WOU welcomed a four-member delegation from Lubeck University of Applied Sciences (LUAS), Germany to the main campus today. The aim was to explore potential collaboration in the offering of international online Master’s degree programmes.
The delegation was led by Prof Rolf Granow, Academic Director of the Institute for Digital Learning (IDL), LUAS. The others were Prof Juergen Klein, Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Business Development; Kristin Bleyder, Coordinator for international online degree programmes; and Linda Wulff, Coordinator for online study programmes for refugees and for international and continuing education online degree programmes.
The IDL is looking for a new academic partner in Malaysia to extend the global network of LUAS and to work jointly on curricula and modules to deliver the planned international online Master’s degree programme on ‘Production Engineering and Management’, stated Prof Granow.
The visitors held a meeting with WOU top management, including Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Prof Madhulika Kaushik, Chief Operating Officer Yeong Sik Kheong, and Deans of the Schools.
In his briefing, Prof Ho highlighted the University’s open distance learning (ODL) delivery system – which the visitors were interested in – and that nearly 19,000 students so far have experienced learning in an ODL environment with WOU. He also described the course development process, adding that it is WOU’s policy that all new courses should have a good mix of open educational resources (OERs).
He also informed that WOU has been approached and is currently in discussion with some 10 overseas ODL institutions in Asia and Africa on the use of WOU’s courseware and/or training.
Prof Madhulika spoke on WOU’s postgraduate programmes, namely the Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA), MBA in Construction Management, MBA in Manufacturing and Production Management (MBA-MPM), Master of Education, and Master of Psychology (under development).
She said that WOU is transitioning to online mode from blended learning for the postgraduate programmes, beginning with the offering of a fully online CeMBA in the January 2017 intake.
Prof Granow presented an overview of the online academic programmes of LUAS and their global strategy, along with their Moodle system and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform.
Dean of WOU’s School of Science & Technology, Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei, talked about the structure of the MBA-MPM programme. Senior Multimedia Technologist Marnisya Rahim from the Educational Technology & Publishing Unit explained and demonstrated WOU’s learning management system, WawasanLearn, to the visitors from LUAS.
According to Prof Granow, LUAS, together with a consortium of 12 affiliated universities in Germany and Switzerland, currently offer 8 Bachelor and Master’s online programmes. He said they plan to develop 100% online programmes, having developed their first online programme in 2001, where everything is conducted online except for the proctored exams.
Prof Granow commented that he was deeply impressed by WOU’s practice in online-learning, which from his point of view is unique. WOU pursued its digital strategy from the beginning, quite similar to what LUAS did from the start. Because of this common ground he found the visit and detailed discussion with WOU to be a fruitful one. He is optimistic that there could be other fields as well for cooperation and collaboration between the two institutions in the future.