WOU to offer entirely Online Courses under PACE

PENANG: In support of the government’s initiative, through the Ministry of Education, to implement Massive Open Online Courses in all public universities in Malaysia, Wawasan Open University (WOU) as a private not-for-private university has also started to offer MOOC courses.

WOU will roll out two entirely online courses from 9 February 2015 under the wings of its Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (PACE). “This is a new milestone in the development of WOU and supports the Education Ministry’s efforts to promote the use of MOOCs to expand formal and non-formal learning in the education sector,” said Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-OCL) and Acting Director of PACE, Prof Mohandas Menon, following the internal launch of MOOCs at the main campus recently.

The titles of the two MOOCs from WOU are ‘Action Research Course’ and ‘Open Educational Resources (OER) in e-Learning’. The development of these two courses is funded separately by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and COL’s regional agency, the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) respectively. Both courses will take three months for completion, commencing on February 9th and running until May.

“The launch of the two MOOCs reflects the serious intention of the university to provide short courses entirely online for the benefit of interested learners and professionals at large,” stated Prof Menon.

He remarked that it is an achievement for a relatively young open university like WOU to develop and offer MOOCs. “The university has developed a strong in-house technical capacity to provide fully digitised learning materials as well as quality learning support services. The learners of WOU-MOOCs will be supported by online interactive virtual discussion forums, online tutor facilitation, online assignment submission and assessment, through a specially created learning management platform, Wawasan4PACE.”

WOU has the expertise and capability to run the MOOCs as at least 20 academics have to date undergone training conducted by experts from COL and CEMCA in the area of online moderation and facilitation of the courses.

According to Prof Menon, the targeted learners for both the MOOCs offered by WOU are educators from the schools, teacher training institutions and universities in Malaysia and overseas. Those who formally register as students for either of the courses will be charged a fee which entitles them to receive online tutor support and upon full completion be issued a Certificate of Achievement from WOU.

Others who just choose to register and follow the courses on a self-learning mode, can access the materials and learner support on the Wawasan4PACE platform for free. They would then receive a Badge upon full completion.