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January 25, 2022 - Md. Kyser Hamid, Managing Director and CEO of Bangladesh Finance Limited and Rahel Ahmed, CEO of Nagad, exchanging document after signing an agreement at Bangladesh Finance head office in the capital on Monday. Under the deal, the finance company will be able to provide various digital transaction related services including opening of savings account and deposit collection, SME loan disbursement and repayable loan installment collection, factoring loan disbursement through ‘Nagad’ from now on. Senior officials from both companies were present.
January 25, 2022 - ICSB ORGANIZED WORKSHOP ON “WRITING MINUTES”
January 24, 2022 - Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah, Financial Institutions Division’s Secretary of Finance Ministry, distributing blankets among cold-hit people at Motigonj of Sonagazi Upazilla in Feni district on Friday organized by Rupali Bank Limited. Mohammad Jahangir, DMD, Md Ismail Hossain Sheikh, GM of Cumilla Divisional Office of the Bank and local elites were present.
January 13, 2022 - Tk 600,000 of fish caught at once in Cox’s Bazar
January 13, 2022 - Jahangirnagar University observes 51st founding anniversary
January 12, 2022 - Rezaul made MD & CEO of upay
January 12, 2022 - ABM Mokammel Hoque Chowdhury, Managing Director of Union Bank Limited, distributing blankets among the helpless, sick and cool affected people in the capital recently. Other top officials of the bank were present.
January 12, 2022 - JQM Habibullah, DMD of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) and Dr Enamul Hoque, Director Operation and COO of Epic Health Care Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement recently at IBBL Chattogram Zone Office on Monday. Under thedeal, card-holders of the bank will now enjoy special discount in bill payment of the medical center. Top officials from both sides were present.
January 12, 2022 - Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director of Novoair Limited, celebrating its 9th anniversary through cutting a cake at its head office in the capital recently. Top officials of the company were present. 12 January 2022
January 1, 2022 - Sajedul Islam, Director of Aftab Automobiles Limited, presiding over its 41st AGM held through virtually on Thursday. The AGM approved 5% cash dividend and 5% stock dividend to all shareholders for the year ended 30 June 2021. Directors and a large number of shareholders of the company were present.
January 1, 2022 - M. Reazul Karim, Managing Director and CEO of Premier Bank Limited receiving the ‘Letter of Appreciation’ for the outstanding role in distributing 100% of Covid-19 CMSME Stimulus Package in the first phase from Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir at the bankers’ meeting held at BB’s head office in the capital on Tuesday.
December 26, 2021 - Rangpur region to produce 63,661 tons of wheat BSS
December 26, 2021 - Climate vulnerable agricultural sectors
December 26, 2021 - Promising new cotton variety may cut Bangladesh’s import dependency
December 26, 2021 - Jessore’s date juice industry in jeopardy
December 26, 2021 - Brac Bank wins 4 prizes at South Asian Business Excellence Awards 2021
December 26, 2021 - REHAB Winter Fair 2021: Plots, flats beyond reach of middle-class
December 26, 2021 - Bangladeshi scientists unveil full genome sequence of salinity and flood tolerant rice
December 18, 2021 - Md Saiful made MCCI president
December 18, 2021 - ICAB gets new body
December 18, 2021 - PM witnesses enthralling cultural show on V-Day and Mujib Borsha celebrations
December 17, 2021 - Brac Bank reappoints Selim RF Hussain as MD, CEO
December 17, 2021 - Bangladesh Bank appoints new executive director
December 16, 2021 - BLRI develops new variety of chicken
December 16, 2021 - 12th International Poultry Show and Seminar will be held in the first week of March 2023
December 14, 2021 - Sheraton appoints Ahmed as Director of Event Management
December 14, 2021 - Marching forward towards a Digital Bangladesh
December 14, 2021 - Finance minister asks taxmen not to exert excessive pressure on taxpayers
December 12, 2021 - Nagad introduces new technological advancement for mobile payments
December 12, 2021 - Md Masud Biswas, newly appointed head of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), pays homage to the portrait of Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with flowers at Tungipara in Gopalganj on Friday. Other senior officials of BFIU were present.
Blended education in the post-Covid era: Dr Md Aktaruzzaman

Blended education in the post-Covid era: Dr Md Aktaruzzaman

Education basically comprises teaching, learning and assessment and these dimensions are highly interrelated to each other. During the pandemic shifting from traditional face-to-face education to online was not an easy journey for many institutions across the world – a bunch of changes in terms of digital competencies, pedagogical knowledge, psychosocial counselling, varied levels of interaction, engagement and assessment strategies, support structures, etc. were required to be adopted in the institutional policies and practices.

