CHAPTER 2: EDUCATORS’ PERSPECTIVES ON SEAMLESS LEARNING AT A MALAYSIAN LOCAL UNIVERSITY BASED ON THE DISNEY THEORY

Shamsul Arrieya Arrifin

Introduction

Malaysia has its own education plan to foster learning in the new millennium for its citizens. This includes developing a long-term plan for improving digital literacy skills for both academia and students. However, there are also challenges that need to be addressed including technological, economic, and social aspects. One aspect that is attended to in this study is the implementation of an approach known as seamless learning. The emergence of seamless learning is fairly new in the Malaysian context and this study pursues to find a sense of understanding and attitude towards the approach.

Malaysian Education Plan

Education in Malaysia is an ongoing effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically balanced and harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. The Malaysian National Philosophy of Education can be translated into four national educational objectives, which are: (a) to produce a loyal and united Malaysian nation, (b) to produce faithful, well-mannered, knowledgeable, competent and prosperous individuals, (c) to produce the nation’s human resource development needs, and (d) to provide educational opportunities for all Malaysians (Hudawi et al., 2014).

The Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia is the pillar for management and executing projects including seamless learning (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015a; Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015b; Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015c). Additionally, the Ministry of Education will always strive and is responsible for providing a diversity of expertise and access to teachers to ensure they are always prepared for the National Education Transformation (Ching, 2015). Likewise, the Malaysian National Education Philosophy (Falsafah Pendidikan Negara) (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015a) emphasizes that students must become holistic human beings – intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Likewise, the students must have faith in God, and serve the country with integrity. In fact the Government of Malaysia has produced policies and guidelines pertaining to the best practices of teaching delivery and learning approach in the e-learning environment, such as the National E-Learning Policy (Dasar E-Pembelajaran Negara @ DePAN), Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025), and the Malaysia Education Blueprint for Higher Education (2015-2025) (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015c).

The Malaysian government has made an effort to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards, and who are responsible and capable of achieving a high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society, and the nation at large (Portal Rasmi Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 2019).

The Malaysia Eleventh Plan 2016-2020 (Unit, 2015). increased the allocation budget for education, especially for technical and vocational education, to 1 billion Ringgit Malaysia in comparison to the 500 million Ringgit Malaysia budget allocation for the previous Malaysia Tenth Plan.  The Ministry of Education Malaysia outlined the new change in terms of a parallel education system with current technology development like introducing a virtual platform known as Frog’s virtual learning environment (VLE). It was cloud-based and aimed to provide a flexible and mobile virtual learning environment (Hamzah & Yeop, 2016). However, recently, the Frog VLE is no longer being used in schools and has been replaced with the Google Classroom (The Star, 2019).

The shift in the Seventh Malaysia Plan for Education 2013-2025 (PPPM) suggests that teachers benefit from ICT to increase the quality of studies in Malaysia, in that ICT can become a comprehensive tool in the learning facilitation process that is universal and inclusive. Twenty-first century learning based on digital information needs to be implemented because it is the basis for the success of a country for which the ICT potential is high to spur the learning process and thinking skills. Education based on ICT is a result of the combined principle and strategy between education and technology. These Malaysia Plans for education potentially open the direction of Malaysia’s education for a seamless learning environment in the 21st Century Classroom.

Several school systems have recently initiated plans to deploy various types of classroom technology that aim to provide students with higher quality education (Al-Azawi et. al., 2019). This technology can be used in the classroom to encourage students’ interest to learn via the Higher Education 4.0 environment in Malaysia (Selamat et al., 2017).

Furthermore, via seamless learning, the utilization of smartphones can operate as computers to assist users (Khalid et al., 2016). Smartphone usage in a seamless environment is suitable and able to help expedite the learning process. Moreover, Malaysia’s University Science Malaysia (USM) is a good model to establish the National Advanced IPv6 Centre (NAv6) for the development and usage of the Internet Of Things (IOTs) throughout their campus (University Sains Malaysia (2019).  The support services, such as mobile recharge kiosks, charging booths, or even power supplies in numerous places, will change students’ lifestyle to become more versatile in the smart university environment (Nenonen et al., 2019).

