Archive for the ‘Online Education’ Category

Setting a ‘Smart Goal’ when learning online

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021
Smart is mainly an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. - File picSmart is mainly an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. – File pic

LETTERS: It has always been a great challenge making the kids focus while learning via online classes necessitated by the post-Covid-19 exigencies. There are a 101 causes of distractions at home.

Talking it out during one of the usual family discussions has greatly helped out in making the kids see the need for a “Smart goal” added to that is occasional rewards for accomplishing great tasks.

The kids always long for family discussion because everyone is heard and they also get to contribute and express feelings during the discussion. Smart is mainly an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Incorporating all of these criteria while setting goals would greatly help to focus and direct or redirect all efforts, thus, increasing the chances of achieving the desired goal. Admittedly, it is not an easy task to carry the kids along.

With sincere empathy and persuasion, however, they would naturally tag along, though kids would always be kids. Setting goals have always been part of every aspect of life, teaching, research and business.

It does not only provide a sense of motivation and direction but also helps to clarify importance, get a clear focus or target to aim for.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) says: “… strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless…” (Sahih Muslim)

Even if the desired goal is not achieved despite putting up the right effort, you would surely feel a sense of fulfillment.

“As for those who struggle in Our cause, We will surely guide them along Our Way. And Allah is certainly with the good-doers.” (Quran 29 Vs 69)

About the first Smart Goal: Specific. It must be crystal clear, unambiguous and easily understandable. Thus, it is well defined and you know exactly who is involved, what you want to accomplish, where it would be achieved, when and why it should be achieved. Goals that are made specific have a greater chance of being comprehensively accomplished.

Second, a measurable Smart goal is obtainable, easily trackable. Its progress can be easily monitored through prior set criteria or indicators, and you are pretty sure when it is achieved or completed.

Third, an achievable Smart goal is attainable and can be completed within the scheduled conditions and time using the available resources and capabilities. Being achievable helps you to figure out how to maximise the available resources or get the needed resources to realise it and what to be specifically done.

Fourth, a realistic Smart goal is that which you strongly believe can be accomplished and you can provide or get the required and sufficient resources, knowledge, skills and time to achieve it. On the other hand, a relevant Smart goal meets the needs and requirements of the overall aims/objectives or your life purpose.

Fifth, a timely Smart goal is time-bound. You can set a specific time within which its outcome should be achieved. The time should be enough and also not too much to achieve the goal. The start and finish date must be specifically defined. A Smart goal that is time-constrained gives you a sense of urgency and more motivation.

So, as the new academic or calendar year rolls out, set out your plans and organise them around your priorities. Begin with the end in mind and with a sense of direction. And start with first things first. Decide on a Smart goal for your spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health. Schedule and organise the main goals into monthly, weekly and daily tasks.

For instance, draft some key performance indices. How many relevant journals or books can you read weekly and discuss with friends and family? How and what do you want to contribute to your community development, both as an individual and with others? How do you want to monitor your overall health and lifestyle?

Keep doing this over and over. Surmount the courage. Encourage others around you. Be gentle to yourself and reward yourself, endlessly.

by Dr Idris Adewale Ahmed

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2021/01/654714/setting-smart-goal-when-learning-online

Ensuring effective online teaching and learning

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020
NSTP/OSMAN ADNAN NSTP/OSMAN ADNAN

LETTERS: All educators are experiencing the new norm of teaching online and students are also experiencing the new norm of learning and being educated online.

As an educator myself, I have encountered several challenges, opportunities, fears, joy and excitement, and I am still thinking about how to ensure my students are eager to attend my classes online.

In this Covid-19 pandemic era, many teachers want to make a difference. But, many end up getting “tired”, “burnt out” and more stressed by the day as they find online preparation tedious and time consuming. And, when it comes to the actual online teaching, only a handful of students attend and worse still in the case of a senior Math teacher, not even one student attended his class.

