Covid-19 Update: Al-Quds Bard College in Innovation Mode
Dear Friends of AQB:
Al-Quds Bard College remains in full operation, even though our physical campus has been closed since early March, due to the coronavirus. The College continues its momentum with online classes, and virtual conferences and extra-curricular activities as dynamic tools to accommodate the current situation. AQB has two advantages. Al-Quds University made a swift and seamless transition to real-time virtual classes, and AQB benefited from the support of AQB’s and AQU's talented technical teams. In addition, as part of the global Bard College network, we have been engaged in distance learning for many years. In spring 2020 alone, AQB was already offering three network-courses: Freedom of Speech, Nationalism and the Modern State, and Migration, which are in connection with students from Bard (New York), Bard Berlin, and American University of Central Asia. Furthermore, AQB’s Master of Arts in Teaching program has been embedding tools like e-portfolio, google docs, google forms, Zoom calls, and blended courses in many of their academic undertakings.
As for the online extra-curricular activities, AQB Student-Led Initiative (SLI) and Civic Engagement projects are still going on with the strong spirit of innovation, where students are planning and preparing for their virtual conference “Get Engaged” later this month. Also, AQB Debate Union has been working and preparing for their future tournaments that are going, more likely, to occur in virtual settings. Unheard Palestinian Stories, which is an AQB SLI group, is sharing diverse stories through social media such as Instagram and Facebook groups.
Naturally, we believe strongly in the value of our in-person classes and activities. But we also see this challenging situation as an opportunity to discover and implement exciting new methods of teaching throughout the College. Our role as an educational partner in the new Open Society University Network (OSUN) will give us even more chances to connect our classes and our research to peers around the globe.
This process of innovation is a student-centered one, where students could contribute their thoughts and add to their learning experience under the current circumstances. We are looking forward for an end to this pandemic where we all go back to classes at our Abu Dis campus – perhaps with new ideas that will further invigorate our in-person practices. Until then, we will meet the challenge by supporting members of our community during this crisis, and by bringing a spirit of cooperation and innovation to every aspect of our response.
We wish all safety and well-being.
Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Science.