A few guidelines have been developed to help establish the requirements for e-learning resources in Malaysia (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015a; Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015b). Likewise, in understanding the e-learning standards and interoperability, courses created at universities or education institutions are published for free via the Internet (OpenCourseWare @ OCW) or through any e-learning platform (e.g. Massive Open Online Course @ MOOC) through either mobile devices or commonly by using a PC (Shaari et al., 2018). Likewise, the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (2016) allows practitioners in any industry to further their study with the entry requirements based on their years of working experience.

Digital Skills Literacy Settings for Seamless Learning in Malaysia

In Malaysia, examples of the required skills for future graduates include ICT skills and future ICT skills in the era of 4.0 Industrial Revolution. It is vital to plan and select the right number of people with the right skills at the right place and sustain positive synergy (Symaco & Wan, 2018). Likewise, in education institutions, the manpower consists of educators, administration staff, and supporting staff.  The Design Mindset is one of the skills listed in the Institute For The Future (IFTF) ‘Future Work Skills 2020’ report, and creativity is among the top three skills identified in the World Economic Forum (WEF) ‘The Future of Jobs’ 2018 report on employment, skills and workforce strategy for the 4IR (Institute for the Future, 2011). Professional training in related skills needs to be enhanced and strengthened, such as Adobe Certified professionals, SAP specialists, Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), or others (Mardis et al., 2018). Cognizant (2017) listed jobs that are already here or imminent, and, while some of them require highly technical skills, others do not require too much tech-knowledge. Among the listed jobs that are related to seamless learning are BYOD IT Facilitator, Master of Edge Computing, Walker/Talker, CDigital Tailor, Quantum Machine Learning Analyst, Personal Memory Curator, and others.

Under the Digital initiative of the ICT Dean for the Council of Malaysian Public Universities and the Ministry of Education (MOE), a book entitled Digital Talent Development (2019) was published. The book was written for reference and guidance for higher education institutions to focus their demand and supply of graduates in the ICT field, and listed a range of digital talents a graduate must possess for the era of 4.0 Industrial Revolution. Additionally, the Malaysian government (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015c) has spent millions of Ringgit Malaysia for this process to bridge the gap between the skills demanded by the industry and the skills being supplied by the graduates to the respective industry. This includes providing literacy for areas such as seamless learning.

Challenges in Management of ICT for Seamless Learning

A previous study indicated that there is a deficit in the number of supporting staff to manage and monitor the IT resources for the education institutions, which includes seamless learning. The ratio of supporting staff to the number of students must be a reasonable and proper ratio for the efficiency of the institutions to manage their IT resources (Malaysia Qualification Agency, 2017). In order to implement e-learning in any education institution, there are three main categories that any institution should focus on: the Internet and Wi-Fi coverage, e-learning platform, and software and ICT devices (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia, 2015a). However, these facilities are not well-maintained and therefore provide slow services.

The cost of maintenance of the devices is even higher (Dias & Victor, 2017). Since seamless learning promotes borderless learning through the power of the Internet and Wi-Fi access, the issues concerning the security in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach should become the main focus. A policy for seamless learning must integrate with the role of institutions in promoting automated self-service, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing while preserving centralized data control and data protection (Gajar et al., 2013). Likewise, the security of the devices is also one of the issues discussed since the devices can be easily stolen (NST, 2016). Additionally, there are teachers who are reluctant to use laptops due to their lack of skills in using such devices (Mas Nida et al., 2009). In fact, there is a lack of synergizing ideas between the education departments for producing content for teachers to teach (Lee & Soon, 2016).

In Asia, such as Malaysia, there is still a lack of policies across the country to support mobile learning (So, 2012). The bureaucracy has caused latency in delivering seamless learning and this issue needs to be solved (Othman & Razali, 2018).  A mobile device policy for mobile device management, for example, will provide an excellent opportunity for institutions to increase the quality, the adoption of seamless learning, and generate a healthy culture for a teaching and learning environment in the fullness of time (TechTarget, 2015).

