A four-member delegation from INCEIF e-University, Kuala Lumpur visited Wawasan Open University to learn from its experience of delivering education to students via open distance learning (ODL).
The delegation was led by Dr Mohd Pisal Zainal, Head of Research at INCEIF – which incidentally stands for International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance.
The other team members were: Dr Shaikh Hamzah Abdul Razak, lecturer, Takaful Department; Siti Salbiah Raduan, Head of Knowledge Management Centre (Library); and Basheer Hassan Mohamed Yusof, Head of Finance.
INCEIF is a private university that seeks to provide human talents in Islamic Finance through three postgraduate postgrammes - the Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP), Masters in Islamic Finance, (MIF) and PhD in Islamic Finance. The university welcomed its first batch of three PhD graduates at its third convocaton last October.
Dr Mohd Pisal said INCEIF has close to 800 online active students from more than 45 countries for CIFP, through collaboration with various universities overseas. He said the on-campus full-time, face-to-face MIF and PhD programmes have a student population of over 200, with an intake of 40-50 students per semester.
The largest student number for CIFP is from Indonesia, followed by Gulf Countries, Middle East and North Africa, while other nations include Yemen, Japan, Korea, UK, North America and Canada.
He stated that INCEIF delivers CIFP through three modes: face-to-face like a traditional university; the blended mode with 12 hours tutorial, and self-study; or 100% online where students learn from anywhere via access to the Internet.
The purpose of the team’s visit was to learn about WOU’s blended mode, its learning management system and interactive CD-ROM course materials, so that they can deliver online content effectively and move away from the practice of sending out printed course materials.
Dr Mohd Pisal shared that INCEIF needs to simplify its in-house learning management system and improve accessibility. “The repository is so big and everything, including the student management system, alumni, is integrated into one system. So there are a lot of clicks to get to one place.”
The team were briefed on WOU’s ODL environment by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, and on web portals by mulimedia specialist David Lee. The briefing on library facilities was by Director of Learning and Library Services, Kamsiah Mohd Ali, on course development and LMS by Grace Lau, Prof Phalachandra and Marnisya Abdul Rahim from the Educational Techonology & Publishing Unit, and on student management system by Registrar Yeong Sik Kheong.
INCEIF e-University, fully funded by Bank Negara Malaysia, was set up in 2006. It has one faculty, the Faculty of Islamic Finance, with 29 faculty members, 92% of whom are PhD holders.