Scholarly article on topic 'Establishing an Organisational e-learning Culture to Motivate Lecturers to Engage in e-Learning in UiTM'

Establishing an Organisational e-learning Culture to Motivate Lecturers to Engage in e-Learning in UiTM Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Norsaniah Md Noh, Posiah Mohd Isa, Siti Akmar Abu Samah, Norzaidah Md Noh, Mohd Ali Mohd Isa

Abstract e-Learning and mobile learning is becoming more popular as an effective method of teaching and learning, disseminating information and knowledge in institutions of higher learning and organizations. However, it continues to be challenging to fully engage all academicians and employees in productive use of the available e-learning offerings. The shift to e-learning and mobile learning represents an organizational cultural change. It needs to be demonstrated to academicians and employees that e-learning is not only about using technology but more about delivering improved and effective methods of teaching and learning. This paper focuses on the various strategies and initiatives undertaken by UiTM and the e-Learning Centre (i-LeC) in establishing the e-learning culture in the university to motivate academicians to engage in e-learning. Different faculties and branches of the university are showing differing adoption rates and many regard non-traditional or non classroom learning as less valuable and miss the face to face interaction with students. Many older academicians are resistant to e-learning and need motivation to adopt the e-learning technology in their teaching.

Academic research paper on topic "Establishing an Organisational e-learning Culture to Motivate Lecturers to Engage in e-Learning in UiTM"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 67 (2012) 436 - 443

The 3 rd International Conference on e-Learning ICEL2011, 23-24 November 2011, Bandung, Indonesia

Establishing an Organisational e-learning Culture to Motivate Lecturers to Engage in e-Learning in UiTM

a* a b

Norsaniah Md Noh , Posiah Mohd Isa , Siti Akmar Abu Samah , Norzaidah Md

Noh and Mohd Ali Mohd Isa

b i-Learn Center, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia

Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia

Abstract

e-Learning and mobile learning is becoming more popular as an effective method of teaching and learning, disseminating information and knowledge in institutions of higher learning and organizations. However, it continues to be challenging to fully engage all academicians and employees in productive use of the available e-learning offerings. The shift to e-learning and mobile learning represents an organizational cultural change. It needs to be demonstrated to academicians and employees that e-learning is not only about using technology but more about delivering improved and effective methods of teaching and learning. This paper focuses on the various strategies and initiatives undertaken by UiTM and the e-Learning Centre (i-LeC) in establishing the e-learning culture in the university to motivate academicians to engage in e-learning. Different faculties and branches of the university are showing differing adoption rates and many regard non-traditional or non classroom learning as less valuable and miss the face to face interaction with students. Many older academicians are resistant to e-learning and need motivation to adopt the e-learning technology in their teaching.

© 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selectionandpeer-reviewunderresponsibility of i-Learn Centre, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Keywords: e-Learning; Mobile learning; Teaching; e-Learning Centre

* Corresponding author.E-mail address: norsa694@salam.uitm.edu.my.

1877-0428 © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of i-Learn Centre, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.11.348

1. Intoduction

"Where there is a will, there is a way". Such methods in learning are created due to the di fferent types of learner that we have in our community. Traditionally, our community learns by going to school, having the interaction with teachers and friends at schools. However, due to the close relationship with the evolution of ICT in the country, most of our learners in Malaysia nowadays shift to e-Learning. Even though our country is a bit behind in the development, the number of learners who rely on the ICT is increasing. Our learning facilities need to cope with the needs and demands of our learning society.

i-Learn Centre (iLeC), since its inception on 1 December 2005, is entrusted to be the e-learning provider for UiTM academic communities and its students with its very own e-learning platform, the i-Learn portal. The centre together with the Academic Affairs Division have come up with a variety of initiatives to better service, support and complement the teaching and learning demands of modern education scenario. Reports indicated that faculties and branch campuses participated in the initiatives but it could be further enhanced owing to the size of the institution. Efforts should be made to further focus, improve and increase the participation in these initiatives for the benefit of the university, directly and the clients indirectly.

UiTM has given the full responsibility to i-Learn Centre (iLeC) to provide e-learning platform to UiTM academic communities and its students. This task has been successfully accomplished with the mean of having its very own Learning Management System (LMS), i-Learn portal. A variety of initiatives have been implemented in iLeC in order to provide better service, support and to complement the teaching and learning demands of modern education scenario. Even though e-learning has been used in many other higher education institutions, however different approaches were used.

2. Drives By Others In The E-learning Forefront

E-Learning may not have been taken up by Malaysian universities in innovative pedagogical ways (Vicziany & Puteh, 2004). This is true. Most of the universities that have encouraged ICT have done so in an ad hoc manner that does not go much beyond placing existing course materials (lecture notes for example) onto university course intranets for students to consult. A few exceptions need to be made on the above statement. In recent years, most Malaysian universities are seriously encouraging the development in online teaching and learning by embedding the ICT strategies in their revised missions and visions.

