The online learning, teaching and assessment handbook is aimed to provide GCET students with the technical support and guidance to effectively utilize the virtual learning platform and to achieve the best learning experience. The handbook contains visual steps to be followed by students in performing online procedures of registration, attending classes and assessments.
The handbook also shows the medium of communication between students and staff, academic advising and other services to support the blended learning mode of study.
- The guidelines listed in this handbook applies to all GCET students in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
- This handbook explains the communication between students and staff including academic advisors and module leaders/tutors.
- Through this handbook GCET aims to minimize face-to-face meetings during the COVID 19 pandemic. Therefore, to familiarize students and staff to the virtual means of contact in teaching & learning and in all services provided to GCET students.
Guidelines for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students
VLE at GCET
The virtual learning environment (VLE) used at GCET is Blackboard which is provided by our academic partner the University of The West of England (UWE). Blackboard is the platform where students can attend live sessions through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, obtain learning materials, submit assignments and assessments, and many other features.
For the students to obtain access to Blackboard, they are required to complete the UWE online registration through MyUWE on an annual basis (every October) and module registration through the Student Record System (SRS) every semester. The UWE registration is explained in detail in section 2.2.2.
The online registration of modules, however, is done through SRS during the registration period declared by the Admissions and Registration Office. The link to SRS handbook is available under section 11 useful links. For a student to gain access to a module through Blackboard, two important steps must be completed; the annual UWE registration every October (2.2.2) and the module registration through SRS.
In addition to online live sessions of lectures, GCET also provides students with Virtual Labs for the practical learning. Virtual labs allow students to join the practical classes online. Certain software is used for the virtual labs based on the module. At the start of the semester the list of required software is sent to students by the module leaders. Students can contact the IT office at GCET to download all the necessary resources for the virtual labs. Students will also be provided with the instructions on how to use the virtual labs resources.
VLE Platform and How to Use It
The Required Resources for VLE
To successfully attend live online classes, recorded lectures, or submit assignments the undergraduate and postgraduate students will need a computer or a smart device and access to the internet. Some important features of Blackboard for instance the submitting tool are supported by specific browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. To learn more about other browsers which support the Blackboard platform go to link provided in section 11 Useful links. Note that, using unsupported browsers can lead to issues while using the Blackboard features.
At the beginning of every academic year (October), all undergraduate and postgraduate students must register in MyUWE. This includes returning and new students. The registration can be completed by following these steps:
- Go to the link: https://www.uwe.ac.uk/about/website/login
- Click on “myUWE log in” under Students and alumni, as shown:
Login using your UWE credentials included in the offer letter sent to all undergraduate/postgraduate students (UWE ID and Password). Note that, the offer letter is sent to students through UWE and GCET emails.
Click on the “Registration” tab
Choose “Go to Personal Details Channel”
Add the emergency contact from “Add new contact” at the bottom of the page,
Add emergency contact details and click “Submit”
- Click “Return to Registration”
Tick the box next to “I confirm that the above …… details are correct” under all sections shown below.
Once the above steps are completed the registration sequence will turn green as shown below. It means you’ve completed the online registration.
Note: don’t save your credentials while using a common computer and make sure to logout before leaving a common area. To logout successfully click on “Log out” icon at the top right corner of the page.
Attend a Class and Check for Learning Materials
To get access to modules in the Blackboard, the student needs to complete UWE registration through MyUWE and module registration through the SRS shown respectively in section 2.2.2 and SRS handbook in useful links. All registered modules will appear under “My Modules” list in the Blackboard as illustrated below. If a registered module does not appear in the list, the student needs to notify the Admissions and Registration Office.
To attend a class, the lecturer will post the class schedule and class link on the “Announcement” page on the Blackboard. To attend the live sessions login to Blackboard, go to the module from “My Modules” list, go to the announcement page by clicking on “Announcement” from the left menu and then follow the provided link.
The recorded lectures are shared by the lecturer as links and sent via GCET email or can be posted on the “Learning Material” tab in Blackboard. Students can watch the recorded lecture as many times as they want. It’s recommended that all links of recorded lectures to be stored and organized according to the delivery plan of modules.
