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AUS launches new Virtual Open Learning Day to provide executive education
A new executive education program from American University of Sharjah (AUS) offering a variety of online training courses for government and private sector employees launched on Sunday, July 26. Called Virtual Open Learning Day, the new program offers live training sessions to registered participants.
More than 2,500 participants from 120 entities including ministries, higher education institutions, banks, non-profit organizations and government offices have registered for the training courses on offer, which are expected to run until September.
“We want to deliver the best possible learning experience for those working in the public and private sector to further enhance their skills in their field of work and introduce them to new areas of knowledge that would help them at the professional and personal levels,” said Moustafa Shalash, Senior Manager of Executive Education and Outreach.
He added: “This comes as part of the university’s continued efforts to enhance community engagement through offering opportunities for growth and development. With consideration to the recent challenges presented by COVID-19 and its global impact, we have been successful in providing various UAE entities with training after higher education institutions shifted from classroom-only learning to remote learning.”
Internationally qualified faculty members from each of the four AUS colleges will provide training sessions that each run for three or four days on a variety of topics such as business intelligence; bitcoin and finance; simulation-based project management; excellence in management; the art of science and negotiations; activating design thinking for organizational impact; the art of science and negotiations; the art and science of finance for non-finance executives; urban land use planning post COVID-19; translation and interpreting; government communication; energy, environment, and sustainability; data analysis with excel; and many others.
Dr. Norita Ahmed, Director of the Faculty Development Center and Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at the School of Business Administration, gave her first session on business intelligence yesterday. She utilized various pedagogical learning methods such as case studies, group work, in-class exercises, role playing and games in her teaching.
She said: “This is an important subject because data is considered today as one of the most valuable sources of competitive advantage. Many organizations collect and seek insights from massive datasets known as big data. Data analytics and business intelligence are driving discovery and innovation, redefining the way we do business, and creating new kinds of privacy concerns that can easily shred corporate reputations if not handled properly.”
Dr. Anijo Mathew, Head of the Department of Art and Design at the College of Architecture, Art and Design, will be offering sessions on ways to use design thinking for creative problem solving. Drawing from his 15 years of experience in consulting for organizations worldwide, he will aim to help participants identify and execute strategic innovation projects using design thinking.
Faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences will provide training on government communication, translation and interpreting.
“The UAE is a prime example of multilingualism and multiculturalism. It is a country at the forefront of global humanitarian projects, which require intercultural communication. Interpreting is the main medium. The session explores the types, requirements, constraints, techniques, and trials and tribulations of interpreting from grand settings like the UN to community services and settings like refugee camps,” said Dr. Said Faiq, Professor in Arabic and Translation Studies and Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting Program at the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies.
Elaborating on the importance of the communication session, Dr. Mohammed Ayish, Professor and Head of the Department of Mass Communication, said: “For corporate, non-profit and government actors, communication is an indispensable resource for reaching out to target audiences with messages that inform, educate, motivate and inspire. Government communication has become a key area of research and professional practice. Governments have found it extremely vital to build up their national media capacities to enable dynamic, engaging and informative communications with citizens. Government communication practitioners need to master a wide range of media skills and competencies such as research and data analytics, strategic planning, content creation, social media management and crisis management.”
Training by faculty from the College of Engineering will focus on project management, a vital element of business and that has emerged as a critical organizational capability. “There is a need for more project managers who are experienced and professional. The course will enable participants to identify the elements of project management that are critical to the success of engineering projects, introduce the project management framework, and project life-cycle,” said Dr. Abdulrahim Shamayleh, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering.