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Examining learners’ perspective in Malaysian

Examining learners’ perspective in Malaysian

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Published by Yayan Nadzri
Examining learners’ perspective in Malaysian
Examining learners’ perspective in Malaysian

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Yayan Nadzri on Jun 29, 2013
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Instructional design ande-learning
Examining learners’ perspective in Malaysianinstitutions of higher learning
Husnayati Hussin
 International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fatimah Bunyarit
University Petronas, Ipoh, Malaysia, and 
Ramlah Hussein
 International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Abstract
Purpose
– This study aims to investigate the elements of effective instructional design in ane-learning environment in selected Malaysian higher learning institutions. In addition, the study alsoseeks to investigate the e-learning use behaviour among these e-learners.
Design/methodology/approach
– The study used the interview method of data collection toexamine the e-learning systems used at the selected institutions and a questionnaire-based survey togather responses from students on their perception of the effectiveness of instructional designelements and their e-learning use behaviour.
Findings
– Findings of the study indicate positive perceptions of e-learning among students in theselected universities. Student involvement and course content are among the most satisfactory factorsfor instructional design principles as perceived by the students.
Research limitations/implications
– Limitations of the study relate to the generalisability of thefindings to other user groups. The findings of the study provide insights on the relevance of instructional design elements to an effective e-learning environment.
Practical implications
– The findings should assist instructors and e-learning implementers indesigning course materialsthat wouldbe moreeffective for e-learning atthetertiary level ofeducation.
Originality/value
– The research provides some evidence from an e-learners’ perspective on theeffectiveness of instructional design for an e-learning environment in the Malaysian context.
Keywords
E-learning, Curriculum development, Tertiary education
Paper type
Research paper
Introduction
The availability of interactive technology has enabled e-learning to move fromtextbook or classroom metaphor to more experimental learning models. According toChandra (2002), such tools provide educators an opportunity to build into the courseinteractive experiential exercises that allow the instructor to obtain a highly accurateimage of the students’ levels of understanding.McLoughlin (1999) states that in open and flexible learning context, instructionalmaterials have the capacity to cater for individual needs while enabling collaborativeformsoflearning.Attheoutset,whendesigningmaterialsforagivengroupoflearners,instructionaldesignerstypicallycarryoutaneedsanalysisorprofileoflearnersinorder
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/1065-0741.htm
CWIS26,1
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Campus-Wide Information SystemsVol. 26 No. 1, 2009pp. 4-19
q
Emerald Group Publishing Limited1065-0741DOI 10.1108/10650740910921537
 
toascertainthepriorknowledge,motives,backgroundinterests,attitudeandexperienceof learners. Instructional practice and information gained from such a needs analysisenablethedesignoflearningresourcestobetailoredcloselytotheneedsofthelearners.Instructionaldesignerscustomarilyacknowledgeindividualdifferencesintheirdesignsand plan to adopt instruction to the needs of individual learners.The present study aims to identify effective instructional design principles, that is,the factors or elements of instructional design of e-learning systems that help thestudents to intellectually engage with and develop a critical perspective on the materialavailable to them and could be used to enhance their learning. Thus, the study aims toachieve the following objectives:
.
toinvestigate the elements ofaneffectiveinstructional designine-learning studyenvironment in selected Malaysian higher learning institutions; and
.
to investigate the e-learning use behaviour in these selected institutions.
Research background
The use of the term e-learning is more rapidly changing than the content andapproaches to e-learning. Before the term “e-learning” became a household word, suchterms like open distance learning, web based training (WBT), computer based training(CBT), technology based learning and online learning, were used. Today, e-learningmay be defined as the delivery of formal and informal learning and training activities,processes, communities and events via the use of all electronic media like internet,intranet, extranet, CD-ROM, video tape, DVD,TV, cell phones, personal organizers, etc.The terms distance education and distance learning are often used interchangeably.The definitions for distance learning vary from a term used to describe a morestudent-centred approach to distance education to a synonym for distance education.Distance education is an instruction that takes place in different locations; that is, theprofessor and students are separated by distance and time, and communicate viamedia. In distance education courses, the instruction is prepared and packed days,weeks, months, or a year before the act of learning by the student. This time differencecreates an environment quite distinct from the typical face-to-face instruction of thecollege classroom where the teaching and learning take place in the same time frameand with the professor and student in the same room.Khan (2003) stated that an e-learning system is meaningful to learners when it iseasily accessible, well designed, learners-centre, affordable, efficient, flexible and hasfacilitated learning environment. When learners display a high level of participatingand success in meeting a course’s goals and objectives, this can make e-learningmeaningful to instructors. In turn, when learners enjoy all available support providedin course without any interruption, it makes support service staff happy as they striveto provide easy-to-use, reliable services. Finally, e-learning system is meaningful toinstitutions when it has a sound return-on-investment, a moderate to high levellearner’s satisfaction with both the quality of instruction and al support services, and alow drop-out-rate.Brown (1997) described the pedagogical for the online course in MurdochUniversity. The economics lecturer could see the enormous potential of the worldwideweb as an extremely rich information source. By using hypertext and learner activityforthe onlinecourse “Economicthoughtand controversy,”hedeliberatelyseekstogivelearners more self-directed access to that rich information base.
Instructionaldesign ande-learning
5
 
E-learning in Malaysia
E-learning was introduced at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR) in September1998. At that time, there were only 162 students registered for the two undergraduatedegree programmes namely Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelorof Information Technology (BIT) (Jaiballan and Asirvatham, 2003). According to asurvey conducted by the Multimedia University in October 2003, 65 per cent of educational institutions in Malaysia provide online or e-learning solution. In these 65per cent of institutions, only 16 per cent is exploring the e-learning while 63 per cent of institutions are already implementing e-learning. Only 19 per cent of these institutionsare highly involved in this effort while 2 per cent are very advanced in e-learning. Thesurvey also indicates that the top reason for e-learning implementation in theseinstitution in flexibility. The growth rate of e-learning in Malaysia is estimated tosurpass 16 per cent by year 2005. Another well-established virtual university in thecountry is the Open University Malaysia (OUM). Since its establishment in 2000, OUMhas attracted more than 60,000 students. About 90 per cent of OUM students areworking adults. OUM is using a blended e-learning approach in its program, wherestudents meet their facilitators once in two weeks (Puteh and Hussin, 2007). With theadvancement of internet usage and broadband facility in the country has created andopen up more opportunities and positive development of e-learning in the country.
Instructional design elements
Siragusa (2000) mentions that various authors have identified components of instructional design they consider to be important to online learning. The authorsrecommended that further research is needed to determine which aspects of each typeof instructional strategy affects learning in emerging technology-based instruction.Instructional designers are constantly seeking effective instructional elements and areexamining what features of the internet can be best utilized for online learning. Basedon the past studies, the following are elements of instructional design commonlydiscussed.
Content 
Content includes all the conceivable materials that the students may need and inalternative forms. The fundamental characteristics of web-based instructional systemsare their non-sequential arrangement of information content, and their facility forallowing the linking of information, which is conceptually related (Graff, 2003).Therefore, it is conceivable that such a system provide the potential for presentinginstructional information more effectively than traditional linear methods of delivery,becausethe interrelationshipsbetweenunitsofinformation canbeexplicitly illustratedwithin the web structure. Focusing on the navigating through the web will leave theuser fewer mental resources with which to process the instructional material.Alternatively, focusing more on the instructional material, and less on navigating mayultimately causes the user to experience a feeling of disorientation. The more thedisorientation the user experiences the more she or he will need to attend to navigatingand less processing the content, thus reducing the amount of learning that take place.The learning paradigm of today is described as “information transfer” (Moore
et al.
,2001), in which students simply receive the facts and information that their teacherswish to impart to them. Online instructional design needs to address more directly into
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