ONLINE education via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the country has continued to grow within the past year, due to the efforts of the Higher Education Ministry in enhancing quality and accessibility, and making tertiary education affordable.
It promotes student autonomy and fosters a community which engages and motivates each other, which is critical to better outcomes.
With MOOCs, higher education becomes more accessible to everyone, including those in the lower income group, and helps to build a knowledge-based society.
MOOCs use the ‘flipped classroom’ concept, where students learn in a two-way communication using text, audio and video.
This is in line with the government’s vision of 30 per cent of all public university courses to be taught online by the year 2020.
An online learning portal developed under the ministry’s strategy programme, MOOCs have been implemented in all public universities since Sept 7 last year.
Malaysia is the first country in the world to implement a nationwide strategy that integrates MOOCs with on-campus university classes. Public universities develop MOOCs on a variety of topics and subject matter, with students learning these courses through the social learning platform, OpenLearning.com.
This platform focuses on bringing social interaction and fun to MOOCs and online courses, while making it incredibly easy for professors and instructors to put their classes together.
With OpenLearning.com as the official MOOC platform for all public institutions of higher education in the country, there are currently 64 MOOCs available to all students in public universities, a significant step forward since its launch in September 2014 with just four MOOCs.
To date, more than 100,000 students from all 20 public universities have enrolled in courses on OpenLearning.com.
MOOCs offer unlimited participation and open access via the web. Read more exclusively in the print edition of the New Sunday Times tomorrow (Jan 24).