MMU shows the way to making hybrid-learning a success


PETALING JAYA: The world was Adam Zainal’s oyster – until Covid-19 struck.

With his dreams and projects put on hold due to prolonged restrictions on movement, the young filmmaker had a tough time earning an income.

However, armed with a strong will and solid foundation he received from university, Adam did not allow the pandemic to hinder his progress as a creative content creator.

“When you are passionate about what you do, limitations will not stop you. The pandemic had kept creative juices flowing,” said the Multimedia University (MMU) alumnus who spoke at a panel session titled “Virtual Learning in Higher Education: Should you worry?” that was jointly organised by the university and Star Media Group (SMG).

Speaking at the same session were MMU’s Centre for Lifelong Education and Learning Innovation (LEARN) deputy director Dr Low Jing Hong, Faculty of Cinematic Arts dean Amir Shahlan Amiruddin and Faculty of Engineering and Technology dean Assoc Prof Dr Fazly Salleh Abas.

They discussed how MMU had built an inclusive and accommodating online learning environment amid the pandemic, using strategies in assimilating information via e-learning platforms, and sparking interest in learning with creativity and imagination.

Low, a specialist in blended learning and G-suite, shared that the university developed its own virtual classroom learning model (CLM) to ensure a fun and effective learning process for students amid the pandemic.

MMU, he said, had planned ahead for future crises and was creating a hybrid-based ecosystem with a highly flexible learning space.

“Rather than a classroom, lessons will be taught in a flexible learning space which can be used for any teaching learning activity, in any sort of environment. We hope to become a trendsetter in hybrid-learning,” he said.

To overcome social problems due to prolonged restrictions, Low said MMU provided virtual counselling sessions, motivational talks and virtual gatherings to ensure that students were not left disengaged from MMU’s community.

“We even held virtual pillow talk sessions, where our lecturers and students dress up in their pyjamas to have heart-to-heart conversations,” he added.

Fazly said the pandemic had led to MMU diversifying its pedagogy and knowledge delivery to suit the current needs of students.

“Covid-19 acted as a catalyst for change and improvement. Enhanced gamification in virtual lessons using hybrid education that MMU had developed allowed our students – even those from practical-based courses like engineering – to learn in a collaborative ecosystem rather than a static one,” he said, adding that students and faculty members were no longer bound by space and time.

“Automation of processes, recordings of tutorials, video conferencing, learning management system, smart devices, virtual labs and more already existed in MMU before the pandemic, but we enhanced it further.”

Amir Shahlan said he was proud of his students’ resilience, adding that they used their creativity and ingenuity to work around limitations which had pushed them to become better in video production and content ideas.

While classes had been difficult given the nature of film courses, he shared that one-on-one sessions online with students were wonderful.

“There was enhanced intimacy between students and educators. We got to know each other better while students – especially those quiet ones – started becoming more vocal and broke out of their shell,” he said.

With globally recognised programmes in the fields of Bio-informatics, Engineering, Cinematic Arts, Communication, Business, IT and many more, Multimedia University continues to offer quality education which produces resilient and versatile graduates.

Those who are interested can enrol now in the varsity’s September intake.

The Foundation programme is only RM6,000 while a degree (with PTPTN assistance) starts from as low as RM2,500.

Visit www.mmu.edu.my/book-an-appointment for more information.

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