e-learning readiness e-learning

readiness in Malaysia in Malaysia

2004 2005

A Joint Study by the

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, Malaysia and Open University Malaysia

Editors:

Zoraini Wati Abas Kuldip Kaur Hairudin Harun

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, Malaysia

Open University Malaysia Project Director: Hairudin Harun, Ph.D. Head, Research Project/Lead Researcher: Zoraini Wati Abas, Ed.D. Editors: Zoraini Wati Abas, Kuldip Kaur, Hairuddin Harun

E-learning Readiness in Malaysia 2004 Study is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication, Malaysia and Open University Malaysia. For more information, contact: Zoraini Wati Abas, Ed.D. Head, Research Project/Lead Researcher E-learning Readiness in Malaysia 2004 Centre for Quality Management and Research & Innovation Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Phone: +603 2773 2002 Fax: +603 2697 8824 Email: zoraini@oum.edu.my

ISBN 983-3240-71-2 © Open University Malaysia This study was jointly funded by the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication, Malaysia (MEWC) and Open University Malaysia (OUM). Free use of the material is allowed for nonprofitable purposes provided that credit is given to MEWC and OUM. Cover designed by Center for Instructional Design and Technology, OUM.

E-LEARNING READINESS IN MALAYSIA 2004

E-learning Readiness in Malaysia 2004

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This national study to serve E-learning Readiness in Malaysia was carried out for the joint interest by the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication Malaysia and the Open University Malaysia. Funded by both organisations, this study was successfully completed following contributions by academicians, researchers and practitioners of E-learning at the Open University Malaysia as well as those from public and private higher education institutions, research and training organisations. The editors acknowledge the contributions made by the following individuals:Professor Dr Abd. Razak Habib, Open University Malaysia Professor Dr Abu Talib Othman, UniKL Professor Dr Kasiran Buang, Open University Malaysia Professor Dr Khairuddin Hashim, University Tun Abdul Abdul Razak Professor Dr Mohammed Yusoff, Open University Malaysia Professor Dr Nuraihan Mat Daud, International Islamic University Professor Dr Szarina Abdullah, Universiti Institut Technology MARA Associate Professor Dr Abtar Kaur, Open University Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Ahmad Hashem, Open University Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Halimah Awang, University of Malaya Associate Professor Dr Latifah Abdol Latif, Open University Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Mardziah Hayati Abdullah, Universiti Putra Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Rahmah Hashim, Open University Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Raja Maznah Raja Hussain, University of Malaya Associate Professor Dr Syed Abdullah Syed Othman, Open University Malaysia Dr Aini Ibrahim, Bank Negara Malaysia Dr Norizan Abdul Razak, National University Malaysia Dr Norrizan Razali, Malaysian Development Corporation Dr Tina Lim Swee Kim, Ipoh Teachers’ Training College Azizah Hamzah, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Chng Loi Peng, Open University Malaysia Fitri Suraya Mohamad, UNIMAS Nik Azlina Nik Yaakob, Open University Malaysia Norhaizan Mat Talha, MIMOS (Malaysian Institute of Microelectronics Systems) Rohani Ismail, MIMOS (Malaysian Institute of Microelectronics Systems) Rokiah Idris, Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications Rubaiah Hashim, Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications Santhi Raghavan, Open University Malaysia Sukor ‘Ain, UniKL

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Sulaiman Sarkawi, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Tengku Putri Norishah Tengku Shariman, Multimedia University Turidi Mat, Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications We are also indebted and thankful to those who supported and helped administer the survey forms in their respective organisations. Without their kind help and coorporation, the study would not have been completed. We thank all respondents of the study for having taken the time to answer the survey questions and for giving the valuable feedback. Last but not least, we thank our meticulous editorial assistants Hazliza Hazlan and Iryanty Mohd Omar as weel as our valuable research assistants Ina Masniza Isa, Lily Suriyani Zahari, Siti Haslinah Abdul Rahman and Novel a/l Lydon.

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TERMS OF REFERENCE
1. In November 2003, Open University Malaysia (OUM) was given the task of putting together a steering a committee for the study of Elearning Readiness among Malaysians by the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications (MEWC), Malaysia. The focus of the study was E-learning Readiness of individuals enrolled in or connected with the provision of E-learning solutions in Malaysian tertiary institutions. For the purpose of data collection, online and printed questionnaires were administrated among four groups of respondents: policy makers, E-learning providers, enablers (lecturers or trainers), and receivers (students or trainees). The instruments used in the study were developed by a group of academics and researchers from several research, training and tertiary institutions, under the purview of Open University Malaysia. The study was aimed at providing empirical data on E-learning Readiness among Malaysians, and outlining recommendations related to the following areas of capacity building: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. 5. Human Resource Development Research and Development Infrastructure Infostructure Institutional Framework Policy Initiatives Benchmarking

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It was determined that the Centre for Quality Management and Research & Innovation (CQMRI), OUM, and MEWC will have joint ownership of the results of the research and related products.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page Acknowledgements .................................................................................................. i Terms of Reference.................................................................................................. iii Table of Contents .................................................................................................... iv List of Tables ............................................................................................................. v List of Figures .........................................................................................................vii List of Appendixes ................................................................................................viii Chapter 1 Introduction ....................................................................................................... 1 1.1 The Study ................................................................................................ 1 1.2 Literature Review................................................................................... 4 1.3 Research Questions ................................................................................ 6 1.4 Methodology........................................................................................... 7 2 Policy Makers and Organisations ................................................................. 14 2.1 Demographic Profile............................................................................ 14 2.2 Patterns of Readiness ........................................................................... 16 2.3 Overall Perceptions.............................................................................. 21 2.4 Summary ............................................................................................... 22 3 Providers .......................................................................................................... 28 3.1 Demographic Profile............................................................................ 28 3.2 Patterns of Readiness ........................................................................... 34 3.3 Perception of Overall Perceptions...................................................... 41 3.4 Summary ............................................................................................... 49 4 Enablers ............................................................................................................ 50 4.1 Demographic Profile............................................................................ 50 4.2 Patterns of Readiness ........................................................................... 54 4.3 Perception of Readiness....................................................................... 62 4.4 Summary ............................................................................................... 69 5 Receivers .......................................................................................................... 70 5.1 Demographic Profile............................................................................ 70 5.2 Patterns of Readiness ........................................................................... 77 5.3 Perception of Readiness....................................................................... 85 5.4 Summary ............................................................................................... 91 6 Summary and Recommendations................................................................. 92 6.1 Summary ............................................................................................... 92 6.2 Recommendation ............................................................................... 103 References ............................................................................................................. 109 Appendixes ........................................................................................................... 110

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LIST OF TABLES
Page TABLE 1. TABLE 2. TABLE 3. TABLE 4. TABLE 5. TABLE 6. TABLE 7. TABLE 8. TABLE 9. TABLE 10. TABLE 11. TABLE 12. TABLE 13. TABLE 14. TABLE 15. TABLE 16. TABLE 17. TABLE 18. TABLE 19. TABLE 20. TABLE 21. TABLE 22. TABLE 23. TABLE 24. TABLE 25. TABLE 26. TABLE 27. TABLE 28. TABLE 29. TABLE 30. TABLE 31. TABLE 32. TABLE 33. TABLE 34. TABLE 35. TABLE 36. TABLE 37. TABLE 38. TABLE 39. Areas of Readiness Measured for the Respective Target.................8 Demographic Profile of Policy Makers.............................................15 Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Management Readiness.................17 Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Personnel Readiness.......................18 Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness .......................18 Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Environmental Readiness..............19 Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Cultural Readiness .........................19 Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness........................20 Factors Hindering Organisations from Expanding E-learning Efforts ...................................................................................................21 Mean Score of Overall Readiness among Policy Makers...............22 Level of Overall Readiness among Policy Makers........................233 Demographic Profile of Providers ....................................................29 Number of Students Enrolled............................................................30 Ideal Bandwidth to Deliver E-learning ............................................30 Standards in E-learning ......................................................................31 LMS/LCMS used/to be used ..............................................................31 Provision of Applications and Services to Support E-learning.....32 Security Features Employed in Networks and Resource Servers.33 Connection to the Internet..................................................................33 Preference for Single point of Access for Local E-learning Content ...............................................................................................................33 Providers’ Perceptions of Personnel Readiness ..............................35 Providers’ Perceptions of Content Readiness..................................36 Providers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness ...............................37 Providers’ Perceptions of Environmental Readiness .....................39 Providers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness................................40 Factors Hindering Organisations from Expending E-learning Efforts ...................................................................................................41 Mean Score of Overall Readiness among Providers.......................42 Level of Overall Readiness among Providers..................................44 Demographic Profile of Enablers ......................................................50 Computer Use among Enablers.........................................................52 Popular Uses of Computer among Enablers ...................................52 Internet Use among Enablers.............................................................53 Preferred Channels of Communication among Enablers ..............54 Preferred Mode/Media of Learning among Enablers.....................54 Enablers’ Perceptions of Learner Readiness ....................................55 Enablers’ Perceptions of Management Readiness...........................56 Enablers’ Perceptions of Personnel Readiness ................................57 Enablers’ Perceptions of Content Readiness....................................58 Enablers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness.................................59
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TABLE 40. TABLE 41. TABLE 42. TABLE 43. TABLE 44. TABLE 45. TABLE 46. TABLE 47. TABLE 48. TABLE 49. TABLE 50. TABLE 51. TABLE 52. TABLE 53. TABLE 54. TABLE 55. TABLE 56. TABLE 57. TABLE 58. TABLE 59. TABLE 60. TABLE 61. TABLE 62. TABLE 63. TABLE 64. TABLE 65. TABLE 66. TABLE 67. TABLE 68. TABLE 69. TABLE 70. TABLE 71. TABLE 72.

Enablers’ Perceptions of Environmental Readiness .......................59 Enablers’ Perceptions of Cultural Readiness..................................60 Enablers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness..................................61 Mean Score of Overall Readiness among Enablers.........................62 Level of Overall Readiness among Enablers ...................................63 Number of Receivers According to Age ..........................................70 Receivers’ Place of Permanent Residence ........................................71 Organisation Enrolment/Attendance................................................71 Type of Course/training: ....................................................................72 Enrolment Status .................................................................................72 Computer Access among Receivers..................................................72 Frequency of Computer Use ..............................................................73 Computer Use at Work.......................................................................73 Popular Uses of the Computer among Receivers ...........................74 Popular Uses of the Computer for Academic/Training Purposes 74 Internet Use among Receivers ...........................................................75 Internet Connection at Home ............................................................75 Type of Connection at Home.............................................................76 Preferred Channels of Communication............................................76 Preferred Mode/Media for Learning ................................................76 Preference for Single Point of Access for Local E-learning Content ...............................................................................................................77 Predicted Use of E-learning ...............................................................77 Receivers’ Perceptions of Learner Readiness ..................................79 Receivers’ Perception of Content Readiness....................................80 Receivers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness ...............................81 Receivers’ Perceptions of Environment Readiness.........................82 Receivers’ Perceptions of Cultural Readiness .................................84 Receivers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness ................................84 Mean Score of Overall Readiness among Receiver.........................85 Level of Overall Readiness among Receivers..................................86 Overall Means for E-learning Readiness among Policy Makers, Providers, Enablers and Receivers ...................................................92 Areas of Readiness among Respondents by Rank..........................94 Summary of Findings .........................................................................97

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LIST OF FIGURES
Page FIGURE 1. FIGURE 2. FIGURE 3. FIGURE 4. FIGURE 5. FIGURE 6. FIGURE 7. FIGURE 8. FIGURE 9. FIGURE 10. FIGURE 11. FIGURE 12. FIGURE 13. FIGURE 14. FIGURE 15. FIGURE 16. FIGURE 17. FIGURE 18. FIGURE 19. FIGURE 20. FIGURE 21. FIGURE 22. FIGURE 23. FIGURE 24. FIGURE 25. FIGURE 26. FIGURE 27. FIGURE 28. FIGURE 29. FIGURE 30. Level of Overall Readiness among Policy Makers........................24 Overall Management Readiness for Policy Makers......................25 Overall Personnel Readiness for Policy Makers............................25 Overall Technical Readiness for Policy Makers ............................26 Overall Environmental Readiness for Policy Makers...................26 Overall Cultural Readiness for Policy Makers ..............................27 Overall Financial Readiness for Policy Makers .............................27 Level of Overall Readiness among Provivers................................45 Overall Personnel Readiness for Providers ...................................46 Overall Content Readiness for Providers.......................................46 Overall Technical Readiness for Providers ....................................47 Overall Environmental Readiness for Providers ..........................47 Overall Financial Readiness for Providers.....................................48 Level of Overall Readiness among Enablers .................................64 Overall Learner Readiness for Enablers .........................................65 Overall Management Readiness For Enablers...............................65 Overall Personnel Readiness for Enablers .....................................66 Overall Content Readiness for Enablers.........................................66 Overall Technical Readiness for Enablers......................................67 Overall Environmental Readiness for Enablers ............................67 Overall Cultural Readiness for Enablers........................................68 Overall Financial Readiness for Enablers.......................................68 Level of Overall Readiness among Receivers................................87 Overall Learner Readiness for Receivers .......................................88 Overall Content Readiness for Receivers .......................................88 Overall Technical Readiness for Receivers ....................................89 Overall Environment Readiness for Receivers..............................89 Overall Cultural Readiness for Receivers ......................................90 Overall Financial Readiness for Receivers .....................................90 Level of Overall Means for E-learning Readiness among Policy Makers, Providers, Enablers and Receivers...................................93

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LIST OF APPENDIXES
Page Appendix A. Appendix B. Appendix C. Appendix D. Appendix E. Appendix F. Appendix G. Appendix H. Appendix I. Appendix J. National Consultative Committee on E-learning.....................111 OUM Committee on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia ..........113 Working Group (Phase I)..............................................................115 Working Group (Phase III)...........................................................119 List of Major Respondents ...........................................................122 Survey Instrument for Policy Makers.........................................125 Survey Instrument for Providers.................................................129 Survey Instrument for Enablers ..................................................134 Survey Instrument for Receivers.................................................140 Biodata of the Working Group Members ..................................148

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1
INTRODUCTION
1.1 The Study

This report presents the findings of a nation-wide study on E-learning readiness (ELR) among Malaysians. There were four target groups of respondents: policy-makers, providers, enablers and receivers (see Section 1.4.1). The primary aim of the investigation was to assess the current state of E-learning readiness in the country. The respondents of the study were policy-makers, enablers and receivers in higher education, participants of in-service training in government agencies as well as among E-learning providers in the education as well as corporate sector. It is expected that the study will help address issues pertaining to the digital divide and facilitate the implementation of programmes based on national goals. The study also provides the government, through the National Consultative Committee on E-Learning (Appendix A), a baseline set of recommendations aimed at elevating the current level of ELR in Malaysia. Four instruments were developed for the study and these were administered online via the Internet as well as face-to-face using printed copies. As nations place greater emphasis on the global impact of e-education, most countries focus on cost effective solutions that may be implemented quickly. Needless to say, such programmes are facilitated by the availability of and access to ICT applications. It is therefore important to calibrate the ELR level of Malaysian ICT users so that, where the need be, human capacity development programmes may be implemented. In time to come, ICT education, knowledge and application will be more meaningful to Malaysians, and there will be a greater chance of producing quality local content. The impact of E-learning has been felt in both education and industry, particularly in more developed countries. In recent years, ICT development has spurred the growth of the Internet and networked technologies, influencing lifestyles, businesses, training and work processes. In Malaysia, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the
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application of ICT to pave the way for the country to move into the digital age. The MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) launched in 1996 is testimony to the government’s national ICT agenda. Thus, this study on ELR is important as it will help formulate new policies or develop initiatives to elevate the nation’s readiness for E-learning. The integration of ICT in educational institutions has also encouraged the use of ICT to respond to individuals’ learning and training needs. In the case of distance education or open and distance learning institutions, ICT has been used to deliver either parts of the curriculum or the total curriculum. In addition, ICT plays an important role in informal learning and provides a channel for harnessing the usefulness of informal content knowledge. The use of ICT in this manner has generally been referred to as e-Learning. E-learning has been defined in many ways, but it generally refers to learning that depends on or is enhanced by electronic or online communication using the latest information and communication technologies (Nagy, 2004). As defined by the Development Gateway, Elearning is “the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in support of distance learning, self-guided learning, and the traditional classroom” (Development Gateway, 2003). For this study, the proposed working definition for E-learning by the Elearning Readiness Working Group is the use of network and multimedia technologies to improve the quality of learning by enabling access to knowledge and remote resources for the development of a K-society. Across the globe, E-learning is growing at a phenomenal rate. It has had a tremendous impact on education at all levels of society and is a significant feature in knowledge-based economies. The use of ICT is increasingly being recognized as a building block of development in the knowledge economy. In many ways, expansion in E-learning is precipitated by sound ICT policy and programming. In the Malaysian scenario, Elearning is not only a growing industry but is, potentially, an important vehicle for the provision of education, knowledge and information to the public. Further, E-learning has been used to support formal learning, non-formal learning and informal learning. It has been noted that Elearning has succeeded when it is well-planned and implemented. Two of the country’s universities, Unitar (http://www.unitar.edu.my/) and Open University Malaysia (OUM) (http://www.oum.edu.my/) are currently offering their academic programmes via the hybrid and blended learning modes, respectively. Each incorporates the use of E-learning for teaching and learning. Combined, these two universities currently serve almost 33,000 students, 75 percent of whom are registered at OUM. In addition, a growing number of public and private universities throughout the nation are employing E-learning methodologies either to offer academic programmes via distance learning, or to support their full-time on-campus learners.

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Meanwhile, the Internet has been employed to successfully impart new knowledge and information (informal learning) via community-based projects. As of December 2003, there were 73 projects under the Demonstrator Applications Grant Scheme (DAGS) in Malaysia. Examples are e-Bario (http://www.unimas.my/ebario/), Nutriweb (http://nutriweb.org.my/), e-Pekak (http://www.epekak.net.my), The Malaysian Monarchy (http://www.malaysianmonarchy.org.my/), Reproductive Health of Adolescents (http://www.e-rham.com/), ARBEC Biodiversity (http://www.arbec.com.my/), Cybercare (http://www.cybercare.org.my) and Agritani (http://www.taninet.com.my). Other more recent developments include the preparation and implementation of an ICT roadmap. The roadmap is expected to be ready in 2005 and will be tabled at the meeting of the National Information Technology Council (NITC), chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Key to the implementation of the roadmap is the inclusion of all communities, thus minimizing their chances of being marginalized in the digital age (Kasim, 2004). The much-anticipated National Broadband Plan is also expected to kick off in late 2004. The plan was initiated by the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry and it aims to achieve a critical mass of 1.2 million broadband subscribers through national projects such as SchoolNet, eGovernment, Malaysia Research and Education Network (MyREN) and telemedicine. The SchoolNet project will provide a highspeed, always-on networking infrastructure to enable students and teachers to conduct online collaboration, prepare teaching materials and share documents. The project will link about 10,000 schools by the first quarter of 2005. Minister Datuk Sri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik was reported to have said that broadband penetration should be at 50 percent of the population if Malaysia is to be a developed country by 2020. The government’s immediate target is to increase the country’s broadband penetration rate from two percent of the population to five percent in 2006 and 10 percent in 2008, that is, when industry players are expected to roll out infrastructure at the last mile (Sani, 2004). According to a report by Foo (2004) more will be invested in setting up Rural Internet Centres (RICs) throughout the nation as a result of another bridging effort by the Malaysia govenment. It is expected that the number of RICs will grow from the existing 42 centres to over 200 by 2008. The secretary general to Energy, Water and Communications Ministry, Datuk Halim Shafie reported that the RIC project has trained more than 45,000 rural folks (farmers, housewives and students) in the year of its inception. The above are some of the key projects and plans by the Government. Among institutions of higher learning, various efforts and initiatives include providing not just physically wired networks but wireless networks, in the hope that students will benefit from course materials made available online. In some institutions such as Unimas and HELP
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University College, lecturers are encouraged to set up online forums for group discussions as part of the teaching-learning experience. Hence, Elearning is currently believed to be a potentially significant area of development in Malaysia. This study on E-learning readiness is therefore timely and will shed light on the current state of E-learning, E-readiness and E-learning readiness in Malaysia.

1.2

Literature Review

With respect to E-learning readiness in the Malaysian context, the following reports represent some of the seminal works on E-learning, Elearning readiness and E-readiness in the Malaysian context: 1. Report of the National Information Technology Council (NITC) Working Group on Electronic Learning, May 1999 (UNIMAS, 1999). E-ASEAN Readiness Assessment by ASEAN and IBM Global Services, October 2001. National ICT Approaches: Selected Case Studies (Malaysia) by Accenture, the Markle Foundation and UNDP. www.optinit.org/framework/pages/2.3.html Report on 2004 E-readiness Ranking- A white paper from the Economist Intelligence Unit, written in cooperation with IBM Corporation. Report of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue on E-learning by Open University Malaysia (2004).

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The above-mentioned reports have outlined several predictors of a country’s E-learning readiness. Some of these are per capita income, telecommunication networks, urbanization, pro-competitive macro policies and an emphasis on privatization. Research has also utilized a continuum-based approach to calibrating E-learning readiness for the purpose of cross-nation comparison and inter-oranizational benchmarking. For example, a report by ASEAN (ASEAN Secretariat/IBM, 2001) has indicated that ELR may be determined along a four point scale containing descriptors such as emerging, evolving, embedding and extending to describe the extent of readiness or a country’s level of E-learning programme implementation. A significant finding of the review of this literature is that there appears to be affirmation of a high amount of e-readiness among Malaysians, a point that puts us in good standing internationally. In an E-ASEAN Readiness Assessment Report (ASEAN Secretariat/ IBM, 2001) it was found that Malaysia ranked second on all assessment measures pertaining to infrastructure, E-society, E-commerce and E-Government. In terms of Ereadiness rankings among countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia
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has been ranked 8 in the years 2003 and 2004 (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2004). Among 64 countries from all over the world, Malaysia was ranked 33 in 2003 and 2004 for e-readiness. The study also found that Malaysia has been able to transform its technology manufacturing industry into one of IT and Internet-friendly support service. However, in the recent Global Competitiveness Report 2004 by the World Economic Forum, Malaysia was ranked 27th in the technology index, down from 20th in 2003. Minister Datuk Dr. Jamaludin Jarjis’ response to this was that his ministry has embarked on or will undertake a series of programmes to boost Malaysia’s ranking (Chow, 2004). One example is the plan to increase the broadband penetration rate through the National Broadband Plan. Other studies have also found positive indicators of Malaysia’s E-learning readiness. In one case study (http://www.optinit.org, 2004), it is reported that Malaysia’s “Vision 2020” programmes include development of the ICT sector to improve its competitiveness at a global level. Some of the initiatives cited for improving ELR are increasing ICT literacy, developing portals for cooperation among work communities and e-commerce initiatives. Past research has also provided an understanding of a number of constructs that may be used to calibrate the E-learning readiness of a people or a region. For example, a report on E-learning readiness in ASEAN countries, examined ELR using constructs such as infrastructure, political will, integration of business requirements into a country’s policies, legislation and regulation with regards to E-learning, as well as innovations that improve productivity and standard of living. On another front, the Economic Intelligent Unit used E- readiness criteria that assessed six categories: technology infrastructure, their general business environment, the degree to which E-business is being adopted by consumers and companies, social and cultural conditions that influence Internet usage, and the availability of services to support E-businesses. In comparison to the above list of ELR criteria, a study by McConnell International (2000), examined E-readiness using the following: connectivity, E-leadership, informal security, human capital, and the Ebusiness climate. Although operational definitions and assessment criteria for readiness are varied, it may be concluded that most measures of E-learning readiness examine the following dimensions: the learner, the management, the personnel, the culture, the provision of relevant content, as well as technical, financial, and environmental resources. In addition to measures of E-learning readiness is the issue of implementing sustainable and far-reaching imperatives for creating an Esavvy citizenry. In 1999, the National Information Technology Council (NITC) recommended three broad imperatives for the implementation of innovative and indigenous E-learning imperatives. These were:

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1.

The promotion of information fluency toward the right of access to E- learning for all Malaysians (p.27). The creation of windows of opportunity to develop new modes of learning and innovative learning strategies based on the new information and communication technologies (p.29). The development of indigenous content so that E-learning shall be imbued by Malaysian values, as it further infuses them into Malaysian Society. E- Learning will be driven by indigenous technology derived from national R&D (p.30).

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The systematic implementation of the above imperatives is deemed crucial as there appears to be a short supply of Malaysian professionals with ICT skills (http://www.opt-init.org/framework/pages/2.3.html). Further, there is a need to cultivate and train more specialists in Elearning, particularly instructional designers and E-learning content providers. Further, there is a need to develop more adequate infrastructure and to ensure the availability of broadband access to a wider spectrum of the society. Bearing this in view, this study on Elearning readiness in Malaysia has been carried out to provide input on Malaysian readiness in a number of pertinent areas.

1.3

Research Questions

The study focused on four groups of individuals: policy makers, providers, enablers and receivers of E-learning who were directly or indirectly involved in E-learning at the tertiary level of education as well as in training at the workplace. In particular, the study aimed to answer the following questions: 1. To what extent are policy makers enabling or ready to enable E-learning programmes within their respective organisations? To what extent are providers (private corporations, organisations, tertiary educational institutions and major technology providers) ready to embark or have embarked on E-Learning programmes? To what extent are enablers (tutors, lecturers and trainers) ready to deliver E-learning programmes? To what extent are receivers (learners and trainees) ready for E-Learning?

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The section below describes the methodology used in the study. Operational definitions of terms associated with the study are also included.

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1.4

Methodology

Prior to the appointment of the Lead Researcher for the study, in-house discussions by members of the management team at Open University Malaysia (see Appendix B) were held to conceptualize the study, discuss the research framework and develop the terms of reference for the study. A Lead Researcher was later appointed and provided the minutes of the in-house meetings and based on these, prepared the Concept Paper. The latter was sent to the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication (MEWC) in early February 2004. The first meeting to discuss the Concept Paper was held on February 9, 2004 with appointed members of the Working Group (Phase I, see Appendix C). The Concept Paper had outlined that the Working Group members will contribute from the point of fine-tuning of research objectives to the analysis of findings. This was however, not feasible as not all Working Group members were able or could contribute their time to the various phases of the study. A Working Group for Phase III (see Appendix D) of the study was formed comprising of some members from Phase I together newly incorporated academicians and researchers. Members of the Working Group were selected from amongst various organisations such as universities, research organisations and training corporations. They assisted with the following tasks: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Providing input on research design and methodology Identifying the target population Developing the instrument Eliciting responses from the target group Reporting findings of the study Writing the final report Recommending future measures based on eight areas related to capacity building: a. Human Resource Development b. Research and Development c. Infrastructure d. Infostructure e. Institutional Framework f. Policy Initiatives g. Benchmarking

The study employed a survey methodology using four instruments, one for each of the identified target groups, namely: 1. 2. 3. 4. Policy makers Providers Enablers Receivers

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1.4.1 The ELR Instrument Four instruments were developed for the study by members of the WG during Phase I. A customized instrument was developed for each target group with each instrument comprising of two sections (Section A & B). Section A contains items related to demographic variables and section B contains items asking for perceptions of readiness in eight areas via learner, management, personnel, content, technical, environmental, cultural and financial. The means of the readiness scores in the eight areas will be tabulated as in Table 1: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Learner readiness Management readiness Content readiness Personnel readiness Technical readiness Financial readiness Environmental readiness Cultural readiness.

The instruments for providers, policy-makers and enablers were prepared in the English language (see Appendices F, G and H). The E-learning readiness instrument for receivers (see Appendix I) was presented in bilingual form (English Language and Bahasa Melayu).

TABLE 1. Areas of Readiness Measured for Groups of Respondents Areas of Readiness Policy Maker Learner Management Personnel Content Technical Environmental Cultural Financial Provider Enabler Receiver

1.4.2

Phases of the Study

The study was carried out in three phases. The activities in each of the three phases of the study are described below: Phase I (January – April 2004) Preparation of Concept Paper (January 2004)
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Submission of Concept Paper to Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications (early February 2004) First Working Group Meeting (9 February 2004) Second Working Group Meeting (26 February 2004) Third Working Group Meeting (3 March 2004) Fourth Working Group Meeting (8 March 2004) Fifth WG Meeting (24 March 2004) Development of E-learning Research Tools Pilot Testing (February-April 2004) Phase I involved the preparation of the concept paper outlining the necessary research activities and methodology. The research design, methodology and development of the instruments of the study were then refined and respondents were identified. The four E-learning Readiness Research tools for the target group of respondents, respectively, were developed, piloted and modified before they were finalized. Members of the Working Group (Phase I) met and discussed the E-learning Readiness Research tool, with most face-to-face meetings held at the OUM main campus. Both the printed and on-line versions of the tools were pilot-tested with ten individuals from each of the four groups of target respondents. Phase II (May-August 2004) Data Collection Data Analysis Tabulation/Graphing/Charting of Findings The data were collected via the four E-learning readiness tools. These four tools were made available online through the OUM Website at http://www.oum.edu.my/ between May and August 2004 and in printed form. For the latter, organisations representative of the four target groups throughout the country were approached for their participation in the study. In addition, ongoing reports of the research were published in the newspapers and the OUM Web site. The electronic version of the instruments was available for a period of five months, and responses were sought among all members of the academic community and among the corporate workforce. In addition, 9,950 printed questionnaires were distributed and administrated face-to-face by several members of the Working Group and colleagues identified as key contacts in higher education and training institutions. The privacy of the respondents was maintained.

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1.4.3

The Respondents

The respondents for the study comprised the following: 102 policy makers in leadership positions (top and middle management) in both private and government organisations 75 providers from organisations involved in education, training, R&D, ICT and others 977 enablers who are primarily part of the faculty in private and government higher educational institutions, participants attending in-service training programmes and DAGS (Demonstrator Applications Grant Scheme) recipients. 4,625 learners and trainees from private and government higher education institutions and participants attending in-service training programmes. A list of the major education institutions that participated in the research is in Appendix D. Major institutions are defined as institutions with at least 50 respondents in the receiver category. 1.4.4 Data Collection and Analysis

The data for the study were collected between April and August 2004. All four instruments were administered nationwide simultaneously. In seeking respondents online, several batches of e-mail were sent out to identify respondents for higher educational institutions, MSC companies, and government agencies. E-mails were sent out to about 3,500 target respondents. A first reminder was e-mailed a week after the first e-mail was sent followed by a second reminder e-mailed ten days after the first reminder. In addition, a link to the survey was made available on the homepage of the OUM portal. Further, the study was publicised in the New Straits Times to invite respondents to the online survey. Target respondents were invited to respond online through e-discussion groups, email and during classes or training sessions held in computer labs. Altogether, these efforts brought in 836 completed online forms in all four categories. A total of about 9,950 printed copies of the four ELR instruments were distributed to the four target groups of respondents in as many educational institutions, agencies and individuals as possible. A total of 5,779 forms for all target groups of respondents were received by August 2004. The data were treated to descriptive and inferential analysis. It was at this time that Phase III of the study commenced. Phase III (August-November 2004) Workshop to report the findings recommendations (26 – 30 August 2004)
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and

make

10

Sixth WG meeting to discuss policy implications (9 September 2004) Preparation for the submission of the final report on the MEWC-OUM E-learning Readiness Study to MEWC (September-November 2004) Several members of the WG from Phase I were invited to view the findings, provide recommendations and suggest policy initiatives during a three and a half day workshop between 26th and 30th August 2004. The recommendations by the Working Group were incorporated into the final report submitted to MEWC. The findings and recommendations of the study were presented to members of the National Consultative Committee on E-learning (see Appendix A). 1.4.5 Operational Definitions

The definitions of the terms used to describe the (a) target respondents and (b) the areas of readiness surveyed are given below. It is to be noted that the definition of E-Learning had been operationalised by the Working Group as follows: as the use of network and multimedia technologies to improve the quality of learning by enabling access to knowledge and remote resources for the development of a K-society. (a) Target Respondents Enabler An individual who enables/facilitates the delivery and implementation of E-learning programmes e.g. lecturers, tutors, facilitators in public and private higher education institutions (IPTA/IPTS). Policy Maker An individual in higher management in charge of formulating or implementing policies related to training and instruction e.g. CEO, President, Executive Director, Managing Director, General Manager of a company; Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Director, Head of a department or educational institution at the tertiary level. Provider An individual or an organisation that provides or sells E-learning content and/or technology services to target institutions/learners. Receiver An individual who is a learner/trainee enrolled in an educational/training institution for tertiary education or attending an in-service course.

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(b) Area of Readiness: Content Readiness This refers to the variety and availability of appropriate E-learning materials. Basically it is how ready the institution/organisation is in terms of providing content for E-learning as perceived by the providers, enablers and learners/trainees. Cultural Readiness The enculturation of E-learning in terms of Internet use and networked technologies to disseminate information, communication, interaction and teaching. Basically it is how the institution/organisation is ready to enculturate E-learning as a mode for teaching and learning as perceived by the policy makers, enablers and learners/trainees. Environmental Readiness This refers to the readiness of the country as a whole in terms of the presence of government policy, the role of mass media, intellectual property regulations and proficiency in the English language. It refers to a readiness of a society/nation for E-learning as perceived by the policy makers, providers, enablers and learners/trainees. Financial Readiness This refers to learner/trainee and institutional/organisational readiness to spend or allocate funds to develop and/or acquire E-learning. It generally refers to whether a learner/trainee or institution/organisation is finacially ready for E-learning programmes as perceived by policy makers, enablers, and learners/trainees. Learner Readiness This refers to the readiness of the learner or trainee in terms of time commitment to E-learning, discipline and interest in E-learning as well as perception of the status of qualifications obtained via E-learning. Management Readiness This refers to the institution/organisation having a vision/mission or formulated policies related to the provision of E-learning and the institutional/organisational recognition of qualifications obtained via Elearning.

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Personnel Readiness This refers to the readiness of the institution/organisation in terms of having a central unit dedicated to E-learning initiatives with a team of dedicated instructional designers as well as staff development plan for Elearning. Technical Readiness This refers to the institution/organisation providing the necessary infrastructure for E-learning in terms of technical help, E-learning content delivery, broadband facilities as well as a Learning Management System (LMS).

1.5

Organisation of the Report

This report comprises six chapters. This chapter provides an overview of the national study on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia. Chapters 2 through 5 present the findings of the respective target groups: Policymakers and Organisations, Providers, Enablers and Receivers. Each set of findings is followed by a summary and a set of recommendations based on the findings. Finally, Chapter 6 summarizes the research findings and lists the recommendations for capacity building that the government, its agencies and related organisations could consider for the future of Elearning in Malaysia.

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2
POLICY MAKERS AND ORGANISATIONS
This chapter presents the findings on the extent to which policy makers are enabling or are ready to enable E-learning within their organisation.

2.1

Demographic Profile

As shown in Table 2, this study surveyed a total of 102 policy makers consisting of 30 (21.4 percent) top-level executives (CEOs, Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Vice Presidents, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Executive Directors, Managing Directors and General Managers) and 47 (46.1 percent) middle-level management personnel (Directors, Deans, Managers and Heads). The remaining 25 (24.5 percent) were in other leadership positions. Of the 102 organisations that participated in the study, 43 (41.7 percent) were located in cities and 59 (57.3 percent) in areas outside the city. There were more private than government organisations (55.3 percent and 43.7 percent respectively). The majority of the organisations (64 or 62.7 percent) were involved in education, training and research and development, while 20 (19.6 percent) were ICT-based organisations. Other organisations (18 of them) made up the remaining 17.7 percent of the sample. The number of employees in the organisations surveyed ranged from less than 100 to more than 10,000 per organisation. The majority (68.6 percent) of the organisations had less than 500 employees while 25.5 percent had between 500 and 10,000 employees. Only six organisations (5.9 percent) had more than 10,000 employees each. Sixty-nine organisations indicated that they had a student enrolment. Of the 69, about one third (36.2 percent) had a student enrolment of less than 1,000. Another 33.4 percent had an enrolment between 1,000 and 5,000 students, while 28.9 percent had between 5,001 to 25,000 students. Only one organisation reported a student enrolment of above 25,000 in its institution.

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In terms of Internet connectivity, 71 (69.2 percent) of the organisations have broadband facilities (e.g. Streamyx and leased line), while only 6.9 percent still use dial-up facilities. A total of 20 (19.6 percent) organisations, probably those requiring bandwidth capable of handling a massive amount of data, depend on ISDN or other lines. These findings indicate that the majority of organisations already do or are possibly ready to subscribe to higher bandwidths.

TABLE 2. Demographic Profile of Policy Makers Description of Respondent Frequency (N = 102) Position in the Organisation CEO/President/Vice Chancellor/ Vice President/Deputy Vice Chancellor Executive Director, Managing Director, General Manager Director/Dean, Manager/Head Other Total Location of Organisation Town City Total Type of Organisation Government Private Total Nature of Organisation Education/Training/R&D ICT Others Total Number of Employees (full time, part time, contract) Under 100 51 50.0 64 20 18 102 62.7 19.6 17.7 100 45 57 102 43.7 55.3 100 59 43 102 57.3 41.7 100 21 9 32 15 25 102 20.6 8.8 31.4 14.7 24.5 100 Percentage (%)

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TABLE 2. Demographic Profile of Policy Makers (continued) Frequency Percentage Description of Respondent (N = 102) (%) 101-500 501 to 2,500 2,501 to 10,000 More than 10,001 Total Number of Students Enrolled (for institutions with student enrolment only) Under 1000 1,001 to 2,500 2,501 to 5,000 5,001 to 10,000 10,001 to 25,000 Above 25,000 Total Connection to the Internet Dial up Streamyx ISDN Leased Line Other Missing value Total 7 40 15 31 5 4 102 6.9 38.8 14.7 30.4 4.9 3.9 100 25 12 11 5 15 1 69 36.2 17.4 16.0 7.2 21.7 1.5 100 19 15 11 6 102 18.6 14.7 10.8 5.9 100

2.2

Patterns of Readiness

Six dimensions of readiness were considered in the survey of policymakers: management, personnel, technical, environmental, cultural and financial readiness. The data in Tables 3 to 11 indicate the extent to which policy makers feel their organisations are ready for E-learning. Table 3 indicates that about two-thirds of the management in organisations are committed to E-learning. The figures in Table 3 show that the majority of the organisations (72.5 percent) already have mission statements on E-learning as opposed to 25.5 percent who do not. Almost two-thirds (60.8 percent) of the organisations have E-learning policies in place, compared to 37.2 percent that have not formulated such policies. In
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addition, almost two-thirds of the organisations also claimed to recognise qualifications obtained via E-learning.

TABLE 3. Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Management Readiness Yes No Missing Total Description n n value N (%) (%) n (%) (%) Institution has a vision/mission on Elearning Institution has formulated policies Institution recognises qualifications obtained via E-learning 74 (72.5) 62 (60.8) 65 (63.7) 26 (25.5) 38 (37.2) 31 (30.4) 2 (2.0) 2 (2.0) 6 (5.9) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100)

Although most of the policy makers feel that their organisations are ready at the management level, they were generally less optimistic about the readiness of their personnel (see Table 4). Table 4 shows that almost 60 percent of the organisations already have teams set up to implement Elearning, as opposed to 39.2 percent who do not. However, not all those teams appear to be supported by expertise in instructional design, as less than half (46.1 percent) of the institutions claimed to have teams of dedicated instructional designers. Only about half (55.3 percent) the institutions have central units specifically for developing E-learning initiatives; 41.7 percent have no such units. A similar division can be observed between organisations with staff development plans for Elearning in place (56.9 percent) versus those without plans (41.2 percent) for E-learning. Concern over the lack of support for personnel is substantiated by qualitative data in the form of policy makers’ responses to the open-ended questionnaire items, in which they noted the unavailability of a central, focused source of support and the need for someone to spearhead and direct E-learning efforts at the organisational level. In terms of technical readiness, the data in Table 5 show that a large number of institutions are already using Intranet (85.3 percent) and Internet (91.2 percent) to run their daily operations. These institutions (77.5 percent) have also invested in broadband facilities. However, only 37.3 percent use a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver Elearning programmes. The data in Table 6 indicate the extent of environmental readiness for Elearning. According to two-thirds of the policy makers, government policies and mass media play a role in stimulating their interest in exploring E-learning. The majority (85.3 percent) of policy makers
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surveyed (including one policy maker who specified this his response to the open-ended questions in the survey, felt that it is important to have a central agency which plays an active role in regulating competency development, research, intelligence gathering and E-learning initiatives in the country. However, in terms of question on policy makers’ readiness to develop E-learning content in their respective institutions that was a mixed reaction. This may be due to the absence of legal provisions for the protection of intellectual property. This concern was echoed in the written responses to open-ended questions. Some organisations (43 percent) felt that certain government policies hinder the policy makers’ plans to invest in E-learning. Additionally, over a third of the policy makers (37.3 percent) attributed the lack of environmental readiness to inadequate English language proficiency.

TABLE 4. Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Personnel Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Institution has a central unit dedicated to E-learning initiatives Institution has a team to implement E-learning Institution has a team of dedicated instructional designers Has a staff development plan for E-learning 57 (55.3) 60 (58.8) 47 (46.1) 58 (56.9) 43 (41.7) 40 (39.2) 54 (52.9) 42 (41.2) 2 (2.0) 2 (2.0) 1 (1.0) 2 (2.0)

Total N (%) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100)

TABLE 5. Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Institution using intranet technology to runs its daily operations Institution using internet technology to run its daily operations Institution has broadband facilities Institution has a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver E-learning
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Total N (%) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100)

87 (85.3) 93 (91.2) 79 (77.5) 38 (37.3)

14 (13.7) 8 (7.8) 21 (20.6) 62 (60.8)

1 (1.0) 1 (1.0) 2 (2.0) 2 (2.0)

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TABLE 6. Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Environmental Readiness Yes No Missing Total Description n n value N (%) (%) n (%) (%) Important to have central agency play an active role Mass media made my institution keen to explore E-learning Government Policy made my institution keen to explore E-learning Lack of legal provisions on intellectual property Certain government policies hindered our plans to invest Lack of English language proficiency Total 87 (85.3) 67 (65.7) 62 (60.8) 52 (51.0) 44 (43.1) 38 (37.3) 350 (57.2) 14 (13.7) 34 (33.3) 39 (38.2) 49 (48.0) 56 (54.9) 62 (60.8) 254 (41.5) 1 (1.0) 1 (1.0) 1 (1) 1 (1.0) 2 (2.0) 2 (2.0) 8 (1.3) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 612 (100)

On the issue of cultural readiness, it can be seen from the findings reported in Table 7 that the majority of the policy makers felt that it is likely for an E-learning culture to develop in their organisations. It was found that 68.6 percent of the policy makers agreed that E-learning should ultimately be the mode of learning in their institution, and the majority (90.2 percent) of them felt that E-learning will help their organisation stay competitive in the K-economy.

TABLE 7. Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Cultural Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) E-learning should ultimately be the mode of learning in my institution E-learning will help my organisation/institution remain competitive 70 (68.6) 92 (90.2) 32 (31.4) 10 (9.8) 0 (0) 0 (0)

Total N (%) 102 (100) 102 (100)

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According to the data in Table 8 which indicate the extent of financial readiness in implementing E-learning, almost half of the institutions (48 percent) have taken the initiative to provide computer loans which may be an important factor in motivating employees to engage in E-learning. The majority, that is, 68.6 percent of the organisations, provide funds for training and conference participation related to E-learning. Although Elearning content plays a vital role in E-learning, only 50 percent of the policy makers appear to have allocated a budget for developing Elearning content, and even fewer (48 percent) have a budget for acquiring E-learning content.

TABLE 8. Policy Makers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Institution provides a computer loan to the employees Institutions provides funds for employees to attend conferences and training on E-learning Institution has allocated a budget to develop Elearning content Institution has allocated a budget to acquire Elearning content 49 (48.0) 70 (68.6) 52 (51.0) 31 (30.4) 1 (1.0) 1 (1.0)

Total N (%) 102 (100) 102 (100)

51 (50.0) 49 (48.0)

50 (49.0) 52 (51.0)

1 (1.0) 1 (1.0)

102 (100) 102 (100)

The survey also identified factors hindering organisations from expanding their E-learning potential. The data in Table 9 indicate that almost half of the policy makers attribute the low rate of expansion to high initial investments (47.1 percent) and poor infrastructure (44.1 percent) while the rest of the policy makers apparently do not view these factors to be hindrances. Although initial investment does not seem to be a major problem, more than half of the organisations find maintenance to be more difficult, as 57.8 percent of them identify high operating costs as a factor, thus making the heavy investment required in meeting operational costs the biggest impeding factor. About the same number of policy makers (56.8 percent) lament a lack of support in developing appropriate pedagogical content. Similar views were noted in the policy makers’ responses to the open-ended questionnaire items: they expressed a concern over the lack of quality-regulated content, training and technical support as well as the absence of clear guidelines and policies. It is encouraging to note that the lack of belief in the necessity for E-learning is not a hindrance, since as many as 80.4 percent of the policy makers do not find it to be a factor.
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TABLE 9. Factors Hindering Organisations from Expanding E-learning Efforts Yes No Missing Total Factors n n value N (%) (%) n (%) (%) High Initial Investments 48 (47.1) High Operating Costs 59 (57.8) Poor Infrastructure 45 (44.1) Lack of Content 43 (42.2) No Necessity for E learning 20 (19.6) Other 11 (10.8) 54 (52.9) 43 (42.2) 57 (55.9) 58 (56.8) 82 (80.4) 90 (88.2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1.0) 1 (1.0) 1 (1.0) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100) 102 (100)

The open-ended responses also revealed an array of other factors that respondents felt to be impediments to E-learning initiatives. Among the reasons voiced were that E-learning is cold and impersonal, and that it should only be used to complement, not replace, face-to-face classes. Another respondent pointed out that students themselves do not possess the financial means to purchase computers which would support Elearning. Others voiced the need for communities to be more involved, leading to a suggestion by a respondent that broadband access is made more affordable to home users. There was also a call for greater recognition of degrees obtained through E-learning.

2.3

Overall Perceptions

An overall picture of the readiness of policy makers and organisations is reflected in Tables 10 and 11 and Figures 1 to 7. The readiness scale ranges from 1 to 10, where 1 indicates a complete lack of readiness and 10 indicates total readiness (refer Table 10). The findings indicate a largely moderate degree of organisational readiness for all six dimensions (see Figure 1). The highest rating of a mean of 6.14 was received for technical readiness and the lowest rating of 4.76 was attributed to environmental readiness. However, a more in-depth analysis of the scenario provided by the figures in Table 11 indicates that policy makers perceive organisations to be at a moderate to high level of readiness for four dimensions: management, personnel, technical and cultural readiness. The reverse trend is seen for environmental and financial readiness. The greater
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difference, however, can be observed in the levels of environmental readiness, where 27.5 percent of the organisations indicate a low level of readiness, and only 8.7 percent are in the high-level category. This trend was consistent with the views expressed by policy makers, who, in their written responses, indicate that they are disconcerted by hindrances to the implementation of E-learning. Hindrances were perceived to be in the form of of bureaucratic constraints and the lack of community awareness about the benefits of E-learning.

TABLE 10. Mean Scores of Overall Readiness among Policy Makers Area of Readiness (N=102) 1. Management Readiness 2. Personnel Readiness 3. Technical Readiness 4. Environmental Readiness 5. Cultural Readiness 6. Financial Readiness 5.98 5.87 6.14 4.76 6.02 5.26 2.474 2.307 2.321 1.925 2.111 2.552 Mean Standard Deviation

2.4

Summary

The findings indicate that in general, policy makers are financially ready and willing to equip their institutions with the necessary facilities to harness the potential of E-learning. They appeared to be most prepared technically and felt ready to employ E-learning as the mode of learning and instruction. Policy makers also feel that they are ready to put in place policies and mission statements in support of E-learning initiatives. However, at this point in time, these aspirations have not yet been adequately translated into concrete action or implementation of Elearning also initiatives. For example, organisations still need to establish effective central units for developing high-quality content that would materialise these aspirations. In addition, there is a lack of qualified instructional designers who can dedicate their time, expertise and effort to help develop customised content for the organisation. The biggest stumbling block at the moment seems to be a lack of environmental readiness in that the organisations, despite their readiness to embark on the route to E-learning, are not being sufficiently supported by sound Elearning policies, an effective central E-learning agency, and properly formulated intellectual property regulations appropriate for Malaysia.

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TABLE 11. Degree of Overall Readiness among Policy Makers Degree of Management Personnel Technical Overall n n n Readiness (%) (%) (%) Low (1 to 3) Moderate (4 to 7) High (8 to 10) N (%) 16 (15.8) 52 (51.5) 33 (32.7) 101 (100.0) 19 (18.6) 55 (53.9) 28 (27.5) 102 (100.0) 15 (14.7) 54 (52.9) 33 (32.4) 102 (100.0)

Environmental n (%) 28 (27.5) 65 (63.7) 9 (8.7) 102 (100.0)

Cultural n (%) 16 (15.7) 58 (56.9) 28 (27.5) 102 (100.0)

Financial n (%) 28 (28.0) 51 (51.0) 21 (21.0) 100 (100.0)

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Level of Overall Readiness among Policy Makers
70 63.7 60 51.5 50 53.9 52.9 56.9 51.0

Percentage

40 32.7 30 18.6 15.8 14.7 8.7 15.7 27.5 32.4 27.5 27.5 28.0 21.0

20

10

0 Management Personnel Technical Level Low Moderate High Environment Cultural Financial

FIGURE 1. Degree of Overall Readiness among Policy Makers

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25

20.0
20

16.8

Percent

15

12.9 10.9
10

8.9 6.9 5.8 4.9 4.9 6.9

5

10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Overall management readiness FIGURE 2. Overall Management Readiness for Policy Makers

20

16.7

16.7

16.7

15

13.7

Percent

10

7.8

7.8 6.9 5.9

5

4.9 2.9

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall personnel readiness FIGURE 3. Overall Personnel Readiness for Policy Makers

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25

20

19.6

16.7

15

Percent

13.7 12.8

10
7.8 6.9 5.9 6.9 7.8

5
2.0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall technical readiness FIGURE 4. Overall Technical Readiness for Policy Makers

20

19.6 18.6 17.7

15

14.7

Percent

10.8
10

7.8

5.9
5

2.0 1.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2.0

10

Overall environment readiness FIGURE 5. Overall Environmental Readiness for Policy Makers

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25

20.6

20

18.6

Percent

15
11.8

14.7 13.7

10
7.8 5.9

5
2.9 2.0 2.0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall cultural readiness FIGURE 6. Overall Cultural Readiness for Policy Makers

16.0

16.0

15
13.0 12.0 13.0

10

Percent

8.0

8.0

6.0

5

4.0

4.0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Financial Readiness FIGURE 7. Overall Financial Readiness for Policy Makers

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3
PROVIDERS
This chapter presents the findings on the extent to which providers (private corporations, organisations, tertiary educational institutions and major technology providers) are ready to embark or have embarked on Elearning programme in institutions of higher education.

