PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry has announced that OpenLearning.com is now the official MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform for all public institutions of higher education in Malaysia.
Malaysia is the first country in the world to implement a nationwide strategy that integrates MOOCs with on-campus university classes. Under the plan, Malaysian universities will develop MOOCs on core modules and students from the twenty public universities will participate in those courses through OpenLearning’s social learning platform.
The first stage of the initiative launched on September 18th with four MOOCs:
- ICT Competency led by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS);
- Introduction to Entrepreneurship led by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM);
- Kesepaduan & Hubungan Etnik di Malaysia (Ethnic Relations) led by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM); and
- Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia (Islamic Civilisation & Asian Civilisation) led by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
In the past two weeks, over 20,000 students from the all twenty universities have joined the MOOCs on OpenLearning.
Due to the success of the program, the government aims to teach 15% of all public university courses online as MOOCs by the end of 2015. This will increase to 30% of all university courses by the year 2020.
The MOOC initiative is part of the Ministry of Education’s strategic plan to increase the quality and accessibility of higher education, thereby boosting the rankings of Malaysian universities in global surveys. According to Malaysian newspaper The Sun Daily, the Malaysian Minister of Education II, Idris bin Jusoh, believes “this initiative can improve the country’s tertiary education to a much higher level”.
This new initiative is based on a blended learning approach that combines online and in-class activities to form deeper understandings. In doing so, the ministry is seeking to shift away from passive lectures to more active learning and to foster inter-university collaboration amongst students.
OpenLearning pioneered MOOCs in Malaysia by partnering with Prof Mushtak Al-Atabi from the School of Engineering at Taylor’s University, to launch the country’s first MOOC, entitled ‘Entrepreneurship’ in March 2013. Taylor’s University has now developed ten MOOCs on OpenLearning with over 11,000 students from 200 countries.
“Malaysia is leading the world in the application of MOOCs and active learning in the formal higher education system.” said Adam Brimo, the CEO and co-founder of OpenLearning. “We’re honoured to have been selected and look forward to working closely with the Ministry of Education and teachers nationwide in pursuit of Idris Jusoh’s goal of ‘balanced excellence’ in higher education.”