e-Learning Seminar on Open Distance Learning (ODL) and Microcredentials@UM

The e-Learning Seminar on Open Distance Learning (ODL) and Microcredentials@UM: Learn Beyond Boundaries was held on the 25th of April 2024 at the Wyndham Grand Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. The seminar, organised by the Academic Strategic Development Planning Department (ASDPD) of Universiti Malaya, aimed to explore the future of e-Learning in Malaysia’s educational landscape and discuss strategies to promote agility in the rapidly changing landscape of education and technology.

Dr Abdullah Al-Hadi Ahmad Fuaad, Head of Division (e-Learning) at the ASDPD, Universiti Malaya, extended a warm welcome to all attendees hailing from various academic units, departments, and faculties within Universiti Malaya, as well as esteemed guests from other universities.

Overview of e-Learning in Malaysia: The seminar began with a brief overview of e-Learning in Malaysia, highlighting its evolution and significance in providing flexible learning opportunities to learners across various demographics. With the increasing demand for open distance education, e-Learning has emerged as a crucial component of the education sector, offering personalised learning experiences, and catering to diverse learning needs.

Keynote Speech: Associate Professor Dr Nurbiha A. Shukor from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor, delivered the keynote speech on “The Future of e-Learning: In Malaysia Landscape.” Dr Nurbiha emphasised the importance of engaging in demand-based learning and fostering a flexible learning ecosystem personalised to learners’ needs. She also discussed on several e-Learning guidelines available in Malaysia’s context aimed at enhancing the quality and accessibility of open distance education.

Sharing Sessions:

  1. Self-Instructed Materials (SIM): Dr Zulisman Maksom from the Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UTeM), Melaka, shared his insights into the early development of SIM and its application in addressing diverse learning needs. He highlighted the advantages and challenges of developing SIM and its relevance in modern education.
  2. Promoting Agility in Education and Technology: Associate Professor Dr Dewi A. Sapuan from the Wawasan Open University, Penang, discussed psychological factors among the teachers, administrators, and learners influencing the acceptance and adaptation to the changing landscape of education and technology. She emphasized the importance of agility in open distance education to meet the evolving needs of learners.
  3. Personalisation in Online Education: Associate Professor Dr Farrah Dina Yusop from the Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, explored the concept of personalisation in online education, focusing on understanding different types of learners and building personal connections to enhance learning outcomes.

Forum Session: The forum session titled “ODL and MC@UM as a Future in Education: Will It Work?” was moderated by Dr Zahiruddin Fitri Abu Hassan, Head of Division (Training) from the ASDPD, Universiti Malaya. The session delved into the feasibility and effectiveness of these innovative approaches, inviting perspectives from the panellists, Associate Professor Dr Nurbiha A. Shukor, Dr Zulisman Maksom, and Associate Professor Dr Farrah Dina Yusop. The forum concluded with a dynamic exchange of ideas and opinions, underscoring the transformative potential of ODL and Microcredentials in reshaping the educational landscape.

Closing Remarks: The seminar concluded with closing remarks by Associate Professor Dr Nur Azah Hamzaid, Director of e-Learning Seminar, ASDPD, Universiti Malaya, expressing gratitude to the participants, speakers, and organisers for their valuable contributions to the event.

In conclusion, the e-Learning Seminar provided a platform for fruitful discussions and insights into the present and future of e-Learning in Malaysia. It underscored the importance of embracing innovation and flexibility in education to meet the diverse needs of learners in the digital age.

This write-up was prepared by Muhammad Haizril Arif Md Mokhtar, from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.

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