MOOCs and OER form Next Generation Learning in Asia
Advances made in information technology and child psychology has made people look beyond the traditional teaching methods. This is done to improve the knowledge and level of understanding of basic concepts of a majority of population. Especially in Asia, due to the greater school age youth population in the region.
Having a high quality education system in place ensures that a region develops youth who are well-equipped to adapt to changes and advances that take place. The future economy of the region heavily depends upon the skills and knowledge of their youth. Equipping the children with different functional skills would make them more responsible and responsive as citizens. Technological innovations can potentially carve out a better path in years to come.
IT supplying Education Systems in Asia
The most pressing problem that these nations face, is sustaining a good education system. One that is affordable and accessible to the majority of the population by means of the internet.Countries like Singapore, that have exceptional IT infrastructure established across its area, have less problems related to accessibility. With the inclusion of government support, e-learning is easily accepted and assimilated into the education system.
For example, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), one of the leading colleges in the world, has an online presence that is about 800 courses strong. The university has also partnered with Coursera to offer MOOCs to globally promote the high quality of education that is enjoyed by their students.
Universiti Putra Malaysia has launched a MOOC initiative, the first of any university of its kind to do so, which promotes flexible working hours and reduced class time. As OpenGov previously reported in The Current States of MOOCs in Malaysia, PutraMOOC is open to entire public at no cost. People only need to register online to be enrolled.
The systems of learning through the internet used to be linear, at first. Professors would create videos of themselves teaching a concept to a class and upload that on the internet for others to watch. The use of interactive chat sessions and discussion boards, which encouraged students to ask questions to better understand the subject, was used only much later. It is important for the governments and education institutions to use a degree of strategic planning when implementing next generation learning.
Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) are research, teaching, and learning resources made available to the public. Research has suggested that distance learning is just as effective as face-to-face teaching methods. Many countries in the region are pushing OER initiatives.
In Cambodia, a policy workshop has led to adoption of Open Distance Learning programme by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports. As part of this programme, the Ministry wrote new curricula for pre-service teacher training. They also offered job-centered ICT training to over 80% of upper secondary school teachers.
Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport, H.E. Im Sethy states, “standardization, the use of Khmer language in ICT, the systematic training of Ministry officials, their use of e-mail, and the structuring of teacher and student ICT training have deeply modified the operations of the Ministry, bringing it into the age of information technology.”
The country of Indonesia has also launched its own OER framework. Universitas Terbuka (UT) was the first higher education institution that implemented a distance and open learning system. In 2013, the university had 274 OER across four faculty departments.
Hong Kong is working on launching an Open Text Book program. This programme received $17.5 million (HKD) from the Chief Executive's Community Project Fund. The aims of this project include establishing a sustainable system to provide quality open textbooks for adoption at minimal cost to teachers and students.