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45,000 Engagements in 2 Months: How Abu Dhabi University Boosted Student Learning with AhaSlides

23 Jun 2021 4 min read

Lawrence Haywood

Former ESL teacher and quiz master converted to the wild slide. Now a content creator, traveller, musician and big time slider preaching the good word of interactivity.

About Abu Dhabi University (ADU)

  • Established: 2003
  • Ranked: 36th best university in the Arab Region (QS rankings 2021)
  • Number of students: 7,500+
  • Number of programs: 50+
  • Number of campuses: 4

At 18 years old, Abu Dhabi University may be one of the newer universities in the Middle East, but it has quickly established a celebrated prestige and a driving ambition. Their initiative to become the leading educational institution in the Arab region is partly based on one principle: pairing students with engagement technology to improve the quality of education.

Why did ADU look to AhaSlides?

It was Dr. Hamad Odhabi, director of the Al Ain and Dubai campuses of ADU, who recognised the opportunity for change. He made 3 key observations relating to how students interacted with lecturers and the learning material within:

  1. While students were often engaged with their own phones, they were less engaged with the content of their lessons.
  2. Classrooms were lacking in interactivity. Most professors preferred to stick to the one-way lecture method rather than creating a dialogue with their students.
  3. The Coronavirus pandemic had accelerated the need for quality EdTech that allows lessons to operate smoothly in the virtual sphere.

Therefore, in January 2021, Dr. Hamad began experimenting with AhaSlides.

He spent a lot of time on the software, playing with different slide types and finding innovative ways to teach his course material in a way that would encourage student interaction.

In February 2021, Dr. Hamad created a video. The purpose of the video was to demonstrate the potential of AhaSlides to his fellow professors at ADU. This is a short clip; the full video can be found here.

The Partnership

After trialling lessons with AhaSlides, and gathering positive feedback from his colleagues about the software, Dr. Hamad reached out to AhaSlides. In the following weeks, Abu Dhabi University and AhaSlides came to an agreement on a partnership, including…

The Results

With lecturers and students now able to use AhaSlides to enhance their teaching and their studies, the results were instantaneous and hugely positive.

Professors saw an almost instant improvement in lesson engagement. Students were responding enthusiastically to lessons taught through AhaSlides, with most finding that the platform levelled the playing field and encouraged universal participation.

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What ADU professors say about AhaSlides

Though the numbers showed conclusively that AhaSlides helped to boost engagement and overall learning, we still wanted to speak to the professors to hear their first-hand accounts of the software and its effects.

We asked two questions to Dr. Anamika Mishra (professor of design, building tech and professional ethics) and Dr. Alessandra Misuri (professor of Architecture and Design).

What were your first impressions of AhaSlides? Had you used interactive presentation software beforehand?

Dr. Anamika Mishra

I had used interactive tools like Kahoot, Quizizz and common whiteboards on Teams. My first impression of AhaSlides was that it had a really smooth integration of lecture components with interactive ones.


Dr. Alessandra Misuri

I used other interactive presentation software, but I found AhaSlides superior in terms of student engagement. Furthermore, the look of the design is the best between competitors.


Have you noticed any improvements in engagement from your students since you started using AhaSlides?

Dr. Anamika Mishra

Yes, students are more engaged throughout the duration of the presentation. They enjoy the quizzes, constantly give reactions (likes, etc.) and add in their own questions for discussion.


Dr. Alessandra Misuri

Definitively, yes, especially with the kinds of students that tend to be more shy when it comes to participating in conversation.

Want to try AhaSlides for your own organisation?

We’re always looking to repeat the success of Abu Dhabi University, and we hope you are, too.

If you belong to an institution that you think could benefit from AhaSlides, get in touch! Just click the button below to fill out a quick online survey and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can contact AhaSlides’ Head of Enterprise Kimmy Nguyen directly via this email: kimmy@ahaslides.com

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