Guidance for the Emergency eLearning Team (ERT)


  • Enabling faculty and students to engage in emergency distance learning
  • Problem solving, monitoring, and coordination of efforts related to distance learning preperations at CBA
  • Compilation and dissimintion of distance learning knowledge

Message to Colleagues

  • Preperations are for the possibility of distance learning and not an endorcement of it.
  • Experience gained from preperations will be valuable for blended learning as well


  • Patience
  • Simplicity
  • Cooperation
  • Trust
  • Keep conflict internal

Modus Operandi

  • Empower faculty and students through self-support
  • Academic departments should lead in decision making and problem solving
  • Role of ERT:
    • Problem solving and knowledge dissemination across departments
    • Training and monitoring

Summary of Action Until Week Three

  • Implementation of the three stage preperation plan, which includes:

    1. Enabling faculty and students
    2. Testing meetings and classes
    3. Improving performance
  • Improving the content for the distance learning preparation website found at

  • Conducting MS Teams training sessions in both Arabic and English for each academic department

  • Formulating the monitoring plan and process:

    1. Monitoring training progress for each faculty member using the 8 stage monitoring file
    • Monitoring is based on tasks to be completed by faculty to ensure the grasp of distance learning skills
    1. Student preparation monitoring using Student Checkin System
    2. Enable faculty to track and communicate with their their students using Faculty Checkin System
  • Testing lecture hall broadcasting through teams.

  • Continue training faculty in academic departments

  • Preparation of advanced distance learning content for the 3rd improvement stage

  • Distribution of Surface Pro devices and pens

  • Student distance learning workshop in cooperation with CBA’s Student Association (SACBA)

  • Coordination at the Kuwait University level through participation of Dr. Zainal and Dr. AlMarzouq in the KU Distance Learning Committee

  • ERT starts handover of monitoring and preparation responsibilities to academic departments

  • Improve CheckIn system to show results specific to academic departments

  • Interim Dean announces to department heads the need for faculty to complete the CheckIn process to access actual preparedness of CBA for distance learning.

Summary of Milestone Until Week 3

  • Completion of the distance learning preparation website
  • Completion of the CheckIn System
  • Completion of ERT handover of responsibilities to academic departments
  • Completion of more than 14 training workshops for students, faculty, and CBA admins in both Arabic and English languages.
  • 77 of 126 faculty teaching in Spring 2020 have completed Checkin, which represents 61.11%.
  • 1590 from 2966 students complete the Checkin process which represents 53.6% of enrolled students
  • More than 95% of faculty have successfully participated in departmental meetings using MS Teams.

The following figure shows progress by comparing week 3 to week 1 status of faculty:

Summary of Risk and Challenges Until Week 3

  • Most common concern is how students will be evaluated if distance learning is implemented:
    • Note: Given the significant privacy and security risks and the ease to which students can circumvent online proctoring systems, we do not recommend their use when evaluating students. Instead, we forward the following alternatives:
      1. Using pass/fail grades to reduce impact of the current situation, which we hope is temporary, and give students the options to retake courses they pass.
      2. Replacing conventional final exams with other activities that can be used to evaluate students, such as projects, presentations, and discussions whenever possible.
      3. Assign Incomplete grade to students and delay final exams in the hope that the situation improves in the future.
      4. Arrange for conventional exams with social distancing an proper procedures to prevent the spread of viruses among students.
  • Students with no access to laptops
  • Technical support for students
  • Nature of some topics might present a challenge for instructor using distance learning to deliver content
    • Workaround: Testing broadcasting of lectures from lecture halls
  • Lack of student participation in voluntary preparation activities or difficulty in reaching them
  • Incomplete CheckIn Data
    • Numbers might be slightly larger
    • Systems achieving goal of enabling faculty monitoring and communication with students
  • A significant proportion of CBA Admins have no access to computers at home and might require to be in their offices at CBA to perform their duties.
  • Email domain name confusion, we have:
    • for students
    • for faculty and employees
    • the older CBA doamin that is still operational
  • How will we deal with incomplete internships
  • While number of faculty that we cannot reach is low, there should be a plan in place for unified sections where a large number of students can be affected if faculty are not able to continue instruction in August
  • Teaching assistants have a critical role to play, especially with faculty that have difficulty using MS Teams and they must not be overlooked when planning
    • They face the same challenges as faculty
    • Uncertainty given there is no guidance yet on tutorials and labs
  • Academic department privacy issues related to Checkin
    • Resolved by showing only results to heads for their department only
  • Still waiting on guidance on how students should be evaluated from KU
  • Detailed tracking of faculty preparation is no longer under the control of ERT and results are likely not reliable, will rely on CheckIn system to assess preparedness of CBA
  • Special needs students will represent a significant challenge in distance learning
  • A significant number of students are not responsive to our campaigns to prepare for distance learning

Detailed Weekly Progress (Chronological)