Al-Quds Open University inaugurated a laboratory on the side-lines of the virtual reality project funded by the “Erasmus +” program in Palestine, entitled “Virtual Reality as a Development, Learning and Simulation Tool in Palestinian Higher Education Institutions.”
Similar laboratories will also be established in three other Palestinian universities: Al-Istiqlal University, Arab-American University, and Palestine Polytechnic University.
During the inauguration, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Samir Najdi said that the project is aimed to keep abreast with the global trends of e-learning, which has become the basis for the universities around the world, and it is a qualitative leap in the capabilities provided by QOU in terms of relying on the virtual world and e-learning mainly.
Prof. Najdi said that the laboratory helps students to visualize applications, things and programs that cannot be comprehended, especially in subjects such as physics and mathematics . Najdi thanked the European Union and “Erasmus +” represented by the Director of its office in Palestine, Dr. Nidal al-Jayyousi, for supporting the establishment of these laboratories in QOU and in partner universities stressing that the “Erasmus +” program enriches Palestinian universities technically and professionally by building the capacity of universitys’ proffesors. He also mentioned that the European Union had made a study in, which Erasmus + office in Palestine contributed, on the technological needs in Palestine, highlighting that Palestine’s need now is about information technology skills.
Eng. Muhammad Fahl, Director of the Center for Continuing Education and Community Service at QOU, said that the project aims to build the capacities of teaching and technical staff of the Palestinian partner universities in areas that depend on the use of virtual reality in education, and the transfer of laboratory experiences to students outside the university walls, by providing three virtual environments in Forensic sciences, physics and topography that simulate experiments which can only be implemented in laboratories, especially in the current situation of frequent lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which allows students to benefit from experiments and simulate them from their homes. The lab covers aspects that e-learning cannot cover.
The project coordinator, Mr.Fayez Abdel Hafeez, from Al-Istiqlal University said that this project is the first of its kind in Palestinian universities and contributes to developing the use of simulation in the educational process even after the pandemic is over. “
For his part, the Director of the Center for Open Education at Al-Quds Open University, Eng. Hussein Younes, said that the project contributes to introducing students to the correct concepts by simulating what is actually happening on a computer screen.