Letters to the Editor
HIGHER LEARNING TODAY
Nowadays, learning has become more flexible. Adult learning is all about change - in attitude, knowledge, behaviour, skills, thinking and productivity. There are many significant differences between adult learners and fresh school-leavers.
Adult learners are more self-directed and take responsibility for their learning experience. They are learner-oriented, unlike fresh school-leavers who prefer to be teacher-oriented and expect to be spoonfed by their lecturers. In addition, adult learners have vast life experiences to support new learning approaches. They also prefer a practical and immediately relevant approach to their studies and would appreciate a subject if it is relevant to their field.
I think as the human capital moves towards intellectual progress, we should redesign and redevelop our mindset to be able to face the challenges from outside. We should have a higher level of thinking and acquire k-knowledge (general knowledge) and p-knowledge (programmed knowledge) to be competitive in this era of globalisation.
Keningau Learning Centre
I have been teaching at OUM's Perak Learning Centre for many years now and the feedback from my students has always occupied the top spot in my priority list for personal improvement. The frequent grouse from my students is that I have high expectations of them in terms of their assignments. I will not deny this, for I subscribe to the Chinese adage, "Aim for the sky because should you fall, you fall among the stars."
However, upon retrospection and careful consideration of their grievances, I think the cause of this is the inconsistency among tutors in the way we interpret the demands of an assignment and the way we mark them. Neither of these, though, I believe, is the fault of the tutors as marking schemes are often provided to them very late in the day, sometimes far too late. I do not know the reason for this "assignment first, marking scheme later," approach.
I would like to suggest that marking schemes be provided together with the assignments. Then, the tutors teaching the same subject are not likely to make differing demands on the students with regard to the assignments. In fact, students could be better guided and more importantly, reliability and validity will be ensured.
Perak Learning Centre
TRANSITION FROM TEXTBOOKS TO MODULES AT POSTGRADUATE LEVEL
Since September last year, textbooks have been replaced by modules as learning materials for our learners at the postgraduate level. This transition has received mixed reactions from the learners, some welcoming the change, while others are against it.
In my opinion, this transition can be seen as an advantage for the learners. Among others, unlike the bulkier hardcover textbooks, modules are lighter and smaller. Furthermore, for distance learners, modules are easier to understand with compact and straight-to-the-point information.
I believe that modules are sufficient for our Masters learners because the modules are well-written by subject matter experts who are experts in their relevant areas. Hence, the modules at OUM are of high quality and would clearly benefit our learners.
Jaspal Kaur Naranjan Singh
Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communications
We welcome letters from our readers on any issue that may be of concern to you. You may use a pseudonym if you wish but please mention which learning centre you are from. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org