Online PdP new normal for UMP students
Pekan, 1 June 2020 - Students at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) started their virtual classes in line with the new normal in Online Teaching and Learning (PdP-DT) implemented this 1 June.
Lecturers play an important role in ensuring that every student can follow the new norm in PdP-DT.
Since phase 1 of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the Centre of Instructional Resources and e-Learning (CIReL) and the Centre for Academic Innovation & Competitiveness (PIDA) held a few Teaching Preparation and Online Learning Forum series as preparation for the lecturers.
This includes preparing material and activities for PdP-DT and choosing suitable strategies to continue with the needs of the lectures.
According to the Deputy Director of CIReL, Ts. Dr. Awanis Romli, lecturers were also advised to know the level of internet connectivity among students before the PdP-DT sessions were carried out.
“It is critical to ensure that students have internet access.
“The PdP-DT method also gives the option to lecturers on having synchronous PdP-DT sessions, asynchronous sessions or PdP-DT based on a combination of synchronous or asynchronous sessions.
“We are aware that there are students who do not have any internet connection at all because they live in remote areas.
“If the students do not have internet access, lecturers must be creative and can take the initiative to provide learning materials via postage,” she said.
She added that this postage method must be done to ensure that no students are left behind in the learning process, at the same time ensuring that students can achieve the course learning outcomes for every enrolled course.
For a Bachelor of Computer Science (Graphics & Multimedia Technology) programme student from the Faculty of Computing, Siti Rahimah Abdul Hamid, she has been informed of the virtual learning starting on 1 June since early May.
She has downloaded notes from KALAM, which is the main platform for the learning management system (LMS) that has enabled her to review the course before lectures start.
“Even so, virtual learning will impose a challenge on her especially with limited internet access and a lack of reference books and notes, seeing as a lot of them are staying at the UMP residential college.
“Besides that, I will be taking the Virtual Reality course and I am worried about the requirement of face-to-face lecturer guidance, and this course also requires specific hardware and software in the lab.
“However, I am certain that my lecturers will do their best to enable their students to complete any assignment with limitations of tools,” she said.
She also appreciates the initiative of lecturers who are working hard to provide learning materials and to periodically update information.
Likewise, the 40 GB of free data provided by YES 4G can assist the students.
Meanwhile, a Year 1 student, Puteri Idayu Zulaika Zafri from Kuala Terengganu who is taking Software Engineering said that she has prepared a special place for learning at home.
“The experience of studying online before going home for the holidays allows me to adapt to this new normal.
“The most challenging thing is when computer-related course students like me do not have a laptop with a high RAM capacity to download many programming applications.
“However, it is not an obstacle for me to work hard to achieve a good performance this semester,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kong Heng Leong, who is a Year 2 Industrial Biotechnology student of the Faculty of Industrial Sciences and Technology, believes that the university has done its best to lessen the implications of Covid-19 on academic activities.
For himself, he has also tried using several websites that provide online learning resources to get used to before classes start.
He hopes that all students can adapt to this new normal to ensure that the lectures run smoothly.
UMP established cooperation with two telecommunication companies, namely Telekom Malaysia that offers a Unifi Mobile Student pack and the YTL Foundation that provides a 40 GB free data plan via the Learn From Home initiative as internet access options for UMP students in collaboration with the Centre for Information and Communication Technology.
Translation by: Dr. Rozaimi Abu Samah, Engineering College/Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology