MMU bridges the gap between physical and online education

Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 24, 2023, 01:31 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many educational institutions to adopt hybrid learning models to comply with lockdown restrictions. As a result, hybrid education has gained popularity as it provides students with the flexibility to choose between remote or in-person learning according to their preferences. This way, students can learn from the comfort of their homes or in a classroom environment.

Multimedia University (MMU) has taken several initiatives and worked with several high-profile collaborators, including the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI), to expand the capabilities of its hybrid learning facilities. 

The availability of both remote and on-campus learning options enables students to tailor their educational experience according to their individual learning preferences. This approach not only enhances their overall academic outcomes but also equips them with valuable skills in communication technology, preparing them to become capable leaders in the workforce.

What are HySpace and HyFlex?

The global introduction of hybrid learning was very much rudimentary and had much room for improvement. Online students faced challenges such as poor audio quality that hindered engagement with the lecturer and a lack of genuine peer interaction. As a result, many students felt isolated and disconnected from the learning environment.

MMU's HySpace and HyFlex learning spaces were designed to enhance the learning experience for both online and in-person students, bridging the gap between the two groups. One of the primary goals of this initiative was to reintegrate online students into the classroom dynamic and create a more cohesive learning environment for all students, as well as for lecturers. 

The Centre for Learning Excellence and Academic Intelligence (LEARN) at MMU have worked together with the lecturers to incorporate specialized teaching methodologies such as team-based learning, collaborative learning, active learning, and problem-based learning into the hybrid learning experience. This is aimed at further improving the quality of teaching and learning activities for both online and in-person students.

Both HySpace and HyFlex learning spaces host a central high-definition microphone for online learners. This ensures students can clearly make out words while class is in session as well as pick up any questions directed at the lecturer. HyFlex spaces also incorporate island tables accompanied by a smart TV designed to facilitate group discussions between online and in-person students. 

One crucial element of student education absent in online learning is the lecturer's nonverbal communication. The human brain heavily relies on an individual's gestures and expressions to interpret context and tone, both of which are crucial to maintaining students' engagement and interest in the subject matter.

One of the core features of the HySpace classrooms is the inclusion of a central high-tech camera. Through the use of live tracking of movement within the classroom, online students are able to consistently observe the lecturer's body language.

With these innovative technologies, MMU continues to pioneer a new age of private education in its mission to enhance student experiences for both on-site and online platforms.

A flexible approach to education

The common perception of university students is that they are young adults in their early twenties embarking on their journey into the real world. However, the reality is that a significant proportion of higher education students are working adults or retired individuals who are seeking to expand their knowledge and skills.

These people embody the idea of ‘lifelong learning’, which is exemplified by individuals who continue to pursue education throughout their lives, including working adults and retirees: a philosophy held dear by the staff at MMU. As such, the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Education Content Development (LEAD) at MMU offers Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and micro-credentials as unique pathways for working students to gain qualifications and learn outside the classroom. 

By leveraging the APEL system, students are able to utilize their work experiences to accelerate their education, progress more quickly towards their academic goals and to fast-track their education. In particular, the APEL-C recognises professional, community service and independent study experiences as graduating credits towards their programme of choice. 

In addition, MMU also offers APEL-A, an assessment designed for working professionals seeking to enroll in one of the institution's prestigious programs. This is particularly beneficial for those who possess significant professional experience but lack the necessary academic qualifications to further their studies. 

MMU also provides ODL programs, allowing working adults to pursue their academic aspirations alongside their professional pursuits. These programs, including a Bachelor's degree in Management, Executive Master of Business Administration, and Master of Computer Science (Software Engineering), can be studied from the comfort of one's own home.

MMU also offers micro-credentials as supplementary courses to help students acquire employable skills in various industries. These micro-credentials can be used to earn credits towards a Master in Business Administration (MBA) upon enrollment, making them a valuable asset for students seeking to advance their careers.

Training a diverse and adaptable workforce

In today's job market, many employers expect employees to be versatile and capable of handling tasks beyond their job description. Therefore, having a resume that showcases versatility can be a significant advantage when applying for job positions. 

MMU recognizes this and emphasizes flexibility across all its courses. This is reflected in the programs that offer multiple free elective slots across different semesters, allowing students to customize their curriculum according to their interests and career goals. These free elective slots provide a wide range of options for students to specialize in various faculties while still fulfilling the necessary core requirements of the program. Moreover, eligible students may have the opportunity to obtain a collective minor package based on their selected electives.

The Build Your Own Curriculum (BYOC) program at MMU is designed to give students the flexibility to build their own curriculum in a guided manner that is tailored to their interests and future goals. This approach allows students to diversify their skill sets and broaden their knowledge base, ultimately resulting in a more personalised and relevant education experience.

Prioritising student’s wellbeing

At MMU, there is a specialized team within the Centre for Learning Excellence and Academic Intelligence (LEARN) that conducts regular reviews of the university's academic programs to ensure that they meet the high standards of academic quality and industry relevance that have been set by the university. This helps to ensure that the programs are up-to-date, relevant to the industry, and provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for their future careers.

The team utilizes intelligent analytics to identify academic programs that are underperforming and visualize their components, such as size, employability, and ranking. By doing so, the team can make targeted adjustments to improve student satisfaction and learning outcomes. 

The university also employs predictive modeling to monitor student performance, allowing them to identify at-risk students early in their academic journey and provide specialized support to help them succeed in their studies and future endeavors.

By combining innovations in online learning technologies with flexible programs, MMU continues to uphold its legacy as Malaysia's first private university by providing high-quality education that caters to the needs of its students.

For more information about MMU and its course, click here or contact [email protected].

Latest News

Need help?