Feature: Which Is Better - Modules Or Tutorials?

Compiled by Azeezah Jameelah

Effective learning consists of reading modules as well as listening to and participating in tutorials. Reading a module before attending tutorials will give us an overview of the subjects that we are going to learn. We can fi nd out what we do not understand and prepare questions so as to get assistance from the tutors. Being attentive in tutorials will enable us to understand better and faster. By listening, what we have understood through reading will be reinforced too. To participate in tutorials is to test how much knowledge we have acquired and whether we know how to apply it. Besides, we can interact with our coursemates and tutors. This will give us a chance to develop our personalities and practise good values. Thus, I consider our learning process incomplete without any of these components.

Kok Ah Moy
Serdang Raya Learning Centre

Reading modules and listening to tutorials are equally important. OUM uses the blended pedagogy mode which calls for face-to-face interactions between tutors and their students, unlike ordinary tutorials where tutors teach and students listen, which is a passive mode indeed. Face-toface interaction further enhances students' understanding of what they have read or gathered from the modules because tutors could provide spontaneous verbal explanations with written blackboard examples.

The face-to-face mode also provides true or authentic teaching-learning encounters and experiences which support the modules. I hope at OUM, listening to tutorials is not defi ned as a continuous talk or delivery of content by the tutor with little or no contribution from the students and strictly focused on specifi c lecture topics based on the tutors' interest. A tutorial at OUM should refer to a mini tutorial and brief input on issues raised by students followed by a short discussion before moving on to another mini tutorial. If this student-centred approach is carried out, the students would become active learners, well-guided by the tutors for better understanding of the modules.

Naina Mohd bin Md Noor
Kedah Learning Centre

I believe both modules and tutorials are equally important, based on the following reasons:

  1. Learners have different learning styles. Modules cater to visual learners while tutorials cater to auditory ones.
  2. Certain things in the modules which are not clear to learners can be clarifi ed when they attend tutorials.
  3. As human beings, most learners need human contact and face-to-face communication, if only to reassure themselves that someone does care about their learning experience.

Ho Theen Theen
Sarawak Learning Centre

Based on my experience, I think tutorials are better. I am teaching programming-related subjects and physics. During a tutorial, students can see the actual process of drawing a diagram from scratch. This also applies to writing program codes. By looking at the process, the students will know where to start and how to proceed until the fi nal product is achieved. Sad to say, this is fast missing from the learning environment!

Yap Thin Peng
Perak Learning Centre

Both reading modules and attending tutorials are important. Reading is more for self understanding while tutors' viewpoints and explanations bring new thought. Tutorials provide experience and conclusions from observations which may be different from what is contained in modules and learners can transfer these to new ideas.

Wee Kian Ping
Sarawak Learning Centre

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In my opinion, the most important factor in producing quality OUM graduates is:

Tutors who are capable and motivated
Quality learning materials
A syllabus which integrates both theoretical and practical aspects of a subject
All of the above
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