CPDMOOC Inauguration 1

The OUSL has initiated a research project on design, development, implementation and evaluation of a Massive Open Online Course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD MOOC) for professionals on “Adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP)”, with the support of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi, India.

A design workshop in relation to this initiative was held from 2nd to 5th January 2018 at Best Western Elyon Hotel, Colombo, with the expert facilitation by Prof. Som Naidu, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of the South Pacific. Dr. Manas Rajan Panigrahi, Programme Officer, Education from CEMCA, Prof. S.A Ariadurai, Vice Chancellor of OUSL, and Prof. J.C.N. Rajendra, Director/International Relations, OUSL also participated in this event. The project team constitutes ten participants from OUSL, under the leadership of Prof. Shironica Karunanayaka, Faculty of Education, OUSL. 

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CPDMOOC WS Colombo Jan2018

Revolutionized Manufacturing 1

Participants, the Panel of Judges & Sponsors of the 3D Printing Camp

"3D printing" originally referred to a process that deposits a binder material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads layer by layer. More recently, the term is being used in popular vernacular to encompass a wider variety of additive manufacturing techniques. In the current scenario, 3D printing has been used in manufacturing, medical, industry and socio-cultural sectors and 3D printing is on the fast track to become a successful commercial technology. In fact, it is a novel technology that is yet to be embraced by the emerging fields of SoftRoboticsTechnology in Sri Lanka.

X-Station powered by Mobitel joined hands with “Thrimana 3D Printers” to organize a “3D Printing Camp” for the first time in Sri Lanka. This camp focused on school children under the guidance of the Ministry of Education in line with the Global 3D Printing Day” which fell on 3rd December 2017. A team of Soft Robotics Research Group from the OUSL, namely Eng. [Mrs]. T.M.D.N. T. Medagedara, Eng. P.D.S.H. Gunewardena, Waruna Karunarathne & Thisara Pathirana, was invited for this event, which was considered as the foundation of Sri Lanka’s futuristic trends in 3D Printing.

Our research team enhanced and enriched the knowledge of the young school children, introducing them to Sot Robotics and associated technology while delivering a lecture on “Soft Robotics and Global Trends”. New concepts were visualized and experiences were shared with the youngsters on how to overcome the challenges faced by Soft Robotics as it emerges as a global trend.

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OUSL Team Delivering “Soft Robotics & Global Trends”

 

Moreover, the OUSL research team was invited to judge and evaluate the performances of the children, as they demonstrated their research and projects associated with 3D Printing. Guidance, support and encouragement were rendered to each team and the most significant moment was when the “Young Inventor” of the day was chosen.

Revolutionized Manufacturing 4

Workshop held at the OUSL to Introduce “3D Printing with Hands-on Experience” to Academic & Nonacademic Staff of the OUSL.

The OUSL Soft Robotics Research Team hosted a workshop to educate the academic and nonacademic staff of the university on 3D printings on 29th August 2017. At this workshop they shared their experiences and the challenges they faced while developing their “Hand Gesture Controlled and Manipulated Soft Robot” which won the first runners up in an international soft robotics challenge organized by the Harvard University. The knowledge shared through this venture enhanced the delivery of the guest lecture at the 3D Printing Camp held at the Mobitel X Station, Bambalapitiya.

In conclusion, all the events came to an end with the promise of a bright future for the 3D printing industry in Sri Lanka, as the participants departed with a touch of realism and sense of responsibility on how, when and why 3D Printing shall be the revolutionary transformation of Sri Lanka as we submerge into the depths of Soft Robotics as the pioneers in South Pacific Asia.

AAOU 1 OUSL

The OUSL participated at the 31st Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU 2017) hosted by the Universitas Terbuka (Indonesia Open University) on the 27-29th of September 2017 at the Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel, in the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The conference was themed: “Open University for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education”.

At this conference six papers were short listed for the award of the Best Practices in Open and Distance Learning and out of these, three were shortlisted from the OUSL. We are proud to note the OUSL won the Gold and Silver medals in the Best Practices Awards category from over 350 research papers presented at the AAOU. The Gold medal was won for the research paper titled, “Development of a Hybrid Learning System to Enhance ODL: Printed Course Material Amelioration via Smart phones by Eng. W.R.de Mel and Mr. M.R. Mohomed Haroon of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL. M.R. Mohomed Haroon of BTech-Mechatronics presented the paper at this conference.

This paper develops a Hybrid Learning System (HLS) in the field of ODL. The HLS refers to a method of study where there is an analytically-planned mix of both conventional study notes and online learning resources. In other words, the HLS presents, via QR codes, a video tutorial, an e-book, a website, a lecture note prepared by a course expert or any other relevant material that is stored in the cloud storage by accessing the internet, and fosters learning attitude of students sensing that the - ‘Lecturer is close at hand’.

