Sunday, November 18, 2007

OUM e-learning review

Open University Malaysia (OUM) was established on August 10, 2000 as the seventh private university in Malaysia. Although incorporated as a private university and established under the Private Higher Education Institutions Act 1996, OUM leverages on the quality, prestige and capabilities of its owners - a consortium of the 11 Malaysian public universities. Today, there are more than 24,000 students enrolled in OUM programs.

OUM�s vision is to be a leader and innovator in open learning.


  • To be the leading contributor in democratising education
  • To develop quality education through multi mode learning technologies
  • To develop and enhance learning experiences toward the development of a knowledge-based society

Their learning methodology consists of self-managed learning, online learning, and face-to-face interaction.

In this review we will focus on three (3) key areas of OUM:

  • Learning Management System (myLMS, myMail, myProfile, myLibrary, and Learner Conexxions)
  • Open & Distance Learning Pedagogy Centre
  • Centre for Quality Management and Research & Innovation

Other key areas not discussed in this review include Centre for Instructional Design & Technology and Learner Services Centre.

Let's first look briefly at OUMs Learning Management System (LMS). In general, the LMS is reasonably user-friendly, has a pleasant interface, and is integrated (single-login). If we decompose the LMS, it is divided into five (5) main components, which are briefly explained below:

  1. MyLMS
    Consist of myCourse, myUniversity, myCommunity, and myMail. myUniversity module has features such as user directory, task, student online progress, calendar, personal address book, and polls. It serves as the first point of contact between the university and the student. Here announcements are posted, university-wide polls are taken and personal calendars updated. As for the myCourse module, it includes features such as course summary, announcement, course content, support materials, references, staff info, coursemate, forum, chat, quiz, digital drop-box, etc. Their course content comes mostly in the form of PDF files.
  2. myMail
    Is the student/staff e-mail component.
  3. myProfile
    Includes my profile, credit transfer, courses undertaken, performance (course results), and payments (invoice/financial status).
  4. myLibrary
    Includes digital collections such as OPAC, e-Library, 24 x 7, Infotrac, Proquest, EBSCO, Emerald, Engineering Village, Springer, IOP, NSTP e-Media, ACM, ERIC, InfoSecurity, IT Knowledge, and Tailor & Francis. The digital library has access to more than 36,000 titles from e-books and 50,000 titles from e-journal databases. The available databases cover all courses offered by OUM. Physically, They have more than 7,500 volumes of books located at the Central Library and Learning Centres.
  5. Learner Connexxions
    Includes learning issues, tips and pointers, facts on learning, LMS FAQs, Bookmarks, Netiquette, Abbreviations and Smileys, My Stories, Creative corner, Snapshots (of new students at OUM), etc. An excellent component, which provides useful guidelines and tips on education and life in OUM.

Overall, OUM's LMS single-login (integrated-system) and ease-of-use strategy is good.

Centre for Graduate Studies

The Centre for Graduate Studies (CGS) was established in June 2003 to manage all the postgraduate programmes offered by OUM. The Centre aspires to promote and enhance a body of knowledge by integrating multidisciplinary fields of study and utilising multimode and state-of-the art technological tools.

Currently, CGS manage the following programmes:

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science (FS) was established to offer programmes that are relevant to the current demands of the industry. Programmes in various disciplines of applied and pure sciences are currently being developed. They are designed to enable learners to enter into a range of career paths which include specialisation in areas such as sports science, health care management, financial mathematics, occupational health & safety, pharmaceutical science and biotechnology management. Presently, the faculty offers undergraduate programmes in Science and Mathematics, designed for in-service teachers attached with the MOE.

Currently, the programmes offered at FS are:

* Those working under Ministry of Education are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply for these programmes

Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication

For more information, visit

The Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication (FITMC) aims to be a world-class educational incubator which produces cutting-edge knowledge workers who are capable of contributing to the rapid development in the field of Information Technology and Creative Multimedia. In addition, efforts are currently in place for research in teaching and learning approaches which will place FITMC as a leader in computing education through the use of e-learning technologies.

Programmes offered by the faculty are designed to prepare learners for a diversity of positions within the IT industry and learners will be inducted into using the technology to learn.

The programmes offered at FITMC are:

Faculty of Applied Social Sciences

The Faculty adopts a non-conventional approach in offering programmes of studies. While courses offered are applied in nature, they are not restricted to just a single discipline but integrated with other disciplines to provide a broad- based learning experience.

Although learners choose to specialise in a particular field of study, they are also exposed to other basic cross-discipline knowledge in humanities and social studies thus enabling graduates to handle effectively everyday problem in real life situation.

The Faculty is committed to making the knowledge and the methodology of social sciences relevant in all aspects of social life even for those who are thoroughly engrossed in science and technology.

Programmes offered in 2008:
  1. Bachelor of Islamic Studies (Islamic Management)
  2. Bachelor of Psychology
  3. Bachelor of Counselling
  4. Bachelor of Communication

Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences was established with the objective of providing tertiary education in the areas of education, languages and related social sciences. The faculty currently offers the Bachelor of Education (Hons.) in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Future plans of the faculty include offering undergraduate degree programmes in teaching, early childhood education, school administration, special education and counselling psychology.

The programmes offered at FEASS are:

* Those working under Ministry of Education are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply for these programmes

Faculty of Business and Management

The Faculty of Business and Management (FBM) offers programmes that are designed to meet the country's demand for graduates with management acumen, at both the public and private sectors. The programmes aimed at producing graduates who are sensitive to the changing environmental trends affecting both the business and non-business world, and the emerging issues confronting organisations. In line with OUM's objectives of democratising education and providing lifelong learning opportunities, FBM continues to identify and add new programmes at various levels, to meet the varying market demands.