These implementations are evident in the case of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 2001; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2005; Md. Yunus, 2003). Implementations of e-learning in Malaysian universities are clearly manifested but very gradually accomplished because there is no direct ICT funding from the government for e-learning to be fully operational (see Puteh, 2006 for more information). The interrelationship between a government's IT strategies and those of the tertiary sector are crucial as discussed earlier in the paper. Hence, universities may choose to integrate e-learning via their mission and vision or they may decide not to rely entirely on the technology. The choice depends on individual university and their financial standing.

The implementation of e-learning in other universities has encouraged iLeC to move forward. E-learning has being used in various kind of universities, be it a public higher education institutions (IPTA) or private higher education institutions (IPTS). Siti Rafidah Muhamat Dawam et. al. (2009) says that in

the IPTA, though the facilities provided are not as plenty as in IPTS, the level of usage is quite encouraging. While in the IPTS, the levels of ICT usage among the educators are still not satisfactorily.

e-Learning has being used in formal and also informal education by Malaysian universities. As an example, University Tun Abdul Razak and Open University Malaysia (OUM) offered all their degree program by blended or hybrid mode, which e-learning was involved (Raja Maznah R.H., n.d.).

This knowledge has become a boost of motivation for iLeC to implement even a better e-learning platform. One of the most significant e-learning system to the development of i-Learn portal is the e-learning platform of Open University of Malaysia (OUM). They had inspired iLec to develop our own e-learning platform. Several MoU's between UiTM and OUM depicted the proof of good collaboration between these two universities.

3. UiTM e-Learning Initiatives

Together with Academic Affairs Division, iLeC has arranged a strategic plan to implement e-learning in UiTM since it is initiated on 1 December 2005. The center was developed to handle the adaptation of e-learning in UiTM. Several initiatives had been organized such as Go i-Learn Day, hands-on training, collaboration with industries, blended learning, courseware development and other activities. Incentives are also given as to appreciate the lecturers who are actively involved as subject matter experts.

3.1. System Development

The centre built the system as to facilitate the teaching and learning delivery process of the university. The system was improved from time to time. The first version of the system, aptly named i-Learn version 1 was the result of acquiring an already available on-the-shelf LMS solution containing the basic functionality of a Learning Management System (LMS) where only minor modification was done to meet the academicians needs. The main focus of this version is to introduce the concept of e-Learning and the use of LMS to the audience in UiTM. Thus, lecturers at the time were persuaded mainly to use the content module which allows them to upload any digital learning materials that they have already created and developed.

The system had gone through several changes and enhancement as to meet the necessity, needs and demands of teaching and learning requirements from its customer (academics and students). The improvement includes easy accessibility, security, user friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI), easy monitoring and more. The modules created are classified according to the needs of customers and potential customers. Furthermore, after looking the positive feedback from their user nationwide and need to cope with the e-learning activities of the customers, the centre manage to get allocate an e-learning server for each branch campuses.

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27f28th January 2007

Professional development courses for i-Learn v2.0 at Perak

Last weekend the i-Leam team went back to Sri Iskandar for 2 days professional development course on i-Learn v2.0. Unlike the previous course, this time it is different and challenging because this is the FIRST time any course are conducted for i-Learn v2.0. The team were very curious on the performance of the v2.0 itself as well as the reception that t would get from the participants.

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Fig. 1. Interface of the e-Learning Portal of UiTM

3.2. Executive Training (Desk-to-desk)

As to ensure the program is supported by the management of the university as well as the management of the faculties and branch campuses, desk-to-desk training is held continuously. The centre will not only provide adequate information to the management of the faculty or branch, but also provide a hands-on training. This training is specially tailored for the top management personnel giving them the exposure and helpful insights of the i-Learn system.

3.3. Training

As a mean of attracting the academicians and students to become a user of the system, several training sessions were organized throughout UiTM, nationwide. These trainings aim to convey the understanding about e-learning portal developed by iLeC as well as to train potential users practically. iLeC organized two phase of training session for the academicians.

The first session is an introduction to the whole i-Learn portal system. The training is provided to new users of the i-Learn system to introduce and increase their understanding of the system. This session was held in all faculties and branches as to introduce to potential users of the benefits offered by the i-Learn portal. At this level of training, a team from the centre toured to all faculties and the branch campuses to inform the modules offered by then system to the potential users. Feedback from the tour was collected and revised as to enhance the system from time to time. UiTM Johor branch voluntarily agreed to be the kampus angkat. iLeC at this level agreed to provide an e-learning server as to support the e-learning activities at the campus. Several ongoing training held to provide adequate skills to the users. The feedback was positive.

