University of Waterloo Team Winners for Teachers Without Frontiers Project!

For the past two years, Masters students of the University of Waterloo‘s project management courses, MSci 651 and BE 605, have worked with the Pakistan NGO Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) or centre for education and consciousness supporting their flagship pilot programs, Teachers Without Frontiers. The work of the students was recognized recently when one of the project teams won first place in the Wideman Education Foundation, 2018 Wideman Prize Competition – Ontario, which is organized in collaboration with the Project Management Institute Toronto Chapter.

The Wideman Education Foundation is an inclusive community that promotes Project Management competencies and skills and organizes a yearly competition that promotes project management skills amongst students in which they are expected to apply Project Management Institute Standards. The competition theme was “giving back to society.” You can hear from the students about their role in the project later in this post.

 The winning Waterloo team with the competition organizing committee, including founder Max Wideman (centre).

The students’ project was conducted with Teachers Without Frontiers, an innovative pilot program of ITA, an NGO in Pakistan that works to empower teachers, particularly women, in remote areas of Pakistan. The students were one of ten groups in MSci 651 who worked to source online teaching resources for teachers to use in their classes. Each group focused on one subject and year and gathered internet based, free resources based on each subject lesson. Over 4,000 resources were sourced for the teachers by the students in the MSci 651 course in the Winter 2018 term. Work has also been undertaken in previous terms and further projects will be conducted in the future.

The victorious group in the WEF competition gathered 552 resources for Grade 7 General Science teachers. The resources included online games, android apps, videos and tutorials, teacher reference documents. self assessments and worksheets, which will improve the education that the teachers are able to undertake in their classroom. Teachers Without Frontiers provides teachers with training and guidance in the use of information technology in their teaching. The team that worked on the project, Masters students from the University’s Department of Management Sciences, are pictured below:

Left to right: Jithin John Matthews, Rafat Tahboosh, Alizeh Zaman, Diana Jaber, Taru Agarwal, and Stephanie Wu (not pictured).

The project team established roles for each team member. They describe their roles in the videos that are posted below, along with how they feel that the project will contribute to their careers in the future:

The Project Manager, Rafat Tahboosh, managed the overall activities of the project according to the accepted project management plan, monitored and presented the progress, resolved any issues, managed the risks with all stakeholders and assured that integration and alignment were implemented across all aspects and areas of the project.

The Communication Manager, Alizeh Zaman, was the single point of contact with the client in Pakistan) with the support of the project manager. Additionally, she managed the team communications according to the communication plan, coordinated the team meetings and follow-ups.

The Operations Manage, Taru Agarwal, aligned the operations of the project based on requirements of the team members and clarified any ambiguity related to the General Science Grade 7 curriculum and the related students’ learning outcomes.

The Quality Manager, Diana Jaber, managed all of the quality matters according to the Project Quality Plan and made sure that all deliverables met or exceeded the quality parameters, acceptance criteria and client preferences.

The Research Manager, Jithin John Mathews, managed and performed the required research in line with the project scope and supported the team members in their search for teacher resources.

The Development Manager, Stephanie Wu, managed the developmental tools to support the team collaboration & delivery and utilized the technology for an effective and efficient delivery process.

In addition to these managerial roles of the team members, they all participated in  sourcing the required online teaching materials for General Science Grade 7 curriculum, based on 106 Students’ Learning outcomes to ultimately achieve the goal of the project and satisfying the client in Pakistan.

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