COVID-19 Implications: Rethinking Business to Ensure Safety, Continuty and Responsiveness

Working Remotely

Following the UAE government's directives for to promote working from home for staff in both government and private sector as to ensure the health and safety of all due to the pandemic. CLICKS team has shifted to remote work since March 26th, 2020. Center’s activities were maintained and communication with clients have continued in accordance.

Leveraging on the Power of Technology

As in most sectors and businesses, technology has become for CLICKS a key enabler to ensure business continuity. Not only to enable employees to work remotely but also to continue to deliver timely and high-quality training and consultancy services to our clients. From digital collaborative tools and virtual spaces to communicate with clients and employees, to Learning Management Systems, Authoring Tools, Virtual Classrooms and Video Conference Solutions (i.e. Zoom, Google Hangouts) to run capacity building programs and webinars as well as virtual conference platforms; CLICKS has been leveraging on the power of technology to maintain continuity and re-shape its work.

Launching our Webinar Series to Support Transition to Online Learning

The coronavirus outbreak has compelled Universities and Colleges globally to rapidly shift to remote online learning. Institutions possessed various levels of maturity and experiences with transitioning to this new mode of learning and nor the luxury of time. A large number of institutions across the region and beyond had solid technological infrastructures in place but faculty and teaching staff had limited exposure to pedagogical approaches to teaching online. Hence, CLICKS has immediately planned and organized a series of webinars supporting higher education institutions to transition to meaningful online learning given this represents one of the five core areas of expertise of the Center. Public webinars covered a wider range of topics supporting online transition. From strategy and policy implications, to effective online teaching, building learning communities, online student assessment, quality and quality assurance and delivering effective student support services online. Participants from over 31 countries and 145 institutions have benefits from these webinars that ranged from three to six hours. The Center has also developed a series of webinars its tailors and delivers in-house to institutions.

Expanding our Portfolio and Outreach

Due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and the need for educational institution to rapidly move online and considering technology integration in higher education is one of the core aeras where the Center has vast expertise. CLICKS has expanded its portfolio for both training programs and consultancy services to focus on the immediate needs of institutions in relation to online. Training programs were made available as for both public and in-house delivery. Programs range from few hours’ webinars to structured certificate programs delivered through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous means. The Center has also launched 3 structured programs around Effectively Teaching Online, Instructional Design and Online Learning Strategy and Policy. In addition, CLICKS has expanded its consultancy services to include online and hybrid learning strategy, policy, quality assurance, pedagogical framework developments as well as undertaking readiness assessment and benchmarks. Moreover, considering the online nature of the services of the Center, CLICKS has been able to reach out to new geographies and clients.

Delivering our Consultancy Services Virtually

CLICKS has shifted 90% of its consultancy services as well as institutional and individual mentoring and coaching services online through the use of modern technologies and leveraging on its international network of experts and partners. The Center is today able to continue to deliver high quality, ‘fit-for-purpose’ and responsive services to its clients and to expand to new geographies. CLICKS has also expanded its consultancy portfolio in the areas of technology enhance education to include online learning strategy and policy development, QA frameworks for online learning, maturity readiness of institutions for online learning, and of course capacity building opportunities for senior administrators, faculty and staff. Such services are crucial considering that institutions and governments are realizing the benefits of online and blended learning and planning the continuation of various forms of technology enhanced education beyond the pandemic. This means that online/ blended learning will need to be clearly articulated as part of the strategic vision and priorities of higher education institutions and all university functions and processes should be re-considered within this context.

Providing Free Resources and Facilitating Experts’ Discussions

CLICKS has been striving to provide online resources supporting education continuity during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the forms of articles, tips and guidelines, etc. which it has made publicly available to the higher education community. In addition, the Center through the launch of the Panel Discussion Series “In Conversation with CLICKS” aims to create a dynamic platform where decision makers and leaders of higher education globally can meet and share good practices, future strategies and lessons learnt. In addition, the Nuggets of Knowledge published by CLICKS and the resources uploaded into the Voice of Higher Education Facebook Group have specifically been emphasizing on latest updates and developments in the sector based on the pandemic and resources supporting smooth transition to online learning.