The New Normal has accelerated changes in many industries, and education is one of the many sectors that has had to adapt and transition into the new normal of learning. To ensure the ability to cope with the latest developments in terms of technology and education, BAC Education has taken steps to establish management directives to drive and support the implementation of online learning experience partnerships at BAC Campus. This drive intends to reflect a core purpose of promoting borderless or emergency remote teaching and learning continuity despite pandemic challenges, and is a seamless continuation of BAC Education’s dedication to providing students a learning experience which is i4 Revolution ready.
The current workforce is looking out for a more flexible, reliable, and scalable digital workforce. In line with this, BAC Education has entered a partnership with some of the foremost Technology & Education Leaders in world, offering students the opportunity to enhance their skills with various tech-based certification programmes. Members of this partnership include:
- Microsoft Imagine Academy
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
BAC Education partners with Microsoft to provide BAC lecturers and students access to office 365 Single sign-on (SSO) log in credentials for a seamless login experience. The SSO log in access allows lecturers and students to access productivity applications such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, MS Project, and Forms. In line with our aim of increasing accessibility to synchronous and asynchronous on-demand learning, students can now virtually have face-to-face live-lecture, tutorial and practical sessions using Microsoft Teams.
Through the use of the Microsoft Teams platform, both lecturers and students now have the option of utilising video-conferencing and collaborative sessions, and online lectures, including slots to support group discussions through breakouts rooms and whiteboards to carry out collaborative classroom work. Students will also benefit from the access to SharePoint, making it easier for them to carry out group discussions via the cloud, and edit documents in real time, quickly and efficiently with other group members. Access to OneDrive (with 50 GB storage!), also allows them to store, edit, and share the files with lecturers or student groups. The Microsoft 365 SSO is tied to all BAC E-Resources, allowing students access from anywhere and anytime; hence the flexibility of working on their assignments or projects without any disruptions.
- Microsoft Imagine Academy (MIA)
In this tech-skills based initiative by Microsoft, BAC’s partnership with MIA gives students the chance to up-skill and reskill for the i4 revolution and New Normal with certification courses such as:
- Office productivity courses
- Coding Programs (Python, HTML5 development)
- Software Development Fundamentals
- Data Science, Database (MYSQL, XML, JSON)
- Analysing and visualising using (Excel and Power BI), and;
- Machine Learning using (R Programming, Azure Machine Learning models)
- AWS academy
Similar to Microsoft Imagine, BAC also partners with AWS Academy, an offshoot of Amazon Web Services, to provide lecturers and students with access to various cloud-based certifications, encouraging students to skill-up and be prepared with cloud skills for careers. Among courses that would benefit students include Foundation and Associate levels certificates such as Cloud Practitioner, AWS Solution Architect, and Cloud Developer, leading to Professional certification such as Machine Learning, Data Analytics and Security.
BAC’s partnership with edX, an open learning programme provider created by Harvard and MIT, offers students high-quality learning opportunities from the world’s best institutions and universities, which enhanced teaching and learning methods, and advanced teaching and learning through research data. The platform provides courses such as:
- Applied Agile scrum project management
- Statistical courses
- Data Science
- Cloud-based web development
- Cloud computing
And that’s not all! While the availability to programmes such as these is important, it is undeniable that accessibility to existing resources is equally, if not, more important. In addition to our partnerships with global tech giants, steps have also been made for ITC infrastructure improvements for our existing online learning resources, to enhance the overall learning experience. One step in this direction is via our partnership with Maxis to migrate all our online resources to AWS cloud. This move enables an enhanced & seamless online learning experience with 99.9% downtime, and provides students a safe and secure learning environment.
In terms of student and teaching staff support, we have also invested in a cutting-edge College Management system (CMS). The Astra CMS is also hosted in AWS cloud with enhanced security features. A Multi-Campus management solution with automation of campus activities, BAC Astra CMS provides an interactive secure platform for students, lecturers, administration staff and management. Among its enhanced features – online student application portal and integrated timetable management system with MS Teams and Zoom. The CMS has automated features for exams and result publications, with an integrated student second transcript module among some of the new features which will be implemented soon. BAC Education has also invested in Yellow messenger (a Chatbot), to provide students 24/7 support through a WhatsApp channel, where they will receive the latest updates and information on all group activities.
In other departments, for staff support, we have also invested in Microsoft Dynamics business central for Finance and CRM. This service provides real time data on all financial & sales information hosted by Microsoft Azure Cloud. An additional investment in the midst of implementation is 365Talents. This is one of the leading (and most powerful!) AI Talent Marketplace platforms, making tasks such as skills mapping and development mere child’s play. It is used by HR teams in leading companies such as Société Générale, EY, Allianz or BearingPoint.
As the world moves forward and adapts to a New Normal, we are braced to face it, ready and waiting with skills equipped. We’ve got your BACk!