For this month’s Educator Profile, we sat down with Asst. Prof. Dr. Rosemaliza Kamalludeen from the International Islamic University of Malaysia to learn more about her thoughts and experiences with teaching on OpenLearning.
You teach Instructional Technology at university level. What is your experience with using technology in the classroom?
Technology is a tool. In the 1980s, when I first went to school, we used a blackboard. When the whiteboards came into the classroom we thought, “Wow! This is something so advanced.” Now, when kids come to class without seeing anything current—any screens, projectors, or computers—they will feel awkward because it’s not their reality.
Have you faced any difficulties so far?
The difficulty that I faced using technology is not with the skills or with the tools but it is with the coverage, or the wifi connection. Connectivity has got to be improved if we want to move further and if we want to further ease the process of teaching and learning.
Can an educator who is not tech savvy teach online? What is the first step they should take?
If you say that there are lecturers who are not tech savvy, show me one! They may not be able to use Facebook, but they can always ask Google, ‘How do I use technology in the classroom?’ It is just a matter of whether they want to start or not.
Lecturers are here for students. That’s why we exist. Educators serve learners—and we are learners ourselves. In order for us to become good educators and make an impact, we have to learn. Now, it is made so easy: we don’t have to travel miles, we don’t have to open up a library account, all we need to do is ask Google. Just type ‘How to—’, or ‘How do I—’. It’s so simple.
What is your favourite thing about teaching through MOOCs?
I am surprised by who actually registers for the course. That is what I like about having a MOOC. Suddenly, there’s someone from another country who has logged in and signed up for my course, which means I must have done something that’s appealing to them!
I don’t have any celebrities yet! (laughs) I hope to have one, so please join my course online.
It allows me to look at education from a totally different paradigm altogether. I don’t have to be bounded by my class, my university, or even my country to actually teach. When you have a little piece of knowledge, no matter how small it is, it is always beneficial to share it so that everyone can exchange ideas. That’s how knowledge grows.
What would you say to people who are still unsure about MOOCs, or online teaching in general?
Well, it’s reality. It’s not something distant; it’s in front of us every day. Be it MOOCs, online learning, learning management systems—anything! It’s here to stay.
Jump in! Don’t not try at all. That’s my advice. If you’re still hesitant, join at least one MOOC. Spend some time with people who already learn online. You might hear some negative feedback along the way, but when it’s done in the spirit of learning and sharing knowledge, it’s never wrong.
Dr. Rosemaliza Kamalludeen is an Assistant Professor for the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CELT) at the International Islamic University Malaysia. She is currently teaching Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and was also the CEO@Faculty Mentee at OpenLearning last year.