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07 October 2020, Wednesday - 00:05
HABER: Çiğdem Ünaldı
OMU 2020-2021 Academic Year started with the first lecture on “Education and Training Strategies and Evaluation of Processes During Covid-19 Pandemic” given by Rector Ünal and it was broadcast online.
In the lecture moderated by the Head of Distance Education Center (UZEM) Asst. Prof. Hasan Atsız, information about education and training strategies and the distance education procedures during the pandemic was given. The program concluded with answering the questions coming from the students.
Explaining OMU’s training strategy and vision, Rector Ünal pointed out that the new academic year began under pandemic conditions and continued his words saying “ Under any circumstances, we must provide the most qualified education by adapting our education strategy to these conditions. This obligation made it necessary to re-evaluate and revise the education in new circumstances. Education is a really significant process and if it is ignored, it causes to lose power. For this reason, all the facilities we have should be used for the education activities regardless of its financial value.”
Rector Ünal, noting that their primary objective is to turn OMU into a research university, stated that “If we are able to form a good strategy and act with our current knowledge, it is not a dream to be among the top 500 universities in the world ranking. In short, changing the league of our university by taking the right steps at the right time is our first goal. Our another important goal is to train qualified people by increasing R&D studies in education. Therefore, we aim for a reputable university with high brand value and offering high quality diplomas.”
Noting that they have to take into account the expectations, changes, techniques, and technologies in the area of employment, Rector Prof. Dr. Ünal said “This actually means a paradigm shift. This, in turn, turns into a process that requires a redesign. The changing paradigm required a strategic plan that can be actualised in the medium and long term through an immediate action plan in terms of education. First of all, we have designed an emergency action plan considering the pandemic conditions and public health. While designing this action plan, we benefited a lot from the infrastructure and personnel capacity of OMU Distance Education Center.
Rector Ünal, noting that they intend to ensure equal access to education for all students, stated that “Our students are unlikely to get accurate and up-to-date information from the libraries or other sources within this period. To fill this gap, the concept of subject matter knowledge has emerged. Therefore, we asked our academicians to prepare a professional record containing the most up-to-date and the most accurate information regarding their courses and upload them to the system one week before the course. If our academics do not have the opportunity to make this recording alone, we will support them with our technical facilities and technical team. For this purpose, we have built up 36 studios.”
Stating that there are over 7000 courses and 50000 students, Asst. Prof. Hasan Atsız, Head of Distance Education Center (UZEM), remarked that the “evdekal.omu.edu.tr” platform is still active to solve the problems that the academicians and students are facing regarding distance education. Asst. Prof. Hasan Atsız also said that asynchronous videos, lecture notes, and the presentations are available in the “Academic Data Management System”.
Rector Ünal said “We will also review the curriculum depending on the new competencies we have identified. Some courses may be removed or new courses can be added as long as the legal framework is maintained. Even if the course is not removed, the content of the course needs to be updated according to the changes and expectations in the area of employment. We want to be a university that leads the change and manages the procedures well. Although our students face some challenges due to this change, it will make their lives easier and make their diplomas valuable.”
Informing the participants about the assessment and evaluation system, Rector Prof. Dr. Yavuz Ünal said “Our main goal is to conduct the exams face-to-face. I am aware that this may cause a huge financial burden but we need to overcome this burden.
Rector Ünal pointed out that the majority of the students live in Samsun and the surrounding cities and it is a great advantage in terms of being able to conduct face-to-face exams. Ünal said “We can determine a city which has the largest student population as an exam center and the students living in surrounding cities can take exams here. We are planning that the final exams will be carried out face-to-face and, some alternative methods such as assignments and projects can be used for midterm exams.
Explaining the procedures about applied courses, Rector Ünal stated that “ We are following the pandemic process very closely and creating different scenarios for our plan. According to the notice issued by the Governorship, some courses at the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, and the Veterinary Faculty were excluded since they are directly connected with human health. However, We think that students should not graduate without taking the applied courses. Applied courses of the first semester may be postponed and cooperation can be made with other universities on this issue.
The lecture concluded with Rector Ünal answering the questions coming from the participants.
Last Update: 07 October 2020, Wednesday - 00:05