Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another Trip to Saudi Arabia

I have spent the past week in Saudi Arabia, again. I have been working with faculty and administrators in Saudi Electronic University. The last time I visited Saudi Arabia I worked with these faculty was in Jeddah, and this time I have been working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The creation of SEU is a strong step toward the future of education in this part of the world. They have embraced new technologies and formats with the goal of expanding educational opportunities for men and women all across Saudi Arabia. They have opened 6 campuses so far and plan to open a dozen more in the next few years.

The Faculty
Again, this has been an outstanding experience. The faculty members at SEU are of a very high quality. They have a sense of excitement about teaching at SEU and many have plenty of experience teaching in higher education. My role is to help them bridge from their more traditional experience to the hybrid (mostly online) format, and the curriculum focuses on technologies and strategies for teaching and managing their work effectively.

Participants in the course Strategies for Teaching in a Hybrid Learning Environment.
The Strategies for Teaching in a Hybrid Environment Course.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with these faculty and have great confidence in their ability to move forward in their work. I am hopeful that I will be able to interact with them again in the future.

Seeing Riyadh
Riyadh is the capitol of Saudi Arabia, and about 6 million people live in this sprawling city. We were blessed with the opportunity to go and see some very interesting sites some of the evenings we were there. I've shared some photos below with descriptions.

Me on the bridge of the Bridge at the top of the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. About 100 floors up. This was a great way to see the size of the city while at the same time enjoying the incredible view.

A panoramic photograph of the bridge on top of the Kingdom Tower.

We visited this castle, which is a historically significant location in Riyadh. The first king of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lived here after naming Riyadh the capitol.
This is the door of the castle.

Window shutters inside the castle.

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