The blended learning pedagogy used by Open
University Malaysia (OUM) offers the best of both
worlds, a balance between traditional classroom
and pure online learning. Blended learning enables tutors
to support the learning style which is best for each student.
Learners do not just like one way to learn and hence, blended
learning can provide them with different ways of learning
without making learning experience diffi cult.
The module acts as a guide and point of reference. Tutors
can use different approaches in supporting learning such as
collaborative learning or online discussion by referring to
topics in the modules provided to all learners.
Modules developed by OUM are study materials meant
to drive learning. They are made available in hardcopy and
softcopy so that tutors and learners could use them anywhere
and anytime at their convenience. They are learner-friendly,
self-contained and feature a step-by-step guide that provides
learners with customised contents.
Compared to many other universities, OUM has spent
millions of ringgit in setting up the Centre for Instructional
and Design Technology (CIDT), which is responsible
for producing good study materials for its learners. The
challenge is for tutors to use their creativity in order to fully
utilise the materials.
The modules are well-structured and incorporate the
syllabus of each course. They are also rich in content
and meet a certain level of quality. Thus, tutors need not
worry about the depth of coverage in their lessons. All
they need to do is read, plan and implement what is in the
modules whether through face-to-face sessions or the online
Before the start of each tutorial, tutors can post messages
in the forum to inform learners about what will be covered
in the coming tutorial so that they are alerted on what to
prepare. This is important as learners have very limited
time for studying. During face-to-face sessions, tutors can
present slides based on the topics in the module in order to
highlight important issues.
Tutors can also post up issues based on the modules
and get learners involved in collaborative learning. Tutors can facilitate these discussions so that feedback is given to
learners. At the end of the discussions, tutors can post short
quizzes to test what was learned from such discussions.
With less time spent on what to cover in a particular topic
as the modules provide the required information and depth
of coverage, tutors can use the remaining time to focus on
fi nding ways to make learning fl exible and fun and at the
same time, tailor their tutorials to the different learning
styles of learners. To make the modules useful, tutors should
help learners to learn how to use the modules.
A number of blogs have been developed by tutors to
help learners understand the content of some modules.
These blogs are used to post video clips of what has been
learned and also to provide supplementary notes and exam
tips. Some modules are accompanied by mobile learning to
alert learners on what will be covered or what topics are
being discussed in the online forum. These are some of the
innovative initiatives taken by tutors to help their learners.
With the advent of technology, much more can and
should be done by tutors to help their learners to read and
understand the contents of their modules. Tutors should ride
on Web 2.0 to make learning interactive and get learners
engaged. Engaged learners will be less likely to drop out of