As we in the university have been exposed to blended learning, which is a mix of face-to-face and online teaching, going fully online during the pandemic was not a serious issue.

However, we were given lots of online training on how to use different platforms to ensure that the most conducive teaching and learning take place.

Just as coming to class, online classrooms are just virtual spaces for students to attend and the teacher takes off from there with lessons and activities. But teachers need to change their mindset to understand that online education is highly dependant on Internet connections, the electronic equipment used to support the process and the human touch.

My suggestions, based on my own experience, are: First, survey the students to identify how many have the facilities and how many do not.

This should include talking to the parents or caretakers (especially for primary and secondary schools) because there have been situations where one laptop and two mobile phones had to be shared by five children in a household. In such cases, teachers should always record their lessons and upload them instead.

Second, teachers must ensure a working agreement with students to ensure that the connectivity between the teacher and the student is ongoing, effective and warm. Many students and teachers feel lost and isolated with no one to keep them going. Sharing moments of uncertainty with each other can slowly but surely build a solid relationship between teachers and students.

I have a student, who is a teacher in Lahad Datu, who shared that her Form 4 and 5 students used to work after school before the Covid-19 era. Now, with no face-to-face schooling, they start work in the morning.

My student felt their need to support their poor families and agreed to teach them at night. It was a lot of sacrifice on her part, but isn’t that what education is supposed to be?

The most important message is when educators are teaching their students, online or offline, they must always remember the philosophy of education of our nation, which is to ensure the growth and development of a holistic individual in every school going child.

It does not matter how or when education takes place, but every educator should ensure that knowledge, skills and values are parted to students in the most natural and authentic way.

by Associate Professor Dr Vishalache Balakrishnan.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/12/652841/ensuring-effective-online-teaching-and-learning

150,000 pupils to receive online learning devices

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020
Muslimin Yahaya said the MoE is detailing the criteria of pupils and schools that would receive the devices through a pilot programme conducted by Yayasan Hasanah. File pic.Muslimin Yahaya said the MoE is detailing the criteria of pupils and schools that would receive the devices through a pilot programme conducted by Yayasan Hasanah. File pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 150,000 eligible pupils from 500 schools nationwide will receive suitable devices to enable them to participate in online learning sessions, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Education Minister I Muslimin Yahaya said the ministry is currently detailing the criteria of pupils and schools that would receive the devices through a pilot programme conducted by Yayasan Hasanah, a foundation under Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

“The Education Ministry will hold further discussions with Yayasan Hasanah after the list is finalised.

“Apart from assisting pupils and schools in need, the pilot project is to find the best implementation method before it is proposed for expansion,” he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2021 today.

At the same time, he said the ministry is in the midst of improving the educational television programme, TV Pendidikan, to ensure students with no internet devices and access are not left behind in their education.

This includes the latest move to increase TV Pendidikan’s airtime by three hours on NTV7, bringing its total airtime to nine hours per day.

The ministry re-introduced TV Pendidikan on April 6 via RTM’s TV Okey for two hours a day, and later on Astro’s Tutor TV for four hours.

To assist students with special needs to watch TV Pendidikan, Muslimin said a total of 30 educational videos have been produced for primary and secondary students with hearing disabilities to date, while 1,300 shows have sign language interpreters.

by Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/12/651482/150000-pupils-receive-online-learning-devices

Adding creativity to online classes

Friday, December 18th, 2020
It’s now a borderless classroom concept, allowing students to be in touch with anybody at anyplace. File PicIt’s now a borderless classroom concept, allowing students to be in touch with anybody at anyplace. File Pic

LETTERS: The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted an important emerging macrotrend: digitalisation. With digital consumer adoption exceeding its 2025 forecast, this also means that the pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of education.

From online classes and virtual memorandum of understanding signing ceremonies to online internships and Virtual Tourism, Taylor’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events has been steering the virtual learning environment to fit the scenario.

