Feature: Life Between Semesters

By Majmin Hanum Abdul Samad

When I was a college student years ago, semester break was the time for me to unwind by hanging out with friends and catching up on some serious sleep. It may be the same for OUM learners. Some may use the break to catch up with family and friends while others may use it to engage in their favourite activities. This made me wonder - What do tutors do during semester breaks? I decided to ask several tutors.

"I continue to keep in touch with my learners after a semester has ended. I usually receive news from them about how they did in the final exam. It is always a pleasure to hear them say that they have answered the questions accordingly. Some may cite minor mistakes they made due to exam phobia. I would advise them to relax and recharge their energy for the following semester. Between semesters, I would analyse the exam questions and compare them with previous ones to build my understanding of the exam trend. I would then incorporate this knowledge into my teaching in the following semester. Tutoring is my passion. I truly enjoy teaching and interacting with learners and look forward to meeting existing and new learners in the coming semesters."

J. Wong
Shah Alam Learning Centre

"I usually don't do anything extraordinary during semester breaks. Normally, learners stop communicating with me after their exam. During the breaks, I would sort out assignments and e-mails and hang out with friends. I would also start reviewing my presentation slides and prepare supporting slides and documents or the assignment a week before the start of the first tutorial class for each semester. It might sound a bit boring but that's what I do during the breaks."

Rames Mariapan
Shah Alam / Petaling Jaya Learning Centres

"As tutors, there is not much we can do after the final exam. We are not involved in the marking of the papers. Learners seldom call to discuss their performance in the exam. I believe most of them would be busy registering for the next semester. Most of us would be notified about the course we would be teaching about a week before the semester starts. If we are offered the old subject, we would check to see whether there has been any change in the course content and assessment. If we are offered something new, then we would be busy going through the course content and assessment and then preparing the tutoring materials."

Dr Chai Bui Khiun
Sarawak Learning Centre

"As a new tutor, the first semester has been quite an adventure for me, one which I enjoyed tremendously despite the many challenges I faced. You see, although I'm a full-time lecturer in a college in the Klang Valley, teaching in OUM needed some getting used to. This is the first time my students are mostly older than me! But I'm getting the hang of it as they are friendly and I treat them as adults and friends. It is a refreshing change from teaching SPM school-leavers at my college. I use different teaching approaches but I love all my students the same. I'm still getting used to OMES and myLMS. Hopefully, I won't be late in keying marks in OMES. Currently, I am teaching a course that is different from the one I taught during the May semester. So during the recent break, I went through the modules and prepared some notes and slides. This semester, I am better prepared and looking forward to tutoring my learners."

Kuala Lumpur Learning Centre

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In my opinion, in order to evaluate adult learners effectively, exam questions should be ...

interesting, by including many real-life application questions
factual, based entirely on module contents
stimulating, based on relevant industrial needs
simple, touching on the main aspects of a subject
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