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September 21, 2021 - M A Quader, DMD of DBL Group poses for photo session with the participants of the DBL Ceramics Business Conference 2021 at a resort in Gazipur recently. Md. Bayazed Bashar, General Manager, M Abu Hasib Ron, Head of Sales and other top officials of DBL Ceramics were present.
September 21, 2021 - Sheikh Rakibul Karim, acting CEO of Guardian Life Insurance Limited (GLIL) and Mahmud Hasan, Head of Human Resources of Wings Group, exchanging document after signing an agreement on behalf of their companies recently. Under the deal, Wings Group employees and dependent family members would be covered for life and obtain medical benefits. Senior officials from both sides were present.
September 21, 2021 - Mehedi joins Beximco LPG as CMO
September 20, 2021 - Tarique Afzal, President & Managing Director of AB Bank Limited along with Professor Dr. Hosne-Ara Begum, Executive Director of TMSS recently distributing food and relief materials among 1500 distressed families at Bogura who were hard hit during Covid pandemic. Senior Officials from both the organizations were present.
September 20, 2021 - Md. Jasim Uddin Khan, President of Shonge Achi Foundation, presiding over its 1st board meeting at its head office in the capital recently. General Secretary and other directors of the organization were present.
September 20, 2021 - A B M Amin Ullah Nuri, Chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) and Engineer Md. Sahadat Hossain Shiblu, General Secretary of IEB, exchanging document after signing a MoU on “Electronic Construction Permitting System (ECPS)” on behalf of their respective organization at a city hotel on Sunday. State Minister for Housing & Public Works Sharif Ahmed M.P and Secretary of the ministry Md. Shahid Ullah Khandaker, were present.
September 20, 2021 - Dr. Md. Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director of SME Foundation and Md. Tajul Islam, Managing Director & CEO (CC) of Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL), exchanging document after signing an agreement to disburse SME investment under the second phase of incentive package at SME Foundation head office in the capital recently.
September 18, 2021 - ‘Educational institutions cannot charge assignment fees’
September 18, 2021 - Nature and childhood in Tagore’s selected short stories
September 18, 2021 - BBS to reveal quarterly GDP growth stats
September 18, 2021 - Lanka Bangla Caption: Khurshed Alam, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Business of LankaBangla Finance Limited and Rahad Hossain, Country Manager of Infobip, Bangladesh, exchanging documents after signing an agreement in a city hotel on Thursday.
September 18, 2021 - Ad-Din Hospital for poor patients’ kidney treatment
September 18, 2021 - Country’s first female Medical physicist Dr. Fatima joined Gono Bishwabidyalay
September 15, 2021 - Anwar group gets new chairman
September 15, 2021 - Mohammed Monirul Moula, Managing Director and CEO of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, receiving letter of recognition of highest taxpayers in banking sector for 2020-21 fiscal year from Fazle Kabir, Governor of Bangladesh Bank at in a city hotel in the capital on Tuesday.
September 14, 2021 - Sheikh Hasina & Sheikh Rehana are last hopes of the nation: Murad
September 14, 2021 - PM for making education programmes time-befitting
September 14, 2021 - bKash launches integrated transaction service with Community Bank
September 14, 2021 - Mohammed Shawkat Jamil, Managing Director of United Commercial Bank PLC (UCB), inaugurating its 205th branch of United Commercial Bank PLC at Rangamati sadar on Sunday as chief guest. Rangamati Pouroshova Mayor Akbar Hussain Chowdhury, Arif Quadri, AMD, N Mustafa Tarek, Mohammed Habibur Rahman, DMDs, ATM Tahmiduzzaman, Company Secretary and other officials of the bank were present.
September 14, 2021 - ABM Mokammel Hoque Chowdhury, Managing Director of Union Bank Limited, recently inaugurates the bank’s new branch at Habiganj Sadar through virtually. Md. Habibur Rahman, AMD, Hasan Iqbal, Md. Nazrul Islam, DMDs and other senior officials of the bank were present.
September 14, 2021 - Mohammad Shamim Murshed, Head of Retail Banking Division of Premier Bank Limited and Khurrum Siddique, Managing Director of Simco Holdings Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. Under the deal, both the company will promote Premier Home Loan to sell apartments among individual customers. M. Reazul Karim, Managing Director & CEO the Premier Bank Limited and Mozaffor Uddin Siddique, Chairman of Simco Holdings Limited were present.
September 14, 2021 - Sydul H Khandaker, Managing Director and CEO of upay and Shihab Ahmad, Chief Commercial Oficer of Robi Axiata Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement on behalf of their respective organisations at a city hotel on Monday.Top officials from both sides were present.
September 14, 2021 - Md Monwarul Islam, Director General of Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB), poses for photo session at certificate handed over ceremony to officials of Summit Power Limited, the first IPP in Bangladesh to receive testing and calibration accreditations for its in-house labs.
September 14, 2021 - JaPa MP Prof Masuda Rashid Chy dies
September 12, 2021 - KSRM donates 6 Bipep machines to Ctg General Hospital
September 12, 2021 - EBL concludes first SOFR-based deal with Wells Fargo
September 12, 2021 - Hasan Mahmud Raja of United Group Limited and Zillul Karim of Credence Housing Limited, exchanging document after signing an agreement to develop two multi-storied buildings at Mohammadpur in the capital. Top officials from both sides were present.
September 11, 2021 - Women empowerment is of the essence to achieve Vision-2021, 2041
September 11, 2021 - Abul Kashem Md. Shirin, Managing Director & CEO of Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) and Md. Forkan Hossain, General Manager (Accounts & Budget) of Bangladesh Bank (BB), exchanging document after signing an agreement for collection of Govt. Revenue/Taxes through Automated Challan System (ACS) at BB head office in the capital on Monday. Mr. Ahmed Jamal, Deputy Governor of BB and other senior officials from both sides were present.
September 11, 2021 - Kashem elected Southeast Bank’s EC Chairman
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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