Dear Students,

18th March 2020

As you are aware, your College- National University of Science and Technology, has taken preemptive measures to suspend study at the colleges for a month starting from March 15, 2020 in response to the government directives. I know how difficult and deeply disappointing this suspension of classes for many of you. We at the College of Engineering have come up with certain actions that will support and ensure that your learning is not completely disrupted. Please note, providing extra online services is to help you and not to put extra burden on you.

Naturally, as an engineering student, you are adept to using technology and will appreciate the measures being taken by the college and your teachers. To bring you up to date on various actions and strategies that are being considered and implemented, I urge you to read the following.

  1. Student Engagement: To make your time well spent during this crucial time, your teachers will post materials on BlackBoard, relevant to the courses you are registered, for your reading, watching and / or some form of engaging activities. These materials will be posted on a weekly basis, in smaller quantum, so that learning will be at an appropriate pace. You can read these materials at your convenient during the day, evening or night. The objective is that you read and learn.
  2. Assessment: Due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, we have decided to scrap the conventional ‘mid-term examinations’ this semester. We want to adapt assessment methods that will be suitable for the current situation, yet will measure the achievement of the Learning Outcomes. The University is still working on alternative assessment methods, which will be communicated to you once finalized. Therefore, you need not panic about the mid-term assessments and coursework submission deadlines at present. Concentrate on learning and not assessment at this point of time.
  3. Access to the Internet: While we believe that most of you have access to the Internet and computing facilities, we understand that a minority of students are disadvantaged due to lack of access to these facilities during this time. Students who do not have access to the Internet need not worry. You try your best, for example, asking a friend to share the downloaded materials with you or use your phone. In case nothing works out for you, you can collect all materials on a USB drive from the college. Please contact your HoD for this purpose.
  4. Laboratory and Project Work: As these skills cannot be learnt online, we are working out a plan for this. When normalcy returns and regular work resumes, you will be given consolidated hands-on practice on each of the lab outcomes. For projects, please continue with your work as per the schedule you and your supervisor have agreed. We are planning to give an extension for project work submissions as necessary, which will be communicated to you once the dates are finalized. For the time being, you will not be required to submit any interim report which is due for submission during the 5th week of the semester. Try to finish as much work as possible during this period.

We hope you would appreciate the efforts taken by the college in order to ensure your learning is not suspended even the college is closed during this time. Should you have any further clarifications, please write to your teachers, HoD or me in case you need further assistance.

We wish you and your family members to stay safe.

All the best!

Sincerely,

Dr. Ahmed Al Bulushi
Dean, College of Engineering – National University of Science and technology

 

GENERAL FAQ’s and CLARIFICATIONS
FAQ’s Academic matters:

  1. Learning & Teaching during Suspension period: E- Learning is being conducted as far as possible supplemented by online materials. Internal regulations & assessments will be adapted to suit the delivery without affecting the Learning outcomes and students learning experience
  2. Internship and Site Visits: As per Ministry directives, we allow engineering students who are trained outside the educational institution to continue in the practical training period in smaller groups.
  3. Masters Project/Thesis: NU to continue to progress Master's theses work according to the scheduled dates.
  4. International Students: International students are subject to the same regulations as National Students and they should remain within Oman unless their countries instruct otherwise.
  5. What are the new assessment strategies? College is preparing alternative assessment strategies and these will be communicated to students once agreed.
  6. Are we going to extend the teaching weeks? Is there a plan across NU? No changes to the semester are currently proposed. The university is monitoring the situation closely. At the moment we are told this closure will last 4 weeks. If the situation changes we will review this.
  7. Can the colleges take independent decisions on learning teaching process because of the nature of the programmes? Academic decisions are taken by colleges subject to overall university guidelines and any program specific requirements
  8. If students have difficulty in using E- Learning what will be our approach? Any student experiencing difficulties should contact their instructors for support and advice
  9. If students do not have adequate internet connection, how can they continue E-Learning? If students have difficulty accessing internet, they should contact their respective colleges and we will make arrangements for providing a USB storage device with all the content.

In any case, for any inquiry your tutors are your 1st contact person so please keep in touch with them using your what’s up groups, emails or BB