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

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