Lecture notes and further readings are listed under “Learning material” tab on the Blackboard. This is illustrated in the steps below:
Login to myUWE through the steps 1-3 shown in previous section
Go to “Blackboard”
Click the module from “My Modules” list. The “Current Modules” tab shows the registered modules at the current semester. In case a registered module does not appear in this list, you need to inform the Admissions and Registration Office and the module leader.
From the list provided at the left go to “Learning Materials”. Lecture handouts and links to the recorded classes are found in Blackboard under this section.
Students can also study offline provided that lecture notes and recorded lectures are downloaded to a local drive. Advices and guidelines on how to make the most of studying online can be found through the “Online learning” link, also available in section 11 useful links.
Submit Assignments and Final Assessments
Assignments posted on Blackboard should be submitted through Blackboard. Students need to follow submission instructions and submission deadline declared by the lecturer or the Admissions and Registration Office. Further information can be found in the Online assessment policy and guidance.
To view and submit an assignment:
- Repeat steps 1-3 described in section 2.2.2.
- Go to “Assignments” from the list at the left side of the page,
Click on the assignment link
- On the assignment page you will find the following important information:
- The submission due date mentioned on the assignment page is based on UK time. For instance, in the image below the submission deadline is 21:00 (this is UK time) which means it is 12:00 midnight Oman time.
- The submission instructions are listed.
- The assignment question paper is provided as pdf or word file.
- Once the answer document is ready for submission click on “Browse My Computer” and select the answer document. See section 2.2.5 on how to prepare the answer document.
- Once the document is uploaded it will appear as shown next to arrow 5.
- To complete the submission, click on “Submit”. Note that, missing this step will lead to incomplete submission and zero mark of the assessment.
- After you click on “Submit” wait for the next page to appear. This page declares that the document is uploaded and submitted successfully. To confirm that you uploaded the correct file click on “Download” next to arrow 7.
- To print the submission receipt, click on “coursework tab” which will direct you to the receipt details. Save the receipt.
Prepare Answer Document for Submission
The information listed here can be found in UWE website through this link.
Assessment answer paper
- Use clean sheets of blank or lined white paper.
- Use only black or blue pens. Do not use pencil.
- Write your name and ID on top of every sheet.
- Write page number e.g. ‘page 1 of 5’.
- Write number of the question clearly on each page.
- Write on one side of the paper only.
- Start a new page for a new question.
Photographing the handwritten answers
- Take photographs of your answer papers using a smartphone or a scanner. Make sure that lighting is sufficient, and the photographs are clear.
- Do NOT use any apps/software that converts your handwritten answers into digital characters.
- Combine all photos in one word or pdf file.
- Make sure the sequence of the pages is correct and there are no missing parts of the answer.
- The file size should not exceed 25mb – the maximum file size Blackboard accepts.
- In case of more than one file is submitted to Blackboard, only the last file is considered as the submission attempt. Therefore, all answers should be combined into one single file.
- Don’t wait to the last moment of submission to keep some time for any technical issue that might occur. It is recommended to practice submission of hand-written answers in Blackboard before the real submission time. Consult your teacher to help you with the submission tool.
- If you don’t have a laptop, you can use your smartphone to take photos and combine all into one pdf file using special apps. If your phone is not connected to Wi-Fi it will use some of your mobile data. Make sure you have enough mobile data allowance to submit your assignment successfully.
In normal situations, late submissions results in reducing the obtained marks to the pass rate (40% for UG and 50% for PG). For pass/fail scheme modules, submitting an assessment during 24-hour window after the submission deadline will have no penalty. However, the work will not be accepted if submitted after the 24-hour window and it will be recorded as a non-submission.
For online assessments such as take-home exam where students are given 24 hours to submit the assessment, there will be no window or buffer time for late submission unless otherwise declared. Therefore, submitting after the given duration will be considered as non-submission and the student will have to take the resit exam. The total hours given for take-home exams is subject to change depending on each module and type of assessment; mid-term or final assessment. This will be announced to students prior to the assessment.
For more information on late submissions read sections H1-H3 in the UWE Academic Regulations and Procedures.
