new normal

On April 10, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin announced that the Movement Control Order (MCO) will be extended for another two weeks until April 28. This is an unprecedented and serious disruption for workers, consumers, businesses and organisations alike.

While at home, we must learn to let old habits go and adopt new ones to keep safe and healthy. Described by the Prime Minister as “the new normal”, this shift will influence every aspect of life from how we buy groceries to how we greet friends and colleagues. New ways of doing things will become the standard in the future.

The Covid-19 outbreak also compels schools and universities to adopt a new normal in education. School students will go through home-based learning while university learners will study online.

At Open University Malaysia (OUM), this means fully embracing a digital education environment. As the nation’s first open and distance learning institution with 20 years of experience delivering programmes through e-learning, OUM believes online learning will become the new normal in higher education.

For our learners, the MCO does not mean their studies must be put on hold. In fact, the opposite is true: OUM’s fully online delivery will allow them to continue learning seamlessly at home.

In essence, their own homes will become their university, as the A-to-Z of learning at OUM, which includes everything from registration to assessment, will take place entirely online.

Learners will not have to attend face-to-face classes at learning centres or sit for examinations in physical halls. When they need to discuss with tutors, talk to their peers, submit assignments, keep track of schedules or search for library books, they will do so using their computers, smartphones or tablets. All this is made easy and flexible through our learning management system, myINSPIRE.

Our lecturers and support staff will also continue to assist learners no matter what their concerns may be.

As a response to the MCO, OUM activated the fully online learning mode for all programmes on March 27. Final examinations for the January semester, scheduled this April and May, will also be conducted online.

We are ready to take on this challenge as we launched two fully online programmes in August last year. In March, we also introduced micro-credential courses, which is a novel approach that allows anyone to try out a small portion of OUM courses for free through an online platform.

Hence, while you are at home, take the time to browse our website and learn about the 50 programmes currently on offer.

As the entire world continues to battle a pandemic that has seen millions being quarantined and adjusting to new routines at home and at work, the future of online learning may actually become our present.

To find out more about OUM programmes, call or WhatsApp 012-303 9935/019-357 9074/019-266 8234, e-mail enquiries@oum.edu.my or visit www.oum.edu.my.

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