3.1

Demographic Profile

There were 75 E-learning providers who responded to the survey (see Table 12). They came from MSC/E-learning companies, public institutions of higher learning (IPTAs), private institutes of higher learning (IPTSs), and training departments the country. Of from all over the total, 46 of these E-learning providers (61.3 percent) are located in towns and the remaining 29 (38.7 percent) are located in cities in Malaysia. Among the respondents were 54 providers (72 percent) from private organisations, and 21 providers (28 percent) from government agencies in the country. Of these, 43 (57.3 percent) were working in organisations that are involved in education, training and/or Research and Development (R&D). There were 24 (32 percent) respondents who represented the ICT industry, and the remaining eight (10.7 percent) represented those who were not in the other two previously mentioned categories. These Elearning providers also revealed that the organisations they work in have under 100 employees (32 out of 75 respondents, or 42.7 percent), between 101 and 500 employees (16 respondents, or 21.3 percent), between 501 and 2500 employees (4 respondents, or 5.3 percent), between 2501 and 10000 employees (15 respondents, or 20 percent), and more than 10001 employees (8 respondents, or 10.7 percent). Student Enrolment The E-learning providers were also asked about student enrolment at their respective organisations (see Table 13). Based on the responses to the question on nature of organisation, 43 of the 75 providers were from the educational/training/research and development fields. As shown in Table 13 there were 11 providers (25.58 percent) who stated that their student enrolment was between 10,001 and 25,000 students. The second

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highest number of responses was recorded for 10 organisations (23.26 percent) that have less than 1,000 students. Two groups of respondents (7 respondents each, or representing 16.28 percent for each group) disclosed that their student enrolments are between 1,001 and 2,500 (for one group), and between 5,001 and 10,000 (for another group), respectively.

TABLE 12. Demographic Profile of Providers Description Location of Organisation Town City Total Type of Organisation Government Private Total Nature of Organisation Education/Training/R&D ICT Others Total Number of Employees (full time, part time, contract) Under 100 101-500 501 to 2,500 2,501 to 10,000 More than 10,001 Total 32 16 4 15 8 75 42.7 21.3 5.3 20.0 10.7 100.0 43 24 8 75 57.3 32.0 10.7 100.0 21 54 75 28.0 72.0 100.0 46 29 75 61.3 38.7 100.0 Frequency (N = 75) Percentage (%)

Bandwidth for E-learning Delivery When asked about the ideal bandwidth to deliver E-learning, only one third of these E-learning providers (25 respondents, or 33.3 percent) perceived that the ideal bandwidth is 2 Mbps or more (see Table 14). There were 13 respondents (17.3 percent) who said that the ideal bandwidth should be between 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps. Another group (22 respondents, or 29.3 percent) said that between 512 Kbps and 1 Mbps is

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adequate for achieving the ideal bandwidth to deliver E-learning. The remaining 15 E-learning providers (20 percent) said that 256 Kbps or less is enough for delivering E-learning. This finding indicates that there may be some degree of ambiguity among providers with regards to the minimum bandwidth requirement to for delivery of E-learning programmes.

TABLE 13. Number of Students Enrolled Description Under 1000 1,001 to 2,500 2,501 to 5,000 5,001 to 10,000 10,001 to 25,000 Above 25,000 Missing value Total Frequency (N = 75) 10 7 6 7 11 1 1 43 Percentage (%) 23.26 16.28 13.95 16.28 25.58 2.33 2.33 100.00

TABLE 14. Ideal Bandwidth to Deliver E-learning Frequency Description (N = 75) 256 Kbps or less 512 Kbps to 1 Mbps 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps 2 Mbps or more Total 15 22 13 25 75

Percentage (%) 20.0 29.3 17.3 33.3 100.0

Standards in E-learning The 75 E-learning providers were also asked to respond to issues related to standards in E-learning (see Table 15). Out of the total, 49 (65.3 percent) agreed that there should be an adoption of standards in Elearning. The majority (62 respondents, or 82.7 percent) also agreed that there is a need for Malaysian instititutions to establish E-learning standards. Utilization of LMS/LCMS One of the modes of delivery for E-learning is the Learning Management System (Learning Content Management System). When the respondents were asked about the Learning Management System/Learning Content

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Management System that were used or would be used, the responses were mixed (see Table 16). There were 20 (26.7 percent) respondents who stated that they are using or would be using an Open Source Solution for their LMS/LCMS. Another 18 (24 percent) said that they are using, or would be using, an in-house product. There were also a number of Elearning providers who stated that they are using commercially available products like WebCT (16 respondents, or 21.3 percent) and Blackboard (7 respondents, or 9.3 percent). The remaining 14 (18.7 percent) respondents revealed that they are using other systems, such as TMS Seed and Lotus Learning Space.

TABLE 15. Standards in E-learning Description

Adoption of standards for E-learning Need for Malaysian Elearning Standards

Yes n (%) 49 (65.3) 62 (82.7)

No n (%) 26 (43.7) 13 (17.3)

Total N (%) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0)

TABLE 16. LMS/LCMS used/to be used Description Open source solution In-house product WebCT Blackboard Others

Frequency (n) 20 18 16 7 14

Percentage (%) 26.7 24.0 21.3 9.3 18.7

The E-learning providers were also asked about the applications and provisions made available to support E-learning at their respective institutions. Table 17 indicates that most, that is, 57 (76 percent) of the respondents provide interactive modules/materials. The survey also revealed that 74.7 percent of them (56 respondents) are already using an LMS or LCMS. From the total group of respondents, 73.3 percent (55 respondents) have technical support personnel available. The majority of the group (65.3 percent) also indicated that they have provided sufficient bandwidth for E-learning (49 respondents). Out of these 75 providers, 48 (64 percent) have acquired authoring tools to support E-learning at their organisations. About 44 of them (58.7 percent) said that they have video streaming capabilities, and 32 of them have server log analysers (42.7 percent). There were also six respondents (8 percent) who indicated that they also provide other applications and services to support E-learning at their organisations, but the actual applications and services are not revealed by the respondents in this survey.

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TABLE 17. Provision of Applications and Services to Support Elearning Yes No Missing Total value Description n n N n (%) (%) (%) (%) Interactive Modules/Materials LMS/LCMS Technical Support Personnel Sufficient Bandwidth Authoring Tools Video Streaming Server Log Analyser Others 57 (76.0) 56 (74.7) 55 (73.3) 49 (65.3) 48 (64.0) 44 (58.7) 32 (42.7) 6 (8.0) 18 (24.0) 19 (25.3) 20 (26.7) 26 (34.7) 26 (34.7) 30 (40.0) 43 (57.3) 69 (92.0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0)

Security Features in the Organisation The E-learning providers were asked to give information (see Table 18) on one of the most important features in E-learning infrastructure: security features employed in networks and resource servers (web). A majority of the providers, (63 respondents or 84.0 percent) said that they have virus scanners in place. Another 60 respondents (80 percent) said that they have firewalls, and according to 56 respondents (74.7 percent), their organisations have installed network monitoring systems. There were 37 respondents from the group (49.3 percent) who revealed that they have spam filtering in place. Provision for Internet Connection The survey also made inquiries about Internet connection that E-learning providers have at their respective organisations/institutions. It was found that, 34 respondents (45.3 percent) have provided leased lines at their organisations. Another 26 (34.7 percent) said that they have subscribed to a Malaysian broadband service, Streamyx. Another ten (13.3 percent) said that they have ISDN lines in place, and two respondents (2.7 percent) indicated that they are using dial-up services to gain access to the Internet. Another three respondents (4.0 percent) affirmed they are using other connections to the Internet. These findings are presented in Table 19.

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TABLE 18. Security Features Employed in Networks and Resource Servers Yes Description n (%) Virus Scanner 63 (84.0) Firewall 60 (80.0) Network Monitoring Systems Spam Filtering 56 (74.7) 37 (49.3) No n (%) 8 (10.7) 11 (14.7) 14 (18.7) 33 (44.0) Missing value n (%) 4 (5.3) 4 (5.3) 5 (6.7) 5 (6.7) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) Total N (%)

TABLE 19. Connection to the Internet Description Dial-Up Streamyx ISDN Leased Line Other Total Frequency (N = 102) 2 26 10 34 3 75 Percentage (%) 2.7 34.7 13.3 45.3 4.0 100.0

Preferences for Single Point of Access to Local E-learning Content This E-learning providers were asked about their preference for a single point of access to local E-learning content, as there are several Malaysian E-learning websites available currently (i.e. Utusan Education Portal, Kakaktua.com, CikguNet). More than half of the group (40 respondents, or 53.3 percent) indicated that they prefer to have one single point of access to local E-learning content (see Table 20).

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TABLE 20. Preference for Single point of Access for Local E-learning Content Description Yes No Missing value Total n n n N (%) (%) (%) (%) Single Point of Access 40 34 1 75 (53.3) (45.3) (1.3) (100.0)

3.2

Patterns of Readiness

The data in the following tables (Table 21 through Table 25) illustrate/show the extent to which E-learning providers are ready to embark or have already embarked on E-learning programme. The areas investigated in this study were related to the personnel, content, technical, environmental and financial dimensions. Personnel Readiness The majority of the group, 56 respondents, or 74.7 percent, stated that their organisations have a central unit which is dedicated to E-learning initiatives (see Table 21). There were 65 respondents (or 86.7 percent) who revealed that their organisations have a team to implement Elearning. There were 41 respondents from the group (54.7 percent) who stated that their organisations have a team of dedicated instructional designers. Almost three-quarters of the group, 54 respondents or 72 percent, said that they have a staff development plan for E-learning at their respective organisations. In sum, these data consistently revealed that the majority of these respondents are ready, or have been ready, to embark in E-learning initiatives at their respective organisations. In the open-ended item at the end of the survey, respondents were required to give comments on Personnel Readiness. One respondent mentioned that the number of personnel needed for E-learning implementation in his organisation is inadequate. Some also remarked that their lecturers (or enablers, as termed in this study) have a “couldn’t care less” attitude towards E-learning, and are reluctant to upload their contents on the E-learning system that they are using. There were also some skeptical comments that questioned the effectiveness of E-learning, which affected the way personnel at their respective organisations accepted E-learning. One of the issues cited was the lack of infrastructure, and another was the lack of demand for E-learning, as some personnel (or enablers) placed high value on the conventional face-to-face classroom interaction and considered it to be more effective than lessons delivered via E-learning. One respondent identified current practices in their organisations’ work culture as one of the factors that deterred personnel from implementing E-learning. The respondents also believed that E-learning should complement traditional or conventional learning, and should not replace the conventional form. It was perceived E-learning should be treated as an

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option or an alternative methodology to enhance learners’ skills and knowledge. The respondents also expressed their concern about efforts which focused on re-developing existing systems (or what they termed as “re-inventing the wheel”). Instead they suggested that more effort should be placed on developing expertise in E-learning. They believed that more staff would be willing to commit to the cause when there is expertise adequate to implement E-learning. Without the existence of proper expert personnel to implement policies or E-learning plans, the respondents believed that organisations should change the way human resources are assigned and had policies are implemented. In the case of academia, even though the management of some universities management had mandated the implementation of E-learning on campus, some lecturers were unsupportive and refused to upload their lecture slides, for example, into the E-learning system. Other comments include the lack of personnel to manage the E-learning initiatives, although funds were available. Some respondents also noted that it is common in many organisations to force personnel to develop their own E-learning content, without allocating any form of rewards or recognition. Though most of the comments collected in this category were somewhat negative, there were a few which were positive – some academics who responded to this survey indicated that they were very positive about the future of E-learning in Malaysia.

TABLE 21. Providers’ Perceptions of Personnel Readiness Yes Description n (%) Has a central unit dedicated to E-learning initiatives Has a team to implement Elearning Has a team of dedicated instructional designers Has a staff development for E-learning plan 56 (74.7) 65 (86.7) 41 (54.7) 54 (72.0) No n (%) 18 (24.0) 9 (12.0) 33 (44.0) 20 (26.7) Missing value n (%) 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) Total N (%)

Content Readiness As shown in Table 22, 48 respondents (64.0 percent) indicated that their content for E-learning was developed in Malaysia. About two-thirds of the group, 50 respondents or 66.7 percent said that their E-learning content was developed in-house. It is interesting to note that more than 65 percent or 49 respondents indicated that their E-learning content was developed using internal expertise. At the same time, there were 45 respondents (60 percent) who revealed that they have used external

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expertise to develop content for E-learning at their respective organisations. Although 60 percent revealed that they have used external expertise to build their E-learning content, a large majority of these respondents revealed that they are capable in developing content locally for E-learning purposes. In sum, these data reflect a trend towards internal content production. Responses to the open-ended questions of the survey instrument indicated that there was (a) inadequacy, (b) lack of quality and (c) high cost of development of content. To overcome these obstacles, the respondents suggested the formation of a nationwide content repository or an E-learning portal. This repository or portal would be used as a onestop centre to facilitate the delivery of free content to receivers or to purchase content sold by content providers. Thus, E-learning content could be organized according to different sectors, e.g industries, higher learning institutions, schools and E-learning providers.

TABLE 22. Providers’ Perceptions of Content Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Developed locally in Malaysia Developed in-house 48 (64.0) 50 (66.7) Developed using internal expertise Developed using external expertise Total 49 (65.3) 45 (60.0) 192 (64.0) 26 (34.7) 24 (32.0) 24 (32.0) 28 (37.3) 102 (34.0) 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 2 (2.7) 2 (2.7) 6 (2.0)

Total N (%) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0)

Technical Readiness Technical readiness examines the technical capability of an organisation to deliver E-learning. Aspects of technical readiness include infrastructure, access, and facilities. For this research, the E-learning providers were asked about the technical readiness of their organisation, in terms of providing E-learning. According to the survey, most organisations are ready to provide Elearning programmes (see Table 23). There were 68 respondents or 90.7 percent who indicated that their organisation is using Intranet technology to run their daily operations. The Data also revealed that 86.7 percent (65 respondents) are already using Internet technology to run daily

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administrative tasks. There were also 56 respondents (74.7 percent) who stated that their organisation already had broadband facilities. More than half of the group, 64 percent (48 respondents), indicated that their organisation already had a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver E-learning. However, the respondents commented that organisations should utilize local E-learning applications more them they did at present. On the other hand, the E-learning providers who responded to this survey commented that receivers did not appear to be technically ready. For example, broadband facilities are not available for rural grassroots communities. One of the feedback received from the respondents revealed that broadband connection is expensive in East Malaysia. Therefore, reasonable prices for broadband access should be introduced to encourage E-learning. Without broadband capability, the delivery of E-learning will be ineffective. Hence, it is recommended that point-to-point broadband (at least Super Jaring 34 Mbps) be provided as a possible solution. The respondents also suggested other system, besides the LMS/LCMS to further enhance the E-learning experiences of receivers. The suggestions included the establishment of a digital library or knowledge management portal for reference or research purposes. It was also suggested that all of these systems be integrated and parked under a comprehensive Campus Management System to provide value-added service at each educational institutions suggested services included the following: online student registration, online course registration, online academic progress monitoring, and so on. TABLE 23. Providers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness Yes Description n (%) No n (%) Missing value n (%) Use intranet technology to run its daily operations Use internet technology to run its daily Operations Have broadband facilities Have a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver Elearning 68 (90.7) 65 (86.7) 56 (74.7) 48 (64.0) 6 (8.0) 9 (12.0) 18 (24.0) 26 (34.7) 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 1 (2.0) 1 (1.3) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) Total N (%)

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Finally, it was suggested that steps be taken to secure the systems used to support and/or deliver E-learning systems from viruses threats, hacking and other deviant Internet practices. From the table, it is clear that E-learning providers have a high degree of technical readiness at their respective organisations.

Environmental Readiness A positive environment for E-learning is another crucial factor as it determines the success of E-learning deployment. For example, the government should establish policies which encourage and sustain the development and growth of E-learning in the country. When looking at the environmental readiness pattern in the data analysis (Table 24), 64.0 percent of the providers (48 respondents) government policies have enhanced E-learning in their organisation. On the other hand 42.7 percent (32 respondents) believed that certain government policies have hindered plans at their respective organisations to invest in E-learning. Almost 90 percent (89.3 percent, or 67 respondents) believed that it is important to have a central agency to play an active role in regulating, in competency development, in research, and in intelligence gathering of E-learning initiatives in Malaysia. This perception was held by almost half of the group (49.3 percent, or 37 respondents) who thought that the mass media has helped to promote the value of E-learning. About 62.7 percent of the group (47 respondents) believed that the lack of legal provisions on Intellectual Property (IP) have hindered the development of E-learning content. When asked about the lack of English proficiency, 48 respondents (64 percent) thought that it had hindered the progress of E-learning at their organisation. When asked to elaborate further, respondents stated that the educational sector like the Ministry of Education had not given full support and commitment towards E-learning initiatives. There is a lot of talk about Elearning, but generally most of the steps taken have not been effective. So far, most of the E-learning initiatives have been exclusive to an organisation, even though these initiatives could be extended to other organisations. So, it is proposed that a centralized agency set up to coordinate the efforts of different organisations. The mass media’s role as an agent of awareness was also seen to be important. The media was expected to expose the public to vital information on E-learning to enhance the public’s understanding of the concept of E-learning. I was perceived that once the concept is understood, the public would be more receptive towards the concept of learning via electronic means. The respondents stated that the issue of Intellectual Property should be addressed by the Government to encourage subject matter experts to

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develop E-learning content as most SMEs want to safeguard their IP. English is the most commonly used language for content delivery. Hence, the providers felt their receivers may be overwhelmed by the content available, and consequently became discouraged from learning online.

TABLE 24. Providers’ Perceptions of Environmental Readiness Yes No Missing Total Description n n value N (%) (%) n (%) (%) Government Policies made 48 26 1 75 my institution keen to (64.0) (34.0) (1.3) (100.0) explore E-learning Mass media made my 37 38 0 75 Institution keen to explore E(49.3) (50.7) (0.0) (100.0) learning The lack of legal provisions 47 28 0 75 on intellectual property has (62.7) (37.3) (0.0) (100.0) hindered the development of E-learning content Certain government policies 32 43 0 75 hindered our plans to invest (42.7) (57.3) (0.0) (100.0) in E-learning Lack of English language 48 27 0 75 Proficiency hinders the (64.0) (36.0) (0.0) (100.0) progress of E-learning Important to have central agency to play an active role 67 7 1 75 in regulating, in competency (89.3) (9.3) (1.3) (100.0) development, in research, in intelligence gathering, and E-learning initiatives in Malaysia

Financial Readiness Financial readiness refers to perception of the adequacy of funds allocated for E-learning. Table 25 shows that in terms of financial readiness, 64 percent (48 respondents) indicated that their organisations have not allocated enough funding for E-learning. The data revealed that 53.3 percent (40 respondents) stated that their organisations had plans to allocate funding for E-learning; in comparison, another 21.4 percent (16 respondents) revealed that their organisations did not have these financial plans, while another 25.3 percent (19 respondents) did not respond at all to this question.

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According to a respondent, one of the reasons for the reluctance to invest in E-learning (systems, human resource and so forth) is the lack of justification on the returns of investment. In sum, insufficient funds were perceived to be one of the factors that hindered the execution of Elearning.

TABLE 25. Providers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Institution have allocated adequate funding for Elearning Institutions have plans to allocate Funding for Elearning 27 (36.0) 40 (53.3) 48 (64.0) 16 (21.3) 0 (0.0) 19 (25.3)

Total N (%) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0)

Factors that Hinder E-Learning Expansion When asked about factors that hinder their organisations from going further into E-learning in a bigger way or for expanding further, Elearning providers indicated a range of opinions. There was an almost 5050 split in the group’s perception on whether high initial investments hindered into E-learning in a greater scale. There were 52 percent (39 respondents) who agreed to this factor, and the remaining 48 percent (36 respondents) disagreed. On high operating costs, 54.7 percent (41 respondents) did not agree that this factor hindered their organisation’s directions in E-learning, while the remaining 44 percent (33 respondents) agreed that it did. When looking at infrastructure issues, 54.7 percent (41 respondents) disagreed that poor infrastructure caused their organisations to go into E-learning to a larger extent. However, the other half of the group (45.3 percent, or 34 respondents) agreed with this factor. In terms of content, or the lack of it, 72 percent of the group (54 respondents) disagreed that the lack of content held up plans to increase E-learning initiatives. Only 28 percent (21 respondents) agreed that the lack of content was affecting the expansion of their E-learning initiatives. The rest of the respondents, 72 percent (54 respondents) thought that the contents available were adequate. This suggests that the providers were confident of the quantity of content offered to receivers. A majority, that is, 88 percent (66 respondents) indicated that they did not agree that their organisations were not reluctant to expand their Elearning plans, but there wasn’t any necessity for E-learning. There were about 88.2 percent (58 respondents) disagreed on factors other than those categorized in the survey, and the remaining 10.8 percent (17

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respondents) agreed. However, the “other factors” were not stated by the respondents. TABLE 26. Factors Hindering Organisations from Expending Elearning Efforts Yes Description n (%) High Initial Investments 39 (52.0) High Operating Costs 33 (44.0) Poor Infrastructure 34 (45.3) Lack of Content 21 (28.0) No Necessity for Elearning Others 8 (10.7) 17 (10.8) No n (%) 36 (48.0) 41 (54.7) 41 (54.7) 54 (72.0) 66 (88.0) 58 (88.2) Missing value n (%) 0 (0.0) 1 (1.3) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 1 (1.3) 0 (0.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) 75 (100.0) Total N (%)

3.3

Perception of Readiness

E-learning providers’ perceptions on the overall readiness of their respective organisations were generally positive. Using a ten-point Likert scale (the value “1” being “not ready” and the value “10” being “very ready”), E-learning providers were asked to rate the readiness of personnel, content, technical, environmentad and financial factors. It was found that technical readiness was the highest rated factor among the five areas of readiness. This was indicated by a mean score of 6.85 for technical readiness, with a standard deviation of 2.44. The second highest rating was on personnel readiness. A mean value of 6.52 on the 10-point Likert scale was recorded. The standard deviation value recorded for this item was 2.28, indicating a notably divergent spread of scores from the group. Content readiness was ranked third. The group’s average score on content readiness was 6.16, on the 10-point Likert scale (mean value = 6.16), and the standard deviation was 2.53.

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In terms of financial readiness, the group’s perception was tabulated at a mean value of 5.81 and a standard deviation value of 2.447. In their opinion, organisations were moderately ready to invest in E-learning. The lowest score was recorded for the item on environmental readiness. The group concluded that they have a slightly lower perception about the readiness of the environment (government policies, mass media and so forth), and the mean score for this item was 4.71, with a standard deviation score of 1.71, indicating a fair amount of agreement among the members of the group. To conclude, the E-learning providers who responded to the survey perceived that they were generally ready to embark E-learning. However, they implied that the environmental factors need to be improved before the society/nation can be ready for E-learning.

TABLE 27. Mean Score of Overall Readiness among Providers Area of Readiness (N=75) Personnel Readiness Content Readiness Technical Readiness Environmental Readiness Financial Readiness 6.52 6.16 6.85 4.71 5.81 2.28 2.53 2.44 1.71 2.45 Mean Standard Deviation

Overall E-Learning Readiness among Providers To investigate the overall perceptions of readiness among all E-learning providers who participated in this survey, an eye-ball observation of the overall data indicated that these providers’ perceptions were in the moderate range of agreement (between values 4 and 7, on a 10-point Likert scale), for four out of five areas presented in this survey. There are illustrated in Table 28 and in Figures 8 through 13. For personnel readiness, 40 respondents from the group (53.3 percent) indicated a moderate rating. Another 25 respondents (33.3 percent) scored on the higher end (between values 8 and 10, on the 10-point Likert scale), and the remaining 10 respondents (13.3 percent) indicated a low perception (between values 1 and 3). When asked to rate content readiness, the group continued to respond somewhere between the moderate and high values (between values 4 and 10, on a 10-point Likert scale). There were 39 respondents who had a moderate perception about their content readiness (52.7 percent), while another 23 respondents (31.1 percent) indicated a higher perception of their organisation’s readiness for E-learning content. The remaining 12

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respondents (16.2 percent) held perceptions that fell under the lowest level (between values 1 and 3) on the 10-point Likert scale. It is interesting to note that almost all of these E-learning providers, that is, 68 respondents (91.8 percent) indicated a more positive perception (scoring between values 4 and 10) about technical readiness at their organisations. Only six respondents (8.1 percent) thought they were not technically ready to provide E-learning at their organisations. For environmental readiness for E-learning, the majority of the respondents (52 respondents, or 70.3 percent) gave moderate ratings. There were four respondents (5.4 percent) who recorded higher perception values (between values 8 and 10, on a 10-point Likert scale), and another group (18 respondents, or 24.3 percent) indicated the lowest perception values (between values 1 and 3). Finally, for financial readiness, the group again recorded a more positive perception about their organisations’ readiness to provide E-learning. There were 40 respondents (54.8 percent) who believed that their organisations were moderately ready to finance E-learning, while another 20 respondents (27.4 percent) said that their organisations are very ready to finance E-learning. The remaining 13 respondents (17.8 percent) thought that their respective organisations were not ready to finance Elearning initiatives at their organisations.

