Name of leading organization
Yarmouk University funded by HOBES (MADAD)
Application setting: context
Transferring E-business Fundamentals to Syrian Refugees (TEFSR) program aims to provide Syrian refugees with the necessary skills to start and operate e-commerce businesses using the latest open source tools and web technologies. These skills are essential to allow refugees to pursue several web and commerce related Higher Education (HE) degrees in both ICT and economic colleges, or/and to obtain professional certificates and to facilitate starting their own businesses. TEFSR implemented two courses that cover both web and e-commerce subjects. These courses are tailor-made to ensure the compatibility of the program with Syrian refugees educational and cultural backgrounds. Training-for-trainers (ToT) sessions also had given to a chosen group of students to ensure the sustainability of the project and prolong the intended effects of the program. All project materials are available to program’s targeted students and interested parties through a custom bilingual website (Arabic and English) that also announces the program activities and events. The project encouraged attendees to start their own e-businesses and collaborate with local communities to market their products and improve their household incomes.
Duration of the project
18 months, January 2018 To June 2019. Three academic semesters. In each semester the two courses offered with the total of 45 direct contact hours for each course. At the end of each semester, an intensive and a short ToT course with 20 direct contact hours had implemented. The project has three rounds. Each training round implemented as 3 hours lecture every Saturday for four months.
The two implemented courses in TEFSR program are: web design and application development, and e-commerce courses. Web design and application development course covered all recent open-source web technologies and tools that enabled students to design and implement a fully functional website. The course covered technologies necessary to create dynamic and responsive web sites that interact with users and provide requested information on demand. By the end of the course, the course students were being asked to submit their class project by designing and implementing a fully functional website that demonstrates their acquired skills during the course duration. The course allowed students to obtain professional certificates in web design and development to help them advance their careers and improve their chances to enter ICT and economic higher education fields.
E-commerce course helped students to design and implement an e-commerce website using the latest free and open source related tools. This course helped student start their businesses to promote their own products or other products available in their local communities. The course explored various aspects of e-business realm and how to implement a successful one using specialized software and tools. TEFSR program focused on the use of open source tools to allow students to continue working on those tools without worrying about the expensive costs usually associated with commercial tools. Similarly, this course helped students to obtain professional certificates in the field of e-commerce. All students were required to submit a fully functional e-commerce website showing mock-up or real products using what they learned inside the class.
Project materials, activities and events were being disseminated on a specially designed bilingual website (supports both Arabic and English languages) to allow students track the program’s activities and provide a repository and a reference point for all program lecture notes and other supporting materials. The website ensured that our project’s momentum is reaching a wider spectrum of targeted students groups that are interested in continuing their higher education in ICT or economics-related studies.
To ensure that our students spread and passed their acquired knowledge to other members of their respective communities, we intend to conduct several training-for-trainers (ToT) sessions at the end of each course. Several groups of students were being chosen and given intensive courses that teach them how to deliver the courses materials effectively to future students with regards to their backgrounds.
Providing Syrian refugee and host community with skills that can allow them to pursue several web and commerce related higher education degrees in both ICT and economic colleges, or/and start their own businesses. TEFSR program graduates acquire a broad set of ICT and e-business skills that helps them pursue higher education programs in all related fields including and not limited to: Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Information Technology, Economics, Marketing, and Business and Finance. The project encouraged attendees to start their own e-businesses and collaborate with local communities to market their products and improve their household incomes.
CRITERIA actors or stakeholder are using to assess them as a “good practice”
Several quality evaluations had been conducted continually throughout the duration of the project. Before and after each major topic covered in class, students had been asked several broad questions about their current knowledge levels on the topic. Survey should show a significant improvement and show possible shortcomings of the learning methods that could be altered depending on the achieved results and students feedbacks. Students had examined and evaluated during the program period using both embedded and summative assessments. For each course, the final summative assessment was a course project that is to be required at the end of each course to assess the level of knowledge students have acquired during the course duration.
Difficulties and constraints for its implementation
Participants were from different backgrounds, different majors, age, interest and culture. It was a challenge to prepare material and teaching it in away that fit all participant, made them enjoyed and not boring.