Meanwhile the use of mobile devices is feared to distract the students from learning as they will look at their devices rather than focus on what the teacher is teaching (Ariffin & Dyson, 2013). Furthermore Noor, Embong and Abdullah (2012) state that complications may arise from the implementation of mobile devices as accessing e-books via smartphones is still a rather unfamiliar practice for teachers as well as for teachers. From a previous study, millennials are more vocal in expressing their opinion on mobile devices compared to the older generation (Ariffin & Dyson, 2013). This leads to ethical challenges to be solved in managing the use of mobile devices for seamless learning.

Usability is also one of the concerns in respect of mobile devices (ISO 9241, 1998).  In another similar study for a seamless environment using smartphone devices in Korea, Park et al. (2018) also expressed concerns about the smaller screen size, as well as the ergonomics of the mobile device needed for readability for the purpose of seamless learning. Morokhovets et al. (2018) stated that mobile application technology is not able to replace the teacher in the classroom. Therefore use of mobile technology via seamless learning is meant to be embedded in the teaching and learning in the local Malaysian context.

Methodology

The approach of this case study is largely qualitative in order to gather the understanding from the perspectives of educators (Yazan, 2015).  The method used here is purposive sampling (Etikan et al., 2016). In order to garner the information from the participants they needed to participate in a workshop discussing seamless learning (Barbour, 2007). Later the data were analysed via the discussions and document statements from the post-its (Bowen, 2009) using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The themes were generated inductively from the statements and were analysed interpretatively for the meanings provided from the discussions (Myers & Avison, 2002).

Workshop Preparation

The workshop was conducted on the 18th June 2019 at the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Lab in a Malaysian university. The objective of this workshop was to gain an understanding of the educators’ perspectives from a local Malaysian university. What is unique about this university is its own niche in education in producing teachers and future educators for Malaysia.

The workshop, which was adapted from the guidelines of conducting the workshop from Rusman et al. (2018), assembled twelve (12) volunteer academics from University A.  The academics were recruited voluntarily to participate in this study and consisted of 8 female and 4 male participants.  The volunteers were divided into three groups in the discussion, namely, Critic, Dreamer, and Realist, according to the Disney Theory (Rusman et al., 2018). The workshop was assisted by two lecturers, one graduate research assistant, and one computer technician. The workshop was conducted for approximately two hours from 11 am until 1:00 pm in the university’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) lab.

Figure 1. Participants answering the short survey
Figure 2.1. Participants answering the short survey
Figure 2. Workshop Presentation
Figure 2.2. Workshop Presentation
Figure 3. Post-it notes from the discussion of statements and ideas
Figure 2.3. Post-it notes from the discussion of statements and ideas
Figure 4. Group Discussions
Figure 2.4. Group Discussions

Firstly, in the workshop, the participants were briefed for 15 minutes about the purpose of the Disney Theory activities. The participants were then asked to fill in the consent form. The participants then filled in the survey background including their occupation and experience in teaching. Afterwards, a member of the Global mLearn Research group gave the participants a 20-minute presentation on seamless learning. Then, the participants worked in their assigned groups for 30 minutes to discuss seamless learning in the Malaysian context. They were given post-it notes, a pen, and a board with paper. During the discussion the observers (the researcher and tutor) monitored the participants’ activities through note taking.  Finally, the workshop ended with a summary and wrapped up with a video recording after the participants discussed the seamless learning.

Data Analysis

The researcher’s methodology for examining the garnered data was by means of a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). During the thematic analysis process the statements issued by the participants were categorized from three perspectives (Bowen, 2009). The perspectives were then matched and combined and coded into sub themes, and, finally, materialised as core themes (Saldaña, 2009).

Findings

As mentioned in the section above, the statements on the post-it notes were pasted on a board according to the three perspectives, Critic, Dreamer and Realist. From the findings, the statements that were summarized included the following numbers: the Critic group had 13 post-it notes; the Dreamers had 12 post-it notes; and the Realist group had 10 post-it notes. Hence, in total, the number of post-it notes for the themes resulting from the seamless learning workshop was 40.

