Friday, February 27, 2009

Lawatan YBhg Tan Sri Presiden OUM ke PP OUM Perak

Warga OUM Perak amat bertuah kerana YBhg Prof. Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Anuwar Ali iaitu Presiden dan Naib Canselor OUM akan membuat lawatan ke OUM Perak sempena Majlis Dialog dengan para pelajar dan tutor pada 28 Feb, 2009 dari jam 8pg hingga 3ptg.

Aturcara Majlis adalah seperti berikut:

a) Untuk Pelajar OUM Perak yang berpusat di Jln Lm Bo Seng:

8.00pg - Para pelajar dan tutor berkumpul di Dewan A dan B masing-masing

8.15pg - Ketibaan YBhg Tan Sri serta rombongan pengurusan tertingi OUM pusat

8.20pg - Majlis dialog bersama pelajar

9.00pg - Sarapan pagi

9.15pg - Majlis dialog bersama tutor

10.00pg - Majlis dialog dengan pelajar Post Graduate

b) Untuk pelajar dan tutor OUM Perak yang berpusat di PPT Greentown:

11.15pg - Pelajar dan tutor berkumpul di Dewan SSI

11.30pg - Majlis dialog bersama pelajar dan tutor

c) Untuk pelajar dan tutor OUM Perak yang berpusat di Institut Perguruan Ipoh

2.15ptg - Pelajar dan tutor berkumpul dalam salah satu bilik kuliah

2.30ptg - Majlis dialog dengan pelajar dan tutor

Semua pelajar dan tutor OUM Perak adalah dengan ini dijemput hadir bagi memeriahkan suasana Majlis sambil menjalin hubungan silaturahim degan pihak pengurusan tertinggi OUM

Peperiksaan Pertengahan Semester (Mid Semester Exam)

Peperiksaan pertengahan semester untuk semester Jan 2009 akan diadakan dari 6 Mac 2009 hingga 8 Mac 2009. Peperiksaan ini diadakan untuk subjek tertentu yang dikelaskan sebagai subjek dengan kaedah penilaian format A di mana 20% daripada jumlah keseluruhan penilaian pelajar akan diberikan melalui peperiksaan ini.

Selain daripada peperiksaan pertengahan semester, pelajar-pelajar OUM juga akan diberikan 5% untuk pembabitan aktif atas talian melalui forum perbincangan (OLP), 35% untuk tugasan dan yang selebihnya untuk peperiksaan akhir semester.

Di OUM Perak, semua pelajar akan menduduki peperiksaan pertengahan semester pada lokasi seperti berikt:

6 Mac - PP Perak Jln Lim BO Seng
7 Mac - PP Perak Jln Lim Bo Seng
8 Mac - ITP (bersebelahan dengan bangunan persekutuan dan Greentown Business Center)

Peta lokasi Institut Teknologi Perak (ITP) adalah seperti di bawah:
Sila klik pada gambar untuk melihat imej yang besar

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OUM Confers Honorary Doctorate To Dr Daisaku Ikeda - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 (Bernama)

Open University Malaysia (OUM) today conferred the Honorary Doctor of Arts (Humanities) to President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Dr Daisaku Ikeda in a special convocation held at the Soka International Friendship Hall, in Tokyo.

According to a statement released here, OUM Chancellor who is the Malaysian prime minister's wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah conferred the award to Dr Ikeda, who became the first international recipient of the university's honorary doctorate.

Speaking at the convocation, Jeanne said learning institutions shouldered the noble responsiblity of creating a society that valued education.

"OUM and SGI share the same sentiments in making education accessible to the masses to help develop human capital," she said.

OUM President and Vice-Chancellor Prof Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, in his speech, said that OUM was honoured to confer Dr Ikeda with the honorary doctorate.

"He is a visionary man who believes that education and world peace are closely linked. Likewise, at OUM, we believe that education spurs socio-economic development to elevate the living standard of people," he said.

The honorary doctorate was awarded in recognition of Dr Ikeda's outstanding work in promoting world peace and character development through education, OUM said.