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TABLE 28. Level of Overall Readiness among Providers Level of Overall Personnel Content Readiness N N (%) (%) Low 10 12 (1 to 3) (13.3) (16.2) Moderate 40 39 (4 to 7) (53.3) (52.7) High 25 23 (8 to 10) (33.3) (31.1) N 75 74 (%) (100.0) (100.0)

Technical N (%) 6 (8.1) 32 (43.2) 36 (48.6) 74 (100.0)

Environmental N (%) 18 (24.3) 52 (70.3) 4 (5.4) 74 (100.0)

Financial N (%) 13 (17.8) 40 (54.8) 20 (27.4) 73 (100.0)

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Level of Overall Readiness among Providers

80 70.3 70

60

53.3

52.7 48.6

54.8

50 Percentage

43.2

40

33.3

31.1 27.4 24.3 16.2 17.8

30

20

13.3 8.1 5.4

10

0 Personnel Content Technical Level Low Moderate High Environment Financial

FIGURE 8. Level of Overall Readiness among Providers

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25

24.0

20 17.3 15

Percent

13.3 12.0 10.7 10 9.3

5.3 5 2.7 2.00 0 1.00 2.00

5.3

5.00 3.00 5.00 6.00 7.00 8.00 9.00 10.00

Overall Personnel Readiness FIGURE 9. Overall Personnel Readiness for Providers

20 17.57 16.22 15 13.51 13.51 13.51

Percent
10

6.76 5 2.7

6.76 5.41 4.05

0 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 6.00 7.00 8.00 9.00 10.00

Overall Content Readiness FIGURE 10. Overall Content Readiness for Providers

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25 21.6 20 18.9 16.2

Percent

15

10.8 9.5 8.1 6.8 5.4 5

10

1.4 0 1.00 2.00

1.4 3.00 4.00 5.00 6.00 7.00 8.00 9.00 10.00

Overall Technical Readiness FIGURE 11. Overall Technical Readiness for Providers

FIGURE 12. Overall Environmental Readiness for Providers

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20

16.44 15 15.07

16.44 15.07

Percent

10.96 10

6.85 5.48 5 2.74 4.11

6.85

0 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 6.00 7.00 8.00 9.00 10.00

Overall Financial Readiness FIGURE 13. Overall Financial Readiness for Providers

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3.4

Summary

This chapter presented the varying levels of readiness among E-learning providers in Malaysia. It may be concluded that these providers are reasonably ready, or have been ready to embark on E-learning due to the following reasons: 1. Personnel readiness A majority of providers who participated in this survey declared that their organisation either has a central unit which is committed towards developing E-learning or a dedicated team to implement E-learning. This unit or team also comprises instructional designers. In addition, the respective organisations have a staff development plan for E-learning which reflects the significance of E-learning personnel. 2. Content readiness Most providers believe that they are capable of developing Elearning content. The providers claimed that the E-learning content, which was either developed in house or outsourced locally, is adequate for their respective organisations. A majority also stressed that they already have internal expertise to develop E-learning content. Technical readiness Most providers stated that their organisations have adequate technical infrastructure, facilities and services to successfully develop and/or deliver E-learning. A majority of these E-learning providers already have Intranet and Internet technologies, broadband facilities, and also Learning Management Systems in place for E-learning delivery. The respondents were highly positive about the readiness of their organisations.

3.

Although these E-learning providers perceived that they are ready, or have been ready to go into E-learning, in terms of personnel, content and technical readiness, they were also discouraged about the levels of readiness brought about by environmental and financial factors. The mixed perceptions are healthy, as they indicate the sensitivity and awareness of these E-learning providers towards elements that work and need to work, to ensure that E-learning deployment is effective and of a high quality.

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4
ENABLERS
This section presents findings on the extent to which enablers (tutors, lecturers and trainers) are ready to deliver E-learning.

4.1

Demographic Profile

The demographic profile of the enablers is shown in Table 29. The total number of enablers who responded to this study was 977, out of which 522 (53.3 percent) were males and 451 (46.2 percent) were females. The majority (37.8 percent) of the respondents were from the 31 to 40 age group. Another 28.2 percent were from the 41 to 50 age group; 23.9 percent were less than 30 years old and the rest (9.8 percent) were more than 51 years old. In terms of positions held, most of the respondents (90.2 percent) were professors, lecturers, tutors or teachers and a very small group of trainers (1.9 percent) and DAGS recipients (0.5 percent). The enablers were predominantly from educational institutions (92.2 percent). The rest were from government agencies (3.9 percent) and private organisations (2.6 percent). The main type of educational institution was public colleges or universities (55.6 percent) followed by private colleges or universities (29.3 percent). Training institutions made up 3.4 percent while the rest (4.9 percent) were from other types of institutions. The organisations were located mainly in cities (49.4 percent) and towns (48.9 percent). TABLE 29. Demographic Profile of Enablers Description Gender Male Female Missing value Total 522 451 4 977 53.4 46.2 0.4 100 Frequency (N = 977) Percentage (%)

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TABLE 29. Demographic Profile of Enablers (continued) Description Frequency (N = 977) Age Less than 30 31 to 40 41 to 50 More than 51 Missing value Total Position Prof/Lecturer/Tutor/Teacher Trainer DAGS Recipient Other Missing value Total Organisation Educational Institution Government Agency Private Other Missing value Total Educational Institution Private college/university Public college/university Training Institute Other Total Location of organization City Town Other Missing value Total 483 478 5 11 977 286 542 33 40 901 901 38 25 8 5 977 881 19 5 67 5 977 233 369 275 96 4 977

Percentage (%) 23.9 37.8 28.2 9.8 0.4 100 90.2 1.9 0.5 6.9 0.5 100 92.2 3.9 2.6 0.8 0.5 100 31.7 60.2 3.7 4.4 100 49.4 48.9 0.6 1.1 100

The findings on computer use among the enablers are shown in Table 30. Out of a total of 977 respondents, 98.6 percent had access to a computer. A high percentage of the enablers (95.8 percent) used a computer at their workplace. As for frequency of use, 95.9 percent used a computer daily or almost daily; three percent of the respondents used a computer once a week and the rest either never used or used it a few times a year or once a
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month. This shows that, in general, the enablers are keeping pace with the current trend of using computer technology for work related purposes. The list of some popular uses of the computer among enablers is shown in Table 31. The two most popular uses of computers were email (93.4 percent) and application software (91.8 percent) while the two least popular uses were chatting/instant messaging (38.0 percent) and online shopping/reservation/banking (35.2 percent). TABLE 30. Computer Use among Enablers Access to a computer Yes No Missing value Total Use of computer at work Yes No Missing value Total Frequency of computer use Never A few times a year Once a month Once a week Daily/almost daily Missing value Total 3 2 3 29 937 3 977 0.3 0.2 0.3 3.0 95.9 0.3 100 936 12 29 977 95.8 1.2 3.0 100

Frequency (N = 977) 963 10 4 977

Percentage (%) 98.6 1.0 0.4 100

TABLE 31. Popular Uses of Computer among Enablers Description Frequency (N = 977) Email 913 Application software 897 Information 771 Research 672 Downloading software 620 File sharing with friends and colleagues 567 E-Library 501 E-discussion/E-forum/Listservs 473 /Newsgroup Chatting/Instant messaging 371 Online shopping/online 344 reservation/online banking Others 41
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Percentage (%) 93.4 91.8 78.9 68.8 63.5 58.0 51.3 48.4 38.0 35.2 4.2
52

Four aspects of Internet use among enablers are shown in Table 32. The majority of the enablers (70.9 percent) admitted to having Internet connection at home; however, only 39.5 percent accessed Internet from their homes. A larger number (57.3 percent) said they accessed Internet from their workplace space. The most common type of Internet connection at home was dial up at 54.4 percent followed by Streamyx (13.3 percent). The two most common Internet connections at the workplace were ISDN (23.8 percent) and leased line (23.7 percent). This is most probably due to the fact that the enablers themselves do not wish to pay more than necessary for Internet usage at home whereas organisations/institutions have provided higher speed connectivity.

TABLE 32. Internet Use among Enablers Place of Internet access Home Workplace Others Missing value Total Internet connection at home Yes No Total Type of connection at home Dial-Up Streamyx ISDN Other Total Type of Internet connection for work place Dial-Up Streamyx ISDN Leased line Other Missing value Total
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Frequency (N = 977) 386 560 12 19 977

Percentage (%) 39.5 57.3 1.2 2.0 100

693 284 977

70.9 29.1 100

531 130 26 6 977

54.4 13.3 2.7 0.6 100

120 175 233 232 68 149 977

12.3 17.9 23.8 23.7 7.0 15.3 100
53

As shown in Table 33, the top three preferred channels of communication were email (94.0 percent), face-to-face (89.0 percent) and SMS (84.2 percent).

TABLE 33. Preferred Channels of Communication among Enablers Frequency Percentage Description (N = 977) (%) Email Face-to-face SMS Written memo Chat on the Internet Postal mail 918 870 823 392 379 236 94.0 89.0 84.2 40.1 38.8 24.2

The figures in Table 34 show that the three most preferred modes of learning among enablers were the use of printed materials (83.6 percent), online material (83.4 percent) and face-to-face sessions (78.0 percent).

TABLE 34. Preferred Mode/Media of Learning among Enablers Frequency Percentage Description (N = 977) (%) Printed materials Online materials Face to face CD-Rom, DVD Online lectures/tutorials Online conference 817 815 762 681 409 182 83.6 83.4 78.0 69.7 41.9 18.6

4.2

Patterns of Readiness

The study on enablers investigated eight dimensions of readiness, namely learner, management, personnel, content, technical, environmental, cultural and financial readiness. Learner Readiness As indicated in Table 35, 82.5 percent of the enablers felt that their students/community members are interested in upgrading their academic/professional qualification through E-learning. Another 80.2 percent claimed that their students/community members have used the opportunity to engage in E-learning. This augurs well for the
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development of E-learning in Malaysia. Further, 74.0 percent of the enablers were of the opinion that their students/community members are worried that the qualifications obtained via E-learning, although recognized by the government are not of the same standard as those obtained via on-campus courses. This requires a more assertive role on the part of the policy makers to acknowledge that E-learning qualifications are on par with conventional qualifications.

TABLE 35. Enablers’ Perceptions of Learner Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Students/community members are interested to upgrade their academic qualification Students /community members have used the opportunity to engage in E-Learning Students/members are capable of managing their time for E-learning Students/members are committed to E-learning Students/members must have good interpersonal or social skills Students/members are worried that qualifications obtained via E-learning will not be recognized Students/members are worried that qualifications obtained via E-learning are not the same 806 (82.5) 150 (15.4) 21 (3.3)

Total N (%) 977 (100)

784 (80.2)

171 (17.5)

22 (2.3)

977 (100)

572 (58.8) 517 (52.9) 646 (66.1) 661 (67.7)

373 (38.2) 415 (42.5) 296 (30.3) 250 (25.6)

32 (3.3) 45 (4.6) 35 (3.6) 38 (3.9)

977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)

723 (74.0)

74.0 (22.1)

38 (3.9)

977 (100)

An analysis of the qualitative data indicated that learner readiness is dependent on several factors. The enablers were of the opinion that urban learners are more ready than their rural counterparts. Besides that, they felt that E-learning is more appropriate and effective for those pursuing higher education and working adults and for those who are more proficient in the English Language. Most enablers perceived that greater access and know-how among enablers could ensure greater sensitization to E-learning which will in turn lead to a higher level of learner readiness. Another point raised by the enablers was that E-learning is very much
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learner-centred and therefore learners need to be more proactive and responsible when engaging in this mode of learning. It was also highlighted that E-learning is more suitable for non-technical subjects. It was observed that enablers did not refer to local content written in Bahasa Melayu or any other language. Management Readiness As for management readiness, the most obvious finding was that 82.6 percent of the enablers claimed that their organisation or institution has a vision and or mission on E-learning (refer to Table 36). Besides that, 66.7 percent of the enablers said that their organisation/institution has formulated policies related to the provision of E-learning and 61.2 percent believed that their organisation/institution is ready for E-learning.

TABLE 36. Enablers’ Perceptions of Management Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Organisation has a vision/mission on E-learning Organisation has formulated policies related to the provision of E-Learning Organisation recognizes qualifications obtained via Elearning Organisation is ready for Elearning 807 (82.6) 652 (66.7) 592 (60.6) 598 (61.2) 150 (15.4) 300 (30.7) 323 (33.1) 329 (33.7) 20 (2.0) 25 (2.6) 62 (6.3) 50 (5.1)

Total N (%) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)

According to the qualitative data analysis, management readiness is reflected in institutional investment in E-learning programmes. Although some enablers felt that institutions have a budget allocated to E-learning, it was also perceived that the lack of exposure and technical skills may hinder the implementation of E-learning initiatives. Generally, it was felt that co-ordination efforts, complemented by a well-planned and carefully monitored programme would ensure greater readiness. Most enablers thought that E-learning is a positive step towards the future of education and there would be a higher level of readiness if E-learning were implemented in schools for young children. Personnel Readiness In terms of personnel readiness, 71.5 percent of the enablers indicated that their organisation/institution provides technical assistance to staff and students. An important point to note is that over 60 percent of the enablers claimed that their organisation/institution has a central dedicated
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unit as well as a team to implement E-learning. This explains the low percentage (35.4) accorded to outsourcing of the organisation’s entire Elearning project and staff development plan for E-learning as shown in Table 37.

TABLE 37. Enablers’ Perceptions of Personnel Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Has a central unit dedicated to E-learning initiatives Has a team to implement E-learning Has a team of dedicated instructional designers Outsources its entire Elearning project to an external party/parties Has a staff development plan for E-learning Provides training on how to support E-learning Provides technical assistance to staff and students 635 (65.0) 664 (68.0) 519 (53.1) 346 (35.4) 346 (35.4) 628 (64.3) 699 (71.5) 307 (31.4) 281 (28.8) 410 (42.0) 570 (58.3) 570 (38.4) 314 (32.1) 227 (23.2) 35 (3.6) 32 (3.3) 48 (4.9) 61 (6.3) 61 (6.2) 35 (3.6) 51 (5.2)

Total N (%) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)

To a large extent, enablers indicated that there was a dire need for training the workforce to manage E-learning programmes. There were many calls for “manpower training” and for efforts to be stepped up toward the upgrading of enablers’ skills. Hence the qualitative data underscored the perception that there was a lack of personnel readiness. Content Readiness With regards to enablers’ perception of content readiness, 83.8 percent believed that the content for E-learning is useful and 80.8 percent said that it is meaningful. However, only 42.3 percent were of the opinion that the content for E-learning is sufficient (refer to Table 38). Qualitative data indicates that there appears to be a common perception among enablers that a great deal needs to be done before there is content readiness. This view is substantiated by the fact that enablers were “skeptical” and requested for more research on content. They also expressed the hope that issues of plagiarism and authenticity be
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addressed. Further, enablers felt that there is little or no readiness in as far as technical fields are concerned. They cited examples such as medicine, architecture, engineering and technical or science based subjects. Finally, there was a strong voice indicating a lack of readiness in replacing book-based and face-to-face learning with the E-learning mode of instruction.

TABLE 38. Enablers’ Perceptions of Content Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Variety of E-learning materials Content for E-learning is sufficient Content for E-learning is appropriate for the needs of the target group Content for E-learning is useful Content for E-learning is meaningful Adequate online content support 733 (75.0) 413 (42.3) 604 (61.8) 819 (83.8) 789 (80.8) 528 (54.0) 209 (21.4) 527 (53.9) 326 (33.5) 116 (11.9) 144 (14.7) 396 (40.6) 35 (3.6) 37 (3.8) 46 (4.7) 42 (4.3) 44 (4.5) 53 (5.4)

Total N (%) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)

Technical Readiness As shown in from Table 39, 67.6 percent said that their organisation/institution is using Intranet technology to run its daily operations, whereas 66.0 percent claimed that their organisation/institution is using Internet technology. Also, 65.2 percent of the enablers perceived that their organisation/institution provides the necessary infrastructure for E-learning. By and large, qualitative data showed that enablers strongly felt that there was little or no technical readiness as far as educational institutions, especially those offering higher education, were concerned. Oft-cited examples supporting the lack of readiness included the lack of access to Internet, lack of software, hardware and other equipment, as well as disruptive electrical power. In fact, one enabler said that “Malaysians were not really prepared for E-learning” and we needed “more of the traditional method.” Some enablers felt that readiness was directly related to access to the Internet, especially for all individuals who are in Elearning programmes.

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TABLE 39. Enablers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Provides the necessary infrastructure for Elearning Provides technical help to E-learners Overcome most of the technical problems myself Content delivery is satisfactory Using Intranet technology Using Internet technology 637 (65.2) 505 (51.7) 419 (42.9) 455 (46.6) 645 (66.0) 660 (67.6) 310 (31.7) 442 (45.2) 528 (54.0) 485 (49.6) 292 (29.9) 267 (27.3) 30 (3.1) 30 (3.1) 30 (3.1) 37 (3.8) 40 (4.1) 50 (5.1)

Total N (%) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)

Environmental Readiness The enablers’ perception regarding environmental readiness is shown in Table 40. When asked if they thought that the mass media has created public awareness in E-learning, 71.9 percent agreed. Meanwhile, 63.9 percent were of the opinion that government policies have made their students/community members interested in E-learning. On the other hand, 72.3 percent of the enablers believed that the lack of English language proficiency hinders E-learning adoption by their students/community.

TABLE 40. Enablers’ Perceptions of Environmental Readiness Yes No Missing Total Description n n value N (%) (%) n (%) (%) Government policies Mass media has created public awareness Lack of legal provisions on intellectual property Certain government policies Lack of English language proficiency 624 (63.9) 702 (71.8) 317 (32.4) 414 (42.4) 220 (22.5) 319 (32.7) 248 (25.4) 611 (62.6) 498 (51.0) 706 (72.3) 34 (3.4) 27 (2.8) 49 (5.0) 65 (6.6) 51 (5.2) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)

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Although most enablers acknowledge personal awareness of E-learning, many respondents lamented the lack of publicity, institutional involvement and government support for this mode of learning. Thus, by way of showing that there was a general lack of readiness, enablers felt that there was a need for strong policies to be put in place and for the recognition of E-learning initiatives. Further, enablers commented on the need to disseminate more information on E-learning, and for more literature on converting traditional modes of learning, or incorporating Elearning into current day educational programmes. Most enablers felt that there would be more environmental readiness if the government played a bigger role in making E-learning a more acceptable and recognized form of becoming qualified for a particular field of work. To that end, there were many calls for a national policy on E-learning. Cultural Readiness With reference to cultural readiness (Table 41), 86 percent thought that Elearning is an efficient means of disseminating information and 85.6 percent agreed that E-learning is an advanced mode of teaching and learning. However, 87.9 percent of the enablers believed that the personal touch is important in the learning process when using technology for Elearning. In line with that, 84.6 percent were of the opinion that the most effective method of learning is face-to-face and 76.5 percent said that the teacher is still the best information provider.

TABLE 41. Enablers’ Perceptions of Cultural Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Effective method of learning The teacher is still the best information provider An efficient means of disseminating information Enables learners and tutors to communicate and interact better Discussions via the Internet make learning more meaningful The personal touch is important In the Elearning process An advanced mode/stage in teaching and learning 827 (84.6) 748 (76.5) 840 (86.0) 678 (69.4) 679 (69.5) 859 (87.9) 836 (85.6) 127 (13.0) 206 (21.1) 111 (11.4) 271 (27.7) 267 (27.3) 87 (8.9) 97 (9.9) 23 (2.4) 23 (2.4) 26 (2.6) 28 (2.9) 31 (3.2) 31 (3.2) 44 (4.5)

Total N (%) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)
60

Joint Study by MEWC and OUM

The main theme that emerged from an analysis of the qualitative data on cultural readiness is that there is a readiness to take part in E-learning programmes, provided that it is not the sole mode of delivery. There was a resounding call for maintaining the traditional form of learning by a face-to-face interactive means where the human touch would allow for feedback and interaction. To quote one enabler, “a judicious mix of faceto-face and E-learning would probably provide the best results. Elearning programmes are in their infancy. Much more needs to be developed if we want it to be really effective.” Most respondents felt that the electronic mode of learning could enhance learning and is affordable and practical. However, there was a cultural gap between fully electronic solutions and those that provided traditional or blended learning programmes. Financial Readiness It is interesting to note from Table 42 that 85.3 percent of the enablers can afford to buy a computer and pay for Internet access. Further, 82.9 percent are willing to spend on Internet connection and 79.8 percent said that they are willing to buy a computer for E-learning. More than sixty percent of the enablers perceived that their organisations are willing to invest in E-learning for their employees. It is noteworthy that only 26.2 percent has taken a loan to buy a computer.

TABLE 42. Enablers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) Willing to buy a computer 780 (79.8) Willing to spend on Internet connection Taken a loan to buy a computer Afford to buy a computer and pay for Internet access Organisation provides computer loans to employees Organisation has invested in the provision of E-learning to its employees 810 (82.9) 256 (26.2) 833 (85.3) 653 (66.8) 610 (62.4) 170 (17.4) 139 (14.2) 687 (70.3) 114 (11.7) 284 (29.1) 322 (33.0) 27 (2.8) 28 (2.9) 34 (3.5) 30 (3.1) 40 (4.1) 45 (4.6)

Total N (%) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100) 977 (100)

Qualitative analysis on financial readiness indicated that enablers thought that Internet charges ought to be kept to the minimum to encourage
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greater usage for E-learning. In addition, they expressed concern that learners from rural areas may not be able to afford computers. An interesting point to note is that while the enablers felt that all enablers who are involved in E-learning ought to be provided with notebooks, not all organisations can afford to do so. In line with that, they proposed that the EPF withdrawal scheme for purchasing computers be revived to help more people buy computers.

4.3

Perception of Readiness

Enablers’ overall perception on the eight dimensions of readiness is shown in Table 43. The mean score for seven out of the eight dimensions was more than 5.50. The highest mean score was for cultural readiness (6.77) and the lowest was for environmental readiness (5.27), which happens to be the only dimension with a mean score of less than 5.50.

TABLE 43. Mean Score of Overall Readiness among Enablers Area of Readiness (N=977) Leaner Readiness Management Readiness Personnel Readiness Content Readiness Technical Readiness Environmental Readiness Cultural Readiness Financial Readiness 5.73 6.24 5.88 5.91 5.95 5.27 6.77 5.99 1.85 2.24 2.15 2.11 2.10 1.78 1.97 1.97 Mean Standard Deviation

Further analysis on the overall readiness is shown in Table 44. The figures indicate that the majority of the enablers perceived that the overall readiness for each of the eight dimensions is at the moderate level (refer to Figures 14 through 22). For all dimensions of readiness, the percentage of enablers who felt that the overall readiness was at the high level was more than those who thought that the overall readiness was at a low level. However, this trend does not apply to environmental readiness; a higher percentage was recorded for the low level of overall readiness. Percentages for the high level of readiness were more than for the low level of readiness for cultural, management as well as financial dimensions. This indicates that cultural, management and financial dimensions are favourable as far as E-learning is concerned.

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TABLE 44. Level of Overall Readiness among Enablers Level of Overall Readiness Low (1 to 3) Moderate (4 to 7) High (8 to 10) N (%) Leaner n (%) 118 (12.5) 659 (70.0) 165 (17.5) 942 (100.0) Management n (%) 139 (14.3) 518 (52.0) 320 (32.7) 977 (100.0) Personnel n (%) 146 (15.8) 556 (60.1) 223 (24.1) 925 (100.0) Content n (%) 130 (14.1) 575 (62.2) 220 (23.7) 925 (100.0) Technical n (%) 129 (13.8) 565 (60.5) 240 (25.7) 934 (100.0) Environmental n (%) 165 (16.6) 685 (73.9) 88 (9.5) 928 (100.0) Cultural n (%) 56 (6.1) 501 (54.0) 371 (39.9) 928 (100.0) Financial n (%) 80 (8.6) 560 (60.1) 291 (31.3) 931 (100.0)

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Level of Overall Readiness among Enablers
80 73.9 70.0 70 60.1 60 52.0 50 Percentage 39.9 40 32.7 30 17.5 12.5 10 14.3 15.8 14.1 13.8 9.5 6.1 8.6 24.1 25.7 16.6 31.3 23.7 54.0 62.2 60.5 60.1

20

0 Learner Management Personnel Content Technical Level Low Moderate High Environment Cultural Financial

FIGURE 14. Level of Overall Readiness among Enablers
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25
22.2

20
17.8

18.5

Percent

15
11.5 12.3

10

8.5

5
2.8 1.2 3.2 2.0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Learner Readiness FIGURE 15. Overall Learner Readiness for Enablers

15.6

15
13.6

14.7

14.8

Percent

10

9.1 8.7 7.5

9.2

5
3.8 3.0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Management FIGURE 16. Overall Management Readiness For Enablers
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20
18.5 17.5

15

14.9 13.8

Percent
10
7.5 7.4 5.5

9.2

5
2.8 2.9

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Personnel Readiness FIGURE 17. Overall Personnel Readiness for Enablers

20
18.5 16.6 17.3

15
12.4

Percent

10

9.7 8.2 6.7 5.1

5
3.1 2.3

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Content Readiness FIGURE 18. Overall Content Readiness for Enablers
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20

17.9 16.4 16.5 16.1

15

Percent

10

9.7

6.9 6.0 4.9

5
3.6 2.0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Technical Readiness FIGURE 19. Overall Technical Readiness for Enablers

25
23.0 21.0

20

Percent

15

14.9

15.0

10

9.6

5.9

6.0

5
2.5 1.2 1.0

10

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Environmental Readiness FIGURE 20. Overall Environmental Readiness for Enablers
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25

20.0 20 17.6 17.0

Percent

15 12.6 12.6

10 7.3 6.8 5 1.6 0.8 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3.7

Overall Cultural Readiness FIGURE 21. Overall Cultural Readiness for Enablers

25

20.9

20
17.8 16.2 15.8

Percent

15

10
7.2

9.6

5
2.8 1.4

4.4

3.9

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Financial Readiness FIGURE 22. Overall Financial Readiness for Enablers
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4.4

Summary

From this study, it can be concluded that generally, the enablers have a positive attitude towards E-learning. This is reflected in the high percentage of enablers that have access to a computer with Internet facilities, and are using it on a daily basis. However, the enablers felt that E-learning is best used together with the printed mode and the more conventional face-to-face mode of interaction. Overall, the enablers perceived that the readiness of each of the eight dimensions is at a moderate level. The factors which appear to impede the overall readiness as highlighted by the enablers include: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. the poor recognition of qualifications obtained via E-learning; the perceived lack of effectiveness of its use in specialized and technical subjects; insufficient software, hardware and other computer related equipment; the lack of availability of Internet access, especially in rural areas; accessibility and last-mile problems when using the Internet; the high financial demands on learners in acquiring computers and using Internet in E-learning; insufficient E-learning content; the lack of proficiency in the English Language among learners; the lack of training on E-learning for enablers; and the lack of aggressiveness on the part of the authorities concerned in disseminating information on E-learning as well as inculcating the culture of E-learning amongst Malaysians.

