Empowering Educators: AI integration training for university faculty in Pakistan

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Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Pakistan, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), the regional centre of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), hosted a three-day faculty training programme titled “Empowering Educators: Integrating AI into Teaching Practice” in April 2024. This programme aimed to equip educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate artificial intelligence (AI) tools and technologies into their teaching practices.

An international panel of experts covered a wide range of topics related to the integration of AI in education – creating enhanced learning environments, personalised and adaptive learning, pedagogical frameworks, and designing AI-enhanced curricula and assessments. Ethical considerations and future AI trends were also addressed. The envisaged outcomes of the programme are to empower educators to leverage AI to enhance the learning experience, improve the learners’ educational outcomes and create a cadre of Master Trainers to train other faculty members.

Professor Dr Nasir Mahmood, Vice Chancellor of AIOU, emphasised the transformative impact of equipping faculty with essential skills in the era of AI. He expressed hope that the ripple effect of the training would extend throughout the academic fraternity in Pakistan, ushering in a new era of AI-integrated teaching practices.

Facilitated by Dr Zahid Majeed, Director, Directorate of Academic Planning and Course Production, AIOU, the programme was attended by 256 faculty members from 37 public and private universities in a hybrid format.

On this occasion, Dr B. Shadrach, Director of CEMCA, mentioned, “This is a ground-breaking workshop. It seeks to integrate AI into higher education practices, including assessments. At the same time, I would like to underline the ethical considerations in AI use and the need for infrastructural, institutional, and policy-level changes to implement AI-based education in Pakistani universities.”

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