Prior to this, OUM had conferred honorary doctorates to three individuals, who are OUM's founding members and former vice-chancellors of Malaysia's leading universities.

OUM and SGI have a long standing relation through collaborations aimed at providing learners from both institutions the exposure to the best learning experience.

In May last year, Jeanne was conferred the award of Highest Honor by Soka Women's College, Soka University, Japan.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Math Workshop @ OUM KL

Feb 22, 2009

OUM has organized another Math workshop for its learners who are taking the BBMP 1103 and SBMA 1103 courses at OUM Main Campus on Feb 21, 2009 from 8.3am to 1.30pm. The event was organized by the Counseling Unit of the Center For Student Management led by Prof. Dr. Latifah. Coordinating the program successfully was Normahliza who has done extremely well in ensuring the smooth running of the program.

The workshop was conducted by Richard Ng

The workshop started sharp at 8.30am and ended as expected at 1.30pm. Close to 50 participants from KL and also a learner Penang turned up to find out more about how they could improve on their math. The workshop was conducted by Richard Ng, the director of OUM Perak.

Some of the participants of the workshop

The workshop was based on the Online Supplemental Instruction (OSI) model which has won a silver medal recently at the AAOU 2008 International Conference in China. Participants were coached on understanding the logic of math and how to use the Equation Editor software to type mathematical symbols so that they can post any problems through the Learning Management System (LMS).

Participants were busy having discussion on how to solve the mathematical problems assigned to the group.

Participants were divided into 5 groups and each group was given a mathematical problem to solve. The team leader from each group was required to present their findings watched by other participants. This way all the participants will learn from each other.

The following video clips show how the workshop was conducted:

Video Clip 1:

Video Clip 2:

Video Clip 3:

Video Clip 4:

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Winning Team - AAOU 2008 Silver Medal Award

The Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) where OUM is a member, held an International conference in Tian Jin, China from 14 to 16 October. As usual, OUM have been actively participating in this conference having hosted the AAOU 2007 conference in Putrajaya.

OUM entourage to AAOU 2008 conference was led by Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Anuwar Ali (fifth from right)

OUM entourage was led by YBhg Prof Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Anuwar Ali, President/Vice Chancellor of OUM. OUM presented a number of papers in the conference, which was also attended by presenters from 22 countries.

Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Anuwar Ali was one of the key note speakers at the conference

Two papers from OUM have been shortlisted for the best paper award. And one of the two papers emerged as the winner for the Silver Medal award. The gold medal was won by host China. Credit goes to Prof. Dr. Mansor Fadzil, Senio VP of OUM, for his powerful presentation of behalf of the team, who are unable to attend the conference.

The winning presentation by Prof. Mansor Fadzil, Senior VP of OUM

The paper entitled: "E-Mathematics: Pre-instructional and Supplemental Instruction and their impact on student’s Online Participation and Final Exam Score" won the Silver Medal award. The research, which was led by Richard Ng, Director of OUM Perak, also include four other members; Prof. Latifah Abd Latif, Director of the Centre for Student Mangement, Prof. Ramli Bahroom, General Manager for Corporate Relations, Prof. Abtar Kaur and Siti Farina from the Faculty of Education and Language.

Puan Kamariah, Registrar of OUM, received the silver medal on behalf of OUM

The winning team members (from left): Richard Ng, Prof. Ramli, Siti Farina, Prof. Latifah and Prof. Abtar

The Silver Medal

The certificate awarded to team members

The abstract of the winning paper is as follows:

Open University Malaysia (OUM), Malaysia’s first open and distance learning university with over 67,000 students, offers more than 51 programs to-date. More than 90% of its students are working adults who are unable to leave their jobs or families behind to pursue their dream of getting a degree. The blended learning approach adopted by OUM provides the flexibility for working adults to obtain the required paper qualification and to upgrade their knowledge. One of the important elements of blended learning is the use of online discussion forum where learning takes place beyond classroom.