On a positive note, cultural readiness was accorded the highest rating by the enablers. This is most probably due to their strong belief that Elearning is an advanced mode of teaching and learning as well as an efficient way of sharing information. On the other hand, they felt apprehensive about the use of E-learning as the sole mode of instruction. They advocated an integration of E-learning with other conventional modes of instruction such as face-to-face interaction and the use of printbased materials for a more meaningful teaching and learning experience.

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5
RECEIVERS
This section reports the results of the study on E-learning readiness among receivers who are generally students enrolled in higher education institutions or trainees of corporate in-service training courses.

5.1

Demographic Profile

A total of 4,625 learners and trainees responded to the questionnaire. Of these, 1,804 (39 percent) were males and 2,813 (60.8 percent) were females. The figures in Table 45 show that the number of females who participated in the study was a third more than the number of males. From the tabulation of data on age group, it can be seen that the majority of receivers were in the age cohort of 25 and below. This age group made up 70.7 percent of the total sample. The percentage of respondents tended to decrease as age increased. Thus, most of the learners and trainees involved in the study were young adults and only a few, 177 or 3.8 percent, were 41 years and above. The data is presented in Table 45 below.

TABLE 45. Number of Receivers According to Age Age Frequency (N = 4625) 25 and below 26-30 31-35 36-40 41 and above Missing value TOTAL 3269 436 447 283 177 13 4625 Percentage (%) 70.7 9.4 9.7 6.1 3.8 0.3 100.0

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The respondents came from various types of residential areas. About half of the receivers (59.5 percent) stated that they normally resided in towns, while about 27 percent stated that they lived in cities, and the remaining 12.7 percent claimed they stayed in rural areas. The complete tabulation of data on the receivers’ place of permanent residence is presented in Table 46.

TABLE 46. Receivers’ Place of Permanent Residence Place Frequency (N = 4625) City Town Rural areas Missing value Total 1250 2753 589 33 4625 Percentage (%) 27.0 59.5 12.7 0.7 100.0

As to where they were studying, the majority of the learners and trainees who were involved in the study stated that they were enrolled in public colleges or universities. They made up 66.2 percent of the total population. About one third of the population (31.3 percent) were enrolled in private colleges or public universities. Only 1.1 percent were enrolled in training institutes and 0.6 from other types of institutions (see Table 47).

TABLE 47. Organisation Enrolment/Attendance Institution Frequency (N = 4625) Private college/university Public college/university Training institute Others Missing value Total 1447 3064 52 27 35 4625 Percentage (%) 31.3 66.2 1.1 0.6 0.7 100.0

Out of 4,625 learners and trainees who responded to the questionnaire, the majority (63.8 percent) was pursuing a Bachelor Degree, and 25.1 percent were enrolled in a certificate/pre-University/Diploma programme. There were only 5.1 percent of receivers who were pursuing a Master’s Degree, and a small percentage of receivers were in a PhD programme.

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Refer to Table 48 for data on the type of course or training undertaken by receivers. TABLE 48. Type of Course/training: Description Frequency (N = 4625) Certificate/Pre-U/Diploma Bachelors Degree Postgraduate Diploma Masters Degree PhD Professional Course Certificate Course In-service Course Other Missing value Total 1161 2953 86 237 32 15 8 69 9 55 4625 Percentage (%) 25.1 63.8 1.9 5.1 0.7 0.3 0.2 1.5 0.2 1.2 100.0

The respondents were asked to indicate whether they were enrolled in part-time or full-time study. It was found that the majority of the receivers (77.1 percent) were full-time students and only 21.4 percent enrolled as part- time learners (see Table 49). TABLE 49. Enrolment Status Description Full time Part time Missing value Total

Frequency (N = 4625) 3566 989 70 4625

Percentage (%) 77.1 21.4 1.5 100.0

TABLE 50. Computer Access among Receivers Description Frequency (N = 4625) Access to a computer Yes No Missing value Total 3970 570 85 4625

Percentage (%) 85.8 12.3 1.8 100.0

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The data in Table 50 indicated that not every receiver has access to a computer. Those who do, however, represent a large majority (85.8 percent). Where computer usage is concerned, the data presented in Table 51 reflect that a good majority of the receivers (75.5 percent) use computers daily. Only one percent said that they have never used a computer before.

TABLE 51. Frequency of Computer Use Description Frequency (N = 4625) Never A few times a year Once a month Once a week Daily/Almost daily Missing value Total 47 130 118 809 3493 28 4625 Percentage (%) 1.0 2.8 2.6 17.5 75.5 0.6 100.0

In response to the question on whether they used the computer at work, 73.0 percent of the receivers (n=3821) who responded said that they used a computer at work and about 27.0 percent did not use one at all. A total of 804 (17.4 percent) of those sampled did not respond to the question, perhaps because it was only applicable to those who were working. Table 52 presents the data on this subject.

TABLE 52. Computer Use at Work Description Yes No Total Frequency 2790 1031 3821 Percentage 73.0 27.0 100.0

Table 53 provides a more detailed scenario of the purposes for which computers are most popularly used. A total of 82.7 percent of the respondents said that they used it primarily for academic/training purposes, a finding that is consistent with the fact that they werestudents or trainees. Other purposes include the use of application software (73.1 percent) and e-mail (72.2 percent). The high percentage is expected in the use of e-mail because it is very popular among the younger generation. Chatting was popular among 43.9 percent of respondents, followed by downloading of software (44 percent), and downloading of music (39.3
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percent). Other uses of the computer included file sharing with friends and colleagues, network games, e-discussions online, shopping and blogging. Table 53 displays the complete list of the most popular uses of the computer among receivers. TABLE 53. Popular Uses of the Computer among Receivers Description Frequency (N = 4625) Application Software E-mail Chatting/Instant Messaging Downloading software Downloading music File sharing with friends & colleagues Network games E-discussion/eforum/listservs/newsgroup Online shopping/online banking Blog Academic/training purposes 3381 3340 2028 2035 1818 1441 1282 1091 517 191 3825 Percentage (%) 73.1 72.2 43.9 44.0 39.3 31.2 27.7 23.6 11.2 4.1 82.7

TABLE 54. Popular Uses of the Computer for Academic/Training Purposes Description Frequency (N = 4625) Online Application Course Registration Course-related Materials E-library Information Course Assignment Research Others 1301 2184 2309 1631 2964 2941 2020 118 Percentage (%) 28.1 47.2 49.9 3.35 58.3 63.6 43.7 2.6

On the question of what learners used computers for in relation to academic work, a majority of the receivers indicated that they used it to write their course assignments (63.6 percent). Computers were also used by about half the receivers for obtaining information (58.3 percent), research (43.7 percent), obtaining course related materials (49.9 percent) and course registration (47.2 percent). A very small percentage, that is,
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3.3 percent, mentioned that they used the computer to access materials from the e-library (see Table 54). Since the receivers are all students or trainees, one would expect them to use Internet facilities available at their institution of learning more often than at other places. However, the findings reflect that this was not the case. The data presented in Table 55 show that a higher percentage of students (39.5 percent) accessed the Internet at home. Only 25.3 percent accessed the Internet at school/college/university. About 23.7 percent went to cyber cafés for these facilities. Table 55 presents the Internet use among receivers.

TABLE 55. Internet Use among Receivers Description Frequency (N = 4625) Place of Internet Access Home Cyber café School/college/university Work place Other Total 1829 1098 1172 273 22 4394

Percentage (%)

41.6 25.0 26.7 6.2 0.5 100.0

TABLE 56. Internet Connection at Home Description Frequency (N = 4625) Yes No Total 2596 2029 4625

Percentage (%) 56.1 43.9 100.0

Out of those who have computers at home, about half (56.1 percent) stated that they have Internet connection at home (see Table 56). The data presented in Table 57 show that the majority of receivers chose to use dial-up (78.0 percent) as their mode to connect to the Internet compared with other modes. Streamyx was the second most frequently used mode (17.2 percent). With regards to the channel of communication receivers liked to use, a high percentage of receivers indicated a liking for SMS (85.8 percent), email (83.5 percent) and face-to-face (76.4 percent). About half of the receivers chat on the Internet (57.2 percent) as a mode of communication. These results concur with the earlier findings on popular use of computer where a high percentage of the learners (72.2 percent) stated that they
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used it for emailing. The use of the written memo (25.0 percent) and postal mail (22.6 percent) was minimal compared to the other channels of communication. TABLE 57. Type of Connection at Home Description Frequency (N = 4625) Dial-up Streamyx ISDN Other Total 2025 447 71 53 2596

Percentage (%) 78.0 17.2 2.7 2.0 100.0

TABLE 58. Preferred Channels of Communication Description Frequency (N = 4625) SMS E-mail Face to face Chat on the Internet Written memo Postal mail 3966 3861 3532 2647 1156 1044

Percentage (%) 85.8 83.5 76.4 57.2 25.0 22.6

Data on mode/media used by the receivers for learning show that the majority of them like written or printed materials (86.0 percent). A large percentage (72.9 percent) of students like online materials which include e-books, e-journals and other web materials, and 72.2 percent like the faceto-face mode of learning. Only a small portion of the receivers like to attend online lectures or tutorials (48.1 percent) and online conferences (16.8 percent) (see Table 59).

TABLE 59. Preferred Mode/Media for Learning Description Frequency (N = 4625) Written (printed materials) Online materials (including e-books, ejournals and other web materials) Face to face CD-ROM, DVD, other multimedia materials Online lectures/tutorials Online conference 3974 3370 3338 3094 2224 777

Percentage (%) 86.0 72.9 72.2 66.9 48.1 16.8

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Where point of access is concerned, the majority of the receivers (62.1 percent) did not indicate a preference for a single point of access. Only 33.5 percent said that they preferred a single point of access for local Elearning content (see Table 60). When the receivers were asked to predict how E-learning would be used in the future, 78.7 percent of them agreed that training for every job on earth will be available on the Internet and only 19.2 percent disagreed (see Table 61).

TABLE 60. Preference for Single Point of Access for Local E-learning Content Description Frequency (N = 4625) Yes No Missing value Total 1550 2874 201 4625 Percentage (%) 33.5 62.1 4.3 100.0

TABLE 61. Predicted Use of E-learning Yes Description n (%) One day, training for every job on earth will be available on the Internet 3638 (78.7) No n (%) 887 (19.2) Missing value n (%) 100 (2.2) 4625 (100) Total N (%)

5.2

Patterns of Readiness

Table 62 displays the number of receivers who responded to this section of the questionnaire. In this section, ten items that deal with the receivers’ general perception of E-learning were asked. Overall, the receivers responded positively to all the items. The majority of them (89 percent) indicated that they were willing to make time for E-learning. About 83.5 percent perceived themselves as able to manage their time for E-learning and about 80.2 percent responded that they could discipline themselves to follow E-learning courses. The high percentages of responses reflect that the receivers were positive towards E-learning. In relation to the support given by their family members, 3,889 (84.1 percent) of the receivers felt that their family was supportive and only a few (13.6 percent) responded that their family was not supportive of Elearning. A majority of the receivers, 3,869 or 83.7 percent felt that in
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order to be a successful e-learner, they must have good interpersonal or social skills. About two thirds of the receivers were concerned about the recognition of the E-learning programmes (67.5 percent). In the openended section, some expressed strongly that they would only go for Elearning if such a mode was recognized by all sectors. To quote one: “My main concern is whether the government and private sector will recognize the degree I’m taking. Recently government made it clear that distant learning is not recognized. Is this true?” On the subject of whether they were interested in upgrading their academic or professional qualifications through E-learning, a very high percentage (83.0 percent) responded positively and only 15.1 percent said otherwise. The majority of them (85.5 percent) also responded that they would grab the opportunity to engage in E-learning. A big percentage (73 percent) also responded that they would be committed to E-learning. Only a few (12.7 percent) responded negatively. Many of the receivers (78.7 percent) felt that one day, training on every job on earth will be available on the Internet. Most of the receivers felt that their employers too are skeptical about Elearning as they felt that will not allow them to take time off for Elearning (21.0 percent) and not allow them to use office facilities outside office hours for E-learning (19.5 percent). A total of 36.1 percent of the receivers themselves were reluctant to use E-learning to improve their work performance. Content Readiness Most of the receivers responded positively to questions on content readiness. A majority of the receivers, that is, 3,763 (81.4 percent) said that there was a variety of E-learning materials for them to choose from. A small percentage (15.3 percent) said otherwise. Where availability of the content of learning was concerned, a high percentage of the learners (76.6 percent) said that it was available for them but 913 receivers or 19.7 responded otherwise. About 70.6 percent felt that the content for E-learning was appropriate for their needs and only 25.3 percent or 1,172 responded negatively. To the statement on the usefulness of content of E-learning, 85.8 percent said that it was useful whereas 10.3 percent said it was not. A big number, that is, 3787 (81.9 percent) perceived that the content for E-learning was meaningful whereas only 619 (13.4 percent) perceived it differently. A majority of them (74.1 percent) also agreed that the courses provided online opportunity for them to discuss and work collaboratively on projects but only 920 (19.9 percent) did not agree with the statement. About half of the receivers (66.5 percent) felt that the online support such as library facilities, tutorials and e-discussions were inadequate (see Table 63).
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TABLE 62. Receivers’ Perceptions of Learner Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) I am willing to make the 4131 435 59 time for E-learning (89.3) (9.4) (1.3) I am able to manage my ti for E-learning me I can discipline myself to follow E-learning courses My family is supportive of my study via Elearning To be a successful elearner, I must have good interpersonal or social skills I am worried that qualifications obtained via E-learning will not be recognized I am interested to upgrade my academic/professional qualification through Elearning Will you grab the opportunity to engage in E-learning? Do you think you will be committed to Elearning? One day, training for every job on earth will be available on the Internet (If employed): My employer will give me the time off to study via E-learning My employer will let me use the facilities at work outside office hours for E-learning I am interested to improve my work performance through Elearning
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Total N (%) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100)

3861 (83.5) 3707 (80.2) 3889 (84.1) 3869 (83.7)

694 (15.0) 841 (18.2) 629 (13.6) 659 (14.2)

70 (1.5) 77 (1.7) 107 (2.3) 97 (2.1)

3122 (67.5)

1411 (30.5)

92 (2.0)

4625 (100)

3837 (83.0)

697 (15.1)

91 (2.0)

4625 (100)

3955 (85.5) 3377 (73.0) 3638 (78.7)

589 (12.7) 1155 (25.0) 887 (19.2)

81 (1.8) 93 (2.0) 100 (2.2)

4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100)

973 (21.0) 903 (19.5)

776 (16.8) 857 (18.5)

2876 (62.2) 2865 (61.9)

4625 (100) 4625 (100)

1668 (36.1)

157 (3.4)

2800 (60.5)

4625 (100)

79

The open-ended responses yielded a few salient points regarding content readiness. A few respondents mentioned the necessity of having Elearning content in Malay or languages other than English so that it could reach more people. Others asked for the language to be made simple so that it would be easy to understand, and be useful to students, without compromising on quality. One stressed on the importance of providing appropriate guidelines on how to access the Internet. Some learners expressed their dissatisfaction over matters related to the content. One of them was unhappy with the fact that reading materials in the e-library were insufficient and that they did not cover all areas.

TABLE 63. Receivers’ Perception of Content Readiness Yes No Missing n n value Description (%) (%) n (%) There is a variety of Elearning materials for me to choose from Content for E-learning is available Content for E-learning is appropriate for my needs Content for E-learning is useful Content for E-learning is meaningful There is adequate online content support (e.g. library, tutorials, ediscussions) The course provides the opportunity for learners to discuss and work collaboratively on projects 3763 (81.4) 3543 (76.6) 3267 (70.6) 3969 (85.8) 3787 (81.9) 3074 (66.5) 706 (15.3) 913 (19.7) 1172 (25.3) 475 (10.3) 619 (13.4) 1357 (29.3) 156 (3.4) 169 (3.7) 186 (4.0) 181 (3.9) 219 (4.7) 194 (4.2)

Total N (%) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100)

3425 (74.1)

920 (19.9)

280 (6.1)

4625 (100)

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Technical Readiness Receivers’ perception of technical readiness was also analysed. Out of those who responded, more than 3,004 (65 percent) receivers reported that their institution provided them the necessary infrastructure for Elearning, while 1,430 (30.9 percent) reported otherwise. More than half of the receivers (60.4 percent) reported that technical help was available for them and 1,625 (35.1 percent) indicated that this was not true. Although technical help was available to most of the receivers, only 2,543 (55 percent) receivers reported that the technical support was reliable while 1,853 (40.1 percent) found it unreliable. In terms of solving technical problems, only 1,843 (39.8 percent) of the receivers were able to handle them, while about two third of receivers (55.8 percent) failed to overcome most of the technical problems and needed technical help. The speed of E-learning content delivery was satisfactory for 2,280 (49.3 percent) receivers and was unsatisfactory for 2,125 (45.9 percent) receivers. In terms of hands-on training in the context of E-learning, 2,214 (47.9 percent) receivers had hands-on training from their institutions and 2,103 (45.5 percent) receivers did not receive this sort of training from their institutions (see Table 64).

TABLE 64. Receivers’ Perceptions of Technical Readiness Yes No Missing n n value Description (%) (%) n (%) The institution where I study provides the necessary infrastructure for E-learning Technical help is available for e-learners When requested, technical help has proven reliable I can overcome most of the technical problems myself The speed of E-learning content delivery is satisfactory The institution where I study provides hands-on training to students of Elearning 3004 (65.0) 1430 (30.9) 191 (4.1)

Total N (%) 4625 (100)

2795 (60.4) 2543 (55.0) 1843 (39.8) 2280 (49.3) 2214 (47.9)

1625 (35.1) 1853 (40.1) 2581 (55.8) 2125 (45.9) 2103 (45.5)

205 (4.4) 229 (5.0) 201 (4.3) 220 (4.8) 308 (7.7)

4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100)

From the open ended questions, receivers voiced their concern about several aspects, namely, the availability of computing facilities and access
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to the Internet as well as, bandwidth of Internet access. This is supported by the statement below: “technology is ever changing. New tools and products are created and built within a short span of time. Hence Elearning capability to cope with these rapid technological changes should be in sync with their enthusiastic search for knowledge” The second issue observed from the responses to open-ended question was that receivers requested hands-on or practical training before embarking on E-learning programmes. That technical assistance should available to assist them is supported by the statements below: “Give practical training to students just before starting the E-learning programmme” “The infrastructure of E-learning and backups on technical should be available all day” Environment Readiness

TABLE 65. Receivers’ Perceptions of Environment Readiness Yes Description n (%) Government policies have made me interested in Elearning Mass media has created public awareness in Elearning 3235 (69.9) 3492 (75.5) No n (%) 1220 (26.4) 964 (20.8) Missing value n (%) 170 (3.7) 169 (3.7) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) Total N (%)

Receivers’ perception of environment readiness was also determined in this section. About two thirds of receivers (3,235 or 69.9 percent) agreed that government policies ignited their interest in E-learning while 1,220 (26.4 percent) disagreed. A majority of the receivers (75.5 percent) agreed that the mass media played an important role in creating public awareness in E-learning and only 964 (20.8 percent) of the receivers disagreed with this statement (see Table 65). The open ended responses showed that the majority of the receivers want the mass media to play a greater role in promoting E-learning. That E-learning needs to be strategically publicised is supported by the responses below: “Give more information about E-learning through the mass media”
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“Perlu pendedahan kepada semua lapisan masyarakat” “tingkatkan kesedaran tentang e-pembelajaran kepada masyarakat melalui media cetak dan media elektronik” Cultural Readiness Receivers’ perceptions of cultural readiness showed that, a majority of receivers (4,110 or 88.9 percent) agreed that the face-to-face method is the most effective method for teaching and learning. Only a small percentage 8.8 percent (406) of receivers disagreed with this. Similar results were obtained when 87.1 percent receivers agreed that teacher is the best information provider. This concurs with the finding that a majority of the receivers 4,062 (87.8 percent) felt that when using technology for Elearning, the personal touch is important in the learning process. Only a few of the receivers 441 (9.5 percent) disagreed with to the statement. Many receivers requested for more face-to-face interaction while Elearning was viewed as a supplementary mode of learning, as in the statements below. “Face to face of learning is primary but E-learning is optional” “E-learning both has advantages and disadvantages. Using E-learning itself is not enough to acquire knowledge. It should be using both E-learning and cultural method with learners” High percentage of receivers agreed that E-learning is an advanced mode in teaching (85.8 percent) and responded positively that E-learning is an efficient means of disseminating information (81.3 percent). More than half of the receivers (66.4 percent) felt that the discussions via the Internet make learning more meaningful. However, 1,419 (30.7 percent) receivers felt otherwise. The overall result of the section is presented in Table 66.

Financial Readiness With respect to financial readiness, a majority of receivers (3,646 or 78.8 percent) were willing to purchase computers for E-learning purposes and (3,628 or 78.4 percent) to spend on Internet connection for E-learning purposes. Most of the receivers (2,989 or 64.6 percent) were financially sound as they did not require loans to purchase computers for E-learning purposes. However (2,759 or 59.7 percent) many receivers could afford to purchase computer and the Internet charges. However, there were some 1,472 or 31.8 percent of receivers who require loans to purchase computers for E-learning and 1,672 or 36.2 percent either could not afford
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TABLE 66. Receivers’ Perceptions of Cultural Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) The most effective method of learning is face-to-face The teacher is still the best information provider Discussions via the Internet make learning more meaningful When using technology for E-learning, the personal touch is important in the learning process E-learning is an efficient means of disseminating information E-learning is an advanced mode/ stage in teaching and learning 4110 (88.9) 4028 (87.1) 3073 (66.4) 406 (8.8) 492 (10.6) 1419 (30.7) 109 (2.4) 105 (2.3) 133 (2.9)

Total N (%) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100)

4062 (87.8) 3760 (81.3) 3967 (85.8)

441 (9.5) 740 (16.0) 474 (10.2)

122 (2.6) 125 (2.7) 184 (4.0)

4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100)

TABLE 67. Receivers’ Perceptions of Financial Readiness Yes No Missing Description n n value (%) (%) n (%) I am willing to buy a computer for E-learning purposes I am willing to spend on Internet connection for Elearning purposes I have taken a loan to buy a computer for E-learning purposes I can afford to buy a computer and pay for Internet access 3646 (78.8) 3628 (78.4) 1472 (31.8) 2759 (59.7) 839 (18.1) 858 (18.6) 2989 (64.6) 1672 (36.2) 140 (3.0) 139 (3.0) 164 (3.5) 194 (4.2)

Total N (%) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100) 4625 (100)

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to purchase computers or pay for Internet access. This is supported by the responses such as the following. “Untuk e-pembelajaran yang lebih berkesan, harga untuk komputer dan Internet perlu dikurangkan. Disini kerajaan perlu memain peranan yang besar terutamanya untuk menolong rakyat luar Bandar” “Reduce the price for computer or other Internet access”

5.3

Perceptions of Readiness

An overall picture of receivers’ readiness is shown in Table 68 and Table 69. On the readiness scale of 1 to 10, where 1 indicates a complete lack of readiness and 10 indicates total readiness, learners indicated the highest level overall readiness. From Table 68, a majority of the receivers gave a moderate to high level of readiness to learner, content, technical, cultural and financial readiness. This pattern indicate that receivers are ready to embark on and willing to change or adapt to E-learning. In terms of environmental readiness, receivers gave a moderate to low level of readiness and (lowest mean, 5.39). This perhaps shows that receivers felt that government agencies, companies and organisations should more actively promote the benefits of learning through E-learning. Table 69 and Figures 23 through 29 further illustrate the overall readiness among receivers.

TABLE 68. Mean Score of Overall Readiness among Receiver Area of Readiness (N=4625) Learner Readiness Content Readiness Technical Readiness Environmental Readiness Cultural Readiness Financial Readiness 6.33 5.88 5.59 5.39 5.99 6.06 2.085 2.004 2.046 1.882 1.930 2.250 Mean Standard Deviation

Table 69 and Figures 23 through 29 further illustrate the overall readiness among receivers. The perception is that receivers are largely moderately ready in the areas of readiness surveyed.

