In order to fight against the spread of the COVID19 virus, the ministry in charge of higher education and scientific research in Morocco has suspended classroom teaching in all universities and higher education establishments, from March 16th 2020, until further notice.
To ensure pedagogical continuity, the following measures have been taken at the national level and at the level of each university to ensure distance education:
- The recording of the courses and their broadcasting in a national television channel temporarily dedicated for this purpose, with a weekly programming of the courses. Ultimately, all the courses of the bachelor will be disseminated. For this national operation, the course records are examined at the level of universities and disciplinary networks of higher education institutions, then approved by the Ministry. At the regional level, universities broadcast courses in regional radio stations.
- Universities use their websites/e-service or their more or less developed digital platforms, or other platforms like Moodle, Google Classroom, TEAMS, ZOOM, MEET, E-MAIL as well as Social Networks. Digital resources are available, either open access or reserved access for university students. These digital resources are mainly PDF, PPT or Word supports but there are also audio, video, videoconferencing supports, online courses SPOCs or MOOCs.
- In order to mutualize experiences in universities, the Ministry has just updated the inventory of good practices in distance education in the various universities. Over 12000 digital media have been identified in different formats and will be shared. Experiences from Erasmus+ CBHE projects in the field of new educational technologies (MOOCs, E-learning, Serious games, etc.) will be used as well.
- The National Library of Morocco has also put online its digital resources as well as free open digital platforms within the framework of cooperation, such as: DALLOZ, HARMATHEQUE, LEXIS NEXIS, CAIRN, EBSCO.
- In addition, teachers and students use international digital platforms and online resources, which have been opened free of charge for this pandemic period.
- Universities are also discovering how to enrich their online classes using the Erasmus Virtual exchange platform.
The confinement imposed by COVID19 was an opportunity to highlight relevant experiences in
e-learning, at institutional and individual levels, but also the limits and disparities between universities, institutions, specialties and fields of study. We face the following challenges to insure a transition to a fair and equitable massive online education :
- Strengthening and upgrading of digital infrastructures and dedicated structures in universities (e-learning centers);
- Capacity building for teachers and supporting staff;
- Accessibility for all students to ensure equal opportunities;
- Generalization to all teaching specialties;
- Development of incentive measures for students and teaching staff;
- Establishment, in medium-long term, of a real online teaching with an interactive teacher-student and between students;
- Development of distance student assessment methods;
- International solidarity.