Malaysia’s Taylor’s University eLearning Capabilities
Start Your Studies Via eLearning or Online Learning at Top Ranked Taylor’s University
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The coronavirus has prohibited the physical classes in various countries but is unable to stop the learning and teaching activities at Taylor’s University. By utilizing the e-learning platforms, such as TIMeS (Moodle), Zoom, and Kahoot, the university strives to minimize the negative impact on our student’s learning process.
Using the e-learning platform, a lecturer can deliver the lesson and interact with students instantly. Yet, the traditional classroom activities can also be conducted virtually. For example, using Zoom, a lecturer can assign students into the breakout room to have group discussion, Kahoot allows the lecturer to use an online game to refresh the student knowledge or stimulating their curiosity for further research, or even having an online test on TIMeS. Students can ask and share their opinions and are not limited verbally on these e-learning platforms, they can text the lecturer instantly as well. This makes the students interact with the class and lecturer more actively than the traditional teaching method.
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e-Learning Academy (eLA) at Taylor’s University Malaysia
The e-Learning Academy (eLA) is established with the specific mandate to drive and support the implementation of blended learning at Taylor’s Lakeside Campus. The name ‘academy’ reflects its core purpose as the unit which promotes ‘learning how to teach with technology’. eLA’s aims to assist our lecturers in integrating the use of technology into teaching and learning effectively, empowering students in their learning and preparing them with skills required for the 21st Century.
All these are achievable and driven by the following goals:
- The use of technology will be integrated to curricular goals and consistent with learning outcomes
The extension of staff capabilities in the use of blended learning
The establishment of effective governance that drives and sustains e-learning
The extension of the University’s quality assurance framework to support blended learning
The establishment of reliable infrastructure and timely support services
The provision of optimal learning spaces
At Taylor’s Lakeside Campus, the term ‘blended learning’ is adopted as a principal means of addressing the use of technology combined with the best features of face to face interaction to enhance its learning and teaching activities. Since its establishment in 2011, eLA has been aggressive in driving ambitious journey to re-define student learning for better academic outcomes. Various research supported e-Learning initiatives such TIMeS, ReWIND Lecture Capture, X-Space Collaborative Classroom and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) have been implemented to provide a unique learning experience for Taylor’s students.
E-Learning Facilities at Taylor’s University
Collaborate and engage with peers in X-Space, a technology-rich classroom designed for flexible formal learning spaces which facilitates a diverse learning experience.
Conduct self-directed and personalised learning through ReWIND, a lecture capture system that allows lectures to be recorded automatically and viewed digitally anytime, anywhere.
Overcome isolation, enhance learning, and hone your collaboration skills through close peer-to-tutor and peer-to-peer interactions with the significant use of online technologies.
Interact and expand ideas on discussions and assignments in a structured and organised manners with peers and lecturers through this platform for virtual discussion.
Times @ Taylor’s
Learn anytime and anywhere in an interactive autonomous environment through TIMeS which hosts an array of online learning features.
Reduce your anxiety and stress of handing in assignments through this flexible online submission where you can gain critical feedback by lecturers and peer reviews.
Be assessed for your higher order thinking, social skills, and group work through e-Assessment that supports and delivers authentic assessment through project-based learning.
Have the world of resources available at your fingertips. A one-stop platform for world-class resources needed for your formative power of information, discovery, and learning.
Lightboard Recording Studio
Immerse yourself in a virtual lecture through the ‘learning glass’ that provides an interactive clear whiteboard, capturing written text, diagrams, and etc in real time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About e-Learning at Taylor’s University
With a prolonged interruption to the usual daily in-class and on-campus teaching-learning activities due to the Covid-19 virus situation, is the online mode of teaching-learning the best solution to ensure students have continuity in their studies?
It is probably the only teaching and learning option available to us right now, with the other alternative being not conducting lessons at all for an extended period of time, if we’re looking at lockdown trends of various affected countries. It is the institution’s responsibility to ensure its students and staff are safe first; and second – students have continuity in their studies. Many parents have written to Taylor’s and are anxious about whether the Covid-19 pandemic will disrupt to their children’s studies.
Massive advancements in communications technology allows the virtual learning environment (VLE) to be as effective as learning physically on campus. Lecturers can now conduct lectures, tutorials and practical demonstrations synchronously (real-time) in an engaging virtual classroom. Tools such as Micosoft Teams, Zoom, Google Classroom, Skype, Padlet, Labster, Lecturio, Orca Health and many more are widely used by Taylor’s lecturers.
