JRMC Interview Podcast

Starting off with an undergrad degree in computer science, Dr. Maha Bali sure found her passion in a totally different field to pursue her career in and decided for the career shift in the education sector.

When Bali realized that computer science was not her field of passion, she continued on with her education process, doing her Master of Education in E-learning and did her PhD in education studying the development of critical thinking for the American University in Cairo (AUC) students.

Bali was one of the very early staff at the Center for Learning and Teaching, that was established in 2002, and she started working early 2003. Bali believes that the center has many facilities and offers many sources of guidance for all faculty members to better enhance their classes’ atmosphere and the learning process.

The center is known for services such as giving workshops on trying different techniques in the classroom, going to classes to assess and give feedback and also one-on-one consultations with faculty members.

Some of the faculty members walk in asking if a certain new idea would work in the class they are teaching, and as Bali confirmed, the center tries to find resources with the professors that is exactly related to their case or the course being conducted.

Bali’s knowledge and expertise made her even develop her own course. AUC asked Bali to create and strategize a course in Global Studies that she could teach herself, whilst she gave a few options, the one that was agreed on and currently being taught is “Digital Identities and Digital Literacies in Intercultural Context.”

Part of Bali’s job description is to help introduce technology in the learning process, she even faced difficulties when she started working at a young age and was supposed to direct faculty members who have been teaching for decades and tell them that the way they are teaching is insufficient and that it needs development.

Bali decided on going with the approach that there are new education technologies developed which will help facilitate and smoothen the learning procedure.

Becoming more and more critical about technology, Bali confesses that her mission was not just using technology, but rather using it in the most literate way possible. She also believes that technology should be taught in the matter that will be beneficial for students after they graduate since it won’t be useful to just integrate the formal side of the internet and disregarding the more popularly used side, for example, social media.

Even though Bali wishes to integrate her opinion and thoughts about E-learning, she currently cannot do this on the broader scale, but she is pleased that she is able to implement this at least in her course for now.


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