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E-learning Readiness in Malaysia 2004

TABLE 69. Level of Overall Readiness among Receivers Level of Overall Readiness Low (1 to 3) Moderate (4 to 7) High (8 to 10) N (%) Learner n (%) 305 (9.9) 1819 (59.0) 958 (31.1) 3082 (100.0) Content n (%) 475 (11.4) 2766 (66.4) 925 (22.2) 4166 (100.0) Technical n (%) 642 (15.3) 2769 (65.8) 789 (19.0) 4200 (100.0) Environmental n (%) 662 (15.3) 3084 (71.2) 587 (13.5) 4333 (100.0) Cultural n (%) 408 (9.6) 2859 (67.4) 977 (23.0) 4244 (100.0) Financial n (%) 588 (13.5) 2502 (57.5) 1263 (29.0) 4353 (100.0)

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E-learning Readiness in Malaysia 2004

Level of Overall Readiness among Receivers
80 71.2 70 59.0 66.4 65.8 67.4

60

57.5

50 Percentage

40 31.1 30 22.2 20 9.9 10 11.4 19.0 15.3 15.3 13.5 9.6 13.5 23.0 29.0

0 Learner Content Technical Level Low Moderate High Environment Cultural Financial

FIGURE 23. Level of Overall Readiness among Receivers
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25

24.6

20

Percent

15.5
15

15.9

14.5

10

8.5 6.7 6.0
5

4.8

FIGURE 20. Overall Learner Readiness for Receivers 1.8 1.7
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Learner Readiness

FIGURE 24. Overall Learner Readiness for Receivers

30

25

25.1

20

Percent

17.1 15 15.1 12.9

10

9.1

6.3 5 2.5 2.5 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0 4.3

Overall Content Readiness

FIGURE 25. Overall Content Readiness for Receivers
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30 25.8 25

20

Percent

15.3 15 13.9 11.4

10.9 10 8.2

5

4.5 3.4 3.7 3.0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Technical Readiness

FIGURE 26. Overall Technical Readiness for Receivers

30 28.0

25

Percent

20 16.8 15 13.2 13.2

10

9.0 8.2

5 2.2 0 1

4.1

3.2 2.2

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Overall Environment Readiness

FIGURE 27. Overall Environment Readiness for Receivers
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25

23.7

20
17.7 17.2

Percent

15

13.7

10

8.8

6.0 5.2

5
1.9 2.5

3.3

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Cultural Readiness FIGURE 28. Overall Cultural Readiness for Receivers

25

21.2

20

Percent

15

14.4

14.0

14.5

10
7.9 6.5 7.4 7.1

5

3.5

3.5

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Overall Financial Readiness

FIGURE 29. Overall Financial Readiness for Receivers
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5.4

Summary

The analysis showed that receivers were moderately ready for E-learning. Among the six dimensions, the learner readiness has the highest mean followed by financial, cultural, content, technical and environmental readiness. Receivers were moderately ready to commit, manage, and discipline themselves to E-learning. They also were willing to allocate time to upgrade their academic or professional knowledge through Elearning. However, most receivers stated their worries regarding the recognition or quality of online education. The primary concern of receivers before was recognition of E-learning and could be the contributing factor to the moderate level of learner readiness found in the study. As for financial readiness, it can be generalized that receivers were willing to spend on Internet access and purchase of computers for E-learning. However, from the open ended section many of the receivers voiced their frustrations over the high cost of Internet connection, broadband and the purchase of computer peripherals. They also proposed that loans to purchase computer should be made more accessible and tax exemptions on the purchase of computers should be extended to them. Many receivers were unaware of tax exemption for computer loans. For cultural readiness, most receivers believed that the most effective method of learning is face-to-face tutors E-learning is viewed as an effective tool for disseminating information. From the qualitative responses many of the receivers felt that E-learning must be supported with more face-to-face meetings and suggested the face-to-face sessions to be held during their holidays so that they could meet and discuss their difficulties and problems with their tutors. They believed that E-learning is an efficient means of information dissemination and an advanced mode of teaching and learning. In terms of content readiness, receivers appeared to be as moderately ready for E-learning. Perhaps receivers viewed that the content available was not up to their expectations as most of the content were in English medium and local content was not incorporated. On the technical and environmental readiness, again, the mean scores showed that the receivers were moderately ready for E-learning. This may be done to the fact that their institutions were in the midst of embarking on E-learning programme and thus, the services and facilities were lacking. Receivers also felt that the nation needs to publicize Elearning more aggressively in the media. Facilities in the rural areas, electricity connections and broadband facilities also should be extended to all. Table 68 summarizes the levels of readiness in the six dimensions mentioned above. It can be noted that learner and cultural readiness were ranked highest while environmental readiness was rated the lowest by the receivers.

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6
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter presents the summary of the findings of this study, as well as recommendations for increasing E-learning readiness among individuals who works in or study at tertiary-level institutions in Malaysia.

6.1

Summary

At the onset, a few general conclusions may be drawn in relation to the findings on eight areas of readiness, Learner, Management, Personnel, Content, Technical, Environmental, Cultural, and Financial Readiness. For the purpose of comparison, the means for overall readiness (see Table 70 and Figure 30) were compared for all eight areas. To begin, it was found that the findings across all four groups of respondents indicated that the lowest degree of readiness was in the environmental sphere. However, there was little consensus on the area with the highest degree of readiness. Both the Policy Makers and Providers indicated that they were most ready in the technical sphere. TABLE 70. Overall Means for E-learning Readiness among Policy Makers, Providers, Enablers and Receivers Area of readiness Learner Management Personnel Content Technical Environmental Cultural Financial Key Highest Mean Lowest Mean Policy Maker 5.98 5.87 6.14 4.76 6.02 5.26 Provider 6.52 6.24 6.95 4.77 5.97 Enabler 5.73 6.24 5.88 5.91 5.95 5.27 6.77 6.39 Receiver 6.33 5.88 5.59 5.39 5.99 6.06

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Overall Means for E-learning Readiness among Policy Makers, Providers, Enablers and Receivers
8

7

6 Groups of Respondents

5

4

3

2

1

0 Learner Management Personnel Content Technical Area of readiness Provider Enabler Environment Cultural Financial

Policy Maker

Receiver

Figure 30. Level of Overall Means for E-learning Readiness among Policy Makers, Providers, Enablers and Receivers

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TABLE 71. Areas of Readiness among Respondents by Rank Policy Maker Area of Readiness Technical Cultural Management Personnel Financial Environmental Mean 6.14 6.02 5.98 5.87 5.26 4.76 Std Dev 2.32 2.10 2.47 2.31 2.55 1.93 Provider Area of Readiness Technical Personnel Content Financial Environmental Mean 6.95 6.52 6.24 5.97 4.77 Std Dev 2.44 2.28 2.53 2.45 1.71 Area of Readiness Cultural Financial Management Technical Content Personnel Learner Environmental Enabler Mean 6.77 6.39 6.24 5.95 5.91 5.88 5.73 5.27 Std Dev 1.97 1.97 2.24 2.10 2.11 2.15 1.85 1.78 Area of Readiness Learner Financial Cultural Content Technical Environmental Receiver Mean 6.33 6.06 5.99 5.88 5.59 5.39 Std Dev 2.09 2.25 1.93 2.00 2.05 1.88

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E-learning Readiness in Malaysia 2004

Enablers perceived that the highest level of readiness was in the cultural realm, while Learners felt that their own preparedness was the area of greatest readiness. These observations are further illustrated in Table 71. In order to facilitate comparisons across groups of respondents as well as among the eight constructs, the findings were subjected to a macroanalysis. The key features under each construct were consolidated and presented in a summary table (Table 72). Thus, the key features for each construct (Table 72), and the overall means for readiness (Table 71) provided a composite image of degree of readiness for each construct. The systematic analysis, combined with in-depth discussion among participant researchers, provided an understanding of degree of readiness. Finally, a code (R meaning ‘low amount of readiness,’ RR meaning ‘moderate amount of readiness,’ and RRR meaning ‘high amount of readiness’) was then assigned to each construct/group. This process facilitated the drawing up of conclusions in terms of degree of readiness for each construct and group of respondents. Based on the above process, a number of conclusions may be drawn about the E-learning readiness of the nation’s Policy Makers, Providers, Enablers and Receivers. First, all four groups of people involved in Elearning were found to be of a low to moderate degree of E-learning readiness. First, Policy Makers were found to be moderately ready in terms of management, technical and cultural initiatives, and mildly ready for personnel, environmental and financial initiatives. Second, Providers were found to have a high amount of technical readiness, but moderate amounts of personnel and content readiness. Providers were also not very advanced in terms of environmental and financial readiness as they were accorded a ‘low’ grade for these areas. Among the four groups of respondents, Enablers were found to be lacking in terms of readiness for several constructs under study. When it came to their conceptions about learner, personnel, content, technical and environmental readiness, Enablers were accorded only a low or mild amount of readiness. However, they were found to be moderately ready when it came to management, cultural and financial readiness. Similarly, Receivers were found to be generally poor in terms of their readiness for most of the constructs that were examined. In terms of their perspective on content, technical, environmental, and cultural readiness, Receivers were found to be mildly ready for E-learning. However, they were more or moderately ready when it came to gauging themselves (learner readiness), as well as their financial readiness for E-learning. To conclude, the analysis shows that there is a greater amount of readiness on the part of Policy Makers and Organisations as well as Providers in comparison to Enablers and Receivers. On the other hand, while Policy Makers and Organisations as well as Providers present a picture of greater readiness where constructs such as management, technical and cultural initiatives are concerned, there appears to be a lesser degree of readiness for other areas such as of environmental and
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financial readiness. This may reflect the perspective that although a large amount of resources have been allocated for management and technical facilities, there remains a sense of need for more financial assistance and for more infrastructure projects in the country. Further, the fact that Enablers and Receivers reportedly recorded low levels of readiness for content, technical and environmental readiness calls for a through examination of procedures for resource allocation and technical initiatives that are implemented to ensure greater environmental and cultural readiness in the country.

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TABLE 72. Summary of Findings Construct Policy Maker Learner Readiness

Provider

Enabler Mean 5.73 SD 1.85

Receiver Mean 6.33 SD 2.09 Ready to commit to, manage and discipline themselves for e-learning Willing to allocate time to upgrade academic or professional knowledge though E-learning Believe E-learning is an efficient means of information dissemination and an advanced mode of teaching and learning Concern about recognition of qualifications accrued through online education

NA

NA

Students/members interested to upgrade academic/professional qualification through E-learning High percentage have used the opportunity to engage in E-learning Urban learners are more ready than their rural counterparts The lack of interest in E-learning due to the lack of recognition of qualification obtained in E-learning E-learning is ineffective due to learner expectations about teacher role as “sage on stage” Lack of proficiency in English E-learning is considered more appropriate for higher level education R

RR

Key Degree of readiness R-mild or low RR-moderate or medium RRR-high
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TABLE 72. Summary of Findings (continued) Construct Policy Maker Mean 5.98 SD 2.47 Ready to put in place policies and mission statements in support of E-learning initiatives Aspirations have not been adequately translated into concrete action and implementation plans

Provider

Enabler Mean 6.24 SD 2.24 Most organisations have vision as well as policies on E-learning Lack of emphasis on E-learning in schools Lack of coordination efforts in monitoring of E-learning programmes by organisations

Receiver

Management Readiness

NA

NA

Personnel Readiness

RR Mean 5.87 SD 2.31 Inadequate development of human resources such as instructional designers Concerted effort needed to develop and organize HR development

Mean 6.52 SD 2.28 Most organisations have a central unit/team dedicated to developing & implementing Elearning Most organisations have a staff development plan for Elearning

RR Mean 5.88 SD 2.15 Lack of E-learning exposure and training NA Lack of long term staff development plan for E-learning Greater access and know-how among enablers could ensure greater sensitization of E-learning R
98

R
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TABLE 72. Summary of Findings (continued) Construct Policy Maker
NA

Provider

Enabler
Mean 5.91 SD 2.11 Insufficient E-learning content Perceived lack of effectiveness of its use in specialized and technical fields Available content for E-learning is meaningful and useful

Receiver
Mean 5.88 SD 2.0 Concern over quality of online content Content not up to expectations: content is in English and local content not incorporated

Content Readiness

Mean 6.16 SD 2.53 Most providers have internal expertise capable of developing E-learning content in-house or are able to outsource from local developers Still lacking in quality and quantity High cost of development hinders E-learning investments Need for nationwide content repository (one-stop centre to access content) RR Mean 6.85 SD 2.44 Most organisations have adequate technical infrastructure, facilities and services to successfully develop and/or deliver E-learning Most providers already have Intranet and Internet technologies, broadband facilities, and LMS for E-learning delivery

Technical Readiness

Mean 6.14 SD 2.32 Ready to employ Elearning as the mode of learning and instruction

R Mean 5.95 SD 2.10 Insufficient software, hardware and other computer related equipment

R Mean 5.59 SD 2.05 Inability to meet high cost of internet connection, broadband and purchase of computer peripherals

RR
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R

R
99

TABLE 72. Summary of Findings (continued) Construct Policy Maker Mean 4.76 SD 1.93 Organisations not supported by sound Elearning policies, effective central Elearning agency, and properly formulated intellectual property regulations

Provider Mean 4.71 SD 1.71 Government policies hindered plans to invest in E-learning. Ministries do not give full support towards E-learning implementation Need for a Central Agency to coordinate and regulate e-learning Provide legal provisions for Intellectual Property Rights Weak proficiency in English is another obstacle for e-learning

Enabler Mean 5.27 SD 1.78 Lack of assertiveness on the part of the authorities in disseminating information on E-learning as well as inculcating the culture of Elearning amongst Malaysians Lack of Internet access, especially in rural areas

Receiver Mean 5.39 SD 1.88 Nation needs to publicise E-learning more aggressively in the media Poor facilities in rural areas; electricity and broadband facilities not available to all

Environmental Readiness

R

R

R

R

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TABLE 72. Summary of Findings (continued) Construct Policy Maker Mean 6.0 SD 2.1 Cultural Readiness E-learning vision appears to be shared by the other personnel in the organisation and in the Malaysian community NA

Provider

Enabler Mean 6.77 SD 1.97 E-learning is viewed as an effective tool for disseminating information

Receiver Mean 5.99 SD 1.93 E-learning must be supported with more face to face meeting

E-learning is viewed as an advanced mode of learning

Teacher is the best information provider

Effective method of learning is face-to-face while E-learning is viewed as an effective tool for disseminating information

Lack of recognition of qualifications obtained via Elearning

Lack of integration of Elearning with other conventional modes of instruction such as face-toface interaction and the use of print-based materials for a more meaningful teaching and learning experience

RR

RR

R

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TABLE 72. Summary of Findings (continued) Construct Policy Maker Mean 5.26 SD 2.55 Financial Readiness Policy makers are financially ready and willing to equip their institutions with the necessary facilities to meet the challenges of E-learning

Provider Mean 5.81 SD 2.45 Organisations do not provide adequate funding

Enabler Mean 5.99 SD 1.97 Most able and willing to invest in hardware and Internet

Receiver Mean 6.06 SD 2.25 Willing to spend on the Internet access and purchase of computers for e-learning

Lack of appreciation for value of training

Organisations provide computer loans and have invested in E-learning

Organisations are reluctant to invest in Elearning because ROI is not justified

R

R

RR

RR

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6.2

Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, a number of recommendations can be made with regards to the future of E-learning in Malaysia. The primary area of development for harnessing the E-learning potential is capacity building, which refers to the development of individuals and organisations in order to attain the national goal of becoming an educational hub in the region. Thus, E-learning will feature as a major contributor to knowledge building and lifelong learning in formal, informal and non-formal learning environments, while E-learning readiness would be a necessary ingredient in the realisation of such a goal. Recommendations for the enhancement of E-learning readiness have been made with reference to each of the following areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Human Resource Development Research and Development Infrastructure Infostructure Institutional Framework Policy Initiatives Benchmarking

Details pertaining to each of these areas follow: 6.2.1 Human Resource Development

The primary goal of human resource development in relation to Elearning is to produce local expertise in developing and deploying effective E-learning applications. In this sense, the term ‘human resource’ refers to policy makers, providers and enablers. Further, the potential of receivers has to be developed so that there is a ready pool of knowledge workers in the future. The attainment of expertise is essential to the provision of E-learning, as this will propel policy makers, providers and enablers to become authorities in E-learning, and to build a reputation for their skills and experience in deploying effective E-learning plans in their organisations. To realize these aims, the following recommendations are forwarded:(a) Appoint a Chief Learning Officer (CLO) in every educational organisation who will provide E-leadership to strategise and implement all E-learning initiatives in the institution. The CLO would implement a change management programme to cultivate an E-learning culture among all staff in the institution. He or she should be an educationist with training especially in the field of instructional/educational technology in particular. (b) Train a core group of E-learning experts within each institution so that they may become trainers of international calibre.
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(c) Employ a core team of personnel for E-learning consisting of qualified instructional designers, programmers, graphic designers who will work with subject matter experts in the institution. Qualified instructional designers are individually trained in the field of instructional/educational technology in particular. (d) Employ a core team of adequate technical personnel for the maintenance of the E-learning infrastructure in each institution. (e) Recognize academic contribution to the development of Elearning content by giving significant weightage to such efforts during annual appraisals and promotion exercises. (f) Ensure that policy makers, providers and enablers are given periodic international exposure for the purpose of raising awareness and building knowledge capability in the field of Elearning. (g) Provide sufficient scholarships or educational loans for staff development in the field of E-learning. 6.2.2 Research and Development E-learning research should focus on developing a deeper educational vision and to present opportunities for greater access to innovate instructional facilities. There is also a need for trainees and researchers to carry out evaluation studies, institutional research and contribute to the development of quality E-learning programmes. Thus, the following recommendations are offered for human capacity building in this area: (a) Create a new category of grants for E-learning research and development under IRPA (Intensification Research in Priority Areas) grants by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. (b) Introduce tax incentives for organisations involved in E-learning research and development. (c) Encourage collaborative research on E-learning among nations and among Malaysian institutions using existing networks such as the ASEAN E-learning Network (AEN) and the ASEAN Elearning Centre (AEC). 6.2.3 Infrastructure

The primary issues with regards to infrastructure for E-learning are accessibility, affordability and connectivity, all of which contribute to

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the existence of the digital divide among Malaysians. In order to address these issues, the following recommendations are forwarded: (a) Ensure equity in accessibility for everyone in rural and urban areas by providing broadband facilities for all communities. Thus, the goal should be to provide adequate infrastructure for all communities, irrespective of where these communities are located. (b) Invigorate an ‘Internet in every home’ campaign (IIEH) so that all responsible authorities may work toward a common goal. Under proper management, the ‘A computer in every home’ (ACIEH) campaign should also be revitalized. (c) Subsidise broadband Internet access to all schools and extend existing computing facilities in IPTAs to the public. (d) Reduce Internet and broadband costs so that more individuals can afford to take advantage of the facility in order to run Elearning applications. (e) Ensure that providers are able to cater to large volumes of internet and broadband traffic by providing adequate bandwidth and with the use of appropriate technology. (f) Provide a national cost-free or subsidised Learning Management System (LMS) for all E-learning institutions, which may then be adapted and adopted. 6.2.4 Infostructure

The main concerns with regards to infostructure are the development of content, software, applications and authoring tools that are of high quality determine the success of E-learning. Further, the presence of technical standards and criteria will facilitate informed decision-making in Elearning. For these reasons, the following recommendations are forwarded. (a) Select and adopt an appropriate LMS to cater to the needs of users in every organisation. (b) Integrate E-learning with tertiary, secondary and primary education. (c) Train learners to use E-learning facilities in an ongoing manner. (d) Use a combination of print and online materials to ensure that students who are yet to master the technical aspects of downloading and accessing materials are not left out. (e) Establish specific standards for Quality assurance and quality control so that content is appropriate and meets learner needs.
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(f) Give incentives to companies that develop local E-learning contents E-learning content. (g) Develop E-learning content that multilingual. Libraries where such material is stored should be digitized, user friendly and accessible to all, with a minimal membership fee being imposed. There should also be technical expertise at libraries to cater to learner needs. (h) Utilize local expertise in developing E-learning content by farming out the development of E-learning content to institutions with well established content development teams. (i) Develop a system for sharing E-learning content among ASEAN countries. (j) Expand academicians’ role include E-content development in order that E-learning becomes the mainstay of higher educational institutions. (k) Introduce easily-operable authoring tools for the purpose of creating courseware and for conducting lectures in higher educational institutions. (l) Encourage electronic modes of communication so that all staff are computer and Internet savvy. (m) Conduct some training programmes online so that there is greater awareness among government agencies, IPTAs, IPTS, and learning institutions. (n) Establish E-learning clubs throughout the country as one stop centers for technical problems and queries. (o) Make broadband facilities available nationwide to reduce accessibility problems and the digital divide. 6.2.5 Policy Initiatives

An important determinant of E-readiness in a country is the move toward establishing effective policy initiatives geared toward E-learning effectives. To this end, the following recommendations are forwarded: a) Investigate factors that hinder E-learning. For this purpose, an academy of E-learning should be set up. Here experts would bestow recognition of e-learning expertise and specialization at a national level. The Academy would also initiate a systematic competency mapping effort to develop a database repository of local and international experts to promote collaboration of Elearning for continuous development.
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b) Formulate a strategic business plan to ensure the success of Elearning initiatives. Subsequently, the components of an Elearning system should be utilised to further develop knowledge management systems and practices within an organisation. c) Improve E-learning technology through active research and development. Members of the Academy ought to implement programmes and make policy decisions on E-learning standards as well as undertake quality E-learning research and development. Institutional Framework

6.2.7

It is important to view E-learning as an integrated system of teaching and learning, of research and development, as well as one that is goaloriented. For this reason, all higher education institutions should integrate E-learning into their teaching and learning not only to upgrade their qualifications but also to cater for those who want to gain knowledge in certain areas of interest. The institutions of higher learning should take the view that E-learning is an important mode of delivery that makes learning available to a larger section of the population. Thus, the following recommendations may be considered:a) Increase emphasis of E-learning in all schools so that young children are exposed to E-learning as all schools will be smart schools by 2008, having a systematic e-learning programme is vital. b) Enable students in higher education institutions to take up courses on basic IT skills and information retrieval skills. c) Engage in active discussion with the National Consultative Council on E-learning (NCCeL) in order to formulate and address policy issues.

d) Set up a fully operational National E-learning Centre (NeLC) to oversee all E-learning activities such as policy implementation, R&D training, promotion, quality control and accreditation. e) Formulate policies and establish a national e-learning centre to promote and monitor E-learning initiatives. f) Co-ordination efforts and monitor E-learning development at all organisations through the creation of MyGfL, which serves as a one-stop centre for the depositing and retrieval of all e-content.

g) Make legal provisions for intellectual property rights.

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h) Recognise qualifications acquired through E-learning means in the same light as those acquired through traditional means. i) Use E-learning as flexible and highly accessible route to learning opportunities for all. This can be quickly realized with the pervasive implementation of policies such as: o Low interest loans and tax exemptions should be available for purchasing IT related equipments o Tax rebates for the trainers and trainees who embark in Elearning o Incentives to trainers and academic staff who work extra hours to response to queries and give feedback to Elearning users o Allocation of grants to all schools that have plans to embark in E-learning Benchmarking

6.2.7

a) Adopt international standards for the preparation of E-learning content. The Shareable Content Objects Reference Model may be used for this purpose. b) Promote the use of common platforms such as the Malaysian Grid for Learning (MyGfL) initiative for sharing and disseminating content and information and providing financial incentives to content providers.

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REFERENCES
Chow, K. H. (2004, October 26). Cheaper broadband can fortify Malaysia as ICT hub. Computimes, The New Straits Times, p. 20. Development Gateway (2004, 4 December). Government ICT policy and plan- A catalyst for E-learning. Retrieved 25 August, 2004. http://topics.developmentgateway.org/elearning/highlights/view Highlight.do~docName=Government%20ICT%20Policy%20and% 20Plans e-ASEAN Readiness Assessment by ASEAN and IBM Global Services, October 2001. Retrieved August 18, 2004. http://www.itu.int/asean2001/documents/pdf/Document-28.pdf Foo, E. J. (2004, October 14). More rural Internet centres. Computimes, The New Straits Times, p. 4. Kasim, S. (2004, September 9). National ICT roadmap. Computimes, The New Straits Times, p. 4. Nagy, A. (2004). E-Learning. E-Content Report 6. Retrieved August 18, 2004. http://www.acten.net/uploads/images/423/e-learning.pdf National ICT Approaches: Selected Case Studies (Malaysia) by Accenture, the Markle Foundation and UNDP. Retrieved August 18, 2004. www.opt-init.org/framework/pages/2.3.html Open University Malaysia (2004). Asia Cooperation Dialogue on Elearning. KL: Open University Malaysia. Unpublished. Report of the National Information Technology Council (NITC) Working Group on Electronic Learning (UNIMAS, 1999). Report on 2004 E-readiness Ranking. A white paper from the Economist Intelligence Unit, written in cooperation with IBM Corporation. Retrieved August 18, 2004. http://www5.ibm.com/dk/news/pressepdf/e_ready04_full_rep.pdf Sani, R. (2004, August 19). Government push to increase broadband penetration rate. Computimes, The New Straits Times, p. 4.

