The IT department of UTAS-Ibri organized a career development program titled “UpSkills and ReSkills” on 4th May 2023 from 9.45am to 1.45pm. A total of 64 students, 10 lecturers, 4 speakers including an alumni participated in this event. The objectives of the event are to fill the skills gap of the student community and to guide in preparing jobs and placements. Dr. Amal Bati Said Al-Abri, Head of IT Department inaugurated the event and presented the warm greetings and importance of the event to the student participants. Mr. Ahmed Said Sulaiman Al Gharibi, Alumni of the IT Department was the chief guest. His esteemed presence gave a good confidence on student participants to target their life goals. The first speaker, Dr. Wilfred Blessing N.R, Lecturer of IT presented a motivational session in two tracks. In the first track, the speaker explained the worth of “Self-Confidence” and its types. He focused and presented the tips to improve the optimal-type of self-confidence by targeting the student’s competence and preparation skills. In the second track, the speaker presented the “Role of Linkedin in Jobs Search” which is a professional social network to connect researchers, recruiters and trainers.
The second speaker, Mr. Junath Nasser, Lecturer of IT provided us with practical tips and insights on how to navigate the job market and develop essential soft skills for success in the workplace. He shared useful techniques for crafting a strong resume, preparing for an interview, and networking effectively. Additionally, the speaker emphasized the importance of developing emotional intelligence, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities to thrive in today's competitive job market.
The third speaker is, Mr. Ahmed Said Sulaiman Al Gharibi, Asset Controller (P&E), Special Technical Services Company, Muscat. He presented his job experiences with the students and explored the skills requirement for the job placements. He also shared the expectations of the employers. Finally, he presented his CV as a model and explained the strengths and things to focus. All the student participants worth fully interacted with the Alumni guest. The fourth speaker Ms. Sara Said Obaid Al Shukaili presented the CV writing tips. A sample resume was also presented for the knowledge of students. Particularly she presented the tips on how to write a resume. It includes, tailoring students resume, resume styles and sections, things to do before submitting the resume and ATS (Applicant Tracking System) algorithms - streamlining and bringing efficiency to hiring process, and top tips on how to prepare for the interview. As a final session, mock interviews were conducted by considering the requirement of Software Engineers/Developers for an IT firm. The mock interview panel was led by Mr. Abdullah Mubarak Mussabah Al Shukeily and Ms. Fatma Said Hamed Al Shamli. Mr. Ahmed Said Sulaiman Al Gharibi, Dr. Wilfred Blessing N.R, Mr. Junath Nasser, Ms. Sara Said Obaid Al Shukaili acted as members of the panel. All the students were accepted to watch the interview session. The student participants were able to identify the strengths and weaknesses through the mock interviews. Students participated and enjoyed the sessions with great interest.
The memento for the chief guest was presented by the HOS of IT Section Ms. Fatma Said Hamed Al Shamli. HOS of Math Section Dr. Pugalarasu Rajan graced at the inaugural event. The master of ceremony was presented by student Malaak Abdullah Mohammed Al Luwaihi. Welcome note was presented by Diploma student Lubna Humaid Rashid Al Shabanoti and vote of thanks message was presented by student Aicha Said Abdullah Al Zidi. This event was organized under the chairmanship of Dr. Amal Bati Said Al-Abri, HOD of IT Department and harmonized by Dr. Wilfred Blessing N.R, Lecturer of IT Department with the effective collaboration of OJT Committee, IT Society and ACM Student Chapter.
UTAS –Ibri has always been at the forefront in facilitating students to ace IELTS. In response to the requests from the IELTS aspirants, The English Language Centre of UTAS, Ibri, conducted three Online IELTS preparation courses in January and February of 2023 for 150 students who attended the sessions.
Experienced teachers conducted the sessions and drew the students' attention to the areas needing improvement. The teachers who taught the four skills were Fazilat Jahan, Miriam Cordova, Humaid Al Mamari, Amal Ashour, Nusaibya Al Ghafri, Mohsin Amiri and Sharon Devaneson.
Many aspirants could successfully clear the series of mock tests conducted during the sessions. A Needs Analysis questionnaire helped the teachers to identify the focus areas and was a ready reckoner for them to customize the activities to introduce tips and strategies to enhance four skills.
Here are the experiences of the teachers.
Teaching IELTS listening was an excellent experience for Humaid Al Mamari. He concentrated on four types of questions and offered some advice. He enjoyed seeing how the students responded and interacted with one another. The students were incredibly keen to take part. Nusaiba Al Ghafri led the IELTS speaking session, which included brief grammar and vocabulary lectures to increase the student's capacity for getting a higher speaking skill score. Applications and websites like Itolki and Discord were shared during the class as a reference and learning aid for learning English. In break-out rooms with Teams, Part 1 also practised in a peer-to-peer setting before being done with everyone.
