Around 70 papers will be presented by presenters from Austria, the United States, Lebanon, and Pakistan who will attend the conference both in person and virtually.

The International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) Faculty of Education is hosting an international conference on “transition of traditional universities to online mode,” which got underway on Wednesday at the Faisal Masjid Campus.

The Higher Education Commission, Pakistan Science Foundation, and the Iqbal International Institute of Research & Dialogue are working with the Faculty of Education to put on the conference. Participants in the conference discussed new problems and difficulties in online learning and distance education.

Reputable national and international academicians and researchers shared their opinions on the best options and guidelines for maximising the contribution of e-learning and distance learning to the development of the country.

More than 300 researchers, keynote speakers, educators, and experts are taking part in this two-day conference. Around 70 papers will be presented by presenters from Austria, the United States, Lebanon, and Pakistan who will attend the conference both in person and virtually.

The participants talked about how to adapt to new technologies, best practises in online learning, blended learning, communication difficulties in e-learning during COVID-19, e-learning strategies, evaluation in online learning, the future of online learning for universities, learning management systems, needs and difficulties of online learning, and research models & paradigms in online learning.

Speaking at the conference, Dr. N.B. Jumani stated that distance and open learning is one of the most popular forms of education in the world and that the recent pandemic episode has highlighted the demand for and use of online education and learning around the world.

He discussed IIUI’s response to the Covid wave, stating that school maintained uninterrupted instruction through its distance learning platform.

According to him, the upcoming national ODL policy will help the ODL system flourish, and most universities will begin working on it as soon as it is announced. He praised the conference planners for putting together a worthwhile conference on a crucial subject.

He stated that the adoption of online distance learning is necessary because of the age of online and remote learning and the limited resources available.

Dr. Muhammad Sarwar, dean of the faculty of education, stated that moving traditional universities online will help to address the problems with education that developing nations face.

He continued by saying that it brings education to people’s doorsteps while providing teachers with better quality support.

Online learning, according to Dr. Sarwar, has shortened the distance between students and academic institutions. He clarified that the conference’s goal is to examine difficulties and suggestions for resolving them in the shift to online mode.

Nasir Shah, director general of the Quality Assurance Directorate, stated that HEC is working on an ODL policy that has been created in collaboration with Pakistani academics. According to him, this policy will soon be implemented following Higher Education Commission approval.

He emphasised the need for universities to concentrate on technological transformation. Dr. Asmatullah Khan, Dean of Computing at IIUI and Director of Distance Learning, spoke about technological advancements and their application in education.

According to him, ODL will be the top choice among universities in the upcoming era. He also discussed the initiatives taken by universities to promote their online courses.

Being the focal point, Dr. Fouzia Ajmal was informed of the themes and specifics of conference on “transition of traditional universities to online mode.” She mentioned that this conference has speakers and attendees from more than 30 universities.

She claimed that the entire world is concentrating on innovation, digital transformation, and the use of technology in the educational sector. She added that the Higher Education Commission is assisting universities in implementing hybrid learning systems, blended learning models, and smart classrooms.