Mathematics, a traditionally difficult course, forms part of the pre-requisite for students to obtain a business degree at OUM. The adult learners at OUM generally have left school for at least five years and most of them have low grades in Mathematics at O’ Level. Thus it is a big challenge for these adult learners to undertake a Mathematics course via online with minimum Face-to-Face contact with their tutors.

This paper focuses on the implementation of pre-instruction workshop and supplemental instruction to find its impact on student’s online participation and exam results of 88 students. The contents of the online forum were also analyzed using a 34-item instrument derived from the Community of Inquiry model. Results obtained showed that there was a strong correlation between workshop participation and final exam score. Independent samples t-test conducted showed that there was a significant difference between the mean score of online discussion ratio and final examination between participants attached to a tutor conducting the workshop and extended coaching compared to participants attached to another tutor using the normal teaching guide. The mean COI score obtained for mathematics between the two tutors indicated that there is a difference in the teaching and cognitive presence but almost similar in the social presence.

This research is important especially in improving the learning of mathematics via blended learning approach. The management of OUM especially Prof. Mansor Fadzil, has been very supportive of this project and as a result, it was given a research grant to expand such learning pedagogy throughout OUM and include other technical courses, which have been regarded traditionally as difficult courses.

A new model known as the "OSI Model" has been developed to enhance learning with video support where learners can now download the video clips and view it as many times as they required at any time any place. As portable media players are available at affordable cost these days, more and more learners are expected to engage in mobile learning.

The OSI Model of learning Mathematics

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SkyBlue Portable Media Player

Feb 14, 2009. Posted by Richard Ng

As I was window shopping at one of the shopping malls in Ipoh, I stumbled upon a gadget known as SkyBlue Portable Media Player. From far it looks like Nokia 6210. Next to this item I saw some other gadgets that looked like I-Pod.

The Skyblue PMP is as big as the size of the palm measuring 3cm by 5cm

The gadget has a price tag of RM200. Since it is "not sooo expensive" compared with other established gadgets, I asked the salesman how it functions. To my surprise, it has a high resolution and can support MP3, MP4 and other movie formats. It comes with 2GB storage space and can support additional 4GB.

I downloaded one of my video clips and play it with this gadget. It was superb.

The other day, I was also looking at some second PDA at the same complex and I found an O2 that cost RM500. I thought of buying the O2 for my research purposes. But with this gadget selling at RM200, I did not hesitate at all to buy one.

I brought back to my office after that and tested it. I am amazed that it functioned as expected.

I tested the video on this gadget. In the background is my PC which I am running the YouTube video.

For students who wish to download video clips from YouTube, you need a software which can be downloaded free from the following website:

With this affordable gadget I hope students who are weak in Math will buy one and download the video clips posted in so that they can be viewed at any time any place. This is the mobile learning era. Once your course has completed, you can continue using the gadget to play MP3 musics and even download pictures from the PC.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mind Your Words - Star

Cunning couples

YOU can easily acquire an American, Australian, British or Canadian accent with speech training or from living several years abroad and come across as someone fluent in English. But you give yourself away if you use words wrongly, especially in e-mails, faxes and reports.

In the online world of blogging or chatting, such errors are easily forgiven but they are unacceptable in the business or educational environments.

Homophones, words that sound alike but convey different meanings, form many of these confusing pairs. Used wrongly in writing, they reflect someone with a poor grasp of grammar or a confused writer.

Be mindful of these cunning couples and be confused no more!

Accept (v.) — to agree to take something.

Except (prep.) — not including.

“Boss, I accept all your free books except ‘1,000 Ways to Manage Houseflies’,” said Pee Nang to Kay El.

Advice (n.) — one’s opinion about what somebody else should do or how they should behave.

Advise (v.) — to give advice to somebody or to recommend something to somebody.

“Are you sure, Pee Nang? I’d strongly advise you to reconsider the manual. You may regret not taking my advice if you’re suddenly faced with flies,” Kay El said.

Affect (v., pronounced uh-fekt) — to have influence on something or somebody.

Effect (n., pronounced ee-fekt) — a change produced by an action or a cause.

“Yes, I’m positive, Kay El,” Pee Nang answered. “If my mother’s way of handling house flies has affected them greatly by reducing them to zero, I don’t think I need to know the effect that 999 other ways have on them.”