The Silver medal was won by the paper titled, “Development and Testing of a Mobile Application through Design-based Research,” a joint paper presented by the members of the Centre for Educational Technology and Media (CETME) and the Faculty of Health Sciences, OUSL . The research paper was developed by Dr. Gayathri Jayatilleke, Prof Gaya Ranawaka, Ms. Chamali Wijesekara & Mr. Malinda Kumarasingha. Their paper was based on a design-based action research undertaken to transform the existing printed lesson material into digitized content by incorporating interactive components suitable for a tablet computer. This study was funded by an OUSL research grant, and enabled experimentation with novel mobile learning applications. The paper was presented by Dr. Gayathri Jayatilleke, Head of Academic Research at the CETME.

The AAOU Annual Conference was attended by a ten-member OUSL team who also presented research articles. Prof. S. A. Ariadurai, the OUSL Vice Chancellor, a large community of academics, practitioners, administrators, students, as well as information and communication technology developers and providers also attended the conference. The research-based conference provided a focal point to bring everyone up to date on ideas, issues, and the developments in the field of ODL.

The selection criteria for the shortlisted papers specified an innovative practice to improve the potential of the best practices that can be adopt or replicated creating an impact on the ODL, and the quality of writing in the ODL. The Adjudication Committee appointed by the AAOU President short listed candidates papers based on the following criteria: presentation content, organisation and flow, visual aids and posture or appearance, delivery, and the ability to answer questions. This achievement is indeed a millstone achievement not only in the ODL, but also for advanced scientific research in Sri Lanka .

AAOU2 OUSL

AAOU3 OUSL

VC Trophy cricket match01

Exciting and nail-biting cricket was the order of the day on 16th and 17th of September 2017 when three die-hard cricket teams from the OUSL vied for the VC Trophy 2017. Three talented cricket teams, namely, Colombo Regional Center Team, Kandy Regional Center Team and All Regional Center Team all clashed in games that saw perseverance and professionalism at their best. CRC Team and the Kandy Regional Centre Team were the finalist and their battle to win the honors was an unforgettable contest. CRC set a mammoth total of 173 for their rival, with Chathura Anjana scoring a dashing 60 and Deshapriya Dissanayaka chipping in with 32. Pasan form Kandy RC harassed the CRC team with bowling figures of 2 for 2. In reply, the Kandy RC could only muster 69 for 7,with Buddhika being their highest scorer with 31 not out. Indika and Buddhika were the tormentors of Kandy RC with three wickets each. T.S Medawatte was adjudged the best batsman of the tournament and Nuwantha Peiris, the best bowler. The score card is as follows:

Colombo Regional Centre : 173 all out. (Chathura Anjana 60, Deshapriya Dissanayaka 32, Pasan 2/2, Nuwantha 2/24, Sandaruwan 1/7)

Kandy Regional Centre: 69/7 (Buddhika 31 no, Indika 3/38, Buddhika 3/43)

VC Trophy cricket match02

VC Trophy cricket match03

VC Trophy cricket match04

Humorous Speech competition winners

 

The Area Competition for the Humorous Speech was held on 13th October 2017 at the Conference Hall of the Lyceum International School. Dr. Kithsiri Jayawardana of the Open University Toastmasters Club won the third place in the Humorous Speech Competition, the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and OUSL lecturer Srianthi Salgado became the winner. They will compete at the Division Level contest later on.

winner SOFE

Mr.Shajee Jurangpathy, an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the OUSL, became the winner of South Asian SOFE (Speak Out For Engineers) Competition 2017, organized by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) UK held on 22nd September 2017 at Dhaka Club Limited, Ramna, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The competition was established in 1964 to challenge young engineers to prove they could ‘communicate effectively,’ which is still an important area for the engineers at present. The competition provides young engineers with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate and develop their verbal and visual presentation skills and competence in public speaking.

The first and second runners-up were from Bangladesh and India respectively. Mr.Shajee Jurangpathy, representing the South Asian Region, will be competing at the grand finale against the winners of the United Kingdom, Europe, Americas, the Middle East and Africa, North East Asia, South East Asia and Oceania regional competitions at the world category competition scheduled to be held in New Zealand in February 2018. We hope that he can achieve this remarkable milestone at the finals and make Sri Lanka proud, We wish Shajee all the very best for all his future endeavors.

winner SOFE 2

award 2017 1

116 students from the Batticaloa Regional Centre, Ampara Study Centre and the Trincomalee Study Centre received their awards at the 2017 Award Ceremony of the OUSL’s Batticaloa Regional Centre on 09th September 2017. The Chief Guest was Dr. V. Kanagasingam, Rector, Trincomalee Campus, Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL). Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Vice Chancellor, OUSL Prof. Kamal. B. Gunaherath and the Senior Assistant Director, Batticaloa Regional Centre, Mr. A. D. Kamalanathan. This was a charming and an elegant ceremony well attended by students and their parents.

