Universiti Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) has implemented the Smart Classroom System to expand the university’s teaching and learning capabilities. Pix courtesy of UTHM

BATU PAHAT: Universiti Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) has implemented the Smart Classroom System to expand the university’s teaching and learning capabilities.

The development of this out-of-the-box initiative also attracted the attention of the Education Ministry’s Education Technology Division (BTP), which witnessed a demonstration of the system on Monday.

The 21st Century Learning (PAK21) briefing, which was attended by the top management of universities, teachers and students, was presented by UTHM’s Centre for Global Online Learning (CGOL) head Zainal Abidin Sayadi.

The strategic collaboration between UTHM, BenQ and Projector Doctor culminated in the creation of the user-friendly Classroom Management System, which aims to produce a diverse array of activities in the classroom, either collaboratively or individually.

The smart classrooms are not only equipped with 4K Technology Interactive TV sets for teaching purposes, but also provide interactive facilities between classrooms from various locations, utilising a video conferencing application.

The effective implementation of the smart classes depends on the use of sophisticated technological equipment, as well as the layout and the implementation of a more flexible learning environment.

The concept of PAK21 places special emphasis on Higher Level Thinking Skills (KBAT), and on the implementation of teaching that would be capable of creating creative and critical thinking, problem-solving and effective communication.

BTP deputy director Mohd Haliza Mohd Adnan, who attended the briefing, said the system was designed to be the best example to be adapted in PAK21 at both secondary and primary levels.

Apart from developing conducive infrastructure and meeting the features of PAK21, CGOL also delivers training and advisory services related to e-learning, in line with the 9th Malaysia Education Development Plan - Higher Education (2015 - 2025).

In 2017, the centre successfully implemented nearly 50 training sessions and courses related to the subject with the involvement of most UTHM academic staff.

The courses are aimed at providing immediate exposure to the rapid development of teaching materials and to the latest technology in education. The most important aspect is how lecturers can make today’s technology a catalyst for teaching and learning processes.

The expertise placed at the CGOL has been recognised by other educational institutions after it was entrusted to develop the Augmented Reality registration system for the 21st Century Learning Conference organised by the Johor State Education Department in April 2017, as well as the Southern Zone STEM Colloquium 2017 organised by the Education Ministry in November 2017.

UTHM Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Wahid Razzaly said he believes CGOL is one of the most important entities in supporting the teaching and learning process at UTHM.

Blended Learning is also the focus of the centre, combining full online classrooms and face-to-face sessions in the classroom. The centre is also responsible for developing a course under the ‘Massive Online Open Courses’ (MOOC) initiative. To date, a total of 25 MOOC courses have been jointly developed by all faculties and schools at UTHM.

In enhancing teaching and learning process, UTHMRadio, which is operating online under CGOL since 2014, has become a vital part of the centre.

Audio-formatted learning materials were delivered in a relaxed and entertaining manner to listeners.

To further increase the number of listeners, UTHMRadio also broadcasts live through Facebook.

Now, UTHMRadio is taking a step forward by collaborating with various government and private agencies as strategic partners of broadcasting.

According to Zainal Abidin, the move will make UTHMRadio a channel for information not only for university students but also for local and international communities.

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