All ready — completely prepared.

Already (adv.) — previously or by this time.

“Ahh ... looks like your house is all ready for living,” Kay El praised. “To tell you the truth, although I’ve already read the manual twice, I’m still having problems at my home!”

Beside (prep.) — at the side of somebody or something.

Besides (prep.) — in addition.

Pee Nang laughed. “I’ll be happy to tell my mother about your housefly problem. Since she lives beside my house, she could drop by your place later. Besides, she will be excited to have you try the apple pie she baked today.”

Complement (v.) — to add new or contrasting features which show the best qualities of something or which improve it.

Compliment (v.) — express praise, admiration or approval.

“That will be wonderful!” Kay El said. “I always forget to compliment your mother on her apple pie. It will be the perfect complement to the vanilla ice cream I’m having for dessert tonight.”

Dessert (n., pronounced dee-zert) — any sweet food eaten at the end of a meal.

Desert1 (n., pronounced deh-zert) — a large area of land that has very little water and very few plants growing on it, e.g. the Sahara Desert.

Desert2 (v., pronounced dee-zert) — to go away from a place without intending ever to return.

“Ice cream for dessert?” Pee Nang exclaimed. “Your place doesn’t exactly sound like the depressing desert1 you always portray it to be. You make it seem as if the whole world has deserted2 you!”

Maybe (adv.) — perhaps.

May be — to express possibility.

“Maybe I could have exaggerated my situation a bit. But seriously, I may be having a rather serious house fly problem,” Kay El explained in a doleful tone.

Breath (n., pronounced breh-th) — the air you take into and let out of your lungs.

Breathe (v., pronounced bree-th) — the act of taking air into and letting out of your lungs.

“Okay, take a deep breath,” Pee Nang assured Kay El with a smile. “I may have been too hard on you. Once my mother works her magic at your place, I’m sure you’ll breathe easier after that.”

Coincident (adj.) — happening in the same place or at the same time.

Coincidence (n.) — similar event happening at the same time by chance.

“Talking about breathing, isn’t it a coincidence that the houseflies started appearing the day after you came over with those pungent prawn crackers?” Kay El remarked. “I remember reading that the presence of house flies is coincident with the presence of dried seafood.”

Loose (adj.) — not tight.

Lose (v.) — present tense for “lost”.

“Now, now, Kay El, let’s not lose track of the discussion here,” Pee Nang said hurriedly. “We were talking about fixing your house fly problem.”

In an undertone, he muttered, “And not about a loose pack of prawn crackers disappearing in your home ...”

Later (adv.) — afterwards.

Latter (adj.) — the second of two things or people already mentioned.

“You were going to confirm the time my mother could drop by later. Now you’re going back to a visit I made in the past,” Pee Nang reminded Kay El. “Let’s not confuse the former with the latter, shall we?”

Personal (adj., pronounced as per-suh-nuhl) — private.

Personnel (n., pronounced as per-suh-nell) — staff members

“Anyway, let’s not take things personally,” Pee Nang said cheerily. “By the way, the Personnel Department is questioning me about being away from the office for three hours yesterday.”

Principal (n.) — administrator.

Principle (n.) — guiding rule for personal behaviour.

“I’m sure you were on company business. I know you to be a man of principle,” Kay El said. “The head of the Personnel Department is always acting like a school principal.”

Quiet (adj., pronounced kwai-yuht) — silent.

Quite (adv. Pronounced kwait) — very or actually.

“You are quite right I am!” Pee Nang replied emphatically. “Now that we are all settled, I’ll just slip away quietly.”

Than (conj.) — used after a comparative like “faster”, “cleaner”, “healthier”, etc.

Then (adv.) — referring to a time in the past or future.

Waving goodbye, Pee Nang called out, “I’ll see you later then!”

As Kay El waved in return, he wondered if managing his house fly problem would be easier than managing his young employee.

Christine Jalleh is a communications specialist with a Master’s degree in English Language studies. She blogs about communications and business English at