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PRO FOOD PACK01

The Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering showcased ten products that were produced by students and faculty members at the Pro Food Pack Ag Biz 2017 this month. The main theme of the stall was “Organic farming, Sustainability and Longevity”. There was an enthusiastic crowd who visited the stallas well as those who were interestedin further collaboration with and development of our products. The Exhibition was held from the 4th to 6th August at the BMICH. The participation at this exhibition was initiated by Dr. Nimsha Weerakody, Head of the Department of Agricultural & Plantation Engineering. The Public Information Division of the OUSL, also publicized these programmes and coordinated the publicity material, stall design and logistics.

Further, two products, the Electronic Nose and the Natural Safe Anti – Bio Film Spray, were selected for another exhibition the Comic Con Exhibition, on 26th and 27th of September 2017.

The following products were evaluated by a panel of eminent judges, the results will be realised early next year.

  1. Natural Safe Anti – Bio Fil Spray – spice and flavoring agent with the use of Galangal
  2. Electronic Nose – this machine can detect whether meat is in healthy condition by detecting evolving gases
  3. Flavored Tea Cube – instant thirst quencher
  4. Breakfast Cup – is a nutritious pre-prepared ready to eat meal consisting of Rice flakes, milk, yoghurt, carrots, beet and dried fruit
  5. Bambusa Plates- - made from bamboo sheaths this is an alternative to synthetic foam and plastic products
  6. Nutrient Bar – ideal for school children and office workers as it provides instant energy,the product is made from rice flakes, popcorn, cereals, legumes, peanuts, bees honey, dehydrated fruits and moringa leaves
  7. Cottella spread – aspread that has a good source of fatty acids made of our original Kottamba seeds
  8. High Fiber Veg-ball – agood source of dietary fiber made out of kohila, help to control diabetes, cholesterol and disorders in the intestine
  9. Live straw – a straw that detects high levels of chlorinated water
  10. Natural Colorant – a natural colorant from the red kottamba fruit pulp useful as a coloring agent

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PRO FOOD PACK03

gyrinops walla
The Open University of Sri Lanka has filed four Patents at the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in August 2017. Though the staff and students of the university have filed Patents in the past, this is the first time the OUSL has become an applicant to file Patents.

The filed Patents are concerned with sustainable utilization of endemic plant Gyrinops walla "Walla Patta", the only Agarwood producing species in Sri Lanka. The research team comprised of Prof S. R. Weerakoon (Department of Botany), Dr. S. Somaratne (Department of Botany), Dr. Chandani Ranasinghe (Department of Chemistry) and the post-graduate student Ms. Sachithri Munasinghe (Department of Botany). They have extensively worked on developing biotechnological methods to produce Agarwood which is a highly valuable essential oil used in perfumery and fragrance industry. The plant "Walla Patta" has been declared as a protected species under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance (FFPO) in Sri Lanka in 2004 and internationally by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2005. The newly developed methods will prevent the destructive sampling of "Walla Patta" and help to conserve this endemic plant. As Agarwood oil has a high market value worldwide, these new methods can be used to produce the oil and bring foreign income to the country.

Researches thank Mr. Shantha Yapa of  EPIC Research and Innovation Center and Ms Dilini Rathnayake, Assistant Director of NIPO who conducted a seminar on “ Patent Filing and guidance for the Patent Application process."

cross linked cellulose

A team of senior academics from the OUSL and other senior scientists have filed a patent application for “A process of producing a cross-linked cellulose and acrylic acid grafted super absorbent copolymer using a domestic microwave oven for agricultural applications.” The project team comprised of Prof. S.A Ariadurai - Department of Textile and Apparel Technology, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL, Dr. A.G.B Aruggoda - Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL, Ms. C. K Disanayaka - Deputy Director, Division of Food and Agriculture, Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board , Ms. S. Kulathunge - former Director Gamma Centre, Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board and Ms. T.N Fernando, a PhD student of the Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering, OUSL.

Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) are structurally cross-linked, highly swollen, hydrophilic polymer networks capable of absorbing a large amount of water or aqueous saline solutions, practically 10 to 1000 times of their original weight or volume (Ramazani-Harandi et al., 2006). In the field of agriculture, one major purpose of using SAPs is to aid water sustenance and improve humidity condition of growth media. Further, SAPs are used to increase the water availability to the plant in the growth media, which would enable the plants to survive longer under water stress.

phds

 

J.M.K.S. Goonesekera – Ph.D - Zoology – Faculty of Natural Sciences (Extreme left seated),
M.M.Gunawardhana – M.Phil – Agricultural & Plantation Engineering – Faculty of Engineering Technology – (2nd left)
G.V.N. Aiome – M. Phil - Agricultural & Plantation Engineering – Faculty of Engineering Technology – (3nd left seated),
I.M.P.S. Jayawardena – Ph.D – Physics - Faculty of Natural Sciences (4th left seated)
S.A.D.A.N Dissanayake- M.Phil – Electrical & Computer Engineering - Faculty of Engineering Technology – (5th left)