Now at the post-Covid stage, should we go back to the traditional face-to-face education leaving all these remarkable shifts or changes behind? – certainly not. Then what should be our strategies for the post-Covid education?

During the pandemic students and teachers are highly habituated with blended, online and digital education. Most of the universities in Bangladesh are using at least Google Meet or Microsoft Teams or Zoom for online synchronous class alongside Google Classroom but failed to incorporate a full-fledged LMS like Moodle, Canvas or Blackboard.

This is a good beginning but we need to ensure that teachers are attending classes regularly and effectively as well as whether students are engaged in the class or apply fair means at online examinations. Under the National Blended Learning Policy 2021, each university may have a blended learning centre and a learning management system with extensive monitoring, accountability and professional development options which could pave the way for our universities towards excellence in education.

Let’s start by understanding the chronological development of education paradigms and their differences with respect to technological advancement starting from Face-to-face ‘ Digital (e-learning) ‘ Blended (partially online) ‘ Hybrid ‘ Fully Online ‘ Phygital learning.

Since the beginning of the human creation, we are habituated with face-to-face education, which is further enhanced through digital tools or ICTs and referred to as digital learning, for instance, teaching in a class with multimedia projector. Blended learning implies to the purposeful combination of face-to-face and online activities, for instance, keeping LMS as a digital content repository and formative assessment alongside face-to-face class, conducting classes integrating three days face-to-face and two days online, etc.

However, using a smartboard in a face-to-face class or Jamboard in an online class or a lecture followed by field visit are not typically blended learning in today’s context – it should have both onsite and online components. In Hybrid learning some individuals participate in person and some participate online. Instructors and facilitators teach remote and in-person learners at the same time using technology like a teacher with 50 students in a class and 500 students connected to it online synchronously.

It is different from blended learning at which instructors or learners complete some components online and do others in person but not at the same time. Online learning is education that takes place over the Internet and across distance, not in a traditional classroom, for example, conducting classes using Zoom or Meet video conferencing with anLMS. A new trend called phygitallearning (phygital = physical + digital) is the concept of using technology to integrate the digital learningspace with the physical world for the purpose of providing a unique interactive experience to the learners.

Blended learning should reflect not only on the blend of delivery modes but also class schedules. For example, I am teaching a section of computer science and engineering students at Daffodil University who have taken five courses in the semester including Operating System and its Lab, Data Mining and its Lab, Economics, System Analysis and Design, Academic Writing for Research.

From the nature of the courses, it is highly possible to conduct the two lab oriented courses – Operating System and Data Mining (both theory and lab) face-to-face and remaining three classes online. Except the summative assessment (e.g., final exam) all other types such as quiz, presentation, assignment or even MidTermexam can be conducted online.

The class or work distribution could be 3 days onsite and 2 days online out of 5 working days for students and for teachers it could be 4 days face-to-face and 1 day online, subject to ensuring quality and accountability. This will save a lot of time and space, particularly in our country where traffic jam and many other issues are our daily companions. Teachers can utilize this time for research, innovation, industry engagement whereas students can engage themselves in research, study at home or part-time work or tuition in case of financial difficulties. As education is expensive in the developed countries and students do not depend on their parents, most of them are engaged in part-time works irrespective of their socio-economic conditions.

To ensure quality in face-to-face, online or blended learning at the higher education sector, each university should have a customized and centrally managed learning management system. Besides, smart-education type platform is important to have for monitoring, management and accountability.Student feedback and accountability of teachers – these two aspects should be the key considerations for continuing effective blended education. Student monthly feedback and activities for each course are carefully analysed and meaningful patterns are extracted to improve teaching-learning.

Blended or online education is not a problem by itself but rather it depends on the quality, credibility and trustworthiness of the provider institution offering the program.We have a good start, and the task now is to put policies into practices and strengthen those practices institutionally and nationally to prepare for the future world of transnational education.
The writer is digital
education expert &director, Blended Learning Centre, Daffodil International University, Daffodil Smart City, Dhaka

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