The MRC was initially designed based on the
characteristics and functions of a learning centre. An on-ground
tutoring centre on campus normally offers free tutoring and
support services for its learners. Learners could
get help from their course instructors as well as other tutors
throughout the day on a walk-in basis or by appointment.
As OUM is an ODL institution with learners scattered
throughout the country, providing such support and services
online seemed practical. Furthermore, with online learning
being a component of the blended pedagogy at OUM, it
made sense to use the same platform as myLMS to develop
an online resource centre.
The University strongly feels the need to provide
additional support and services for students learning math,
particularly at the basic and lower levels. This is because past
student performance in assignments and exams indicated
that learners were struggling with math. It might be due
to their lack of basic math skills or lack of preparation for
Currently, OUM does not offer any developmental or
remedial math course that will help non-traditional learners
prepare for the math courses they must take in their
programmes. These learners may need additional help and
support beyond and outside the normal contact hours for
the math courses. Through MRC, the University hopes to
provide the additional help and support services.
The main function of the MRC is to serve as a learning and
resource centre for OUM learners who need help in basic
math or would like to review early math topics. The MRC
is not meant to replace online discussion forums, modules
and face-to-face tutorials. Instead, it will complement them
and serve as an alternative for learners when they are unable
to get help through the regular channels.
The support will be given through quality and engaging
learning resources. The MRC will house a variety of
resources for learners' use. It will also benefit tutors and
facilitators by providing them with useful resources for
teaching math. The resources include and are not limited
to supplemental notes, supplemental practice exercises,
interactive/ multimedia tutorials, interactive practice
problems, pencasts and audio/ video tutorials. There are
also links to useful math websites with external resources.
The development of learning resources will be a continuing
process and the database of resources will keep growing.
The MRC is now accessible to learners and the OUM
community at http://e-content.oum.edu.my/portal/. It could
also be accessed via myLMS by clicking on the MRC tab at
the top of the myLMS page or via the OUM home page, by
clicking the MRC icon link at the bottom of the page. The
forum area is now open to learners and tutors alike.
The University welcomes everyone's participation and
contribution to the forum. The MRC also plans to offer
free online tutoring to registered OUM learners, whereby
they could get live help from available online tutors. An
announcement will be posted in the forum area once the
service is available.
The University hopes the MRC will serve its purpose and
both tutors and learners will find the resources useful and
the support helpful.
* Dr Safiah Yusof is Senior Manager (Special Project) in the
Senior Vice President's Office.