December 14, 2022

Catalyst Awards Blog Series: Utilizing E-Learning to Contribute to Building a Great Community

The Catalyst Awards program recognizes innovation and excellence in our global community of practice. In this blog series, a selection of 2022 award-winning institutions from across the globe share their success stories and best practices.

This post was guest authored by Saudi Electronic University (SEU).

Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is a 2022 Catalyst Award winner in the “Community Engagement” category.

The Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is a government higher educational institution that was formally established in 2011 as the first and only university that specializes in blended education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SEU adopts a flexible model of blended learning by using advanced technologies to provide students with a diverse and integrated learning experience. The university provides an excellent and qualified modern education for all society members according to the highest quality standards and best international practices. SEU offers 23 program qualifications at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, across four colleges. The university operates in 13 affiliated branches distributed across different cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

National Health Security Program

As part of its role in community engagement, SEU provided free access to the National Security Health Program to more than 2,600 students from different parts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The program was initiated in January 2020 and supervised by the Saudi Health Commission with a vision to raise the standards of the services provided by healthcare institutions — a vision that is in line with Saudi’s 2030 Vision. The goal is to provide students with education, skills, and experience in health security. The program closes a major gap in the healthcare system suffering from a shortage of skilled personnel. By making the program available in Blackboard® Learn, SEU made the training process easy and facilitated communication between trainers and trainees from all over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through discussion forums and other tools.

Steps taken, goals, and outcomes

The program has been running for two years and finished with four different groups (each group studied for a period of four months). Before the study period started, each student was offered a Blackboard Learn account, email, and access to all Blackboard Learn tools and services. The students are part of a national project, National Health Security Program, to prepare students for a career in the health security field.

The students were divided into small classes, each class containing 25 community trainees. A group of trainers was appointed for each training division. A comprehensive course was created, and all students were enrolled in it to facilitate inter-communication between all divisions and classes throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The outputs were identified and placed on the program in all parts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The most important units of the study program were strengthening communication skills and life-saving skills by developing interactive visual content to introduce CPR methods and safety in health facilities.

All provided tools were designed to establish the program goals:

  • Revisit general and basic medical terms and use them in the field of specialization
  • Familiarize students with all hospital jobs and departments at all levels
  • Determine and apply basic precautions to prevent health and safety risks
  • Apply first aid skills to patients
  • Work effectively as a team member
  • Use positive behavior in various daily and practical situations
  • Communicate openly with patients and the health facility staff

By providing the training to students, the outcomes for the community were as follows:

  • Contribute to providing a safe work environment for all visitors, patients, employees, and the public
  • Organizing internal security to control the traffic of visitors and patients
  • Communicate professionally and openly with health facility staff and patients
  • Understanding the laws and regulations related to the safety and health of health facilities
  • Assessment, analysis, and management of safety and security risks in health facilities
  • Implementation of health conditions and procedures in accordance with the instructions and laws of civil defense and government agencies
  • Implementation of the quality control policy, including employee training, quality performance, and modern development

The cycle for each group was completed with great success according to different assessments over a period of time (daily, weekly, monthly, and final). Of the approximately 2,612 male and female trainees enrolled in the program, 2,487 passed, which accounts for 95%.

  • The first group had 178 students from Riyadh and Dammam
  • The second group had 402 students from Riyadh, Dammam, and AlAhsa
  • The third group had 880 students from Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and AlAhsa
  • The fourth group had 1,152 students from Riyadh, Jeddah, AlAhsa, and Abha

The number of our trainees increased throughout the different groups which has generated a good amount of skilled human resources for the health sector.

Blackboard Learn contributes to program success

The use of Blackboard Learn in this national community program was very important. It was one of the main reasons for the success of the initiative. The program utilized the multiple and rich Blackboard Learn tools in the educational process, communication processes, discussion panels, and facilitating the distance learning process, as well as using assessment tools and electronic tests. The program would have not been successful without the reliance on the use of Blackboard Learn.

This initiative represents great importance in serving the community and in creating many health jobs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SEU, with all its branches and programs spread over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has contributed to creating new job opportunities, which exceeded 10,000 jobs so far in a record time.

For more information on the program, visit Catalyst Awards. Learn more about our 2022 Catalyst Award winners and their stories.