Sharon Devaneson stressed that students first need to understand the IELTS marking criteria for writing and speaking. Then, the students can find out what they need to work on according to their desired score band.
The online IELTS courses received excellent feedback from students, with some preferring face-to-face classes. It was a good experience for both students and teachers as the number of IELTS aspirants increased and the continued request for IELTS mock sessions indicated the success of the programme.
Ms Naeema gave an online presentation on May 18, 2023, at ELC, UTAS-Ibri. She talked about major health issues faced by students on the campus. According to her, students frequently faint on campus, and the symptoms associated are paleness, dizziness, headache, and sweating. The second major issue is minor injuries or wounds. She mentioned the required process of dealing with different types of wounds. The major one was to deal with the primary burns, and Asthma was identified as the last one, which was one of the causes of fainting. Each domain was demonstrated by a short video that showed the practical part after the theoretical part. Forty lecturers from the ELC attended the online presentation and the feedback was highly positive.
The University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS-Ibri), through the Staff Development Committee of IT Department organized a seminar on IOT and its emerging trends in our daily life in 16th May 2023, Tuesday at 1130AM in the IT Meeting Room. The invited speaker is Mr Mohammed Habeebuddin who has previously worked with Aptech India Ltd in Hyderabad and has over 20 years of experience in solution design and development. Presently, he is the Solutions Architect and Chief of Operations of Modern Software LLC in Muscat.
The speaker started his talk in explaining the concept and the advent of computer – why computers were invented. Primarily, computers were designed and invented in order to automate mathematical calculations. Later, he discussed its limitations and the different generations of computers. As the speaker continued his lecture, he emphasized the innovation measurement framework as per the UNESCO guidelines, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in. He mentioned that AI has found its vast penetration towards educations, advisory, process automation, i.e. banking and insurance and robotic in production.
Towards the end of the talk, Mr Mohammed stated that a combination of AI and ICT gave rise to the 5th generation computers, then the beginning of the Internet of Commerce Things (IOCT) was introduced where huge applications gave great impact on today’s daily life such as women safety driving, commercial internet of things (CIOT), smart home / building lightning and billing, smart ticket-less parking solutions and a lot more.
The presentation successfully engaged the participants, sparking their interest and prompting insightful questions. The presenter adeptly responded to the inquiries by providing clear and informative answers.
A total of 20 individuals, including staff and students, participated in the talk on IoT. At the conclusion of the session, feedback was collected, and the speaker received an average score of 3.96 out of 5, indicating a highly positive response from the audience.
Dr Mobina Rahnama conducted a workshop on CV writing on May 16, 2023, for OJT students at UTAS-Ibri. It was an excellent opportunity for the students who wanted to enhance their CV writing skills.
She started with the importance of promoting oneself for a job through a CV and listed the differences between a cv and a résumé and also emphasized the importance of an error-free CV/résumé. She also stated that a well-drafted cv/résumé can be a gateway to success. The workshop engaged the participants with exciting activities that helped them write about their skills, experience, qualifications and other professional achievements. The workshop was a ready reckoner to many, with valuable indicators that helped the participants customize their CVs and résumés.
The Staff Development Committee of the Engineering Department organized a seminar program on "Cognizance on Student and Teachers Emotions" on 11th May 2023 from 1:30PM to 2:30 PM in the AutoCAD Lab (B117). The program aimed to provide clarity on the student and teachers emotions and behavioral skills for the staff in the class room. Dr.V.Ilankumaran, Head of section, Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, UTAS-Ibri was the speaker for the program.
He began the program by elaborating on the various feelings of student can have while attending the class. He is guided the staff members to deal with their emotions by just listening to them. He is also, encouraged academic teaching faculty members to have different types of emotional level so that student should be friendly at the same time follow the faculty members. There were too many questions and discussions carried out with faculty members during this seminar, and the speaker also encouraged their contribution to those questions and suggestions the changes that can be implemented gradually. Overall, the Cognizance on student and teacher’s emotions seminar was very interactive and a great success, providing the participants with valuable information. The Staff Development Committee deserves recognition for organizing a useful and informative program.
Mr Sulaiman Rashid Al Gharibi gave a presentation titled Using SCL in Teaching English for the ELC-Staff at UTAS-Ibri on May 18, 2023. The nerve points of the presentation were the balance of power in the classroom, the function of the course content, the role of the teacher versus the role of the student, the responsibility of learning and the purpose and processes of evaluation.
He also drew the attention of the audience to the need to produce students who are good critical thinkers, problem solvers, and creative; they need to make sense of the information they possess, not memorize it and improve student engagement and ownership of learning.