In fact, the upside to this online learning experience is that it will enhance students’ capability to operate in a globalised virtual world, resembling the way most businesses operate when they graduate. This is the perfect opportunity for students to build their collaborative, independent and self-directed learning abilities which are key skills of the future.
How ready is Taylor’s for a fully digital / online teaching-learning scenario?
After the SARS epidemic hit Hong Kong and Singapore and disrupted learning in schools and universities for weeks, Taylor’s developed an e-Learning Masterplan at a cost of almost RM50 million over 5 years. The objective was not only to enrich and complement F2F learning but to prepare for a time like this – a partial or fully lockdown of the university and college. Taylor’s invested in a state-of-the-art Learning Management System, Lecture Capture System, remote communication tools and applications, expanded hardware capabilities and created over 1000 course microsites, for each course taught in the university.
Taylor’s Lecture Capture System, ReWIND has over 40,000 recorded lectures to (with audio, visual, presentation slides, and other module related content) which is available to students online. It is developed by lecturers themselves to maximize their teaching efficiency and assist students’ learning. Students can to fast-forward, rewind, or skip to particular segments they desire,
In addition to all the above, our eLearning Academy team has made available and trained our lecturers to use various platforms and software for recording, video editing, resource sharing, online collaborations, polling, assessment, and even creating virtual labs.
Taylor’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and learning innovations has won over 35 national and international awards since 2012.
In the last 7 years, when the haze interrupted classes for several days each year, Taylor’s switched to e-learning as part of our class continuity plan. It did the same when President Obama’s visit to the Lakeside Campus halted classes for 2 days.
So, Taylor’s believe it is ready because digital learning has always been embedded in our everyday teaching and learning even prior to the Movement Control Order (MCO). Due to the MCO until 14 April 2020, which could even be extended further, lectures, tutorials and assessments for April semester will be conducted online till 31 May 2020.
Not all lecturers are technically-inclined. How can this issue be addressed in a non-physical environment?
Taylor’s emphasises the need for constant and clear communication from the beginning. Engagement is key. Lecturers need to be very clear in their communication of what is expected of the student, and what steps to follow. Taylor’s has also highlighted the need for increased pastoral care at all levels, from Deans to Programme Directors.
Taylor’s has disseminated guidelines for lecturers to follow, with regards to online assessment. For example, students should have an opportunity, where possible, to trial any unfamiliar method, without grading. Also students should be given clear comprehensive instructions on all aspects of the operation and completion of the online assessment, including information on required file formats and the number of attempts allowed for that assessment component.
Our eLearning Academy team is working very hard to support all our academics and guiding them through virtual consultations throughout the semester. Taylor’s lecturers are now being supported by Online Webinars in the areas of Online Assessment and Online Learning and Teaching to enhance their capability.
How will online classes be conducted? Will I have sufficient opportunity to engage with my lecturers and ask questions?
The lectures and tutorials will be delivered in a manner that is synchronous and asynchronous. This is explained thoroughly in the Contingency Plan Document that each school has emailed to their students. In that plan, an explanation has been given on how students can engage with their academics effectively. Lecturers will engage with students based on this contingency plan.
Will I have access to meet my lecturers if I cannot cope with my lessons online? Will my lecturers offer me extra consultation time?
Yes, the lecturers will provide all students with consultation time for students to contact and engage with them. Yes, if extra consultation time is needed, please reach out to your lecturers and clarify any doubts. Please directly raise any concerns that you have with the Program Director or the Head of School if there are any issues with sufficiency of consultation.
In addition to online classes for lectures and tutorials, how will online assessments be conducted and what sort of support will I have for assessments?
For the months of April and May (during Week 1 to 7) all assignments that are due must be submitted online based on the contingency plan that has been shared with the students and the instructions by the module lecturer. Feedback will also be given, based on the contingency plan. Your lecturers will support you as much as possible for this and give you all the necessary instructions.
I am not used to learning online and I find it ineffective. What can I do?
There are lots of tutorials online that will guide you on how you can make online learning effective for yourself. During these unprecedented and challenging times, there will be adjustments that you will need to make, albeit, at times, difficult. If you need any assistance, you can always reach out to your lecturers or friends for help. All students must follow closely the instructions that will be given by their lecturers for the respective modules so that the learning can continue without any hindrance.