Student’s grades are available through SRS and MyUWE. To view your grades in MyUWE, log in through the steps 1-3 shown in section 2.2.2. Go to “Marks”:
Assessment Offences during Take Home Exams
It is the core value of GCET to maintain the academic integrity and to build a culture of mutual trust. An assessment offence is an attempt to obtain marks through unfair means such as copying or submitting someone else’s work as one’s own work. In such cases, the assessment offences policy of UWE is applied. During online assessment and take-home exams the assessments are considered open-book, thus the efforts to avoid plagiarism and copying are higher to maintain accuracy in the academic performance of students. Therefore, tracking assessment offences is a vital step being followed by all academic faculty at GCET. Equally, we anticipate our students to uphold integrity in their practices.
Assessment offences can lead to ranges of penalties according to the classification explained in the assessment offence policy. A brief overview of type of offence and the corresponding outcome is shown in table 1 below.
Table 1 Assessment offence classification and consequences
|Offence deemed||Offence committed||Normal penalty to be applied|
|Poor scholarship||Evidence shows plagiarism, cheating or collusion in small parts of the assessment.||No AO noted on ISIS.
ML advised to ensure mark reflects poor scholarship and concerns are included in written feedback.
|First and lesser offence||Evidence shows plagiarism, cheating or collusion throughout some of the assessment.||AO noted on ISIS
The assessment (element) mark is reduced to 0
If module is not passed then providing resit/retake opportunity is not prevented through UWE regulations then resit/retake permitted.
|Second and lesser offence||Evidence shows plagiarism, cheating or collusion throughout some of the assessment.||AO noted on ISIS
Assessment (element) reduced to 0 and referred in component. If module is not passed, then providing resit/retake opportunity is not prevented through UWE regulations then resit/retake permitted.
|First and serious offence||Evidence shows plagiarism, cheating or collusion of most of the assessment||AO noted on ISIS
Assessment (element) reduced to 0 and referred in component. Providing resit/retake opportunity is not prevented then resit/retake permitted.
|Second/Subsequent and serious||Evidence shows plagiarism, cheating or collusion of most of the assessment.||AO noted on ISIS
Assessment (component) reduced to 0 plus no resit opportunities or further attempts.
AO: Assessment Offence
ISIS: Student record system at UWE
This table applies for UG students and it is according to the assessment offence policy of UWE. For more details read the Assessment Offence Policy through the link provided at the end of this handbook.
Communication between Students and Staff
During the online teaching and learning students can communicate with staff through emails. Students are expected to use professional email etiquette with clear subject and correct English. Both students and staff are expected to respond to emails within three working days. Students are urged to regularly check their GCET emails, UWE emails and Blackboard announcements. Students are recommended to contact their module leaders if they are absent for any period. It is also recommended for the students to raise their issues promptly and to book appointments in case they need to meet with a faculty.
Online Academic Advising
To promote the educational development of our students the academic advisors’ responsibility is performed online. SRS is one of the tools used at GCET to allow students for effective planning of the semesters ahead. Through which the academic advisors support students in module registration in terms of study plan and number of credits permitted per semester.
Students can find the assigned faculty for academic advising through their profile in the SRS. We encourage our students to raise any academic related issues to their advisors. This can be done through email or virtual meeting with the advisor upon student’s request.
Students at Risk
Students at risk are provided academic support during the online learning through the support centers. Details of contacts can be found in the table below. Furthermore, the module leaders are offering support classes in addition to regular classes to improve students learning achievements.
|email@example.com||Mr. Zahir Ali Al-Abri (English)||Foundation Studies Department|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Mrs. Marilyn Lozano (Math)|
|email@example.com||Mrs. Hajer Rashid Alkalbani (IT)|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Ms. Balqees Al Shaqsi||Electronics and
|email@example.com||Ms. Ibtisam Al Hatmi|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Mr. Abdelhamied Farh|
|email@example.com||Mr. Al Waleed Al Farai|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Mr. Osama Al Shukairi||Mechanical Engineering
and Vehicle Technology
|email@example.com||Mr. Moustafa Al Shaik|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Mr. Saqib Hussain||Computing Department|
|email@example.com||Dr. Amna Al Saadi||Urban Planning and Environmental Management Department|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Ms. Zamzam Al Rawahi|
|email@example.com||Ms. Salima Al Touqi|
Online Library Services
Library Search (Intended for UG and PG)
Library Search can be found on the UWE Library website homepage. Students can use it to search for e-books and e-journal articles. The library search will instantly search all the e-books available for GCET Undergraduate and postgraduate students. Library search is a google-like, intuitive and easy to use platform. To start searching for e-books and e-journal articles follow these steps:
- To use library search go to the link https://www.uwe.ac.uk/study/library
Enter the search terms in the search box provided below for example: Engineering Mathematics and click Search now.
