Letters to the Editor


At OUM, I taught algebra between 2004 and 2007 and basic mechanics and linear programming in 2008. As a tutor, I feel that there is a need for more resources for OUM tutors.

Tutors need to constantly acquire additional knowledge. During tutorials, my learners hardly ask any questions. It seems as if they never read the modules at all! However, their common problem is that they do not understand some topics, concepts and so on. So, it is the role of the tutors to effectively explain to them the concepts. To do this, the tutors must be well-equipped with the required knowledge.

In 2008, I was given very short notice to teach basic mechanics and linear programming. As a result, there was not enough time for me to purchase reference books. Hence, I took the initiative to get materials from websites. Here, I would like to compliment OUM for introducing the Mathematics Resource Centre (TCX Issue 24) which I find quite useful and helpful with its links to many websites for my source of references.

Still, OUM should review its current tutor resources for the sake of the learners.

Farm Choon Moy
Negeri Sembilan Learning Centre

Have you tried searching for references in our library collection? We may have the books that you require.

For your information, the Library purchases reading materials based on the course/programme reference list. If the books are not listed as textbooks or main references, we may not get them. If you would like to request for a book which you think may benefit our learners, you may suggest it to the Faculty. The Faculty may then include the book as part of the main references/textbooks to be used by all students taking the subject and by other tutors teaching it.

Puan Ruzita binti Ramly
Chief Librarian, Tan Sri Dr Abdullah Sanusi Digital Library


My main issue about OUM is the inconsistent allocation of slots.

During certain semesters, I have been asked to teach subjects that are not based on what I have taught before. This creates unnecessary problems in that I have to make new slides, read different books and so on. I also find it challenging because I lack the required experience to teach these new subjects. At the end of the day, learners will suffer because they cannot gain much from the tutorials.

I sincerely hope that OUM will look into this and ensure that they choose tutors who are well-versed in the subjects to be taught.

Dr Arumugam a/l Raman
Kedah Learning Centre

Dear Dr Arumugam,

Yes, I agree with you that allocation of slots should be based on the tutor?s expertise. Only then can our tutors provide quality learning support to our learners. Mastery of subject content is essential among tutors in ensuring that the learners are provided with timely guidance and response. As much as possible, our tutors are allocated subjects based on their expertise.

At times, however, we are unable to recruit tutors with certain expertise. This is generally due to shortage of tutors in particular fields of study, especially in geographically isolated areas. Therefore, we have no choice but to allocate slots to tutors whom we know can deliver their best to our learners.

Assoc Prof Dr Santhi Raghavan
Director, Centre for Tutor Management & Development

We welcome letters from our readers on any issue that may be of concern to you. Please e-mail us at tcx@oum.edu.my

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As a tutor, I believe that I can help learners to create learning spaces by:

Encouraging them to think independently by giving them short essay tests
Encouraging them to work as a group
Adding variety to the assignments and encouraging them to think from a different perspective
Ensuring that the tutorial room is always conducive for the learners
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