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Appendixes

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Appendix A National Consultative Committee on E-learning

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Chairperson Chief Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia Members Government Agencies Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia Ministry of Education Ministry of Human Resource Ministry of Defense Economic Planning Unit Institut Tadbiran Awam Negara (INTAN) Unit Pemodenan Tadbiran dan Perancangan Pengurusan Malaysia (MAMPU) Jabatan Standard Malaysia Wakil Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Perak Educational Institutions Open University Malaysia Unitar Uniten Universiti Malaya Universiti Multimedia Malaysia Universiti Sains Malaysia Universiti Teknologi Mara Industry Telekom Malaysia Berhad Telekom Malaysia Smart School MIMOS Berhad Multimedia Development Corporation

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Appendix B OUM Committee on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia

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OUM Committee on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia Chairman Professor Dr. Hairudin Harun Director Centre for Quality Management and Research & Innovation (COMRI) Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Professor Dr. Mohammed Yusoff Dean Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communications Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr. Abd. Razak Habib Dean Faculty of Education, Art and Social Sciences Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr. Abtar Kaur Director Open & Distance Learning Pedagogy Centre Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr. Ahmad Hashem Head ICT Services and Communication Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr. Syed Abdullah Syed Othman Head Learning Management System Unit (myLMS Portal) Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Professor Dr. Kasiran Buang Consultant Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communications Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur
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Appendix C Working Group (Phase I)

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Phase I (January – April 2004) Head, Research Project/ Lead Researcher Associate Professor Dr Zoraini Wati Abas Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Head, Secretariat Nik Azlina Nik Yaacob Manager Research and Innovation Unit Centre for Quality Management and Research & Innovation (CQMRI) Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Members Professor Dr Abu Talib b Othman Director Information Technology Centre Universiti Perguruan Sultan Ibrahim (UPSI) 35400 Tanjung Malim Perak Dr Aini Ibrahim Specialist, Organisational Learning and Development Strategic Planning Unit Bank Negara Malaysia 13th Floor, No. 4, Jalan Sultan Sulaiman 50000 Kuala Lumpur Chng Loi Peng Faculty of Science and Foundation Studies Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr Halimah Awang Head Dept of Administrative Studies and Politics Faculty of Economics and Administration Universiti Malaya 59100 Kuala Lumpur

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Professor Khairuddin Hashim Dean Faculty of Information Technology Universiti Tun Abdul Razak Kelana Jaya Study Center 18-5 Plaza CCL Jalan SS6/12 Off Jalan Perbandaran 47301 Kelana Jaya Professor Kasiran Buang Consultant Faculty of Information Technology Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr Kuldip Kaur Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Dr Norrizan Razali Manager Smart School Flagship Malaysian Development Corporation Cyberjaya Selangor Associate Professor Dr Nuraihan Mat Daud Deputy Dean Academic Affairs Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Jalan Gombak 53100 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr Rahmah Hashim Consultant Faculty of Information Technology Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr Raja Maznah Raja Hussain Head Dept of Instructional Technology Faculty of Education Universiti Malaya 50603 Kuala Lumpur
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Rohani Ismail Manager Technology Assimilation & Deployment MIMOS Berhad Technology Park Malaysia 57000 Kuala Lumpur Santhi Raghavan Faculty of Business and Management Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Sukor ‘Ain Provost Institut Infotech Mara Tingkat 3 & 4, Lot 11C&11D Jalan Medan Tuanku 50300 Kuala Lumpur Professor Szarina Abdullah President-Elect Malaysian Association for Distance Education c/o Fakulti Pengajian Maklumat Universiti Teknologi MARA 40450 Shah Alam Selangor Tengku Putri Norishah Tengku Shariman Ketua Unit Program Berasaskan Internet Multimedia University Jalan Multimedia 63100 Cyberjaya Selangor

Research Assistants Ina Mazniza Md Isa Lily Suriyani Zahari

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Appendix D Working Group (Phase III)

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Phase III (August – October 2004) Head, Research Project/ Lead Researcher Associate Professor Dr Zoraini Wati Abas Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Members Professor Dr Abu Talib b Othman Dean Institut Infotech Mara Universiti Kuala Lumpur Tingkat RG, Komplek Pertama Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman 50100 Kuala Lumpur Chng Loi Peng Faculty of Science and Foundation Studies Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Fitri Suraya Mohamad Deputy Dean Educational Technology Centre for Applied Learning & Multimedia (CALM) Universiti Malaysia Sarawak 94300 Kota Samarahan Sarawak Associate Professor Dr Kuldip Kaur Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur Associate Professor Dr Latifah Abdol Latif Director Student Affairs Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur

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Associate Professor Dr Mardziah Hayati Abdullah Jabatan Bahasa Inggeris Fakulti Bahasa Moden dan Komunikasi Universiti Putra Malaysia 43400 Serdang Selangor Puan Norhaizan Mat Talha Research Officer MIMOS Berhad, Kompleks MIMOS Taman Teknologi Malaysia 57000 Bukit Jalil Kuala Lumpur Dr Norrizan Abdul Razak School of Language Studies and Linguistics Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia UKM Bangi 43650 Selangor Associate Professor Dr Nuraihan Mat Daud Deputy Dean Academic Affairs Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Jalan Gombak 53100 Kuala Lumpur Sulaiman Sarkawi Fakulti Teknologi Maklumat & Komunikasi, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris 35900 Tanjong Malim Perak Tengku Putri Norishah Tengku Shariman Ketua Unit Program Berasaskan Internet Multimedia University Jalan Multimedia 63100 Cyberjaya Selangor Dr Tina Lim Swee Kim Maktab Perguruan Ipoh Perak 31150 Ulu Kinta Perak Research Assistants Ina Mazniza Md Isa Siti Haslinah Abdul Rahman Novel AK Lyndon
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Appendix E List of Major Respondents

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Organisations with 50 respondents or more 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Informatics Smart-Tech Citicampus Institut Bahasa Melayu Malaysia Institut Jati (Legenda Group of Colleges) Institut Tadbiran Awam Negara (INTAN) INTI International College International Islamic University Malaysia Kolej Uniti Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia (KUSTEM) Kolej Universiti Teknologi Tun Hussein Onn (KUiTTHO)

10. Majlis Amanah Rakyat 11. Maktab Perguruan Batu Lintang, Sarawak 12. Maktab Perguruan Gaya, Sabah 13. Maktab Perguruan Ilmu Khas, Kuala Lumpur 14. Maktab Perguruan Ipoh, Perak 15. Maktab Perguruan Miri, Sarawak 16. Maktab Perguruan Teknik, Kuala Lumpur 17. Multimedia Malaysia University 18. Nilai International College 19. Open University Malaysia 20. Politeknik Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan 21. Politeknik Sultan Haji Hamid (POLISAS), Kuantan 22. Sunway College 23. Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak branch) 24. Telekom Training College, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 25. Universiti Institut Teknologi MARA 26. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia 27. Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 28. Universiti Malaya 29. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak 30. Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris 31. Universiti Putra Malaysia 32. Universiti Sabah Malaysia

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33. Universiti Sains Malaysia 34. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia 35. Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) 36. Universiti Utara Malaysia 37. University College Sedaya International

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Appendix F Survey Instrument for Policy Makers

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A Study on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia
What Policy Makers Have to Say
A study on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia is being conducted nationwide by the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications with the assistance of the Open University Malaysia. The study seeks to determine the E-learning readiness of the country as perceived by policy makers, providers, enablers and learners in organisations and institutions of higher education/training centres, in both the government and private sectors. We value your input to the study. The questionnaire comprises of two parts, Section A and Section B. It will take about 510 minutes of your time. Please be assured that your responses will be held in the strcitest confidence. For this study, E-learning is defined as “the use of networked and web-based technologies to enhance the quality of learning.” _______________________________________________________________________________ SECTION A 1. Your position in the organisation/institution: CEO/President/Vice Chancellor Vice President/Deputy Vice Chancellor Executive Director Managing Director General Manager Director/Dean Manager/Head Other (pls specify): ____________________________ 2. Name of organisation/institution: __________________________ 3. Location of organisation/institution: Town/City: _____________________ 4. Type of organisation/institution: Government 5. Nature of organisation/institution: Banking/Finance/Accounting/Insurance Education/Training/R&D Energy/Telecommunication Entertainment/Production/Broadcasting ICT Medical/Dental/Healthcare State/Local/Federal Government Other (pls specify): ____________________________ Private State: _________________________

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6. Number of employees (full-time, part-time, contract) in the whole organisation/institution: Above 25,000 10,001 to 25,000 5,001 to 10,000 2,501 to 5,000 1,001 to 2,500 501 to 1,000 101 to 500 Under 100 7. If you are an educational institution, number of students enrolled: Above 25,000 10,001 to 25,000 5,001 to 10,000 2,501 to 5,000 1,001 to 2,500 Under 1000 8. What connection to the Internet does your organisation/institution have? Dial up Streamyx ISDN Leased Line Other (pls specify): ________________________

SECTION B
Instruction: Please respond to the following. A. Management Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. My organisation/institution has a vision / mission on E-learning. My organisation/institution has formulated policies related to the provision of E-learning. My organisation/institution recognizes qualifications obtained via E-learning. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the management in your organisation/institution for E-learning?
Not ready

Yes

No

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Very ready

10

B. Personnel Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. My organisation/institution has a central unit dedicated to E-learning initiatives. My organisation/institution has a team to implement E-learning. My organisation/institution has a team of dedicated instructional designers. My organisation/institution has a staff development plan for E-learning. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are the personnel for E-learning?
Not ready

Yes

No

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Very ready

10

C. Technical Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4.

Yes

No

Is your organisation/institution using Intranet technology to run its daily operations? Is your organisation/institution using Internet technology to run its daily operations? Does your organisation/institution have broadband facilities? Does your organisation/institution have a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver elearning? 5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you technically (infrastructure, access, facilities, etc.) for E-learning? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Not ready Very ready
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D. Environmental Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Government policies have made my organisation/institution keen to explore E-learning. Mass media has made my organisation/institution keen to explore E-learning. The lack of legal provisions on intellectual property has hindered the development of E-learning in my organisation/institution. Certain government policies have hindered our plans to invest in E-learning. Lack of English language proficiency hinders E-learning in my organisation/institution. It is important to have a central agency to play an active role in regulating, competency development, research, intelligence gathering and E-learning initiatives in Malaysia. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the society / nation for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Yes

No

10 Very ready Yes No

E. Cultural Readiness 1. 2. Ultimately, E-learning should be the mode of learning in my organisation/institution. We believe that E-learning will help my organisation/institution remain competitive in the Kbased economy. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you in using E-learning for teaching and learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9

10 Very ready No

F. Financial Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Yes

My organisation/institution provides a computer loan to the employees. My organisation/institution provides funds for employees to attend conferences and training on E-learning. My organisation/institution has allocated a budget to develop E-learning content. My organisation/institution has allocated a budget to acquire E-learning content. On the scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the overall financial readiness in your organisation/institution towards E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready

G. What factors have hindered your organisation from going into E-learning in a bigger way or from expanding further? (Select all that apply) high initial investment high operating costs poor infrastructure lack of content no necessity for E-learning Other (pls specify): _________________________________ H. Other Comments (Your other opinions, perceptions and suggestions relating to E-learning are appreciated) _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Appendix G Survey Instrument for Providers

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A Study on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia
What Providers Have to Say
A study on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia is being conducted nationwide by the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications with the assistance of the Open University Malaysia. The study seeks to determine the Elearningreadiness of the country as perceived by policy makers, providers, enablers and learners in organisations and institutions of higher education/training centres, in both the government and private sectors. We value your input to the study. The questionnaire comprises of two parts, Section A and Section B. It will take about 510 minutes of your time. Please be assured that your responses will be held in the strictest confidence. For this study, E-learning is defined as “the use of networked and web-based technologies to enhance the quality of learning.” ____________________________________________________________________________________ SECTION A 1. Your position in the organisation/institution: ____________________________ 2. Name of organisation: __________________________ 3. Location of organisation: Town/City: ________________________ 4. Type of organisation: Government 5. Nature of organisation: Banking/Finance/Accounting/Insurance Education/Training/R&D Energy/Telecommunication Entertainment/Production/Broadcasting ICT Medical/Dental/Healthcare State/Local/Federal Government Other (pls specify): ____________________________ 6. Number of employees (full-time, part-time, contract) in the whole organisation/institution: Above 25,000 10,001 to 25,000 5,001 to 10,000 2,501 to 5,000 1,001 to 2,500 501 to 1,000 101 to 500 Under 100 7. If you are an educational institution, number of students enrolled: Private State: ________________________

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Above 25,000 10,001 to 25,000 5,001 to 10,000 2,501 to 5,000 1,001 to 2,500 Under 1000 8. What is the ideal bandwidth required to deliver your E-learning solution? 256 Kbps or less 512 kbps to 1 Mbps 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps 2 Mbps or more

9. Are you adopting any particular standards in the area of E-learning content and system? Yes No

10. Is there a need for Malaysian E-learning Standards? Yes No

11. Which of the following LMS/LCMS do you use or intend to use? WebCT In-house product Blackboard 12. The applications & services provided to support E-learning: LMS/LCMS authoring tools interactive modules/materials video (on demand) streaming server log analyzer sufficient bandwidth technical support personnel Others: _________________________________ 13. Security features employed in your network and resource servers (web): firewall network monitoring system virus scanner spam filtering Open source solution Other (pls specify): _________________________

14. What connection to the Internet does your organisation/institution have? Dial up Streamyx ISDN Leased Line Other (pls specify): ________________________ 15. Several local E-learningwebsites (e.g. Utusan Education Portal, Kakaktua.com, and Cikgu.Net) are currently available. Would you prefer to have one single point of access to local E-learning content? Yes No SECTION B

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Instruction: Please respond to the following. A. Personnel Readiness 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. My organisation/institution has a central unit dedicated to E-learning initiatives. My organisation/institution has a team to implement E-learning. My organisation/institution has a team of dedicated instructional designers. My organisation/institution has a staff development plan for E-learning. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are the personnel for E-learning? 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready No Yes No

1 Not ready

B. Content Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Content for E-learning is developed locally in Malaysia Content for E-learning is developed in-house. Content for E-learning is developed using internal expertise Content for E-learning is developed using external expertise On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you in terms of content for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Yes

9

10 Very ready No

C. Technical Readiness 6. 7. 8. 9.

Yes

Is your organisation/institution using Intranet technology to run its daily operations? Is your organisation/institution using Internet technology to run its daily operations? Does your organisation/institution have broadband facilities? Does your organisation/institution have a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver E-learning? 10. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you technically (infrastructure, access, facilities, etc.) for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready No

D. Environmental Readiness 7. Government policies have enhanced the relevance of my organisation/institution in the provision of E-learning. 8. Mass media has helped to promote the value of e-learning. 9. The lack of legal provisions on intellectual property has hindered the development of Elearning content. 10. Certain government policies have hindered our plans to further invest in E-learning. 11. Lack of English language proficiency hinders the progress of E-learning. 12. It is important to have a central agency to play an active role in regulating, competency development, research, intelligence gathering and E-learning initiatives in Malaysia. 8. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the society / nation for e-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Yes

9

10 Very ready No

E. Financial Readiness 6. The organisation has/organisations we work with have allocated adequate funding for Elearning If NO to the above question: 7. The organisation has/organisations we work with have plans to allocate funding for Elearning.

Yes

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8.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is your organisation/institution to invest in E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready

F.

What factors have hindered your organisation from going into E-learning in a bigger way or from expanding further? (Select all that apply) high initial investment high operating costs poor infrastructure lack of content no necessity for E-learning Other (pls specify): _________________________________

G. Other Comments (Your other opinions, perceptions and suggestions relating to E-learning are appreciated) _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Appendix H Survey Instrument for Enablers

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A Study on Readiness in Malaysia
What Enablers Have to Say
A study on E-learningReadiness in Malaysia is being conducted nationwide by the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications with the assistance of the Open University Malaysia. The study seeks to determine the E-learning readiness of the country as perceived by policy makers, providers, enablers and learners in organisations and institutions of higher education/training centres, in both the government and private sectors. We value your input to the study. The questionnaire comprises of two parts, Section A and Section B. It will take about 510 minutes of your time. Please be assured that your responses will be held in the strictest confidence. For this study, E-learning is defined as “the use of networked and web-based technologies to enhance the quality of learning.” ____________________________________________________________________________________ SECTION A 1. Gender: Male 2. Age: 18 - 25 3. I am a/an: Prof/Lecturer/Tutor/Teacher Trainer 4. Type of organisation/institution: Educational institution private college/university public college/university training institute Other: _________________________ Government agency Private Other (pls specify): _________________________ DAGS Recipient Other (pls specify): ________________________ 26 - 30 31 - 35 36 – 40 41 – 45 46 - 50 51 - 55 > 55 Female

5. Name of organisation: __________________________ 6. Location of organisation: Town/City: City Town Other (pls specify): _____________________ 7. Do you have access to a computer? Yes No
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State: _________________________

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8. Do you use a computer? Never A few times a year If NEVER, skip to No. 15 9. Do you use a computer at work? Yes No Once a month Once a week Daily/Almost daily

10. I use a computer for: (tick all that apply) Application software (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet, statistical analysis, database, presentations, computer games, graphics) E-mail Chatting/instant messaging E-discussion/E- forum/listservs/newsgroup File sharing with friends & colleagues 11. I access the Internet mostly from the: Home Work place Downloading software Online shopping/online reservation/online banking, etc. e-library information research Others (pls specify): ________________

Others (pls specify): ________________________ 12. Do you have Internet connection at home? Yes No

13. If you access the Internet from home, what connection to the Internet do you use? Dial up Streamyx ISDN Other (pls specify): ________________________

14. What connection to the Internet do you use from your work place? Dial up Streamyx ISDN Leased Line Other (pls specify): ________________________ 15. Choose up to 4 of the following channels of communication that you most prefer: Face-to-face SMS E-mail Chat on the Internet Written memo Postal mail
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16. Choose up to 4 of the following mode/media for learning that you most prefer: Written (printed materials) Online materials (include e-books, e-journals and other web materials) CD-ROM, DVD, other multimedia materials Face-to-face Online conference Online lectures / tutorials 16. Several local E-learning websites (e.g. Utusan Education Portal, Kakaktua.com, and Cikgu.Net) are currently available. Would you prefer to have one single point of access to local E-learning content? Yes No SECTION B Instruction: Please respond to the following. A. Learner Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. One day, training for every job on earth will be available on the Internet. My students/community members are interested to upgrade their academic/professional qualification through E-learning. My students/community members have used the opportunity to engage in E-learning. My students/community members are capable of managing their time for E-learning. My students/community members are committed to E-learning. To be a successful e-learner, my students/community members must have good interpersonal or social skills. My students/community members are worried that qualifications obtained via E-learning are not of the same standard as qualifications obtained via on-campus courses, although recognized by the government. My students/community members are worried that qualifications obtained via E-learning will not be recognized. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are your students/community members for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready Yes No Yes No

B. Management Readiness 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. My organisation/institution has a vision/mission on E-learning. My organisation/institution has formulated policies related to the provision of E-learning. My organisation/institution recognizes qualifications obtained via E-learning. My organisation/institution is ready for E-learning. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the management in your organisation/institution for E-learning? 1 2 Not ready C. Personnel Readiness 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. My organisation/institution has a central unit dedicated to E-learning initiatives. My organisation/institution has a team to implement E-learning. My organisation/institution has a team of dedicated instructional designers. My organisation/institution outsources its entire E-learning project to an external party/parties. My organisation/institution has a staff development plan for E-learning. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 Very ready Yes No

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15. My organisation/institution provides training on how to support E-learning. 16. My organisation/institution provides technical assistance to staff and students 17. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are the personnel for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready No

D. Content Readiness 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. There is a variety of E-learning materials to choose from. Content for E-learning is sufficient. Content for E-learning is appropriate for the needs of the target group. Content for E-learning is useful. Content for E-learning is meaningful. There is adequate online content support (e.g. library, tutorials, e-discussions) On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you in terms on content for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Yes

10 Very ready Yes No

E. Technical Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 11.

The organisation/institution where I work provides the necessary infrastructure for E-learning. I am able to provide technical help to e-learners. I can overcome most of the technical problems myself. The speed of E-learning content delivery is satisfactory. My organisation/institution is using Intranet technology to run its daily operations. My organisation/institution is using Internet technology to run its daily operations. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you technically (infrastructure, access, facilities, etc.) for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready No

F. Environmental Readiness 9. Government policies have made my students/community members interested in E-learning. 10. Mass media has created public awareness in E-learning. 11. The lack of legal provisions on intellectual property has hindered the development of E-learning in my organisation/institution. 12. Certain government policies have hindered our plans to invest in E-learning. 13. Lack of English language proficiency hinders E-learning adoption by my students/community 14. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the society/nation for E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Yes

10 Very ready Yes No

G. Cultural Readiness 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. The most effective method of learning is face-to-face. The teacher is still the best information provider. E-learning is an efficient means of disseminating information. E-learning enables learners and tutors to communicate and interact better with one another. Discussions via the Internet make learning more meaningful. When using technology for e-learning, the personal touch is important in the learning process. E-learning is an advanced mode/stage in teaching and learning. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you in using E-learning for teaching and learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 Very ready
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H. Financial Readiness 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Yes

No

I am willing to buy a computer for E-learning purposes. I am willing to spend on Internet connection for E-learning purposes. I have taken a loan to buy a computer for E-learning purposes. I can afford to buy a computer and pay for Internet access. Our organisation provides computer loans to employees. Our organisation has invested in the provision of E-learning to its employees. On the scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the overall financial readiness in your organisation/institution towards E-learning? 1 Not ready 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready

I. Other Comments (Your other opinions, perceptions and suggestions relating to E-learning are appreciated) _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

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Appendix I Survey Instrument for Receivers

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A Study on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia
What Learners Have to Say
A study on E-learning Readiness in Malaysia is being conducted nationwide by the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications with the assistance of the Open University Malaysia. The study seeks to determine the Elearning readiness of the country as perceived by policy makers, providers, enablers and learners in organisations and institutions of higher education/training centres, in both the government and private sectors. We value your input to the study. The questionnaire comprises of two parts, Section A and Section B. It will take about 5-10 minutes of your time. Please be assured that your responses will be held in the strictest confidence. For this study, E-learning is defined as “the use of networked and web-based technologies to enhance the quality of learning.”

Kajian Kesediaan EPembelajaran di Malaysia
Apa Kata Pelajar/Peserta
Kajian tentang Kesediaan E-Pembelajaran di Malaysia sedang dijalankan di seluruh negara oleh Kementerian Tenaga, Air & Komunikasi dengan kerjasama Universiti Terbuka Malaysia (OUM). Kajian ini bertujuan menentukan tahap kesediaan e-pembelajaran di negara ini sebagaimana persepsi pembuat dasar, pembekal, pihak yang membolehkan (enablers) dan pelajar/peserta di organisasi dan institusi pengajian tinggi/pusat latihan, baik sektor awam mahupun swasta. Kami menghargai respon anda kepada kajian ini. Soalselidik ini mengandungi dua bahagian, Bahagian A dan Bahagian B. Kajian ini akan mengambil kira-kira 5-10 minit. Respon anda adalah dirahsiakan. Untuk kajian ini, e-pembelajaran ditakrifkan sebagai “penggunaan teknologi rangkaian dan berasaskan web (networked and web-based technologies) untuk meningkatkan kualiti pembelajaran.”

_______________________________________________________________________________ SECTION A BAHAGIAN A 1. Gender: Jantina: Male Lelaki 2. Age: Umur: < 18 18 - 25 26 - 30 31 - 35 36 – 40 41 – 45 46 - 50 51 – 55 > 55 Female Perempuan

3. Place of permanent residence: Tempat tinggal tetap: Town/City: Bandar/Bandaraya: City Bandaraya Town Bandar Other (pls specify): _____________________ Lain-lain (sila nyatakan): State : _________________________ Negeri :

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4. I am enrolled/attending an in-service course in a: Saya berdaftar/sedang berkursus di sebuah: Private college/university Kolej/universiti swasta Public college/university Kolej/universiti awam Training institute Institut latihan Other (pls specify) : ___________________________ Lain-lain (sila nyatakan): 5. Name of institution: __________________________ Nama Institusi: 6. Type of course/training: Jenis kursus/latihan: Certificate/Pre-U/Diploma Sijil/Pra-U/Diploma Bachelors degree Ijazah Sarjana Muda/Bacelor Postgraduate diploma Diploma Pasca-siswazah Masters degree Ijazah Sarjana PhD Ijazah Kedoktoran/PhD Professional course Kursus Profesional Certificate course Kursus Sijil In-service course Kursus dalam perkhidmatan Other (pls specify) : ____________________________ Lain-lain (sila nyatakan): 7. Enrollment Status (if student): Status Pendaftaran (jika pelajar): Part-time Sambilan Full- time Sepenuh masa

8. Do you have access to a computer? Adakah anda mempunyai akses kepada komputer? Yes Ya No Tidak

9. Do you use a computer? Adakah anda menggunakan komputer? Never Tidak pernah A few times a year Beberapa kali setahun
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Once a month Sebulan sekali Once a week Seminggu sekali

Daily/Almost daily Setiap hari/Hampir setiap hari

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If NEVER, skip to Question 15. Jika TIDAK PERNAH, sila ke Soalan 15. 10. Do you use a computer at work? (if applicable) Adakah anda menggunakan komputer di tempat kerja? Yes Ya No Tidak

11. I use a computer for: (tick all that apply) Saya menggunakan komputer untuk: (tandakan semua yang berkenaan) Application software (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet, statistical analysis, database, presentations, computer games, graphics) Perisian aplikasi (contoh: pemprosesan perkataan, hamparan elektronik, analisis statistik, pangkalan data, pembentangan, permainan komputer, grafik) E-mail E-mel Chatting/instant messaging Sembang-sembang/mesej segera E-discussion/E- forum/listservs/newsgroup E-diskusi/E- forum/listservs/newsgroup Downloading software Muat turun perisian Downloading music files Muat turun fail muzik Network games Permainan rangkaian File sharing with friends & colleagues Perkongsian fail dengan kawan & rakan sekerja Blog Blog Online shopping/online reservation/online banking, etc. Membeli belah dalam talian/tempahan dalam talian/perbankan dalam talian, dll.