Search results will automatically display on the screen. Refine the search by choosing available online and Book / e-book to display only resources which are available online specifically e-books. To view or download the e-books click on the title or “available online”.
Once the title or the available online is clicked, it will direct to the authentication page. Enter your UWE Login credentials, this is the same username and password used for Blackboard.
After successful login, the VLeBooks page opens, one of the UWE Library e-books databases. At this page the preferred option can be selected; Read Online, Download or Add to Bookshelf.
For e-journal articles, search for the requested topic by typing in the new search. Refine the results by choosing available online and Journal article to display only the articles which are available online (e-journal articles). To view or download the e-journal article click on the title or “available online”.
Once the article is open it can be downloaded as pdf file of the e-journal article. Please note that every database has a different platform, depending on the chosen article. Remember always look for PDF to download the full-text of the e-journal article.
Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) (All GCET students)
The Library Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) is a database that lists all the resources held in the library. The OPAC is the gateway to library’s collection that can be used to easily search for books and e-books. Books availability in the library is checked using the OPAC. This will also show the status of the book whether it is borrowed or available on the shelves. The library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme (DDC) to arrange books and other library materials on the shelves so they can easily be retrieved. It also uses the web-based library automation service from Library World which is also used by thousands of libraries worldwide to provide access to the library’s collection anytime, anywhere. To start searching for books or e-books in the GCET library follow the following steps
Go to the link https://gcet.edu.om/en/gcet-library/ and click Search.
Enter the search terms or keywords in the search box (1) for example, Network Security and click the search icon (2).
The search results will display all the library resources related to the searched topic. Select the title you would like to read,
This page shows:
- The cover page of the book,
- The details of the book like the Author, Title, Place of Publication, Publisher and copyright date,
- The call number and
- The status of the book if it is IN or OUT.
The search results will also show the availability of the e-books. The e-book can be viewed by following the provided link. Access the e-book using your UWE login credentials, this option is only available for UG and PG students and staff.
Masader (All GCET students)
Masader is the brand name of the Oman Virtual Science Library which provides seamless and affordable access to a wealth of global research materials. Masader is a platform allowing all Colleges and University members of Oman Research Network (OMREN) to access the electronic resources such as e-journal articles in full-text and e-books collection from a well-known database vendor like Ebsco, IEEE Xplore and other databases included in the platform. To start using the Masader to search for e-books and e-journal articles follow the following steps.
To access the Masader go to the link https://www.masader.om/ from the homepage choose log-in
From the lists of provider select Global College of Engineering and Technology
This should direct to the log-in page. Student’s log-in will be provided by the IT Department upon joining the College together with their email. Enter the GCET login credentials and click sign-in.
From the home screen, enter the search term for example Project Management and click search.
This will bring to the search result. From the left side, the search can be refined by choosing the source type. If you choose academic journal this will filter the search results displayed only to academic journal article. Click read more to see the details.
This will open the details of the e-journal articles. Arrow 1, will let you download the pdf file and save the article on your computer. Arrow 2, will let you choose the tools to do the following: save it to google drive, print, email etc.
If e-book is chosen, this will filter the search results to display only e-books. Click read more to see the details.
This will open the details of the e-book, arrow 1, will let you read the e-book online. Arrow 2, will let you choose the tools to do the following: save it to google drive, print, email etc. Please note that it is not allowed to print the whole e-book, the system will automatically show the number of pages allowed to print.
Citation and Referencing
References are the details of the information sources, providing enough information to enable the reader to understand what you are referring to.