The school of Hospitality, Tourism and Events at Taylor’s University and academic leaders have come together to discuss the way forward for the industry, as a consideration for what the hospitality and tourism industry and higher education institutions should be doing to support educational transformation:

CURRICULUM. Revisions to course outlines are required to accommodate changing trends. It is then necessary that curriculum allows more flexibility in terms of pathways, free electives, choice of minors and specialisations, or even modular semesters.

For example, the Taylor’s Curriculum Framework 2.0 allows a hospitality student to take up modules from relevant disciplines, like marketing or digital media, to understand how they can develop or create a right brand, and market products on social media;

COLLABORATION. The move between academia and the hospitality industry to introduce work-based learning will be key in the future. Apart from allowing students to experience working world and develop competencies, it will also support the hospitality and tourism industry in challenging times.

COMMUNITY. The embedding of technology in the class is becoming necessary and the role of lecturers has evolved. The readiness of lecturers and students should come from the readiness of the institution by investing in technological supports as well as training and development.

For instance, take-home exams, open-book examinations, alignment of the timetable to time zones, asynchronous classes and use of e-Learning tools, such as Padlet, Nearpod, Lino and Socrative.

Globally, we must give credit to lecturers for the support they give to students and the resilience they displayed in managing online learning;

CAREER. The hospitality, tourism and events industries will not be same without the human touch and human interaction.

Therefore, some argue that online pedagogies applied might weaken students’ capabilities in terms of professional attributes, but we can question this. The role of education providers is to develop employable capabilities for future jobs, jobs that currently do not exist.

A great way of developing critical and creative thinking, problem solving, adaptability, entrepreneurialism, communication, or emotional intelligence is via industry-oriented curriculum.

Some students who pursued internships on projects like digital SOP for the hotel industry, market analysis and feasibility study for entrepreneurs came back filled with enthusiasm and new ideas; and,

CLASSROOM. With the digitalisation of the content delivery and usage of technology, we can share more about the best practices applied in the industry but also taught in different parts of the world. The global classroom or borderless classroom concept has been practised widely.

Educators must look to creativity and innovation in strengthening their virtual learning environments (VLEs) with interactive platforms, pop-quizzes and space for student opinions.

At Taylor’s University, we expanded our VLE to include demonstration videos, simulations, situational activities and case-based scenarios to keep the virtual classroom fresh and interactive.

Hospitality education has undergone a forced but necessary adaptation but, ultimately, we believe it is for the benefit of the industry, educational institutions and students.

by Dr Joaquim Dias Soeiro.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/12/650310/adding-creativity-online-classes

Overcome online, face to face education differences calmly

Monday, December 7th, 2020
Online education has actually been introduced a decade ago. It is an organization of learning processes in which students and lecturers are separated by different locations without time boundaries through virtual technology. - NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAADOnline education has actually been introduced a decade ago. It is an organization of learning processes in which students and lecturers are separated by different locations without time boundaries through virtual technology. – NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD

LETTERS: Higher education is one of the most affected institutions due to Covid-19. The whole campus and university have been instructed to postpone the attendance and face-to-face lecture.

However, the postponement of face-to-face class has never affected the learning process at the tertiary level. In an instant, all learning and lecturing processes have been done digitally and through online.

Online education has actually been introduced a decade ago. It is an organization of learning processes in which students and lecturers are separated by different locations without time boundaries through virtual technology.

The advantage of this learning method is that the learning sessions can be repeated and internalised from home or anywhere else depending on the comfort of the students. There was a study that proves the success of online education being equivalent to learning in the classroom through the use of technology comprehensively and effectively for a two-way interaction between student and lecturer.

The use of internet technology for higher education in Malaysia is not an odd thing. For example, in Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), the online education methods has much as 30 per cent since 2010.

Various learning platforms such as Moodle and Google Classroom have been activated, but UiTM also has its own platforms such as i-learn and u-future. Faced with this health crisis, UiTM is willing to take full advantage of the method of online education.

