The Academic Staff Orientation session for the January 2024 intake took place on February 3rd, at the Villa College QI Campus. The participants of the session included all academic full-time staff as well as visiting lecturers. It was an opportunity to focus together on what the college aims to achieve in general, and during academic year 2024 in particular.
The Vice Rector of Villa College, Dr. Ali Najeeb, commenced the event with an introductory speech, regarding key aspects of the ethos of the college. These included the main points of emphasis in the college's vision and mission statements as well as its guiding pillars. He also spoke extensively about the areas of delivery that the college will focus on during the year, aiming especially towards achievements in international rankings and ratings.
Following his address, Moosa Mohamed Manik, the Director of the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), delved into crucial insights on the areas to focus on in teaching and learning, providing valuable guidance to the attending academic staff. In his presentation he looked at different ways in which all teaching staff could access relevant college policies and documents on improving the learning experience for students through various activities, many of which are available in the online staff lounge.
Next, Margret Vijay, the Director of the Centre for Open and Distance Learning (CODL), underscored the significance of online collaborative learning in today's educational landscape. He focused on different ways in which module pages in the MOODLE application can be customised to be more useful for both students and lecturers. He outlined various ways in which these pages could be made more interactive, how students’ progress could be tracked more closely to encourage their progress, and how students could be supported to be more engaged with the content.
Afterward, Ahmed Yasir, the Head of Learning Support, emphasized different aspects learning support at the college, which is provided free to all students. He outlined the main features of these activities, including academic writing workshops, referencing workshops, E-Tute (English tutorial) appointments, and support for students in both English and Dhivehi language. All lecturers in the session were invited to join the E-Tutes Viber community and they were asked to encourage their students who needed help to make use of the free learning support resources that are available.
The session was concluded by the Rector of Villa College, Dr. Ahmed Anwar, delivering closing remarks.