Referencing is an essential part of university life. Whether a student has an essay, a presentation, or another type of assignment to do, students are expected to find information about their topic and clearly label that information in their work. This is what is meant by referencing - but why do we do it?
- Integrity: referencing is part of the concept of academic honesty. If we are committed to working honestly, then we must take the time to acknowledgeother people's ideas, words and images. Failure to do so could result in plagiarism, an assessment offence.
- Learning: researching a topic for an assignment develops your knowledge and gives you the opportunity to build your own work on the views of experts.
- Courtesy: by referencing accurately, you help your reader (or viewer) find the sources you have mentioned.
Citing is acknowledging a source of information within the text of your work, i.e. an in-text citation.
- Citing a source of information in your own text:
The need for care and guidance (Pearson et al., 2007) is evident...
As Pearson et al. states (2007, p.72), "The basis of evidence-based practice is, of course, evidence.“
The corresponding reference:
Pearson, A., Field, J., Ford, D. and Jordan, Z. (2007) Evidence-Based Clinical Practice in Nursing and Health Care: Assimilating Research, Experience and Expertise. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Sample Citation with corresponding references:
How to reference a book?
- Author – Write the complete last name of the author but only initials for authors’ first and middle name.
- Author names are inverted for example: Anderson, R.
- Title – only the first letter of the first word of the title is capitalized, with the exception of proper nouns. Title should be italicized.
- Note:You must put italics, capitalisation and punctuation in the right place.
- If no author
Where to go when: Great Britain & Ireland (2012). London: Dorling Kindersley.
- If one author
Anderosn, R. (2008) Security engineering: a guide to building dependable distributed systems. 2nd ed. Indianapolis, IN : Wiley Pub.
- If two or more authors (up to six authors)
Meredith, J.R., & Mantel, S.J. (2012) Project management: a managerial approach. 8th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- If it is edited Book
Pengelly, J. (Ed.) (2011) Introduction to information technology. London: gtslearning.
Where to find the needed information?
Elliott, C. and Quinn, F. (2010) English legal system. 2nd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited.
How to reference a journal?
How to find reference details on journal or e-journal article?
How to reference article from a website?
O’Donovan, K. (2017) Top 15 time management apps and tools [online]. Available from https//www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/top-15-time-managemen-apps-and-tools.html. [Accessed 28 May 2020].
How to reference streaming video on YouTube or another streaming website?
Tracy, B. (2012) 6 time management tips to increase productivity
. Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KafgR2WEgY. [Accessed 28 May 2018].
Safe Assign Plagiarism Checking Tool
“Safe Assign” Is a coursework originality checker provided by Blackboard, which helps identify plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content. It does so by comparing student submissions to a range of internet resources, electronic databases, journal articles and other students’ submissions. In addition to acting as a plagiarism deterrent, this can help students learn about plagiarism and the importance of proper attribution of any borrowed content.
SafeAssign is accessed using Blackboard credentials. It is required to self-enroll to the Plagiarism and Referencing Check course. Below are the quick steps.
- Login to your blackboard account.
- From the blackboard course search type “Plagiarism and Referencing Check.
- Under course ID select UWE-SA.
- Select the Enroll button.
- Select Submit.
- On the success screen, select the OK button.
- You are now enrolled on the course.
Quick steps: making your first submission
- Click on the submit to Safe Assign
- Select Browse My Computer.
- Browse and select the file you wish to submit, and then select Open.
- Repeat if you wish to submit more than one file.
- When all the files are attached, select Submit.
- Under assignment details, view originality report.
Admissions and Registration Office Online Services
- Services provided by Admissions and Registration Office can be completed online by filling the form designed for each purpose and sending the scanned filled form to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forms can be found through the links:
IT Support for Students
IT unit provides technical support to students in issues related to emails, software used in modules or in final year project. To request IT support please fill the form in this link using GCET email username. Or send a direct email to IT@gcet.edu.om.
Issues related to SRS and UWE login can be raised to the Admissions and Registration Office.
Further Reading on Relevant Documents
If you have any question or comment related to this handbook you may send them to the email address: email@example.com