Final term exam = 50%
b. Evaluation Category “B” (in case of Practical of one credit hour)
Sessional (Assignments, Quizzes, Project, Case study, Presentation, viva etc) =40 %
Final term exam =40%
Lab / Practical exam =20%

The concerned teacher shall adopt any one of the stated above options (Category A or B), based
on technical issues and nature of course, in consultation with the relevant HoD/ Chairman during
the online education at UoBS.
1. The concerned teacher shall choose at least three (03) sessional criteria’s (Assignments,
Quizzes, Project, Case study, Presentation, viva) in consultation with HoD.
2. All faculty members should upload course outline on LMS as affiliated colleges also
following the same course outline.
3. It is mandatory for all registered students to attend the online instructions and the Instructor shall keep a record of the attendance in a folder and submit the same to HoDs office.
4. Submission of Assignments and Quizzes shall be through Learning Management System
(LMS) adopted by the University of Baltistan.
5. Physical performance of Labs shall be arranged on opening of the University if so desired
by the concerned department.
6. A student shall be ineligible to take the Final Examination of a Course/Lab in which he/she
has missed more than 50% sessional criteria’s and such a Course/Lab shall be treated as
withdrawn.
7. To encourage student participation, it would be highly desirable to have a short quiz or
feedback pertaining to the topics covered in a lecture or a lab session.
8. It is the responsibility of the concerned Instructor to keep the students informed regarding
their Assignments/Quizzes status through University portal and HoDs should monitor the
progress.
9. A continuous monitoring of online delivery shall be carried out by the concerned HoD,
Director Academics, and QEC to collect the data regarding syllabus covered, materials
provided to the students and assessment conducted.
10.After assessment all documentary proof shall be submitted to exam section
with countersigned by relevant, HOD, Director Academics and QEC till 10th June 2020.
11.This special policy shall be applicable for spring 2020 registration and its extension to
following semesters shall be subject to the approval of relevant body of the University.
12.Anything which is not covered in this policy or any unforeseeable circumstances faced by a
student requiring a special consideration, the competent authority shall make a decision for
such cases on the recommendation of the concerned HoD and Director Academic.

Approved list of Focal persons
Focal Person Detail Information
1. Mr. Waseem Ullah Jan Malik Registrar
Section Administration
Office No 05815-960061
Cell No 0348-8029448
Email Address registrar@uobs.edu.pk

2. Dr. Zakir Hussain Director Academics
Section Academics
Office No 05815-960064
Cell No 0346-5387993
Email Address director.academics@uobs.edu.pk

3. Dr. Ghulam Raza Controller of Examination
Section Examination
Office No 05815-960072
Cell No 0346-5238688
Email Address ghulam.raza@uobs.edu.pk / controller.exams@uobs.edu.pk

4. Dr. Mir Alam Additional Director
Section Quality Enhancement Cell
Office No 05815-960074
Cell No 0312-9710255
Email Address mir.alam@uobs.edu.pk / qec@uobs.edu.pk

5. Dr. Ishtiaq Hussain Focal Person
Section COVID-19
Office No 05815-960061
Cell No 0312-5060656
Email Address ishtiaq.mondoq@uobs.edu.pk

6. Mr. Javed Hussain Assistant Director I.T
Section E-Learning/Online
Office No 05815-960061
Cell No 0331-5564124 / 0355-4163387
Email Address javed.hussain@uobs.edu.pk

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