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HBMSU announces initiatives to enhance learning

Gamification and virtual assistants for future students at HBMSU

HBMSU announces initiatives to enhance learning
HE General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, chairman of the governors of HBMSU reviewing the University's new learning initiatives.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has announced a set of new initiatives for learning, which it will officially launch as part of the UAE Innovation Week.

The three new programs from HBMSU include introducing ‘gamification' to education courses at the university, support students with a Personal Virtual Assistant and develop coding skills among secondary school students in the UAE through ‘The Local Programmer' initiative.

HBMSU will also launch a Center for Future Studies as part of Innovation Week.

Dr Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, said that the initiatives are intended to enrich knowledge, stimulate scientific research, and instil a culture of creativity, innovation and excellence among learners. The programs have been developed after extensive research and study of education programs.

"Traditional education is no longer making that much of a significant impact in the development process. We therefore have the responsibility to develop a better educational system based on the latest technological innovations and in a form which produces pioneering graduates and talented generations embodying the wise leadership's ambitions for the future. We have taken it upon ourselves to develop four innovative smart initiatives along with seven others that are still under study in an effort to rewrite the future of ‘smart' university education in order to serve the objectives of both UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021," Al Awar said.

The university will introduce ‘gamification' by the second semester of 2017, for a program for students which aims to motivate them to complete certain tasks, which are complementary to academic and educational goals.

Under the initiative students will be able to add points to their Grade Point Average through various activities such as visiting the library and volunteer work. Points will also allow them to qualify for privileges, badges, rewards and so on, as well as to be ranked on achievement lists with their peers. HBMSU says it is the first university worldwide to apply gamification and gaming concepts to learning, and that the initiative will pave the way for harnessing gaming concepts to further advance learning.

The Personal Virtual Assistant will provide a personalised, interactive source of information for students, including data on their academic programs, study plans, contacts for their supervisors or lecturers, financial transactions with the university and other functions. By combining technologies including Chatbot, Artificial Intelligence, Voice Recognition, and Text-to-Voice, the PVA will deliver round the clock assistance to students.

The Local Programmer initiative is the result of co-operation between HBMSU, the Emirates Association for Talent and Microsoft, and aims to create a generation of citizens who are capable of programming. Using Microsoft software and the Cloud Campus Platform of the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart Social Learning Initiative, the program will aim to educate secondary school students on new technologies and programming.

HE General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police, General Security in Dubai, and Chairman of the University's Board of Governors of the University, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) commented: "Our upcoming participation in Innovation Week 2016 comes in line with our commitment to national responsibilities supporting the UAE's efforts to transform the path to development as one that is based on science, knowledge and innovation so as to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity in accordance with the guidance of our wise leadership. We are confident that the new smart initiatives are important additions to ongoing efforts to reshape teaching methods so that they focus more on creativity, innovation and smart technology. This will enable the preparation of a qualified generation that can carry on the march to excellence, leadership, and future progress."

"During our participation at Innovation Week 2016 we will also launch the business-oriented ‘Center for Future Studies' under our Business and Quality Management College through a series of interactive workshops. The Center complements the ‘UAE Strategy for the Future' initiative launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aimed at establishing the Arab World's global leadership in science, culture and civilization. Through it we look forward to creating international educational and academic tools that achieve the wise leadership's vision for exploring and forming the future, coming from Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University's expertise as a model of global education and a pioneer cultural project," Dr Al Awar added.


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