Table 2.1: Statements according to Perspectives

Critic
Frequency Percentage
Decision 9 22
Change 4 10
Implementation 4 10
17 43
Dreamer
Decision 2 5
Change 2 5
Implementation 8 20
12 30
Realist
Decision 4 10
Change 3 8
Implementation 4 10
11 28
Total 40 100

According to these statistics the Critics had the most overall concerns (43%) when it comes to seamless learning in their environment. Notably most concerns were found in the ‘Decision category’ (22%).  The Dreamers were relatively excited about the implementation of seamless learning (20%) and the Realists were looking at the process from a rather balanced view with between 8 and 10% statements in all three categories. Process for seamless learning in the Malaysian context.

The second round of the data analysis included the organization of the statements according to the categories from Rusman et al. (2018) presented as statements that concern the Decision Process (Table 1). Additionally, Table 2 illustrates the statements from Rusman et al. (2018) concerning the Change Process. Finally, the findings portrayed in Table 3 indicate the categories from Rusman et al. (2018) and are relevant to the Design and Implementation

 According to these categories the highest concern of the participants lies in the Decision and Design and Implementation process (38%). The detailed statements can be followed in the right-hand margin of the tables.

The following statements from this study were regarded as important in terms of the Design process and included; implementation issues; infrastructures; budget; subsidize data; financial Issues; AR + VR LAB; lack of IT specialist; smart devices for T & L process; hardware & maintenance; training; digital skills literacy; digital health & wellness and integrity issues.

From the Change process perspective the following statements were pointed out to be the most relevant: attitudes; laws; laws & regulations. The most applicable statements for the Design and Implementation process included, high – speed WI-FI; mobile verbal translator; wireless charging area; fantastic environment; outreach community; experts; free bureaucracy.

The statements within these themes are summarized in a mind map in Figure 5, below. Similar statements are sorted and categorized as one item.

Figure 5. Summary of Themes for Seamless Learning in the Malaysian Case Study
Figure 2.5. Summary of Themes for Seamless Learning in the Malaysian Case Study

The statements need to be clarified in order to gain a deeper understanding of what the participants are referring to. Therefore each of the statements in Figure 5 are described in the context of the Malaysian tertiary education environment.

Critic

The critics group is the one who will point out the faults of the organization, the government, or even particular groups of individuals for seamless learning. The critics challenge the proposition of seamless learning. For instance, the critic group challenged the existing implementation of technology in education, which includes seamless learning.

Digital skills literacy

The Malaysian participants from the critic group expressed their concern about the lack of digital skills literacy. This comprised the lack of training, skills, expertise, and also specific IT specialists for seamless learning. The lack of digital skills literacy will definitely affect the working environment at any organizational level in terms of acquiring digital skills with regards to seamless learning. The group also criticized the implementation of the current academic programs offered, especially for higher institutions, which are impossible to achieve.

Lack of Training

The participants from the Critic Group pointed out the lack of certain training to upskill the students in the universities to acquire seamless learning knowledge. The lack of awareness somehow affects their demands and needs for acquiring the right training, which also includes the capabilities of the organization and institutions to prepare awareness and enhancement training workshops for reskilling and upskilling strategies.

Lack of Expertise and IT Specialists

The participants also reported the lack of skills in managing and monitoring the seamless learning environment. For example, the expertise to facilitate the seamless learning at the universities is lacking in IT knowledge and skills.

Management

Notwithstanding that, at any university level where the management supervises the procurement of hardware, software, networking, and the maintenance of the facilities, there are challenges and issues that impact the implementation. A lack of direction among the management can cause higher expenses which relate to losses. There are issues concerning the lack of skills among the supporting staff that help the institutions to maintain and manage the ICT resources, and, on top of that, institutions, such as schools, do not have enough computer technicians supplied to them.

Infrastructure and Info structure

The participants complained about the facilities in respect of hardware, software, the Internet and Wi-Fi access, as well as maintenance issues, which were not well maintained based on the contract. There were cases of vendors that did not fulfil the obligations which caused trouble for the management of PCs, hardware, and laptops. Likewise, the infrastructure in some rural areas is not well supported due to the weak Wi-Fi signal. Despite complaints about the telecommunication service in those areas it is still unavailable.

Financial Issues

There were also complaints about the high cost of the mobile devices, making their purchase impractical. Additionally, the high data cost also prevents the use of the mobile devices for seamless learning. Mobile device companies for smartphones, handheld phones, or tablets must produce affordable phones for students, teachers, and education institutions for use under the institution budget or for their personal usage.