 

Gold Medalists – 2016

 

D Jayasuriya

J E JAYASURIYA GOLD MEDAL FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE IN POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN EDUCATION-2015

Donated by: Mrs. D Jayasuriya

Awarded to: Miss P. K. Priyanthika

"I appreciate the high standard of education at the OUSL. I gained a lot of experience as an ODL student. In fact it was a refreshing experience being at the OUSL—away from traditional methods of teaching and learning. I hope to continue my studies…and will always remember the OUSL as very human-centered university. "

 

DelikaO.P. KULSHRESHTHA GOLD MEDAL FOR THE BEST STUDENT IN BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY HONOURS IN ENGINEERING-2016

Donated by : Dr. O. P. Kulshreshtha

Awarded to : Mr. W. A. D. M. Weragoda

Bachelor of Technology(Engineering)

"I was unable to enter a conventional university… yet my dream of becoming an Engineer was finally achieved with the OUSL. The beginnings were tough: I had to shift from conventional methods of learning to non-conventional methods. I was a mediocre reader—and here I had to read! Things got better day by day, thanks to some wonderful lecturers. Finally, I was on the right track. I enjoyed the peer learning—or “Kuppi” sessions. The OUSL learning was all-rounded: I learned team work, and the art of organizing events and projects. It was not just walk in the park! But at the end of the day, it was a wonderful chapter in my life and I am really grateful to everyone who was a part of it"

 

SisaraEngineering Research Unit Gold Medal for the Best Technical Paper Based on the Project in Bachelor of Technology Honours in Engineering-2016

Donated by : Engineering Research Unit

Awarded to : Mr. M. S. S. Perera

Bachelor of Technology(Engineering)

“Many factors led to me become a part of this prestigious university: the quality of education, ODL method, the career placement rate, and the fact that the OUSL degrees are UGC approved. In terms of experience, I have no words to articulate my thoughts. In my five years of stay at this university gave me the perfect poise and balance. Perhaps, I cannot put that into better words. So I like to say to everyone: “THINK – DECIDE -APPLY –OUSL.”

 

ClarenceThurairajah Gold Medal for the Best Project in Bachelor of Technology Honours in Engineering & S M Abeygunesekera De Silva Gold Medal for the Best Student in Mechatronics Engineering in Bachelor of Technology Honours in Engineering     

Bachelor of Technology (Engineering)

Donated by : Engineering Research Unit

Donated by : Prof. Clarence W de Silva   

Awarded to : Mr. A. V. V. S. Bandara

“I am delighted to say that I have now completed my B.Tech degree in Mechatronics Engineering at the OUSL. I was unable to enter a conventional university. But I was drawn to the OUSL owing to the ODL system. Here there is good interaction between students from different disciplines. Ability to exchange ideas with students from different disciplines had tremendous impact on my learning experience. I would like to thank my parents, academic and non-academic staff of the OUSL, my batch mates and seniors, for their invaluable help and guidance during the past five years”

 

AnushkaLiyanaguruge Assie Annette De Silva Gold Medal for the Best Student in Agriculture in Bachelor of Industrial Studies Honours - 2016

Donated by : Dr. P. Roshan De Silva

Awarded to : Miss. K. M. A. S. Konara

Bachelor of Industrial Studies

“Graduation is an exciting time—an ending and a beginning; time to reflect on the warm memories of the past and dreams of the future. Thank you OUSL for giving me the opportunity to become a shining star in space and time.”

 

NipunVirtusa Academic Excellence Gold Medal for the Best Student in Bachelor Of Software Engineering Honours - 2016

Donated by : Virtusa Pvt.(Ltd).

Awarded to : Mr. S. A. N. D. Suriyaarachchi

Bachelor of Software Engineering                            

“It was not an easy journey by all means. I began the Bachelor of Software Engineering (BSE) program in November, 2013. I attended all day schools, lab sessions, guest lectures, workshops and other extra-curricular activities. As a result, I did not have to repeat or re-sit courses. While studying I got the opportunity to work at Virtusa Pvt. Ltd as an Associate Engineer and soon became permanently employed. Hence industrial training was exempted. The secret of my success was that I was determined to do my best and I achieved my objectives. The university and my family supported me all the way. If there is a will, there is a way! Believe in yourself, think out of the box, never ever give up under any circumstances and try and try until you achieve your final goal”

 

NadeeshaniAthabasca University Gold Medal for Excellence In BSc Nursing - 2016

Donated by : President, Athabasca University, Canada

Awarded to : Miss P. N. Hewabatage

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Open University - opened the door to accomplish the dream I once missed.