This means that Covid-19 pandemic is the main driving factor that influences most universities in Malaysia to benefit the use of online technology. Higher education is not merely subject to the curriculum syllabus.

Other than the learning process, various seminars, courses and training also take full advantage of online technology. Student associations are also actively conducting activities that sharpen the skills and leadership by making full use of internet technology.

The same goes for international student mobility and the globalization of education. The Covid-19 outbreak did not stop UiTM, especially the Faculty of Chemical Engineering (FKK) from staying proactive to establish more bilateral cooperation with foreign universities including Indonesia, China, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Memorandum of Agreement ( MOA) which are conducted online to highlight internationalization activities.

In this pandemic situation, FKK has targeted international networking activities by carrying out as much virtual cooperation as possible which not only saves money but also time. Diponegoro University, Syiah Kuala University, Sebelas Maret University dan Semarang State University from Indonesia have partnered with FKK in a student exchange program.

A total of 23 students from Indonesia and 18 students from FKK have been involved in this program for the year 2020. FKK has also involved the lecturers to provide virtual lectures to these universities.

In addition, the collaboration of research supervision involves multiples universities such as Hochschule Hannover (Germany), Semarang State University, 11 Maret University, Syiah Kuala Acheh University, Diponegoro University (Indonesia), Imperial College London, University of Leeds (United Kingdom) and Nanjing Forestry University (China) is intensified and enhanced through online means.

FKK wants to ensure that the exposure of students and researchers at the international level continues to put UiTM, especially FKK at the global level. UiTM, especially FKK remains active in implementing internationalization programs, student mobility and online learning despite being constrained by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although there are major differences to learning and research activities done through physical and face-to-face methods, however, the challenges faced should be calmly and positively overcome.

Undoubtedly, we lived in the new norm patiently in the era of health crises that will be in the history boo

k and as reference to future generations.

Dr Siti Noor Suzila Maqsood Ul Haque

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, UiTM

by Norhasyimi Rahmat.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/12/647470/overcome-online-face-face-education-differences-calmly

Screen time and childhood eye health

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
ONE of my biggest concerns given the prolonged school closure is how much screen time my daughter is having and the impact on her eyesight.

She was diagnosed with myopia last year and is wearing spectacles and I anticipate that her eyesight is going to get worse with extended screen time.

Online classes mean most children are glued to their computers or tablets on a daily basis and given that most children spend a significant amount of time indoors because of the pandemic, their leisure activities are also on screen.

OasisEye consultant ophthalmologist Dr Manoharan Shunmugam says overwhelming evidence has shown that sustained, intense near-work is significantly linked to the onset of myopia in children and possibly progression of myopia, particularly in young adult-onset myopia.

“Especially with the Movement Control Order and extended periods of indoor activity and gadget use, children are prone to developing refractive errors.”

Numerous studies have consistently shown that children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to become myopic.

Dr Manoharan says with gadgets being increasingly used for education and in classrooms, avoiding them may be impossible. Instead, limiting their use for entertainment, encouraging outdoor activities and ensuring good eye habits such as taking regular breaks, would be more practical.

Dr Manoharan says sustained, intense near-work is significantly linked to the onset of myopia in children.Dr Manoharan says sustained, intense near-work is significantly linked to the onset of myopia in children.

UNDERSTANDING MYOPIA

Myopia is a multifactorial condition. Numerous studies have shown that it’s not just related to genetics even though there have been numerous genes found to predispose one to it. Environmental factors have an important effect as well.

Children are most susceptible until the age of 12 but myopia can still rise until adulthood.

Dr Manoharan says uncorrected refractive errors are critical to address as they frequently affect children, who do not usually complain of visual symptoms, especially if it only affects one eye.

If left uncorrected in the first decade of life, it is likely that these children will be left with life-long visual impairment of varying severity in one or both eyes in the form of amblyopia (lazy eyes).

