The Virtual University of Pakistan delivers education through a judicious combination of broadcast television and the Internet. VU courses are hand-crafted in meticulous detail by acknowledged experts in the field. Lectures are then recorded in a professional studio environment and after insertion of slides, movie clips and other material, become ready for broadcast. Course lectures are broadcast over free-to-air television, Internet (http://www.youtube.com/vu) and are also made available in the form of multimedia DVDs. They can also be made available as streaming media from the Virtual University’s servers. The multiple formats allows for a high degree of flexibility for students who may view the lectures at a time of their choosing within a 24-hour period. Additionally, students can use the lectures to review an entire course before their examinations – a facility simply not available in the conventional face-to-face environment.
Furthermore, VU provides access to HEC digital library and MIT Open Courseware which are extremely valuable repositories of learning resources.
In addition to the prescribed texts, comprehensive reading material / lecture notes in the form of web-enabled content are provided through a comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS) hosted on the VU Web Servers and accessible over the Internet. The full power of hyperlinks is utilized for making the on-line experience a truly powerful one. The LMS also provides an e-mail facility to each and every student as well as discussion boards for interaction within the VU community.
An important feature of the LMS is a Question/Answer board where VU faculty provides answers to questions posed by students on the subject matter covered in the lectures. The Question/Answer board (also known as the Moderated Discussion Board) is extremely fine grained, providing separate sessions for each lecture of each course. In addition, read-only access is made available to previous question/answer sessions and this constitutes an extremely useful study resource for students. VU faculty monitors this board on a continuous basis and answers to student questions are provided within a short space of time.
Assignments are handed out through the LMS and also submitted by the students through the same mechanism. Pop-quizzes and practice tests are also conducted through the LMS.
VU has developed its own unique examination system using the latest technologies. Under this system, the University's thousands of students individually create their date sheets having first selected a city and center of their convenience. Thus, working professionals may choose evening hours or even Sundays to take their semester exams, while regular full-time students may choose morning sessions on weekdays. Such a seemingly impossible approach is made possible by the fact that each and every one of the students gets a unique computer generated question paper to solve. No two papers are alike. The question papers are generated from a Question Bank that has been populated for this purpose by experienced instructors and is continuously refreshed with new questions added on a daily basis. Using this revolutionary system, Midterm and Final term Examinations for every semester are conducted in a formal proctored environment at exam centers carefully designated for the purpose throughout the country while also maintaining an eye on student convenience. To ensure the sanctity of the examination process, invigilators are appointed by the university’s examination department. The formal examination atmosphere ensures critical quality assurance of the student assessment system. Other than contributing to the high quality of VU education, the most satisfying feature of the VU examination system is the convenience that it provides to full-time students and working professionals alike.