 

ChampikaKrishanthi Wijetunga De Silva Memorial Gold Medal for Law - 2016

Donated by : Ivor Wijetunge

Awarded to : Miss T. C. Indigahawala

Bachelor`S Degree in Laws

 

 

IfrahJawardGamani Corea Gold Medal for the Best Student in BA in Social Sciences & the Anura Goonasekara Gold Medal for the Best Student in Mass Communication in BA in Social Sciences

Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences

Donated by : Asia Foundation of Sri Lanka

Donated by : Mrs. J. Goonasekara

Awarded to : Ms. F. I. Jaward

“My journey at the OUSL can be captured in one phrase: 'life-changing.' I never had second thoughts about pursuing my higher studies at this world-recognized national university. The idea of working and studying was my primary motivator. I succeeded in my scholarly endeavors, and in addition developed my interpersonal skills. All can be attributed to hard work and expert guidance from my lecturers.”

 

FathimaShiranaH. A. D. S. Gunasekera Gold Medal For Excellence in Economics in BA in Social Sciences-2016

Donated by : Prof. S.S.Colombage

Awarded to: Ms. Z. S. H. F. Shirana

Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences

“After finishing my G.C.E A/L examination, I had to make a critical decision about the next step in my life. Being a full time teacher in a reputed international school in Kandy, I was attracted to the ODL method at the OUSL. The ODL helped me immensely. It helped me achieve my academic goals and enhance my personality and character. In addition I was surrounded by comprehensive course materials, talented lecturers, excellent library facilities and gentle green surroundings of the OUSL Kandy Regional Centre. I was lucky to be in a class with students representing different ethnic communities—this broadened my mind and taught me to appreciate and respect diversity.”

 

SafwaFarookGold Medal for the Best Performance in Management Studies - 2016

Donated by : Department of Management Studies

Awarded to : Miss F. S. Farook

Bachelor of Management Studies Degree

“The OUSL is a vast space for learning and gaining wisdom that is timeless."

 

ThushariDB Ellepola Gold Medal For Science-2016

Donated by : Mr. C. Ellepola

Awarded to : Miss N. W. P. T. N. Perera

 

 

 

Prizes – 2016

 

NadeeshaniRoberta L Carey Prize for Excellence in Nursing & Chandra de Silva Memorial Award in Nursing

Donated by: Prof. Roberta L Carey

Donated by: Mr. PLN de Silva

Awarded to: Miss P. N. Hewabatage

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

 

thilakarathneAthulathmudali Prize for Jurisprudence & Placidus Wijeyesekere Memorial Prize for the Best Student in Land Law

Donated by: Lalith Athulathmudali

Donated by: Prof. D S Wijeyesekera

Awarded to: Miss W. G. T. Y. Thilakarathne

Bachelor`s Degree in Laws

 

Faculty of Natural Sciences Prize for the Best Performance in

01. Zoology

TennakoonMiss A. W. G. T. H. M. T. K. Tennakoon

"Selecting OUSL for my higher studies was easy because of the ODL method. Through a mix of self-study, teacher-student interaction, modern text books, practical and field work sessions and virtual learning facilities I was able to enhance my learning experience. The updated collection of books at the library motivated me to spend most of my time there. The degrees offered by the OUSL are well recognized in the government and the private sector. As a result, I was able to get a job opportunity in a private sector multinational laboratory even before the graduation ceremony"

 

02. Botany

KarunasagaraMiss S. S. L. Karunasagara

 

 

 

 

 

03. Chemistry

ShimlaMiss M. N. F. Shimla

"Graduation is not the end of education, but a part of the larger journey of life. The B.Sc. programme taught me many things and enhanced my thinking. Being a student of the OUSL gave each one of us new experiences. It made us more confident; we learned time management and a lot of new skills relevant for life. We reached great heights, and we equipped ourselves with the necessary tools to take on the future."

 

 

04. Physics

DMSKDissanayake

Miss D. M. S. K. Dissanayake

“The OUSL has been a great opportunity for me. I achieved my goals through self-learning and hard work along with proper guidance from my lecturers”

 

 

 

05. Pure & Applied Mathematics

ThushariMiss N. W. P. T. N. Perera

netball 2

OUSL Badminton team took part in the 'SLIIT Shuttle Buds 2017' Badminton Championship which was organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT). The Championship was held from 16th to 17th July 2017 at the SLIIT University indoor Gymnasium. The OUSL team won the championship trophy in the women's event defeating the team from the
National School of Business Management (NSBM). The third place was won by the team SLIIT. The tournament involved the participation over 60 Participants from 10 universities. The OUSL team featured seven undergraduates representing three faculties: Natural Sciences, Engineering Technology and Humanities and Social Sciences

Participants: Uparna Katuwawala (Captain), Chathuri Fernando, Sandunika Petronilda, Chamya Nandasiri, Uvidi Jayasinghe, Savidi Jayasinghe, Sandali Perera

netball team

From left to right-

1st row (standing): Chamya Nandasiri, Chathuri Fernando, Sandali Perera, Uvidi Jayasinghe, Uparna Katuwawala (Captain), Savidi Jayasinghe, Sandunika Petronilda

2nd raw (seated): H.A.A.I Hettiarachchi (Senior Assistant Registrar), Mr.K.P.J.M.Pathirana (Senior Lecturer)-Teacher in charge Badminton

rug

OUSL Rugby team took part in the 'MORA 7'S Rugby tournament which was organized by the University of Moratuwa. The Tournament was held on 21st December 2016 at the Airforce grounds Ratmalana. The OUSL team won 2nd place of the bowl championship.

