• To establish the University's research priorities and direct staff attention to areas of high potential for further development.
  • To advise on the allocation of research funds and other related resources.
  • To seek funding from external sources in line with the priorities identified for University submissions for major external funding.
  • To determine mechanisms for disseminating information on research matters to University staff and the wider community.
  • To consider and recommend the support of applications for conferences and other meetings related to the project.
  • To evaluate, review and approve projects that will further enhance scholarship among academic staff and develop professional networks by way of organising scholarly seminars, workshops, conference, etc.
  • To co-opt members as appropriate and to establish such other sub-committees as may be deemed necessary.

The IRI's Board of Management is made up of:

Chairman : Prof. Dr. David Ngo Chek Ling, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Outreach)

Secretary : Dr. Andy Liew Teik Kooi, Registrar cum Director of Quality Assurance, WOU

Members :

  • Dato’ Wong Siew Hai, Chairman, Malaysian-American Electronics Industry
  • Dato’ Dr. R. Ratnalingam, Former Honorary Consul for Norway and Sweden at Penang
  • Prof. Dato' Dr. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, School of Physics, USM
  • Datin Dr. Kam Suan Pheng, Former Senior Research Scientist, The World Fish Centre
  • Prof. Dr. Zoraini Wati Abas, Acting Vice Chancellor / Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Educational Technology), WOU
  • Associate Prof. Dr. Nagarajan Subramaniam, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, WOU
  • Prof. Dr. Phalachandra Bhandigadi, School of Education, Languages and Communications, WOU

Teaching and research play complementary roles in a university. In recognition of this, in 2007 , the Senate of WOU established the Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI), and a board of management, reporting to the Senate, to supervise it.

After analysing the needs and capabilities of WOU and the needs of the nation and state for a knowledge economy, WOU identified several focal areas of research as follows:-

School of Science and Technology

  • Electronics
  • IT
  • Engineering

School of Education, Languages and Communications

  • Curriculum Design and Development
  • Pedagogy

School of Business and Administration

  • Northern Corridor Studies
  • Emerging Business in Green Technology: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Behavioural Economics and Corporate Finance
  • Development Policy and Programmes of Northern Corridor:  Implementation, Issues and Perspective 

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Social Psychology
  • Ethnic relations, identity and national integration
  • Lifelong learning culture and critical success factors for distance learning

The IRI's terms of reference are:

  • To develop and review, as necessary, the University policy for research and development, especially in the areas of technology assisted and mediated teaching and learning and where applicable the patenting of research outcomes of commercial value.
  • To receive, screen and approve applications from staff for research funds.
  • To determine the infrastructure required to support research and development activities of the University.

Research Projects

1. A Study on the Determinants of LMS Use amongst Students in ODL Institutions - The Case of WOU (Project Leader: Dr. Ng Peng Long)

2. Application of Mobile Learning in Manufacturing Process and Machine Maintenance (Project Leader: Dr. Teoh Ping Chow)

3. Supra-THz Superconducting Mixers for the ALMA Telescope (Project Leader: Dr. Magdalene Goh Wan Ching)

4. VCL Conceptualization and Implementation to promote Resource Sharing and Green Computing in ODL Environment (Project Leader: Mr. Chandarasageran Natarajan)

5. Applying social constructionist theory of learning to improve student learning experience – elgg (Project Leader: Dr. Tung Lai Cheng)

6. Broadening Access to OER through Effective Searching of Material (Project Leader: Mr. Ishan Sudeera Abeywardena)

7. Setting-up a WOU Institutional Repository using WEKO (Project Leader: Pn. Kamsiah Binti Mohd Ali)

8. A Study on Cost-effectiveness and Feasibility of using Tablets for Student Learning in WOU (Project Leader: Prof. Santhiram R. Raman)

9. Characterizing Key Features of Student Isolation in Distance Education (Project Leader: Dr. S. Vighnarajah P.K. Selvarajah)

10. Mobile-learning in ODL Environment (Project Leader: Mr. Vincent Chung Seng Hung)

11. Investigating the online forum moderation techniques and feedback types for tutor-marked assignments (Project Leader: Assoc. Prof. Dr. S. Nagarajan)

12. Designing and Developing a Question Bank - A Pilot (Project Leader: Prof. Madhulika Kaushik)

13. Information seeking behaviour of WOU ODL students to support learning and research activities (Project Leader: Pn. Kamsiah Binti Mohd Ali)

14. A Soft Computing Modelling for Clustering (Project Leader: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wendy Bong Chin Wei)

15. Emerging Trends in Higher Education Pedagogy (Project Leader: Prof. Santhiram R. Raman)

16. Enhancement of Optical Efficiency of The Photovoltaic Cell Utilising Self-Assembled Nano or Micro-Spheres (Project Leader: Dr. Lee Chee Leong)

17. A Study of Educational Data Mining (Project Leader: Dr. Lim Ting Yee)

18. Trends in The Governance of Asian Open Universities: A Study of Both Public and Privately Sponsored Open Universities in Asia (Project Leader: Prof. Madhulika Kaushik)

19. A Study of factors that are hindering the students' success in ODL programmes of WOU and designing strategies to enhance students' successes rate (Project Leader: Prof. Phalachandra Bhandigadi)

20. Scale Development and Validation of Online Learners' Psychological Capital (Project Leader: Ms Ooh Seow Ling)

21. Stakeholder's Expectation on Employee Well-being: A Case Study of Open Distance Learning (ODL) University (Project Leader: Dr. Norizan Baba Rahim)

22. Roundtable on Emerging Trends of Technologies in Supply Chain Management (Project Leader: Dr. Loo Saw Khuan)

23. Discourse Analysis of Student-led Online Seminars in Online and Blended Classrooms (Project Leader: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ramesh Chander Sharma)

24. Robotic Hand Control Using Sensing Technology (Project Leader: Dr. Teoh Ping Chow)

25. Transformation by Applying Innovative and Sustainable Mobile Learning in Manufacturing Process and Machine Maintenance (Project Member: Dr. Teoh Ping Chow)

26. A novel approach for prioritisation of product quality improvement in a complex manufacturing environment (Project Member: Dr. Teoh Ping Chow)

27. Scalable Network Memory Virtualisation Framework for Memory Resource Sharing in Cloud Environments (Project Leader: Mr. Chandarasageran Natarajan)