Dr. Nadia Tahir
Professor Dr Nadia Tahir obtained her MPhil and PhD degrees in Economics from GCU, Lahore. Her postdoctoral work was at the University of Cambridge. After returning from Cambridge, she continued with her teaching and research endeavors. She is a well-reputed teacher and researcher, known for her commitment, dedication, and hard work. She has published her research work in reputed national and international journals. Dr. Tahir just completed her tenure at Higher Education Commission. She worked as Managing Director, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), from 10th March 2019 to 10th March 2021. In this capacity, she accumulated a vast fund of experience in systematically evaluating the internal and external quality of DAIs. She has represented the HEC on university syndicates and the Standing Committees of the Senate and National Assembly, besides international conferences. She demonstrated her negotiating skills on issues concerning students as well as faculty. Dr. Tahir also worked at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries. At the Chamber, she created a link with the Electrical Engineering Department at LUMS and secured a grant of 14 million rupees from HEC. Over the past two decades, she has taught at the postgraduate level in various public and private universities. This experience leads her to think that teaching and research have to be relevant to practical life. Professor Dr. Nadia Tahir is a well-known public speaker and is frequently invited to media discussions and to deliver lectures by various professional institutes and development organizations.
Virtual Assessment Tools, Challenges and Way Forward
During Pandemic, universities in Pakistan decided to continue with teaching and learning by using the online medium of instruction. Online learning allowed students and faculty to continue education without compromising their wellbeing, safety and health. However, there are persistent concerns about the quality of online instruction, the preparedness of faculty members, the nature and delivery mechanisms of exams, and effectiveness of assessments. Assessment is the culmination point of teaching and learning process. It is not merely “deliver lectures” and “return exam results”. On 21 st May 2020, HEC issued Guideline no 6 to deal with the issues of assessments and exams. It was realized that the old method of assessment like closed book exams and multiple-choice questions became obsolete in this new normal. This Guideline also provided a framework that enables universities to quickly adapt and adopt other methods of assessment like Open Book Exam and end-of-term written work along with oral exams. HEC through its dashboard collected real-time information about curriculum, teaching pedagogy, exam policy, and student grievances. It was found that connectivity; trustworthiness, reliability, and validity of exams were not the only challenges. Analytical skills, writing skills, and setting papers are some key challenges that point towards deep-rooted problems of the higher education system in Pakistan. Appropriate and readily accessible proctoring technology usage was found limited. Students’ affordability and additional resources required for this type of equipment threw another challenge. Investment in connectivity, digital technologies, and proper training of the faculty are the options available for the future.