1st place went to Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC).

The tournament involved over 144 Participants from 12 universities. The OUSL team comprised of 11 undergraduates representing all Faculties.

Participants - Amitha Siriwardane, Tharindu Dhananjana, Randika Weerasekara, Dilshan Gunathilaka, Dilshan Pavithra, Dinesh Liyanage, Sameera Weerasinghe, Kavinda Karunathilake, Sanjeewa Ransinghe, Tharindu Madubhathiya, Sanjaya Jayasundara, Hirantha Athulathmudali

Recognizing the importance of international input in improving learner support at the OUSL, the International Relations Unit (IRU) organized five days of activities for the academics and other stakeholders with the participation of an international scholar, Prof. Ormond Simpson who is an expert in ‘ learner support to increase student retention in ODL.’ These five days of activities started on 29th May 2017 and successfully ended on 2nd June 2017, followed by close interactions and discussions with different stakeholder representatives (students, members of senior management etc.). Two-day outbound residential workshop with 58 academics from all five faculties, Regional Centers and the PGIE, was held on 30th& 31st May 2017 at Tamarind Tree Hotel, Minuwangoda.

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LSISR 5

DL3 3

The third lecture of the third Distinguished Lecture Series was organized and conducted in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Centre for Educational Technology and Media (CETMe) and the IT Department on 6th June 2017. Dr. Brian Haas, from University Georgia, USA delivered a lecture titled Meeting of the Minds: A Psychological Perspective on Culture and International Education’. This lecture was live-streamed and the video could be viewed below.

 

DL3 2

The second lecture of the third Distinguished Lecture Series was organized and conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Educational Technology and Media (CETMe) and the IT Department on 1st June 2017. Professor Ormond Simpson, from University of London, UKdelivered a lecture titled ‘The Future of Distance Education’. This lecture was live-streamed and the video could be viewed below.

 

dl3 1

The first lecture of the third Distinguished Lecture Series was organized and conducted in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Centre for Educational Technology and Media (CETMe) and the IT Department on 23rd February 2017. Professor Emerita Margaret Allen, from the University of Adelaide, South Australia delivered a lecture titled The Meeting of So Many Nationalities with Such Earnestness of Purpose. This lecture was live-streamed and the video could be viewed below.

 

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a common module of study in almost all universities nowadays. Social Entrepreneurship is unique because it uses techniques to develop, fund and implement solutions to social and/or environmental issues. The OUSL completed the first short course on Social Entrepreneurship (SE) on 24th June 2017. It is a significant milestone that this concept of social entrepreneurship is being integrated into the university curriculum. The Director of the Industry Liaison Center (ILC), Dr. Madurapperuma, who is a firm believer of Entrepreneurship, encourages students to become job creators instead of job seekers. He stated that the university would not expect immediate results on the SE course but there will be a significant impact in time to come. The OUSL took the initiative and partnered with Social Enterprise Lanka to introduce this timely and relevant subject to its students. The most significant achievement of this course is that students from various disciplines joined the class to form multi-disciplinary startups. Also, they broadened their knowledge on this concept which is being used globally to tackle many social and environmental challenges. The resource person Mr. Eranda Ginige argues that social enterprises are the most successful businesses ventures in the near future according to his own ‘Theory of Social Enterprise.’   

During the 12-week program, students received practical insight into using entrepreneurship as a tool to solve social and environmental issues. During this time students came up with creative and fresh business ideas and developed them over the weeks and are now ready to pitch their ideas to a panel of impact investors. The engagement and feedback received by students have been tremendous. We believe that some of them will move on to converting their business ideas into actual businesses, or even start different types of social enterprises, in their relevant communities. 

The OUSL will be known as the pioneering institute for piloting this course and making it a part of tertiary education curriculum in all of Sri Lanka. The second phase of the SE course will be launched in two months.

 

Story-telling Techniques

The OUSL completed the first short course that employs story-telling techniques to develop effective presentation skills. On the last day of the course, a confident group of participants made some captivating presentations. Their topics varied from complex to simple, but all were nothing short of interesting.

The course was designed to allow practice time for all participants during almost all the lessons, and covered topics such as story structure, breath and voice control, gesture and posture, audience analysis, question handling and structured thinking.


