Feature: What Are Learning Spaces? Learners' Views

Compiled by Shafiza Ahmad Suffian (shafiza_ahmad@oum.edu.my)

As learners, we need to create learning spaces that facilitate our learning experience. Obviously, there are many kinds of learners, hence many types of learning spaces. Let’s take a look at what our learners have to say about learning spaces.

OUM provides a variety of learning spaces for adult learners. I prefer face-to-face tutorials because I can directly communicate with my tutors and friends. If I don’t understand something, I can get feedback from them immediately to keep me on the right track.

E-learning is also an alternative form of learning space which OUM provides. I like to study online as I have access to multiple sources of knowledge. It is also helpful to students because if they miss a tutorial session, they can simply go to myLMS and join the online forum. This way, they can still catch up and keep up with their learning.

Diana Md Disi
Serdang Raya Learning Centre

We all have our favourite site or location where we can concentrate on learning. During my undergraduate days, I was always amazed by the fact that some of my colleagues could study with the music on at full blast! I had to go to the hostel study room in order to concentrate. Now at the age of 58, I still need a quiet room to myself to study. I think learning is a very individual thing and unless we need to discuss something, studying alone is best.

Paul Lim
Kuala Lumpur Learning Centre

I feel comfortable in my own home because I can do anything I like while learning. I am a person who won’t stay put in one place. I become very restless so my home is the best place for me especially when I am preparing for exams. It’s better at home because I can listen to music and sing along as I please, I can take breaks whenever I want, I can stop to vacuum the house, wash and hang the laundry, take time off to cook, go out shopping when I feel like it.

This is what I call “freedom of the mind” meaning the liberty to conduct my learning in an enjoyable and flexible manner. I am not tied to any restricted hours or stuffy regulations, for example, having to keep my voice down in the library which blocks my state of mind. The library is more of a resource center for me and a meeting place for group discussions.

The office? Out of the question!

Hatifah Hussin
Kuala Lumpur Learning Centre

Let me share my point of view as a working mom. Frankly, its not easy! 1,001 challenges to deal with. These unpredictable situations may hamper and demotivate you at times. My ideal space: no specific place but I like having my own study corner at home and occasionally at the library. That is if I can even find the time!

Anyway, I love to have notes, small ones to carry around with me. When I need to remember a lot of facts, I will prepare mind maps and interesting visuals in A3 or poster size and pin them to the wall. Each poster will have a topic summary. Now imagine having 10 to 17 topics on the wall. You need a lot of wallpaper, highlighters and coloured markers to pull this off. The more colourful my notes are, the longer I remember.

This also helps when you review past-year questions. You can see all the main points right in front of you instead of wasting time flipping through the module to look for a particular idea. To be able to look or even have a glance at my posters once a day brings a huge impact to my memory. Let’s just say that this is more of a self-motivation thingy! It seems that this method works very well for me at the moment. Well, the older you get, the less space you have in your memory!

Mimi Renati binti Zainol
Bangi Learning Centre

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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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