BISK Virtual Learning Environment

As part of our response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, BISK has rolled out a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) available to all our students back in March 9, 2020.  All our classes, will now take place in this BISK-Home Virtual Learning Environment for the foreseeable future or combination thereof- face to face and online.

The advantages of using a VLE are significant. First, we are able to deliver high-quality teaching to students all around the world. The face to face interaction and live learning are similar to teaching models used in the classroom, and invaluable to less self-sufficient students.

BISK uses two pieces of software (Platform) to deliver classes. The first is a platform called Google Classroom with recorded lessons, an online learning management system which is used for content sharing, forum discussions, online quizzes (class marker), video messages and much more (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype) creating a virtual knowledge database accessible from around the world.

Meanwhile, lessons will be delivered using Zoom, a virtual classroom and meeting program that allows instant interaction with peers and with teachers. This online environment can also be fun, allowing for gamification of classes, as well as real-time responses to surveys and questions.

BISK-Home Virtual Learning Environment Policy
Context
  • BISK is committed to providing a distinctive education based on academic excellence. This commitment is demonstrated within the Strategic Plan (2020-2021).
  • Use of BHVLE and expects that this will be done in a manner which will preserve the integrity of student learning and assessment.
Purpose
  • The purpose of this policy is to support the development of technology-enhanced learning across both online and face-to-face teaching environments that will assist in:
    • Enhancing the student experience
    • Supporting innovative teaching strategies
    •  Building digital capacity
  •  BISK is committed to providing a high quality experience to our students in the BISK-Home Virtual learning environment. BISK approach is to design the virtual Learning environment provision that focuses on three key areas;
    • A) Structure
    • B) Content
    • C) Monitoring of progress and assessment

In doing so, the policy supports the BISK’s Strategic Plan (2020-21) and its related strategies with respect to the educational experience of BISK students and academic staff. 

Benefits
  • The policy is designed to ensure that every registered student has online access to a minimum standard of program information and learning resources.
  • This policy seeks to support academics in enhancing their academic practice.
  • By promoting broad adoption of the BHVLE, this policy supports self-directed student learning and independent learning activity.
Scope
  • This policy applies to bearing modules and programs delivered to registered students of BISK.
  • This policy applies to the BHVLE with regard to teaching and learning activities.
  • This policy does not apply to the technical service level to support the BHVLE which is the responsibility of IT Services.
Principles
  • The VLE is key to BISK’s ongoing commitment to enhance the educational experience through the promotion of appropriate technology enhanced learning and the meaningful use of technology.
  • Digital capacity and innovation in the use of technology enhanced learning will be promoted and supported.  
Definitions
  • BISK-Home Virtual Learning Environment (BHVLE) is a user-friendly/ Web-based platform for digital resources and information of programs of study, usually within educational institutions.
  • Modules are the building blocks of programs. They are self-contained units of teaching, learning and assessment on particular topics with defined academic values, learning outcomes, modes of delivery and assessment schemes.
  • A Program is a set of modules, courses or course options that lead to an award.
Minimum content specifications
  • The minimum defined standard within the BHVLE for all modules will include:
    • Course and module information, including course and module handbooks, module specifications, outline, key calendar dates and information regarding assessment. This information will be made available at the commencement of the module. 
  •  Lists of information resources/reading lists, such as books, journals, databases, web sites.
  • Each module home page will contain information which is standardized and formatted for every module and the VLE interface will be structured to provide access to resources based on simple login and the minimum of navigation.
  • All digital materials used in the teaching and learning on the program will, where possible, be made available to the students within the BHVLE.
Expectations
  • Learning material is accessible, inclusive, relevant and current.
  •   Learning materials relate to the intended learning outcomes of the course/unit and to the needs of distance learners and this is clearly signposted to students.
  •   Learning materials are of a high standard, presented in a structured and easily navigable manner and encourage student engagement.
  • Learning materials adhere to copyright restrictions.
  • Complex ideas are presented in multiple supporting formats and a multi-media approach is adopted which engages students and supports different approaches to learning.
  • Activities prompt critical reflection and review, consolidate learning and contribute to students’ wider skills’ development.
  • Activities create opportunities for students to link theory and practice.
  • Further relevant reading and development opportunities are signposted.
Responsibility
  • The Associate Dean/counselor of Online Education has responsibility for this Policy.
  • The Associate Dean of Online Education at BISK, with support from Heads of Schools and e-learning , is responsible for the implementation of the BHVLE Policy with respect to BISK Teaching and Learning.
  • The Director IT Services is responsible for technical service standards and management of the contract with the BHVLE supplier.  
Online VLE Education at BISK

The proposed educational plan is multilayered/friendly user approach as follows:

  • Study packs using textbooks and photocopies following a pickup/drop off system
  • SeeSaw  (Elementary) is to be used for communication with parents as it parallels the advantages of Google Classroom
  • Teachers will prepare PDFs to be downloaded according to their Subject areas.
  • Recorded Lessons (Bandicam / FonePaw) will be prepared by all subject teachers including for Kurdish, Islamic studies, art/music/ICT and Science.. etc.   
  • Live Lessons (Zoom/Google Meet/Skype) with attendance.
  • Google Classroom :  facilitate paperless communication between teachers and students and streamline educational workflow. Google Classroom allows teachers to create classes, post assignments, organize folders, and view work in real-time.
  • BISK provided a Laptops for students to join online Learning.
  • Webcam : Webcam applications for live Lessons and attendance.
  • Links to outside sources – pathways to all other online learning spaces are linked via the BHVLE (BISK-Home Virtual Learning Environment).
  • Provision for the necessary hyperlinks to create a unified presentation to the students.
  • Interactive online whiteboard for live virtual classes
Instructional and Qualified Faculty/Professional Development
  • To support and encourage the internal development of the BISK-Home Virtual learning Environment program by promoting and providing guidelines for training, inclusion of distance learning classes in teacher workloads, and technical support.
  • To provide strategies for effective delivery of BHVLE alternatives through the development of policies for consistency in BISK-Home Virtual Learning Environment.
  • To evaluate periodically and comprehensively every facet of the VLE program and to use these results to restructure and improve the program.
  • To recruit, train, counsel, evaluate, and retain highly qualified online teachers.
Mission of BISK-Home Virtual Learning Environment

The mission of VLE at BISK is to provide quality instruction through electronic technologies to enable students to attain their educational goals consistent and to provide access to BISK classes and programs using various instructional methods, including distance education.

The Grade Level Content Expectations

To ensure that our students are acquiring to Build from the BISK Curriculum Framework and its Teaching and Assessment Standards. Reflecting best practices and current research, they provide a set of clear and rigorous expectations for all students and provide teachers with clearly defined statements of what students should know and be able to do as they progress through school.

GLCE’s-Grade Level Content Expectations so they can move on to the next grade level through implementation of BISK-HOME VLE using Google Classrooms and webcams to conduct live lessons and pre-recorded ones that are uploaded in the Google Classroom so students can view them at their leisure.

 In developing these expectations, the Secondary Scholar Work Group depended heavily on the all the subjects Framework which has been the gold standard for the high school content expectations. As a further resource for research on learning progressions and curricular designs.

GLCEs are the Bisk Kurdistan standards students are expected to reach in each content area at each grade level.  The GLCEs are continually revised and updated on BISK website.