The second session is the advanced and interactive training on i-learn portal. This is to ensure the delivery of information concerning the usage of the i-Learn system is continuously upgraded and focus more on the online interactivity aspects. Another aspect of training that is providing an interesting exposure and insights into many of the common productivity software features that are very useful but often overlooked.

3.4. Go i-Learn Day

The main objective of Go i-Learn Day is to meet the students and give them some training on how to use the portal. Besides that, this training session is organized as a way to attract the potential users. An exhibition booth was set up at each faculty by the team to disseminate information to the students and the lecturers. Several activities were conducted during the day, such as quizzes, prizes giving, distributing brochures, and definitely handling all questions from the users. Go i-Learn Day works as part of the service and effort by the centre in providing significant usage information to reach the majority of student users. This event was organized to reach as much users and potential users as possible. During this event, iLearn team might get some responses about the effectiveness of the portal, and even get some feedbacks from the existing users.

3.5. Blended Learning

Another program initiated by the centre is blended learning. Blended learning combines face-to-face instruction with computer-mediated instruction. It is the combination of these two different learning environments, taking the benefits that each environment provides and combines them in such a way to provide greater access to improved learning experiences; and doing so in cost-effective manner.

Blended learning is the process of incorporating many different ways in which students learn (learning styles) through the use of 'blended' virtual and physical resources that contain a variety of learning activities with the use of technology, lecturer and peer interaction. The adoption of blended learning environments are efforts to maximize the benefits of both face-to-face and online methods/technology delivery methods, that is using class time and the Web for what it does best respectively. The program focuses on the best of both worlds.

Fig. 2. Blended Learning (e-tutorial)

The program refers to courses that combine face-to-face classroom instruction and online instruction with reduced classroom contact hours (reduced seat time). The program also promote other advantages such as flexibility of space and time, all communications are archived for future reference (increase the knowledge retention), individual time communication, students increases responsibility in their self-learning, promote a high level of learner interaction and accountability as well as opportunity to share ideas and responsibility.

3.6. Courseware development

The university offers a variety of courses to students all over the systems that operate nationwide. Lecturers teach the same subject using their own materials. Hence, the students in every branch will get the different results from the same subject. This happens due to the lack of one uniform and standardization of the materials among the lecturers. There are many obstacles to develop uniformity materials amongst lecturers. These include the unwillingness of lecturers to share their materials with others. This is due to the concern of plagiarism, copyright and accessibility.

Apart from that, different materials for same subject would incur costs as the students need to buy or have any reference materials. For these reasons, an e-content project known as Subject Matter Experts

(SME) was developed as to resolve the above concerns. The main objective includes standardization, to protect Intellectual Property Rights, promoting knowledge sharing and accessibility as well as for cost effective learning process.

Lecturers are appointed as Subject Matter Expert (SME) and worked with appointed vendors in another course content development initiative. Until today, the centre has organized three phase of SME program. SME first phase successfully produced 13 Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) compliant course contents. All the contents are considered standard material and are already uploaded into the i-Learn portal. As for the second phase of SME, 20 SCORM compliant course contents are awaiting for endorsement by the respective faculties. The third phase of SME is targeting to produce 100 SCORM compliant course contents. The training for this phase is already in progress.

As to motivate academicians, 2 hours Academic Workload (Amanah Tugasan Akademik or ATA) is given to the lecturers who are involved in the program. Certificate and monetary rewards were given to lecturers who had completed the production of the courseware as well as pass through the endorsement from the faculty.

3.7. Awards and Recognitions

Besides rewards for the SME, awards and recognition are granted to those academicians who are active using the i-Learn Portal system for their teaching and learning activities. The awards are classified into four categories which are the most dynamic lecturer, comprehensive content, interactive content and active faculty (community-centered award). The information for award recipients is published in the centre's newsletter and being announced to campus community.

3.8. Lecturers' Evaluation Online (LEO)

Lecturers' evaluation is imperative in the drive for continuous quality assurance in the teaching and learning aspects. Lecturer Evaluation Online is introduced to replace the less efficient manual evaluation process of yesteryears as the evaluation is more dynamic, user-friendly, flexible, near zero cost, accurate and fast. Student can evaluate anywhere (as long as they have internet connection) at any time. Academicians also can view the results to the evaluation online and immediately as the questions are processed online. Comments to the academicians regarding teaching and learning can be posted to the lecturer drawer through the myDrawer option as message.

Fig. 3. Lecturers' evaluation

4. Conclusion

The focus of this paper is to discuss the various strategies and initiatives undertaken by UiTM and the e-Learning Centre (i-LeC) in establishing the e-learning culture in the university to motivate academicians to engage in e-learning. The strategies includes developing Lecturer's Evaluation online, awards and recognition, courseware development, blended learning, Go i-Learn day, training and system development. All of these strategies are proven to give some improvement in the e-learning development in UiTM.

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