Academic/training purposes Tujuan akademik/latihan Online application Aplikasi dalam talian Course registration Pendaftaran kursus Course-related materials Bahan-bahan berkaitan kursus E-library E-perpustakaan Information Maklumat Course assignment Tugasan kursus Research Penyelidikan Other (pls specify) : _____________________________ Lain-lain(sila nyatakan):

12. If you use the Internet, where do you access the Internet mostly from? Jika anda menggunakan Internet, tempat yang paling kerap anda mengaksesnya? Home Rumah Cyber café Kafe siber School/college/university Work place Sekolah/kolej/universiti Tempat kerja Other (pls specify) : Lain-lain (sila nyatakan): ________________________

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13. Do you have Internet connection at home? Adakah anda mempunyai akses ke Internet dari rumah? Yes Ya No Tidak

14. If YES (i.e. access the Internet from home), what connection to the Internet do you use? Jika YA (iaitu anda mengakses Internet dari rumah), yang manakah antara berikut anda gunakan? Dial-up Dail Streamyx Streamyx ISDN ISDN Other (pls specify) : ________________________ Lain-lain (sila nyatakan):

15. Choose up to 4 of the following channels of communication that you most prefer: Pilih sehingga 4 saluran-saluran komunikasi berikut yang anda paling suka: Face-to-face Bersemuka SMS SMS E-mail E-mel Chat on the Internet Sembang-sembang di Internet Written memo Memo bertulis Postal mail Mel Pos 16. Choose up to 4 of the following mode/media for learning that you most prefer: Pilih sehingga 4 mod/media pembelajaran berikut yang anda paling suka: Written (printed materials) Bahan bertulis/bercetak Online materials (include e-books, e-journals and other web materials) Bahan dalam talian (termasuk e-buku, e-jurnal dan lain-lain bahan web) CD-ROM, DVD, other multimedia materials CD-ROM, DVD, dan lain-lain bahan multimedia Face-to-face Bersemuka Online conference Persidangan dalam talian Online lectures / tutorials Kuliah/tutoran dalam talian 17. Several local E-learning websites (e.g. Utusan Education Portal, Kakaktua.com, and Cikgu.Net) are currently available. Would you prefer to have one single point of access to local E-learningcontent? Beberapa tapak web tempatan (contoh: Utusan Education Portal, Kakaktua.com, dan Cikgu.Net) sedia wujud buat masa ini. Adakah anda lebih suka jika terdapat satu sahaja tapak web (one single point of access) untuk mendapat bahan e-pembelajaran tempatan? Yes Ya No Tidak

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SECTION B BAHAGIAN B Instruction: Please respond to the following. Arahan: Sila berikan respon anda kepada perkara-perkara berikut. A. Learner Readiness Kesediaan Pelajar/Peserta 10. I am willing to make the time for E-learning. Saya bersedia memberikan masa untuk e-pembelajaran. 11. I am able to manage my time for E-learning. Saya boleh menguruskan masa saya untuk e-pembelajaran. 12. I can discipline myself to follow E-learning courses. Saya boleh mendisiplinkan diri untuk mengikuti kursus e-pembelajaran. 13. My family is supportive of my study via E-learning. Keluarga menyokong usaha e-pembelajaran saya. 14. To be a successful e-learner, I must have good interpersonal or social skills. Untuk menjadi e-pelajar yang berjaya, saya mesti mempunyai kemahiran perorangan atau kemahiran sosial yang baik. 15. I am worried that qualifications obtained via E-learning will not be recognized. Saya risau kalau-kalau kelayakan yang diperolehi melalui e-pembelajaran itu tidak diperakui. 16. I am interested to upgrade my academic/professional qualification through E-learning. Saya berminat untuk meningkatkan kelayakan akademik/profesional saya menerusi epembelajaran. 17. Will you grab the opportunity to engage in E-learning? Adakah anda akan mengambil peluang untuk mengikuti e-pembelajaran? 18. Do you think you will be committed to E-learning? Adakah anda fikir yang anda akan komited kepada e-pembelajaran? 19. One day, training for every job on earth will be available on the Internet. Satu hari nanti, latihan untuk setiap pekerjaan di bumi ini akan tersedia di Internet. (Answer the next three questions if you are employed): (Jika anda bekerja, sila jawab tiga soalan berikut:) 20. My employer will give me the time off to study via E-learning. Majikan saya akan memberikan saya cuti (time off) untuk mengikuti pengajian melalui epembelajaran. 21. My employer will let me use the facilities at work outside office hours for E-learning. Majikan saya akan membenarkan saya menggunakan kemudahan di tempat kerja di luar waktu pejabat untuk e-pembelajaran. 22. I am interested to improve my work performance through E-learning. Saya berminat untuk memperbaiki prestasi kerja saya menerusi e-pembelajaran. 23. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you for E-learning? Pada skala 1 hingga 10, sejauh manakah anda bersedia untuk e-pembelajaran? 1 2 Not ready Tidak bersedia B. Content Readiness Kesediaan Kandungan 13. There is a variety of E-learning materials for me to choose from. Terdapat pelbagai bahan e-pembelajaran untuk dipilih. 14. Content for E-learning is available. Kandungan untuk e-pembelajaran tersedia ada.
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Yes Ya

No Tidak

Yes Ya

No Tidak

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10 Very ready Sangat bersedia

Yes Ya

No Tidak

15. Content for E-learning is appropriate for my needs. Kandungan untuk e-pembelajaran sesuai bagi keperluan saya. 16. Content for E-learning is useful. Kandungan untuk e-pembelajaran berguna bagi saya. 17. Content for E-learning is meaningful. Kandungan untuk e-pembelajaran bermakna bagi saya. 18. There is adequate online content support (e.g. library, tutorials, e-discussions) Terdapat sokongan yang mencukupi untuk kandungan dalam talian (Contoh: e perpustakaan, e-tutoran, e-diskusi) 19. The course provides the opportunity for learners to discuss and work collaboratively on projects. Kursus yang saya ikuti memberikan para pelajar peluang untuk berbincang dan menjalankan projek secara kolaboratif. 20. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the institution in terms of providing content for E-learning? Pada skala 1 hingga 10, sejauh manakah institusi ini bersedia dari segi kandungan e-pembelajaran? 1 2 Not ready Tidak bersedia C. Technical Readiness Kesediaan Teknikal 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 Very ready Sangat bersedia Yes Ya No Tidak 9

12. The institution where I study provides the necessary infrastructure for E-learning. Institusi tempat saya belajar menyediakan infrastruktur yang perlu untuk epembelajaran. 13. Technical help is available for e-learners. Bantuan teknikal disediakan untuk e-pelajar. 14. When requested, technical help has proven reliable. Apabila diminta, bantuan teknikal terbukti boleh diharapkan. 15. I can overcome most of the technical problems myself. Saya sendiri boleh mengatasi kebanyakan masalah teknikal yang saya hadapi. 16. The speed of E-learning content delivery is satisfactory. Kelajuan penghantaran kandungan e-pembelajaran adalah memuaskan. 17. The institution where I study provides hands-on training to students of E-learning. Institusi tempat saya belajar menyediakan latihan amali (hands-on training) kepada epelajar. 18. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the institution technically (infrastructure, access, facilities, etc.) for E-learning? Pada skala 1 hingga 10, sejauh manakah institusi ini bersedia dari segi teknikal (infrastruktur, akses, kemudahan, dll.) untuk e-pembelajaran? 1 Not ready Tidak bersedia 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 Very ready Sangat bersedia Yes Ya No Tidak 9

D. Environmental Readiness Kesediaan Persekitaran

15. Government policies have made me interested in E-learning. Dasar Kerajaan telah membuatkan saya berminat dengan e-pembelajaran. 16. Mass media has created public awareness in E-learning. Media massa telah menyedarkan orang ramai tentang e-pembelajaran. 17. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the society/nation for E-learning? Pada skala 1 hingga 10, sejauh manakah masyarakat/negara bersedia untuk e-pembelajaran? 1 Not ready Tidak bersedia 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 Very ready Sangat bersedia 9

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E. Cultural Readiness Kesediaan Budaya 9. 10. 11. 12.

Yes Ya

No Tidak

13. 14. 15.

The most effective method of learning is face-to-face. Kaedah pembelajaran paling berkesan ialah kaedah bersemuka. The teacher is still the best information provider. Guru masih merupakan pembekal maklumat yang terbaik. Discussions via the Internet make learning more meaningful. Perbincangan melalui Internet menjadikan pembelajaran lebih bermakna. When using technology for e-learning, the personal touch is important in the learning process. Bila menggunakan teknologi untuk e-pembelajaran, saya menganggap sentuhan peribadi (personal touch) masih penting dalam proses pembelajaran. E-learningis an efficient means of disseminating information. E-pembelajaran ialah cara yang cekap/efisien untuk menyebarkan maklumat. E-learningis an advanced mode/stage in teaching and learning. E-pembelajaran ialah mod/tahap pengajaran dan pembelajaran yang terkehadapan. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready is the institution in using E-learning for teaching and learning? Pada skala 1 hingga 10, sejauh manakah institusi ini bersedia menggunakan e-pembelajaran untuk pengajaran dan pembelajaran? 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 Very ready Sangat bersedia Yes Ya No Tidak 9

1 Not ready Tidak bersedia

F. Financial Readiness Kesediaan Kewangan

16. I am willing to buy a computer for E-learning purposes. Saya bersedia membeli komputer untuk tujuan e-pembelajaran. 17. I am willing to spend on Internet connection for E-learning purposes. Saya sedia berbelanja bagi mendapatkan hubungan Internet untuk tujuan epembelajaran. 18. I have taken a loan to buy a computer for E-learning purposes. Saya telah mengambil pinjaman untuk membeli komputer untuk tujuan e-pembelajaran. 19. I can afford to buy a computer and pay for Internet access. Saya mampu membeli komputer dan membayar kos mengakses Internet. 20. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you to spend on E-learning? Pada skala 1 hingga 10, sejauh manakah anda bersedia mengeluarkan belanja untuk e-pembelajaran? 1 Not ready Tidak bersedia 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ready Sangat bersedia

G. Other Comments (Your other opinions, perceptions and suggestions relating to E-learning are appreciated) Lain-lain Komen (Lain-lain pendapat, persepsi dan cadangan anda berkaitan e-pembelajaran adalah dihargai) ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
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Appendix J Biodata of the Working Group Members

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Professor Dr Abu Talib Othman
Professor Dr Abu Talib Othman has 24 years experience in the ICT industry, formerly the Director of Computer Center, University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Dean of School of Information Technology, University Utara Malaysia (UUM) and Director of Computer Center, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI). He is currently Dean, Institute of Infotech Mara, University Kuala Lumpur. His vast experience in ICT consultancy works includes setting up new faculty ICT infrastructure for the UPM, UUM, Kolej Universiti Islam Malaysia, Nilai (KUIM), Legenda College Langkawi, Kolej Darulaman Multimedia, University Technology MARA, and the computerisation of the International Islamic University. He was involved with the EIS Project for Ministry of Agriculture, ICT solution for University Malaysia Sabah, Consultant for Origin Technology Sdn Bhd, Consultant for IQNet Sdn Bhd, Consultant for UPEN Kedah and Consultant for Putrajaya IT Master Plan. He was CEO at Lagenda College Langkawi, Kolej Darulaman Multimedia and Process Manager for the Electronic Government Project. He obtained his Ph.D in Computer Science from University of Bradford, UK (1988), Master of Science in Control Engineering from University of Bradford, UK (1980) and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (1979).

Chng Loi Peng Chng Loi Peng is a lecturer at the Faculty of Science and Foundation Studies, Open University Malaysia. He is one of the many pioneer staffs who witnessed the growth and success of the University. He attended his early education at St. Paul Institution, Seremban. He obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from University Putra Malaysia. His interests are in the field of agricultural sciences, soil science and environmental science. He plans to further his education in the field of environmental science and bioremediation.

Fitri Suraya Mohamad Fitri Suraya Mohamad is a lecturer at the Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. She studied TESL at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) at baccalaureate level, and at The Pennsylvania State University, USA, at Masters level. Fitri has been involved in E-learning since the first working group was created by NITC in 1998 (STIC on E-learning), when E-learning was still an undefined phenomenon in the field of learning technologies in Malaysia. At UNIMAS, Fitri is responsible for the Elearning developments on campus, which include the training of academics who wish to supplement their classroom instruction with Elearning. She heads a team taking care of all E-learning issues on campus. Fitri writes and presents papers actively at local and international forums. She has published more than twenty papers and book chapters centering on issues related to Instructional Technology and Teacher Education.
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Currently Fitri is on study leave at University of London, United Kingdom, pursuing her doctorial studies at the Institute of Education.

Associate Professor Dr Halimah Awang Dr Halimah Awang is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Administrative Studies and Politics, Faculty of Economics and Administration (FEA), University of Malaya. Dr Halimah Awang studied at Northern Illinois University, USA and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics in 1977 and Master of Science in Applied Probability and Statistics in 1978. She later obtained a PhD in Applied Statistics from Macquarie University, Australia in 1998. She was a lecturer at the Department of Applied Statistics, FEA from 1985 to 2000. The courses she has taught include research methodology, management techniques, quantitative analysis and statistical data analysis both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Dr Halimah has undertaken a number of research projects sponsored by IRPA, United Nations Fund for Population Activities, the Ministry of National Unity and Social Development, the National Population and Family Development Board and the University of Malaya. Her research covers a wide range of topics including demography, biostatistics, gender and Information Technology, and socio-economic studies.

Associate Professor Dr Kuldip Kaur Dr Kuldip Kaur is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences at the Open University Malaysia. She was previously Associate Professor at the Department of Languages and Literacy Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya. Dr Kuldip received a doctorate in education (Ph. D.) in English Education from Syracuse University in 1991. She has researched widely and has published several chapters and articles on teaching-learning methodology and online learning. Dr Kuldip is also the Chief Editor of The English Teacher, a Journal of the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association, and is a member of the Asia TEFL Council. Associate Professor Dr Latifah Abdol Latif Dr Latifah Abdol Latif joined OUM in 2002 as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Science and Foundation Studies, Open University Malaysia and Director of Centre of Student Affairs, from 1st July 2003. She has served as a Chemistry tutor at the Pusat Asasi Sains, University of Malaya in 1980. Four years during the tenure as a tutor, she obtained her PhD in the area of Organometallic Chemistry (University of Sussex, Brighton, UK) and held a lecturer post from 1984 to 1995. She was appointed the Head of Chemistry Division in 1987, and later in 1995 as an Associate Professor. Between 1992 and 1996 she was again appointed the Head of Chemistry Division, and was later appointed the Deputy Director, Centre
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of Foundation Studies in Science from 1996-1998. In 1997, she was awarded the British High Commissioner’s Chevening Awards Scheme: Royal Society Malaysian Fellowship 1997/98, to undertake a 9-months research in the area of Transition Metal Chemistry/ Organometallic Chemistry at the University of Wales, Bangor, UK. She published 6 major papers in the area of Organometallic Chemistry out of the work carried out in Wales. In 2001, Dr Latifah was awarded the American Fulbright Fellowship, to carry out a joint research at the Chemistry Department, University of North Carolina, USA (Forgo the offer to accept the offer from OUM). She has published nearly 40 papers in refereed journals, proceedings, reports and books and has been very active in many conferences and seminars in the area of Chemistry locally and internationally. She is active in research, particularly on the student retention at OUM.

Norhaizan Mat Talha Norhaizan Mat Talha has been a researcher in MIMOS Berhad for the last eleven years. Her area of research includes fiber optics, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Network Management, Open source and the latest, metadata for web resources and learning object. She is now in charge of content acquisition and aggregation for the Malaysian Grid for Learning portal. She graduated from University College of Swansea, Wales with an honours degree in Physics with Laser Physics.

Dr Norizan Abdul Razak Dr Norizan Abdul Razak is a lecturer at School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western Illinois University and later received her Master of Arts in TESOL from University of Northern Iowa. She attained her doctoral degree in Computer in Education from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She has published articles related to CALL and E-learning in international and national journal and her publications include a book on Computer Assisted Language Learning: Some Pedagogical Issues (1998). Currently she is the executive editor of Internet Journal of E-Language Learning and Teaching. Her research interests are in CALL, ICT competency standards and online testing. She is one of the team members who conceptualized and developed the online computer competency test for UKM and online English language test for UKM academic and support staff.

Dr Norrizan Razali Dr Norrizan Razali heads the Smart School Flagship at the Multimedia Development Cooperation under the Multimedia Super Corridor Project. As a Senior Manager for the Smart School Flagship, she was involved in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the smart school pilot
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project. Currently, her focus is to ensure successful expansion of the Smart School across Malaysia. The emphasis of her work is also on the innovation of the delivery of education process utilizing ICT. Her responsibilities also include assessing new technologies for education and providing the educational input for integration of technologies in education. Dr Norrizan holds a Ph.D in education from the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Dr Norrizan also has a vast experience in implementing the smart school concept in Laos, Myanmar and Syria. She has played various key roles in special groups looking into the different areas of e-learning development in Malaysia and overseas. Prior to joining the Multimedia Development Corporation, Dr Norrizan had worked with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia where she was responsible for policy research and consultancy in the area of education. At ISIS, Dr Norrizan managed and conducted a number of large-scale technical education projects funded by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for the Ministry of Education. Prior to ISIS, she was with the Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia

Professor Dr Nuraihan Mat Daud Dr Nuraihan Mat Daud is a Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature, International Islamic University Malaysia. She is currently the Deputy Dean of Academic Affairs, Human Science, Kulliyyah of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences. She obtained her first degree in 1986 from Monash University, Australia in Linguistics, second degree in 1988 from Aston University in Teaching English for Specific Purposes and her PhD in 1995 from the University of Hull, UK in Education (specializing in Computer-Assisted Language Learning). Her research interests include computer-assisted language learning, teaching English for specific purposes and second language learning. She teaches computer related courses at the Department at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is also supervising Master and PhD students in the same area. She has presented academic papers at both national and international conferences and published numerous articles in local and international refereed journals. She has also a few books to her name.

Associate Professor Dr Rahmah Hashim Dr Rahmah Hashim is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication, Open University Malaysia. Prior to that, she was a faculty member at the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) since 1982. She has held the office of Deputy Dean (Administration), Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, UKM, between November 1991-November 1993, and Head
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of the Communication Department, UKM, between October 1998 to September 2000. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (Communication) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (1980), Master of Science (Instructional Media Technology), Central Missouri State University, USA (1982), and Ph.D. (Telecommunication) from the Ohio State University, Columbus, USA (1989). Before her tertiary education, Dr Rahmah underwent teacher training at the Temenggong Ibrahim Teachers’ College, Johor Bahru (1965-1966) and the Specialist Teacher Training Institute (Education of the Blind) in Kuala Lumpur (1973). She has presented conference papers in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, South Africa and Belgium. To date, she has contributed chapters in a number of books and published monographs both locally and internationally. Her research focus includes ICT and its impact on the people’s quality of life. A number of research projects have also been conducted for UKM, and organisations such as the Asian Media, Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) Singapore, Asian Institute for Development Communication (AIDCOM), UNESCO, and KOMTECH, Germany.

Associate Professor Dr Raja Maznah Raja Hussain Dr Raja Maznah Raja Hussain is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instructional Technology, at the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya. She was the Director of UMLIC (University of Malaya Learning Development Center) from 1996 to 2000. Dr. Raja Maznah has a Ph. D. in the field of Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. Her area of specialization is Instructional Design and Training. She has presented papers and conducted workshops for Higher Education Institutions and organisations in the areas of Instructional Design, Course Development, Presentation Skills, Management of Technology-Based Learning, and Learning Organisation. She was a Visiting Professor at the Florida State University in 1995 in the School Year 2000 project, a project to restructure schools using technology. She spent her sabbatical in 2000 at the Multimedia University as a Visiting Professor responsible for developing Instructional Design Guideline for the Multimedia Learning System (MMLS). She was an Instructional Designer Consultant to UNITEM in the Content Development project in 2001-2002. She was a lead researcher and Instructional Designer for INSTEP in their eLearning project in 2001. She believes that learning is a tool for success and that it is important to share your ideas and what you have learned with others.

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Rohani Ismail Rohani Ismail has graduated from the Australian National University with a bachelor degree in Computer Science. She is now the Manager for e-Learning Technology department with focus in research and development in the said area. She has over 14 years of working experience in the field of application development and project management.

Sulaiman Sarkawi Sulaiman Sarkawi is a lecturer at the ICT Faculty of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. He graduated with Masters in Education in the field of Computer in Education from the University of Malaya. His work experience includes being a secondary school teacher (1986 to 1990), research officer for the Ministry of Education–MIMOS Project (1990 to 1991), coordinator for the same project, and IT lecturer at a teaching college. He was a trainer for Education Center of Smart School and he developed a generic module for skills in smart schools. He attended a short course on smart school at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. He also wrote Amali ToolBook II Assistant 8.8: Langkah Mudah dan Cepat, a book printed by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. His research in e-learning involves The Readiness of Teachers in using Education Web (2001), and The Important Elements in Education Portal (2004).

Professor Dr Szarina Abdullah Professor Dr Szarina Abdullah is a lecturer at the Faculty of Information Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam. She obtained her PhD in Information Science from University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and MSc in Library and Information Science from University of Hawaii (Honolulu). She has a vast experience in teaching, research and consultation in the area of Bibliometrics, Distance Education, E-learning, Information Management, Knowledge Management, Library Managemen and Research Methodology. Dr Szarina was the Head of Research in the Bibliometrics Special Interest Group, UiTM and successfully completed the National Study on Knowledge Productivity in the field of Science and Technology in Malaysia for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in August 2004. Another ongoing research project is the Information Literacy Rate Survey Among the University Graduates in Malaysia. Administratively, she was Program Leader, Head of Research, Dean at the Faculty of Library and Information Science, Dean of Learning Centre, Assistant Academic Director and Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Distance Education. She introduced the E-Learning programme at Universiti Teknologi MARA in 1998. She is currently the President of the Malaysian Association of Distance Education from 2000 to 2004.

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Tengku Putri Norishah Tengku Shariman Tengku Putri Norishah Tengku Shariman currently heads the e-learning content development Unit and lectures pedagogy courses in the Masters of Multimedia (e-learning Technologies) programme, offered by the Faculty of Creative Multimedia. She is a graduate of Indiana University, USA specializing in Computer Assisted Learning. She has been an Instructional Designer in Multimedia University for the past six years, working on content development projects for both internal and external clients. As a member of the National e-learning Consultative Council, she hopes to further contribute towards the advancement of e-learning research and development in Malaysia. She is currently writing her Phd research on On-line Collaborative Learning at the Graduate School of Education, Bristol University, United Kingdom.

Dr Tina Lim Swee Kim Dr Tina Lim Swee Kim is currently the Head of Research Unit at the Ipoh Teacher Training College. She received her primary education at Convent Green Lane Primary School, Penang and her secondary education at Convent Green Lane Secondary School, Penang. After which, she continued her Sixth Form at St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang. She obtained her basic degree that is, Bachelor of Science with Education (Honours) from Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur in 1985. The following year, she attended the Conversion Course for Science and Mathematics graduate teachers at the Language Institute, Kuala Lumpur and was accorded a certificate in TESL. In 1996, she obtained her Master in Education (specializing in Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Houston, USA. Following that in 2003, she obtained her PhD from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. Dr Tina Lim served as a teacher in Sri Aman and Kuching, Sarawak, as well as in Ipoh, from 1986 through 1995. The subjects she has taught include Biology, Mathematics, Additional Mathematics and English. In 1996, she joined the Ipoh Teacher Training College and served as a lecturer in the Science and Mathematics Department. In the year 2003, she joined the Research and Development Department and heads the Research Unit.

Associate Professor Dr Zoraini Wati Abas Dr Zoraini Wati Abas has been attached to the Faculty of Education, Arts and Social Sciences at the Open University Malaysia since 2004 and currently serves as Director, Center for Instructional Design and Technology. She received a doctorate in education (Ed. D.) in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University in 1985. Prior to joining Open University Malaysia, she was the Director of the Centre for E-Learning and Multimedia at the International Medical University where she developed OLIS (On-line Learning Instentive System) for medical students.
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Prior to that, she was a Curriculum Officer at the MARA Secondary Education Division. She also served as Executive Director, Global Learning Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and as Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya. She was also consultant to an ADB project and had developed an IT Plan for the Technical Education Department. Among her publications include several books and dictionaries on computers and computer education and has published more than 700 articles to promote computers and the Internet in magazines and newspapers. In 1996, she conceptualized TM School Online, an Internet-based project funded by Telekom Malaysia, the first Web-based education portal for primary and secondary students as well as teachers. She is currently the President of the South East Asian Association for Institutional Research SEAAIR). She also serves as a committee member of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) – Working Group 3.1.

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