More than 10 million minutes of meetings were supported over 3 months, assuring education continuity in the Kingdom
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – 24 September 2020: Cisco’s Webex collaboration platform enabled the rapid adoption of new remote learning models by KSA universities and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. 31 educational institutions in the country delivered over 10.6 million minutes of meetings and more than 23,000 sessions over the digital meeting platform between March 1st and June 1st, 2020.
As 91 percent of the world’s student population was faced with the reality of not being able to attend universities and schools in person, distance learning became a vital way of ensuring continuity, and encouraged institutions to accelerate their investments in digital transformation.
Recognizing the concerns of educators, which range from compliance and online safety, to student privacy and stimulating participation, Cisco’s Webex platform provided a vital link in enabling institutions to continue educating students in a secure manner – leveraging advanced security and authentication features to protect data and provide added peace-of-mind.
Webex empowered teachers to go beyond delivering lessons, allowing them to hold dialogues and interact with students, with features such as instant chat and polls to keep them engaged. Digital whiteboarding also enabled group work, while session recording functionality allowed students to access or revisit lectures at their convenience.
As enabling distance learning continues to be a priority focus for the country, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education recently approved new e-learning standards, aimed at regulating effective access and use of digital platforms to ensure continuity.
Creating Impact in the Kingdom
In Saudi Arabia, Cisco’s Webex platform has been leveraged by King Saud University to enable online collaboration during master thesis discussions between lecturers and students. Hosts were able to streamline communications by muting attendees during sessions and encouraging use of the Raise Hand notification tool, to request permission to speak.
Hosts also had the ability to create private discussions, by making use of the Breakout Session feature, as well as recording meetings for auditing and reference purposes. For further convenience, Webex enabled lecturers and students to attend such meetings from a device of their choice.
Similarly, Umm Al-Qura University has also been able to ensure continuity through the use of Cisco’s Webex platform, which has facilitated distance learning via more than 13,000 virtual meetings and events. In one instance, Webex meetings enabled over 200 students to discuss their graduate research projects online, while the solution also proved essential in creating an immersive digital learning environment during online Quran recitation sessions. By leveraging the collaboration capabilities of Webex, the university has been able to deliver more than 700,000 virtual meeting minutes.
“Due to the pandemic, educational institutions in the Kingdom have had to face the challenge of adapting quickly by deploying new solutions which have enabled students to continue gaining access to quality education. This required the collective efforts of the Government, local service providers and technology enablers, who worked tirelessly towards a seamless transition to remote learning for all,” said Salman Abdulghani Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia.
Faqeeh continued, “Deploying Webex, the powerful, interactive experiences that have been created by Saudi Arabia’s education sector have also proven that digital learning is not merely a temporary stopgap solution, but rather an invaluable part of the education experience, which opens up a new range of collaboration opportunities for educators going forward. This is possible when you use an integrated and secure collaboration platform that caters for the various interaction requirements and styles required by an effective education process.”