Currently, FBM offers the following programmes:

Faculties and Academic Programmes

OUM has established five faculties offering programmes in various disciplines that are relevant to the current and emerging trends in the industry. Each programme undergoes a series of stringent quality checks ranging from curriculum design, content and assessment methods.

The curriculum design is undertaken by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the respective fields and verified by the Senate, comprising members of the academia as well as professionals from the industry. The syllabus of the programmes are frequently reviewed to reflect changes that occur in technology and new industrial practices. Each programme is approved by the National Accreditation Board prior to being offered to the public.

OUM Support Centres

Apart from the faculties, OUM has established five centres and an institute to complement and support the delivery of its academic programmes.

Learning Centres

Apart from its main campus situated at Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, OUM has established a strong network of learning centres nationwide and also uses facilities at selected public and private institutions of higher learning. These learning centres are strategically located at major cities and towns, from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak.

Currently, OUM has 53 Learning Centres nationwide. The Learning Centres are managed by a team of administrators. As part of the learning environment infrastructure, OUM’s Learning Centres are fully equipped with tutorial rooms, computer laboratories, library and Internet facilities.

Major Milestones

January 2006

Inaugural intake of 17 learners with physical disability.

March 2006

Proclamation of YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hashim as the first Pro Chancellor.

Second Convocation with 667 Graduates.

April 2006

Launch of the Malaysia-France University Centre, a collaboration between the Ministry of Higher Education and the French government. OUM has been selected as a partner university as well as the host for this collaboration in Malaysia.

May 2006

Launch of the Open Entry System at the Kelantan Regional Learning Centre.

June 2006

Visit by the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, HE Shafi U Ahmed.

July 2006

Launch of the OUM Alumni Association.

August 2006

Inaugural intake of Open Entry candidates.

September 2006

Hosted the 6th annual South East Asia Association for Institutional Research (SEAAIR) conference at Langkawi, Malaysia.

Winner of the Technology Business Review Award for Excellence in Education Management Provision of Continuous Education in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

October 2006

Winner of the Best Paper Award at the 20th Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) Annual Conference in Kunming, China.

November 2006

Winner of the Award for Excellence for Distance Education Materials in the category for print or other "low-end" media materials – module entitled Learning Skills for Open and Distance Learners - from the Commonwealth of Learning in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Winner of the E-Learning Recognition Award from the Eszterházy Károly College in Eger, Hungary.

December 2006

MoA signing ceremony between Open University Malaysia (OUM) with the Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Winner of the Merit Award for the Multimedia Super Corridor Asia Pacific ICT Best of Education and Training in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Conferment of Honorary Doctoral Degrees to YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Dr Ahmad Zaharudin Idrus, YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Abu Hassan Othman, YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Syed Jalaluddin Syed Salim.

Third Convocation with 3,378 Graduates.

Academic Robe


Pro Chancellor


Board of Directors

Management Committee

Faculty of Business & Management

Faculty of Education, Arts & Social Sciences

Faculty of Engineering & Technical Studies

Faculty of Information Technology & Multimedia Communication

Faculty of Science

Master's Degree

Bachelor's Degree


About OUM

In Malaysia, the provision for education is the biggest challenge for the government as the nation strives to become a fully developed country by the year 2020. One solution is to use technology as an enabler to bring education to the masses. Universities are taking up the challenge by updating the content of their programmes but more importantly, utilising the latest technologies to improve the delivery systems. One of the emerging delivery systems much talked about is Open and Distance Education which is fast becoming the way of providing education to the masses.

As a result of this new phenomenon, in August 1999, the Minister of Education invited Multimedia Technology Enhancement Operations Sdn. Bhd. (METEOR), a consortium of 11 public universities in the country, to set up an open university. The move by the Minister led to the establishment of Open University Malaysia (OUM) in August 2000 followed by its official launching on 26 August 2002 by the Right Honourable Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia.

OUM is the seventh private university in Malaysia. Although incorporated as a private university under the Private Higher Education Institutions Act 1996, the University leverages on the quality, prestige and capabilities of its strategic partners - a consortium of the 11 public universities. OUM adopts the motto “University for All" which is consistent with its philosophy on democratisation of education. This philosophy underlies the belief that education should be made available to all, regardless of time, place, age and social economic background. The open and distance learning (ODL) mode is specifically targeted at working adults who need to take care of their families as well as manage their careers while pursuing higher education. Under the able stewardship of the then founder and President/Vice-Chancellor, the late Tan Sri Dr. Abdullah Sanusi Ahmad, OUM has positioned itself as an alternative avenue for the public to gain quality tertiary and lifelong education.

As an open learning institution, OUM subscribes to the following principles:
  • Flexible entry requirements to provide more opportunities for the members of the society to pursue their aspirations;
  • A student-friendly academic system where the constraints and needs of working adults are well understood;
  • A learning mode that incorporates learners’ interaction with lecturers, online learning and self- study, thus enriching learning experiences.
OUM’s strengths span a wide range of disciplines, from IT and Engineering to the Arts and Social Sciences, Business and Science. Employing the latest approaches in the teaching-learning process, it offers academic programmes that cater to the demands of industry and the marketplace in general. Initially opening its doors to 753 learners in 2001, OUM has over 38,000 students in 41 academic programmes in its fifth year of operations, a record of some sort. Through OUM, working adults can upgrade their knowledge and skills for the purpose of career progression, career transition or pursuing lifelong learning ambitions, all within the comfort of their homes.

OUM has certainly brought into existence a new approach to tertiary education that gives rise to greater flexibility in learning, as well as providing the necessary knowledge and skills for the workforce to compete in the ever challenging environment of the new millennium.