“It is therefore, imperative that children are screened at regular intervals and that this initiative is adopted nationally and executed by all eye care providers.”

Childhood eye screening is important as the treatment is usually simple and the benefits, invaluable.

Dr Manoharan says children are completely and wholly reliant on their parents or carers to look out for them and ensure their well-being and development.

Unfortunately, having no prior experience or reference, it makes it impossible for a child to tell you that there is something wrong with their senses.

“Think about it. If a child’s vision has always been blurry, that’s what they think the world is — a blur. They will never know to ask for spectacles. If they’ve always had difficulty seeing colours like in some retinal conditions, they will never have seen the full spectrum of colours that most of the population see, and so will sometimes get colours mixed up.”

Children need regular eye screening. Children need regular eye screening.

UNCHECKED PROBLEM

Some children have such poor vision that they are unable to keep up in the classroom as they can’t see well enough to read books or the blackboard. This makes them crave stimulation from other senses and so, they become fidgety and physically active.

Dr Manoharan says they are then mislabelled as attention-deficit or just plain naughty, and punished at school and at home when all they ever needed were glasses.

Some children have a problem in only one eye, but because the vision in the other eye is good, they unconsciously compensate and carry on, unaware of their issue.

Once a child has been screened and is found to have normal vision, one just needs to ensure that this is maintained.

Any child having difficulty with vision such as when reading, or at school, should be examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

A child who requires spectacles should be reviewed at least once or twice a year to ensure that their prescription is stable.

Myopia usually progresses with age and children with confirmed myopia should be monitored every six months.

With online learning now the norm, vision needs to be monitored.  Picture: Created by freepik.With online learning now the norm, vision needs to be monitored. Picture: Created by freepik

Infants and Vision

THE vision of newborns is very blurry and their appreciation of colours is primitive. They can only perceive faces from as close as 8 to 10 inches away.

It is helpful to provide them with a rich, visually-stimulating environment by ensuring the presence of high-contrast, colourful 3-dimensional objects.

Helpful tips to stimulate visual development in infants include:

* Changing cot positions in the room at intervals to provide a different “view”.

* Keep large colourful toys within reach.

* Talk to the child while moving around the room so they learn to track you.

* Let the child creep and crawl on the floor with toys of different shapes and sizes to explore.

* Roll a ball around the room so they learn to track it.

* Play peek-a-boo.

For many kids stuck indoors, even leisure activities are on screen. Picture: Created by Freepik.For many kids stuck indoors, even leisure activities are on screen. Picture: Created by Freepik.

By Meera Murugesan

meera@mediaprima.com.my

Kelantan student must climb hill for internet connection

Monday, November 30th, 2020
Nurlieda Khaleeda Mohd Azmi climbing up the hill behind her house in Tanah Merah, Kelantan,  yesterday to get a better Internet connection. -- NSTP/ NIK ABDULLAH NIK OMARNurlieda Khaleeda Mohd Azmi climbing up the hill behind her house in Tanah Merah, Kelantan, yesterday to get a better Internet connection. — NSTP/ NIK ABDULLAH NIK OMAR

TANAH MERAH: WITH a mosquito coil and a small fan beside her, Nurlieda Khaleeda Mohd Azmi calmly answers some examination questions under a tent erected atop a 20m-high hill. On her table is her laptop and a WiFi modem.

The hill, located just behind the 20-year-old’s house in Kampung Bukit Petai Tujuh is the only location in her village with good Internet coverage.

Nurlieda studies medical laboratory technology at University of Malaya Medical Centre.

She is fine with her location despite having to put up with mosquitoes, leeches and possibly snakes disturbing her at the hilly forest area.

She said her village and five surrounding villages faced a common state problem of poor broadband and Internet coverage.

“This makes it hard for her and other students who need to attend online classes amid the pandemic.