“It is good to see how far the students have come after 7 lessons. I noticed how some students struggled to make a simple self-introduction on April 29th, at the first class. Some were stammering and some speechless. The same students can now structure an interesting story or talk, use gestures and facial expressions in delivering the story and handle the audience well,” Mr. Sujeewa Jayawardana, the  ILC Manager said. He further added, “It is amazing. Good Teachers know how to use the potential of students to achieve the best.”


Students were very pleased with the learning outcomes. They admired the presentation by Mr. Nalina Wijesundara, on structured thinking using the Pyramid Principle, introduced by Barbara Minto as a great tool to use in communications, be it a report, presentation or public speech.

The resource person, Ms. Jinashri Wijesundara said that her target students were not those who already excel in presentation skills but those who considered their presentation skills were below average.  She would change the course structure in the classes, taking feedback from the recently concluded batch, to suit the OUSL students’ requirements better.

An award ceremony was organized by the Public Information Division (PID)in recognition of the contribution made by both students and faculties for the exhibition “ThirasaraYugaka Haritha Udanaya”. This was organised by the Presidential Secretariat in April 2017. The awards ceremony was conducted on 5th of May at the Senate Board Room amidst a large gatheringof invitees. The ceremony was presided by the Chief Guest Prof. A.S. Ariadurai, VC, of the OUSL.57 Studentsand 33facultymembers were presented with awards, while letters of appreciation were given to all those who collaborated in supporting roles.

During the event,the Vice Chancellor also, conducted a de-briefing session and emphasised the need to strengthen the PID to enable them to better facilitate such publicity programmes and promotional campaigns.

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The photograph of the former Dean of the Faculty of HSS, Professor Camena Guneratne was unveiled at the Board Room of the Faculty of HSS on 19th April 2017. This well- attended ceremony was presided over by the Vice Chancellor of the OUSL, Prof Ariyadurai and the present Dean of HSS, Dr. S. Abeysinghe.

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Felicitation Ceremony for former Vice Chancellor, Senior Professor Upali Vidanapathirana was held on 21st March 2017 at the New Conference Hall (OUSL). This well-attended ceremony enjoyed the participation of a large number of academic and administrative staff along with the OUSL Vice Chancellor Professor S.A. Ariadurai and members of the university’s senior management. The charming ceremony allowed representatives of all categories of the university staff to acknowledge and appreciate the services of Prof. Vidanapathirana. The university also presented him with two mementos in symbolic appreciation of his services.    

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National Workshop on Provincial Open Educational Resources (OER) Policy Implementation was held at the OZO Hotel Colombo from 27th February 2017 to 1st March 2017. The chief guest was Mr. Sunil Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Education. Professor Shironica P. Karunanayake gave the welcome address. Dr. Ishan Abeywardena, adviser on OER from Commonwealth of Learning delivered introductory remarks and the key note speech was delivered by Professor Samuel Anbahan Ariadurai, Vice Chancellor, OUSL.

The workshop was a part of OER Integration Initiative at the OUSL. It was organized by the OUSL with the support of Commonwealth of Learning Canada. In view of promoting OER in the Sri Lankan General School Education System (primary, secondary and collegiate), Commonwealth of Learning with the partnership of the OUSL and with support from the Ministry of Education (MoE) has successfully completed a project leading to the development of OER policy frameworks for the nine Provincial Ministries of Education (PMoE) in the year 2016. Professor Shironica P. Karunanayake was involved in the preliminary work and came up with a draft policy for each of the nine provinces in Sri Lanka.

This National Workshop on OER Policy Implementation brought together all the key stakeholders to finalize the provincial policies for potential adoption and implementation. The objectives of the workshop were:

  • build awareness among policymakers and key stakeholders at national/provincial level on the concept and impact of OER for general school education
  • reinforce the necessity and benefits of a provincial OER policy for general school education
  • finalize the draft OER policies for each province ready for adoption/implementation and
  • plot the way forward for adopting and implementing provincial OER policies in Sri Lanka.

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MOUThanjavur

A general MoU was signed between the OUSL and the Tamil University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India on 09 March 2017. This MOU will facilitate students and staff exchange programmes, joint conferences/seminars/workshops, scholarly collaborations and supporting educational, professional and cultural activities among faculties and students of the two institutions.

MoU OUSL AAT

The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and the Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka(AAT) signed an MoU at the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of the OUSL on 21 February 2017.

This MoU facilitates the development of academic and professional aspects related to the conducting of the Bachelor of Management Studies Degree and Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management programme offered by the Department of Management Studies of the OUSL.

Under this MoU, AAT will provide professional inputs, resource persons and industrial training facilities whenever such contributions are required for the successful delivery of academic, research and industrial analysis components of those academic programmes.  