Why doesn’t the University just postpone the entire semester to August so that we can then resume face to face lessons instead of having to pursue our studies online? Is online learning the only mode available to enable continuity in learning?
As we are not able to estimate accurately when the current situation will abate, it may be best for learning to continue so that we are not hindered by this challenge. The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) have issued guidelines for all Universities in the country for online learning so that learning may continue without further delay. However, students who feel that they would like to consider further options to delay their studies may discuss this with the Program Director or the Head of School to see what is best for them individually in the given situation so that they could then make an informed decision.
Why isn’t the resource fee reduced since half of the semester we are not going to be on campus utilizing the facilities?
The resource fee covers the provision of teaching and learning resources and facilities including online library, virtual learning resources, assessment, IT services and student services that will continue to be provided to meet students’ learning and support needs.
Additionally, faculties continued to enhance the availability of other resources where:
- Software installation depot are made accessible to students to install various software essential for specific modules in the programmes
Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Padlet, Labster, Lecturio, Orca Health and many more are now available online teaching platforms integrated into our TIMeS to facilitate online tutoring and skills demonstrations
- Additional manpower and physical resources were put in to prepare for online teaching and practical sessions. As online teaching is resource-intensive, Trainers were brought in to train our lecturers to prepare materials to facilitate online teaching.
- From a system perspective, we need to provide greater capacity in terms of storage and performance. The university also improved its bandwidth management to sustain the expected heavy usage during the initial weeks of the semester
- Stringent processes in health screenings, replenishing sanitizers in common areas, stocking-up face masks, cleaning and disinfecting practices are carried out to safeguard the general health of the community in the university. This is absolutely important so that when we welcome students back on campus, they can be assured of the environment they study in
It is important to highlight that resource fees are necessary for the upkeep of all our facilities. The operating costs to maintain these facilities is necessary to ensure that when students come back to the university, they are readily available and operational.
Will the physical library be open?
Unfortunately, no. In response to the recent developments on the COVID-19 outbreak, Taylor’s Library will be closed from Wednesday, 18th March 2020 until Sunday, 31st May 2020.
Will there be any events organized by the extra-curricular activities at the University this semester?
All face to face events / activities for the months of April, May and June 2020 have been postponed. At the University, student services and engagement will continue, online, and students may consult the student council for further information on this. The various departments will reach out to students when the semester starts.
Anugerah Khas YB Menteri Pendidikan Rekabentuk Kurikulum dan Penyampaian Inovatif (AKRI 2019):
Immersive Learning (Fully Online) – 1st Place
Bringing Pengajian Malaysia 3 Module into the 21st Century in a Virtual Classroom for Education 4.0
Immersive Learning (Blended) – 3rd Place
Transforming Architecture Students’ Online Learning Experience through Enhanced 5E Framework.
IUCEL (International University Carnival on e-Learning) 2019:
Outstanding e-Learning Product or Project Award
Taylor’s University for the project Re-Designing Classroom Learning to Participatory Online Course for U1 Modules
National e-Content Development Competition 2019 (eConDev 2019):
Gold Medal Recipients & BEST MOOC (Social Science and Humanities) Award
Peer Assessment: Using Workshop as an Innovative Tool for Students’ Lifelong Learning in Pengajian Malaysia 2
Anugerah Khas YB Menteri Pendidikan Rekabentuk Kurikulum dan Penyampaian Inovatif (AKRI 2018):
Transformative Teaching (Alternative Assessment) – 3rd Place
Micro-credentials and Digital Badges: Evidence-Based Achievement Beyond Assessments
IUCEL (International University Carnival on e-Learning) 2018:
National e-Content Development Competition 2018 (eConDev 2018)
Reimagine and Redesigning Malaysian Education Award 2017:
Immersive Learning Experience – 3rd Place
One Click to Participatory Online Course (POOC) on Ethnic Relations
Redesigning Assessment for Holistic Learning (‘RAHoLE’) Conference 2017
Implementation of Group Based Assessment in Project Based Learning for Hubungan Etnik Module at Taylor’s University.
National University Carnival for e-Learning (NUCeL) 2015:
BETT Award 2015 – Higher Education Institution Award
Anugerak Akademik Negara – Kategori Anugerah Pengajaran (Kelompok Sains Gunaan)