The presentation also focused on essential indicators, shifts in the role of assessment, implications of SCL and importance of curriculum alignment to the expected standards.
The speaker ended the session with four steps to master the learner-centred approach in ELT classrooms.
Mr Salim Al Shukeli conducted an exclusive training session on using the prescribed text Pathways for new teachers on May 11, Thursday at ELC, UTAS-Ibri.The session focused on two main aspects of using Pathways: The first was using pathways in the classroom and other associated activities. It was a kind of analysis on why the three skills reading, listening and speaking, were covered and writing as a skill was not addressed. The communication skills, the presentation skills as well as the opportunities for critical thinking were also covered. Additionally, the training session discussed the advantages and drawbacks of teaching Pathways to students at the university.
The second domain was about My ELT platform and how it supports teaching and learning. The main features that a teacher needs to know about are as follows: creating a course, creating students’ accounts, enrolling students, assigning activities, deleting activities, checking students’ activities as well as grades, deleting activities, specifying the time for activities, generating reports and finally awarding marks.
The discussion during the session helped the audience contemplate their methods and students’ response to the activities.
The session was received well and was acknowledged.
In an effort to promote national priorities and facilitate research funding opportunities, a workshop aimed to empower researchers and encourage innovative solutions to address national challenges and requirements. The workshop was organized by the Research & Consultancy Committee of the IT Department and held offline on April 11th, 2023. It was delivered by Dr. Arthur Davis Nicholas, a senior lecturer in the engineering department. In view to Oman's vision for 2040 and the Sultanate’s commitment to advancing science, technology, and innovation, the workshop served as a platform to foster collaboration and support researchers in aligning their projects with the nation's strategic objectives. Dr. Arthur Davis, known for his expertise in engineering and research management, delivered valuable insights to the enthusiastic participants.
The workshop commenced with an overview of Oman's national priorities, emphasizing the critical areas of focus identified by the government to drive sustainable development. These priorities encompassed a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, education, energy, water resources, transportation, and information technology. Dr. Davis highlighted the importance of aligning research projects with these priorities to maximize their impact on the nation's progress.
Attendees were introduced to various research funding opportunities available in Oman. Dr. Davis shed light on governmental initiatives and research grants, encouraging researchers to explore these resources to support their projects. Throughout the workshop, Dr. Davis showcased examples of funded projects from the engineering department and illustrated the findings and contributions of these projects.
The session started at 11:00 AM and ended at 12:00 PM, where a total of 10 staff members participated. Participants' feedback was collected. The speaker was given a mean score of 4.23 on a scale of 1-5, where five is the highest.
IT TEAMS WON PRIZES IN NATIONAL LEVEL COMPETITIONS “TECHFEST 2023”
The IT students of UTAS-Ibri participated in National Level competitions “TechFest 2023” and won prizes in “IoT Exhibition Competition” and “Research Paper Presentation Competition” organized by UTAS-CAS-Ibri on 9th May 2023. The UTAS-Ibri IT participants received great exposure on research trends, innovation, technological awareness and IoT projects knowledge. The winners and the supervisors received the awards/certificates from the Dean of the organizing branch, Dr. Rashid bin Sayied bin Said al-Hanai. The cash awards were also announced by the organizers. In order to recognize the achievements of the IT Teams, the winners were invited to the home department, and honored by Dr. Amal Bati Al-Abri, HoD-IT, Ms. Fatma Said Al-Shamli, HoS-IT and Dr. Pugalarasu Rajan, HoS-Math. Below are the winners:
IoT EXHIBITION - COMPETITION: WINNER (First)
BADAR SAUD AL-QASSABI
TIF RASHID AL SHAHOOMI
SAFA AWADH AL-KALBANI
Supervisor: MS. SARA SAID AL SHUKAILI
Title: "Medical Room IoT System for Minimizing Medical Symptoms"
RESEARCH PAPER PRESENTATION - COMPETITION: WINNER (Second)
AICHA SAID ABDULLAH AL ZIDI
MALAAK ABDULLAH MOHAMMED AL LUWAIHI
Supervisor: DR. WILFRED BLESSING N.R
Title: "Hackers Attack on ATM Machines: A Case Study and Review"
The other IT Students who participated in TechFest competitions are as follows: Anwaar Khalid Ali Al Gharibi, Shima Ahmed Khalifa Al Kalbani, Marwah Said Hamed Al-Kalbaniya, Hudhifa Said Sulaiman Al Adawi, and Abdul Aziz Shihab Hamed Al-Mamari. They were accompanied by some of the IT lecturers: Ms. Sara Said Al Shukaili, Ms. Samya Samya Salim Ruziq Al Yaqoobi and Dr. Wilfred Blessing N.R.