The other five villages are Kampung Mengat, Degong, Che Nakaf, Jerangau Dalam and Jerangau Luar.

“I returned to my village in July and since then, I have been following online classes.

“Usually, I would need to travel 3km away from my village to receive better Internet coverage,” she told Harian Metro at her home.

Nurlieda Khaleeda Mohd Azmi studying inside a tent behind her house in Tanah Merah, Kelantan. -- -- NSTP/ NIK ABDULLAH NIK OMARNurlieda Khaleeda Mohd Azmi studying inside a tent behind her house in Tanah Merah, Kelantan. — – NSTP/ NIK ABDULLAH NIK OMAR

She said she would “attend” one or two hours of the online classes while she was in a car, as she had to venture further away from her village for better Internet reception.

Whenever there are online classes at night, her father or a younger sibling would accompany her in the car as they try to find better reception.

Nurlieda, the eldest of five siblings, said a few days before her examinations started on Nov 23, she began to worry about how she would record a live video of herself while taking the examination, which was a requirement by lecturers.

Her father, Mohd Azmi Ahmad, 48, previously placed a WiFi modem on a pole, which was set up behind the family home, but to no avail.

“I’ve been using the tent throughout my exams. We used extension cords so that I can connect my laptop and other items in the tent to an electricity supply.

“For one or two hours when the exam is running, I need to take a video of myself using my handphone, which I fasten on a tripod so my lecturer can see.

“I have taken three exam papers and everything has been running smoothly.”

Her father said Nurlieda shared the same problem with his third child, Muhammad Amein Khalielee, 18, a Universiti Teknologi Mara student.

“He also needs the Internet to complete his assignments,” he said.

By Siti Rohana Idris.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/11/645393/kelantan-student-must-climb-hill-internet-connection

Embracing online teaching during the pandemic

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020
All academic activities must be carried out via remote format until the end of this year. -NSTP/Muhd Asyraf SawalAll academic activities must be carried out via remote format until the end of this year. -NSTP/Muhd Asyraf Sawal

KUALA LUMPUR: The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the education landscape of the country, accelerating the digitisation of higher education.

Remote learning has become the new norm, with new, more flexible teaching and learning processes, and this must continue even after the pandemic, to ensure that meaningful learning is achieved in the best possible way.

In May, a proposal from the Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) to carry out academic activities in a remote format until the end of the year was approved by the Special Meeting of Ministers on the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) of the National Security Council (MKN).

Following the stabilisation of the initial Covid-19 outbreak, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad announced on July 8 that higher education institutions would be reopened entirely in October.

The reopening of these institutions would have meant returning to the face-to-face teaching and learning (T&L) style.

However, in September, MOHE called for all Malaysian Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs) to postpone students’ on-campus registration considering the rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

The directive urged all Malaysian universities to introduce online registrations for new and returning students for Semester 1 2020/2021 session and to carry out the complete online T&L process until the situation improves.

Due to the risk of Covid-19, it is crucial to replace face-to-face classes and laboratory studies with online classes. Malaysian universities need to continue identifying the best methods to resume T&L while protecting their teachers, employees, and students from the Covid-19 virus.

These HLIs also need to resort to all measures in ensuring that the students’ learning process are not disrupted due to Internet problems, particularly students in the B40 group and those who remain in remote areas.

More flexible T&L techniques have resulted from the pandemic. The use of synchronous and asynchronous teaching modes and online assignment submissions have become a norm in university teaching today.

Due to the risk of Covid-19, face-to-face classes have been replaced with online classes.Due to the risk of Covid-19, face-to-face classes have been replaced with online classes.

Synchronous learning via ‘live sessions’ is recorded and made available to students who could not join the session in real-time. This is followed by shorter engagement sessions like chat rooms and online meetings.