A general MOU and an agreement was signed between The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and Mianz International College (MI College) on 2nd December 2016 to offer the OUSL short courses through MI College in the Maldives. Initially, the following courses have been identified by both parties to be offered at MI College for the Maldivian students who will be registered with the OUSL.

  1. Short Course on Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities
  2. Short Course on Research Methodology in Education
  3. Short Course in Financial Accounting (SCFA)
  4. Short Course in Marketing Management
  5. Short Course in Human Resource Management

This is the first initiative for the OUSL to offer such short courses overseas. This initiative will strengthen the OUSL to offer Foundation, Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes in the future at the Maldives.

The Vice Chancellor, Registrar and the Director International Relations Unit of the OUSL participated in the graduation ceremony of the MI College held on 2nd December 2016 in the Maldives.

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"Sarasavi Medura," a four-story modern hostel complex of the OUSL, was recently declared open by the Vice Chancellor of the OUSL Prof A. Ariyadurai. This Temporary Residential Facility (TRF) can accommodate up to 400 students at a time and features environmentally-friendly modalities of construction. Completed with spacious comfortable rooms, study spaces, dinning room plus other basic amenities, this TRF is the latest addition to the OUSL's vision to provide maximum support to its ODL student population.

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A book released as an Open Educational Resource (OER) and published by the OUSL titled "Dreamweaving Open Educational Practices” was launched on 8th December, 2016, at the Faculty of Education, OUSL. The Vice Chancellor, Professor S. A. Ariadurai, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, while Emeritus Professor Chandra Gunawardena delivered a review of the book.

This publication, edited by Professors Shironica P. Karunanayaka and Som Naidu, is an outcome of the IDRC-funded ROER4D Research Project led by them and successfully completed at the Faculty of Education during 2015-2016. It features stories of school teachers across the nine provinces in Sri Lanka, who have integrated Open Educational Resources (OER) and adopted Open Educational Practices (OEP) in their teaching and learning.

This is the second book released as an OER by the Faculty of Education and is available at:

http://www.ou.ac.lk/home/images/OUSL/publications/Dreamweaving%20Open%20Educational%20Practices.pdf

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Dreamweaving

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REFERENCA AWARD 1

P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane, an OUSL graduate in Technology in the Mechatronics stream, who is presently a Lecturer of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has become the “Winner of the Year 2016” and the first Sri Lankan to receive the "Referenca Award" for Science & Technology for Peaceful Work from REFRENCA European Union organization, awarded at the Academic Economic Congress 2016 held in SLOVENIA.

REFERENCA EU is the European Union organization comprising of hundreds of companies and institutions in the region who distinguish renowned persons in the global academia. They have undertaken a comprehensive assessment of Hiroshan’s academic background, projects, research works, publications and community work as a part of their criteria for the award.

REFERENCA AWARD

Motivational Lecture KRC

A motivational lecture on Knowledge Management and Innovation by Dr. Nawaz Jiffry (consultant KMI / Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist) was held on 27th October 2016 at the OUSL Kandy Regional Centre auditorium. This session was organized by the CERC unit, KRC targeting private and public sector employees/employers, university students, entrepreneurs, unemployed youth and the students who want to pursue higher education in the future.

Representatives of many reputed institutions in and around Kandy participated in this session, which was sponsored by the Commercial Bank, Katugastota Branch.

Participants extended their gratitude to the organizers and requested more lectures of this nature in the future.

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Robotics Toolkit

From Left: Eng. B.G.D. Achintha Madhusanka, Eng. [Mrs.] Nimali Medagedara, Mr. Singhe Wijesinghe , Eng. P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane

A team comprising of researchers supervised by Eng. [Mrs.] Nimali T Medagedara and Eng. BGD Achintha Madhusanka of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, OUSL has been selected as the first-runners up in “The Soft Robotics Toolkit Design Competition 2016” hosted by Bio Design Laboratory, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Harvard University USA. The principle researcher, Eng. P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane is a graduate from the Department of Mechanical Engineering who is now employed as a probationary lecturer. A valuable assistance was also rendered by Mr. Singhe Wijesinghe, an undergraduate student from the Department in the fabrication process.

The OUSL competed with around 20 other nations with more than eighty teams from well-known universities, high schools and researchers around the world in three categories. The Soft Robotics Design Team of the OUSL introduced the “Design and Development of a Hand Gesture Controlled Soft Robot Manipulator” which is a novel methodology to control a soft robot manipulator with a three finger soft gripper by imitating real-time human hand gestures.

The competition was judged by nine top researchers in the field of robotics selected by the Harvard University. The winner was Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA, USA (World Rank 682). The First Runners-Up was the Open University of Sri Lanka(World Rank 4479) and Second Runners-Up was Cornell University, NY, USA. (World Rank 6). Some of the other renowned universities that participated are University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (World Rank 91), Colorado State University, CO, USA (World Rank 192) and Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA (World Rank 387).