Implementation Issues

There were also complaints about the failure concerning the implementation of laptops at schools due to the poor maintenance in those areas. It was also reported that there were still teachers who were reluctant to use laptops due to their lack of skill in using such devices. The upshot of this issue is that even the most powerful teaching and learning devices that change how teachers teach, such as laptops, smartphones, or tablets, could face a tough time in changing people’s mind-sets.  Thus, another issue comes from the lack of coordination among different departments under the same ministry. Ultimately, this will cause a conflict in the preparation and teaching, and confusion among newly trained teachers to deliver in their classroom.

Policy

Considering seamless learning is still new in Malaysia, certain policies and rules in relation to seamless learning must be in place for seamless learning to happen. This can be proposed by means of guidelines for administrators, educators, and also the students to comply with.

Laws and Regulations, and Enforcement

The integrity issue, particularly in respect of the decision process, has been raised to complete the project through the implementation of mobile device e-books in East Malaysia in one of the educational institutions.  The project was seen as inefficient in terms of its handling.  Thus, this could imply the need for seamless learning enforcement where school administrators are responsible for the technicalities and the management according to the laws, regulations, and enforcement.

Attitudes and Awareness

There is a lack of awareness in terms of the ethics concerning the use of mobile devices at schools in that they can become a source of distraction. The use of mobile devices for seamless learning has high potential to distract students from focusing on their studies inside the classroom. For example, the participants pointed out that the devices could distract their focus. Additionally, the usability of mobile devices is another important factor that arose from the discussion and observation.

Unreadable

There is inconvenience in using mobile devices for seamless learning, for example, the content is unreadable on smaller devices, and users complain that the digital content is too small and unreadable in certain cases when using mobile devices

Subject matter

The participants agreed that seamless learning should be embedded, but not replace the teacher in the class teaching and learning process.

Dreamer

The dreamers’ vision concerns the potential and possibility for a seamless learning environment to be implemented. The vision is the hope that seamless learning can materialize in the future. These are the suggestions based on the observations and discussions from the participants.

Twenty-first Century Classroom

A twenty-first century classroom includes the applications, services, and technology that could be in place for a seamless learning environment to materialize.

Lab Facility

Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) Lab and Hologram Classrooms are among the new technologies desired by the participants.  Additionally, participants requested a mobile verbal translator to enable many languages to be translated and understood.

AR and VR technology are the next technologies dreamed of for education. These technologies are believed to be necessary for the new generation of students to increase the effectiveness and the quality of student learning performance. The new generation is technology savvy with high engagement in social media, mobile technologies, and strategy games.

Wireless Services

A high-speed Wi-Fi environment was desired by this group for seamless learnin  to take place efficiently. Likewise, wireless charging areas were also requested as the participants need to charge their devices quickly without missing the opportunity to learn in the seamless learning environment.

Content Accessibility

The workshop participants also pointed out the availability of content for teaching including a note bank to be readily available. This would enable the content to be accessed anytime and anywhere by the educators. Additionally, they requested for paperless exam and assignment materials.  They requested that seamless learning embed new enhancement approaches in terms of learning and pedagogy with content accessibility.

Unawareness of Security

Despite the demand for the facilities and services there was very little awareness of security in terms of having such seamless devices. This is due to more focus being given to the usage of the devices themselves without considering the level of risk in terms of security.

Environment

A conducive environment is necessary to disseminate seamless learning. This also includes the support from the organization to be reachable by the community and be free of bureaucracy.  For example, the participants requested free services and standard mobile devices for seamless learning purposes. They dreamed that the students would be fully equipped with seamless learning skills and be industry ready.

Outreach Community

Inclusive education was highlighted by the participants, particularly for the accessibility of the community, including those from rural areas, with disabilities, and the elderly. From the discussion, the participants acknowledged the Malaysia Accreditation Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) initiative by the Ministry of Education Malaysia, which is an education program for adults based on working experience that could be embedded with seamless learning.

Free Bureaucracy – Solve problems quickly

Most participants from this group stressed the availability to solve problems quickly and free from bureaucracy, as developing countries, such as Malaysia, have issues with bureaucracy. The bureaucracy for the implementation of seamless learning can be a hindrance and cause delays in developing the environment.