On the contrary, the asynchronous mode allows the students to view the recorded sessions, lecture notes, or online discussion boards in their own time. Additionally, educators also use social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and WeChat to engage students with Internet connection difficulties.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the country’s educational landscape. Shift 9 of the Malaysia Education Blueprint of Higher Education 2015-2025 outlines the globalised online learning (GOL) movement.

Conventional approaches are no longer a likely alternative, and remote learning has become a new norm. More online learning modules, namely Micro-Credentials, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), MOOC Credit Transfer, Open Online Resources (OER), and OpenCourseWare, are being developed via online platforms.

Dr Aini Andria Shirin AnuarudinDr Aini Andria Shirin Anuarudin

Digitisation of higher education must continue after the pandemic. The provision of an institution’s digital infrastructure needs to be strengthened to increase access to education, enhance teaching and learning quality, and respond to students’ needs. HLIs also need to improve their digital content, create alternative assessments suitable for online learning, and revive their digital learning strategies.

The global online learning environment involves a holistic and sustainable system that needs a paradigm shift from educators and students, namely their use of digital technology and the development of e-content.

They must adapt to this new norm and familiarise themselves with the online methodology to move beyond their comfort zone.

To ease the shift, MoHE, in collaboration with universities, various organisations and Malaysia’s telecommunication giants — Celcom, Digi, Telekom Malaysia and Maxis, have recently launched ‘Data Plan and Device Packages for Higher Education Students.’ This is one of the many initiatives by MOHE to facilitate the online teaching and learning process.

Online teaching may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but embracing change at a time such as this has certainly brought a positive impact in the HLIs’ landscape. This latest trend is likely to inspire educators to explore more online platforms for them to engage in more online classes and activities.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Marlia PutehAssoc. Prof. Dr Marlia Puteh

There is no right or wrong answer to which remote teaching activity, online platform, or conferencing tool is best. Still, educators need to be flexible in improvising their teaching and ensuring that meaningful learning is achieved in the best possible way.

The pandemic has triggered a lot of creative teaching and learning, and we need to leverage that even after the pandemic has ended.

Dr Marlia Puteh is an Associate Professor at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Dr Aini Andria Shirin Anuarudin is a senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM). Both are guest writers for MoHE.

REad more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/11/644079/embracing-online-teaching-during-pandemic

NUTP urges MoE to review instructions for completing PdPR report

Friday, November 20th, 2020
NUTP has asked the Education Ministry (MoE) to review the policy for teaching and learning at home (PdPR) report due to the different struggles that both the teacher and student face during this pandemic. - NSTP/GHAZALI KORI.

NUTP has asked the Education Ministry (MoE) to review the policy for teaching and learning at home (PdPR) report due to the different struggles that both the teacher and student face during this pandemic. – NSTP/GHAZALI KORI.

KUALA LUMPUR The National Union of The Teaching Profession (NUTP) has asked the Education Ministry (MoE) to review the policy for teaching and learning at home (PdPR) report due to the different struggles that both the teacher and student face during this pandemic.

In a statement, the NUTP said teachers are required to complete the PdPR report on a daily basis using the links provided from Nov 17 until Dec 17 based on the notification letter issued by the MoE.

NUTP secretary general, Assocciate Lt. Col. Harry Tan Huat Hock said although the union was not completely against the directive, it urged for it to be reviewed due to problems faced by both teacher and student while they are going about the teaching and learning process at home.

“On Nov 18, we took an initiative and approached teachers to give their opinions and comments on the issue.

“One of the key points that were discussed based on feedback from teachers is that the MoE should focus on the main issues: internet accessibility, ability to purchase internet data and types of devices used.

“Teachers should be given the freedom to implement the PdPR because there is ample time for students to complete their daily homework. This is something which is not subjected to any 8am to 5pm regulation.

Tan said teachers are willing to receive their student’s homework at night as they understand the hardship that they have to go through.

“One of the difficulties that the teacher has to go through is when students are unable to submit their homework based on their deadline, which will hold up the reports that are needed to be submitted by the teachers.

