The core university course on learning skills, OUMH 1603, that was offered during the January semester has undergone changes that incorporate 21st century skills encompassing the 4Cs (Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration). Four of the topics in the module focus on the 4Cs.

Other topics in the module that had been revised were those on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Environmental Education (EE) which were introduced to promote the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The initiative to revamp the contents of the module was mooted by President/Vice-Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Mansor Fadzil following the second meeting of the UNESCO UNITWIN Network on Sharing Knowledge and Experiences of Distance Education in Higher Education held in Seoul, Korea, in 2018.

Soon after the meeting, a team headed by Vice President (Academic) Prof Dr Widad Othman worked on the project, resulting in the first revised module being offered during the May semester, 2019.

A study to determine the effectiveness of the topic on EE yielded positive response from learners, both in terms of knowledge acquired and acceptance to the new course.

Feedback from open-ended questions has led to the inclusion of additional content on Global Footprint for the EE topic. All other topics in the module have also been revised by different team members.

Despite the initial concern over students’ mastery of the contents, learners seemed to have coped well and obtained good scores, with about 20% of them attaining an A for the course.

The University is currently conducting an impact study to gauge the effectiveness of the course as part of its ongoing efforts to further improve the quality of the content. It is the University’s hope that students taking the course will achieve the learning outcomes and in the process, develop a greater understanding and acquire relevant skills to resolve global challenges besides fostering respect for human dignity and the environment.

By Dr Thirumeni A/P T Subramaniam, Dr Wirawani Binti Kamarulzaman, Ms Sharifah Rosfashida Binti Syed Abd Latif, and Mr Oo Cheng Keat
The research article published was funded supported by Open University Malaysia through its Internal Research Grant (Code: OUM-IRG-2019-004)
Date: 3rd March 2020