The eBooks Ecosystem Project

The CCD eBook Project has been initiated to financially support the community college students, who do not receive any remuneration compared with other Saudi university students and to offset the expense of textbooks.  This project is intened to improve the students’ academic achievement via supporting the virtual learning platform of Blackboard with authentic educational materials that are provided free of charge by the Saudi Digital Library (SDL) and the University of Dammam. 

Faculty concerns regarding the inappropriateness of  learning outcomes and the specification of  courses have “awakened the phoenix” and necessitated the assignment of a scientific committee to assess and revise the textbooks used in the course of study for the diploma from the Computer Science Department.   What originally began as an eLearning initiative turned out to be the developement of an ecosystem. The committee included assistant and associate professors as well as vice deans and the Department chair. They have completed the first and second phases of filtration using statistically based scientific studies. After a number of meetings and extensive reviews of accessible print and e-books, the committee concluded that only 23% of the textbooks are accessible online.  These books however are not even benchmarked to what is recognized internationally. As a result the committe entered the eBook project's third phase to identify optimum and accredited textbooks that will improve the learning outcomes of students enrolled in the diploma program by nurturing the learning community and supportong the virtual learning platforms in: Computer Science, Information Technology and Information Systems. After a number of meetings and an extensive review of the available print and eBooks, the committee concluded that 55% of the proposed textbooks are available in digital form through the University of Dammam's eLibrary and the Saudi Digital Library; whereas, 76% of the proposed books are also available in print form at the College's library and the University's central library.

The project has proved the significance of a periodical assessment of  course specifications in ensuring the quality of the educational system.  The tremendous support from his Excellency, UoD's president Dr.  Abdullah M. Al Rubaish, the vice presidents and the Deanship of Library Affairs made this project feasible.  The Community College in Dammam initiative is meant to be a step into a knowledge-based economy that will  be evaluated by our stakeholders in the workforce represented by Saudi Aramco; as part of the strategic Memorandum of Understanding between Saudi Aramco and the University of Dammam.

The time and effort spent on this project is deeply appreciated and with continued support and dedication the phoenix will continue to rise.  

Published on: 28 July 2015
Last update on: 21 September 2015
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