Ambience of Working Environment

The management must build trust and recognize those academic staff who have a professional membership in their expertise, such as IEEE, ACM, MBOT, and MSTB. Professional skills need to be developed among academics through taking such professional qualifications. Likewise, this is needed for a seamless learning working environment where the staff have the right expertise.

Realists

A realist is a pragmatist who focuses on the practical reality concerning the implementation of seamless learning. Malaysia’s education relies heavily on the contributions from the Ministry of Education, and, therefore, the vision and implementation for seamless learning needs to be aligned with the Malaysian government policies.

Management by Ministry of Education (MOE)

Management by the Ministry of Education is crucial to ensure the smoothness of the implementation of seamless learning. This includes the role of giving training and enforcing the laws among the higher education institutions in the Malaysian context.

Training

The role of the MOHE is crucial in ensuring that the educators and students receive sufficient training to embrace seamless learning. This includes upgrading the skills of educators for the better delivery of results when educating the students. To teach students ICT and the latest technology, teachers must first be prepared to embrace ICT in this digital era. Teachers must challenge themselves to ensure creative thinking, innovative skills, and reasoning, so that the ability will be attained by their students.

Laws

According to the realists, certain forms of principles or guidance in education must be in place, such as at schools, which includes seamless learning.  In relation to seamless learning, the role of the ministry is important to ensure that the implementation follows the Malaysian National Philosophy of Education objectives. By following the objectives, it will produce future generations that it hopes will serve Malaysia. This will lead to the National Philosophy of Education being aligned with seamless learning for the benefit of Malaysia.

Manpower

Manpower includes having enough expertise and technologists in place in order to enable seamless learning. The number of people working or available for work and giving services is crucial in order to meet the demands from learners, users, and management. In any education institution, the amount of manpower needed for a particular job or position must be planned carefully and estimated for the future.

Experts and Developers

According to the realist group, the country is in need of experts on seamless learning. Additionally, the developers of seamless learning must be ready to ensure success for the implementation. For example, the seamless learning experts can come in many positions, such as subject matter experts (e.g. educators), computer technicians, system analysts, or IT managers in education institutions. Meanwhile these new jobs will emerge and constantly evolve due to the advancement of technologies (e.g. AR, VR and Big data) and new approaches, such as seamless learning.

Smart Devices for Teaching and Learning Process

The realist group is very pragmatic and recommends the use of a standard smart device to facilitate the seamless learning process for teaching and learning. This could ease the need for different brands of devices that can introduce complexity in terms of management. For example, the existence of smartphones that offer various applications undeniably give benefit in terms of education and communication. Through the use of smartphones, many activities are feasible including information sharing, communication, Internet surfing, production and document editing, and various other activities.

Young Generation

Ethics are the rules, laws, and regulations and can be a standard for users to follow, such as by the young students. According to the participants, “we can’t control the implementation access by the student.”  In the era of Digital Natives, the younger generation need to learn and relearn about ethics and the ethical way in terms of usage of the technologies in seamless learning. Therefore, the realist group suggests that a certain form of ethics and ethical principles should be implemented for seamless learning.

Budget and Subsidize Data

The participants also urged that a budget be made available by the government, for example, to subsidize the data in order to promote seamless learning. This is because not all students can afford the mobile devices or subscribe to the data.

Content and Accessibility

From the findings statements, the participants emphasized the importance of the availability and accessibility of seamless learning content. Additionally, a 24-hour learning environment to access the content must be in place.

Discussion

This research for Malaysian context at a local university indicates matters related to seamless learning based on government role, the need for technology facilities and the importance of proper management.

Government Role

From this research study it is clear that the Malaysian government is playing an important role to ensure that the national education plan (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia 2015a; Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia 2015b; Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia 2015c; Selamat et al., 2017) is being executed, such as via seamless learning. It is crucial to enhance the digital skills literacy through the government policies (Cognizant, 2017). This involves proper management, which includes proper ICT infrastructure, and implementation according to the Malaysian government budget plan (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia 2015a; Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia 2015b; Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia 2015c; Ministry of Finance, 2015).

