Friday, January 18

E-Learning in Malaysian Public Universities - Case Studies of UKM and UTM

Author: Marlia Puteh, Ph.D, College of Science and Technology, UTM

"This paper analyses the development of the e-learning strategies that have been introduced into Malaysian public universities since 1996. Using two case studies of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), the research examines how Malaysian public universities planned to introduce e-learning strategies into their undergraduate programs. This analysis uses some 25 interviews with the teaching and administrative staff at UKM and UTM. A critical view of the problems that these universities face in implementing their vision statements is also presented. However, testing the vision statements against the experience and opinions of teaching staff is a significant task, because ultimately it is the teachers who will drive the e-learning strategies. If teachers are not supportive of these programs, e-learning will struggle to become established...

Public universities have some fundamental problems when it comes to implementing e-learning and IT teaching strategies. Most of the difficulties in implementing e-learning strategies in the public universities are similar to that of other public universities attempting to adopt IT strategies university-wide. Malaysian public universities have not been successful at generating senior leadership capable of integrating the various university plans and strategies. These leadership issues are exacerbated by the working environments that are characterised by lack of encouragement, fear of intellectual piracy, inadequate technical training, insufficient equipment and no incentives for innovation. International comparisons can help and should be encouraged. Such benchmarking can provide Malaysian universities with a measure of how well they are doing and whether and what can be learnt from external examples."

Not sure what to say! I suppose you can make up your mind when (or if) you read the whole article. With today's disruptive technologies and increasing arsenal of free and hosted learning tools available (LectureShare, WiZiQ (Virtual Classroom), Wikispaces, Wordpress (Blogging), etc.), anyone can implement e-learning as long as they and their students (or learners) have computer devices and Internet connections. If we have the passion, we will find the time to implement e-learning (if necessary!). Yes, we need time, encouragement, training, support and incentives, but if e-learning can facilitate a more effective learning environment for our students, that should be good incentive to do it (if we really have the passion for education!). But then again, it would be great to have support from the senior management, and be equipped with great learning tools and technical support. In short, I suppose to really make e-learning work, everyone involved must role up their sleeves and try harder.

As for intellectual piracy, the moment your content is digitized, the pirates out there will steal it if it is of any value to them (If there is a will, there is a way!). Anyway, should a pirate steal my content I would be really proud (I am the chosen one!) and probably discover their location through Google (or some other search tools), and applaud them for stealing my content and not giving me recognition for my great work. Then I will write an article about them in my blog (or a Newspaper), and put them into more shame. Perhaps we should just use the Creative Commons license, and get on with life! Anyway, with all the free Open Educational Resources (OER) available on the WWW, the pirate must be an idiot to steal our content, when they can probably find better free content out there (though cannot use for commercial purposes). I suppose there are many ignorant pirates out there!

If you are one of those pirates (I suspect you are not!), I strongly recommend that you visit my other blog ZaidLearn, and you will discover many World Class OER repositories with oceans of great content. I suppose you will need some time to find the right juice, but you will feel better once you do.

Hmm, where am I going! Just read the article :)

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