“For example, there are students asking for permission if they can submit their homework at night due the father having to work and the unavailability of the mother, who needs to be at the clinic for dialysis.”

Tan added that overlapping reporting is not practical as teachers have to provide their reports to the school and fill out their online reporting.

“Our suggestion is for MoE to get the reports from the respective schools. The teachers have to fill in as many as 12 pages and the same thing needs to be filled in every day. It is burdensome to teachers who have a lot of classes on that day.

“The options in the reporting menu are also limited and confusing to teachers. They only fill in the report to meet the conditions which are far from what the actual target set by the MoE.”

He added that the NUTP urged Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin to look through all the necessities for the implementation of PdPR in the current education system.

By Irfan Izzuddin.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/11/642914/nutp-urges-moe-review-instructions-completing-pdpr-report

As JB schools close, pupils resort to online/home based classes

Sunday, November 1st, 2020
Chan Li Mynn takes to online learning as Covid-19 cases increase drastically.– NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVAChan Li Mynn takes to online learning as Covid-19 cases increase drastically.– NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVA

JOHOR BARU: With the Education Ministry resorting to temporarily closing schools after Johor Baru district was designated as a red zone following a rise in Covid-19 cases, many students hve taken to home based learning.

The Education Ministry announced that all 376 educational institutions, including government and private schools, vocational colleges and teaching institutions, in the Johor Baru, Kulai and Pasir Gudang districts would be closed for two weeks, starting today.

Following the announcement, the state government has also made a similar decision to close kindergartens, childcare centres (taska), community rehabilitation centres (PDK), children and senior citizens activity centres as well as religious schools in the Johor Baru district.

Students preparing for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination scheduled for January next year have now taken to self-learning and with most schools having online teaching.

Chan Li Mynn, 17, from Sekolah Menengh Kebangsaan (SMK) I.J. Convent, said she was leaving no stones unturned and wants to ensure she prepares well for the SPM examination.

“Despite not being able to go to school for the next 14 days, I am able to do my own revision and spend time picking up what I have left out earlier,” Chan said.

She said it will not be a problem learning online as we are already used to it and we know the teaching styles of our teachers.

“With a laptop on my side I can do online learning with our teachers and if we have any doubts we can then email our teachers or ask them via the Google Meet,” she said.

Zain Azhar Nasseruddin and  Muhammad  Hilmi Ismail - NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVAZain Azhar Nasseruddin and Muhammad Hilmi Ismail – NSTP/VINCENT D’SILVA

Chan feels that the pandemic has brought lots of hardship and finds less time for relaxation, having fun or even play games.

“My parents are very supportive and give me lot of help during this time as I plan to prepare well before the impending SPM examination,” she added.

Zain Azhar Nasseruddin, 17, of SMK Bandar Baru Uda, said he has reduced his free time with friends and focuses more on home based learning.

“The ball is in my court and its up to me to make the scoring for my final year examination,” he said.

Azhar said he doesn’t see online learning as a time to relax, have fun or play games but to put in extra effort of his own to prepare for the SPM examination.

He feels that online learning enables them to study in a relaxed manner and was less stressful.

Muhammad Hilmi Ismail, assistant director of student talent development at the Johor Education Department, said the closure of the schools was to control the spread of the virus.

He noted that the number of Covid-19 cases was quite high involving schools, hence the Education and Health Ministries sought to keep the students safe.

Hilmi said even though the schools were closed, online teaching would proceed and students should make every effort to learn from home.

“The Education Ministry’s “Teaching and Learning From Home Manual” was released early last month and the manual was developed to help teachers implement home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) as an alternative method in the new norm,” he said.

Hilmi said the 20-page manual serves as a guide for teachers and also enables students to follow the PdPR optimally.

By VINCENT D’SILVA.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/11/637109/jb-schools-close-pupils-resort-onlinehome-based-classes