The Need for Technology Facilities

Therefore, the facilities in the classroom and learning environment need to be enhanced to support seamless learning. This includes the availability of mobile devices and wireless services (Mas Nida et al., 2009; Gajar et al., 2013; Dias & Victor, 2017), which are needed by the students to access the learning. In addition, proper mobile policies and ethics should be in place for seamless learning in the Malaysian context (Ariffin & Dyson, 2013; Hudawi et al., 2014).

Good Management

It is evident from this study that all the groups highlighted the significant impact of the good management of seamless learning. For instance, the critic group stressed digital literacy skills, management and policy. On the other hand, the dreamer group focussed on the 21st century classroom and the desired seamless learning environment free of bureaucracy. Meanwhile the realist group emphasized the young generation, manpower, management, smart devices for teaching and learning, budget and subsidized data, and content accessibility. Furthermore, the educator’s voice from this study emphasized good management and governance to ensure that seamless learning happens in the Malaysian context.

Conclusion

The study on Malaysian context at a local university concluded that the different groups which are the critical, dreamer, and the realist have each one of them preference with regards to their perspectives on seamless learning. All group members were relating mobile technologies and learning context with their opinion on seamless learning. It seems that the critical group has the most opined for suggesting changes towards seamless learning. Meanwhile, the dreamer has the most discussion on the implementation of the new seamless learning. The realistic group neither too much highlighting on implementation nor changes with regards to seamless learning. This could be possibly because of the bureaucratic organization and it is difficult to change the system unless supported by the top-down level.

Thus, suggestions derived from this study are that future studies will be conducted for different groups and subjects in the Malaysian context to understand the reality, needs, and potential for seamless learning and a report thereof handed to the stakeholders and decision makers may be essential.

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Addendum 2.1: Malaysia

Decision Process

Table 2.2: Decision process

Categories Frequency Percentage Statement
Costs/efforts/investment/dangers 5 13 ●       Implementation Issues

●       Infrastructures

●       Budget

●       Subsidize Data

●       Financial Issues -1

Benefits/surplus/value/results 2 5 ●       Flexible Time & Place for teachers

●       Awareness

Technology 4 10 ●       AR + VR LAB

●       Lack of IT specialist

●       Smart Devices for T & L Process

●       Hardware & Maintenance

Teachers’ Competencies/attitudes 3 8 ●       Training

●       Digital skills literacy

●       Digital health & wellness

Target group/suitability/competencies/attitudes 1 2 ●       Integrity Issues
Social expectancies/ role requirements 0 0
National education/curriculum 0 0
Sub Total: 15 38%  

Change Process

Table 2.3: Change process

Categories Frequency Percentage Statement
Teacher professionalism 2 5 Hologram Classroom

High – End Engagement

Organizational management 1 2 Time Constraints

 

Evaluation and quality control 2 5 Lack of Expertise

Lack of Training

Changing roles and responsibilities 3 8 Attitudes

Laws

Laws & Regulations

Change of daily school organisation 0 0
Change of models, methods and approaches 2 5 Developer

24 Hour Learning

Sub Total: 10 25%  

Design and Implementation Process

Table 2.4: Design and Implementation process

Categories Frequency Percentage Statement
Technology

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

●       High – Speed Wi-Fi

●       Mobile Verbal Translator

●       Wireless Charging Area

 

Guidance / support / degree of autonomy of learners

 

 

2

 

 

5

 

 

●       Restrict Access. We can’t control the implementation access by the student

●       Enforcement

 

Social learning participation and involvement of network / various social practices

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

●       Fantastic Environment

●       Outreach Community

●       Experts

●       Free Bureaucracy

 

Learning objectives and learning results

 

 

3

 

 

8

 

 

●       Content

●       Notes Bank

●       Subject matter

Assessment formative and summative, evaluation and testing

 

2

 

5

 

●       Paperless exam and Assignment

●       Assessment Issues

Process-oriented design of interdisciplinary / transboundary activities 0 0
Experiential design of activities within school . . . 0 0
Safety-measures / insurance

 

1

 

2

 

●       Security

 

Sub total 15 38  
Total 40 100%  

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Seamless Learning in Higher Education by Shamsul Arrieya Arrifin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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