EDUCATIONAL PORTAL FOR WEB-BASED COURSES (EPIC) AS A NEW HYBRIDIZED COMMUNICATION SOLUTION FOR IN-SERVICE OUM STUDENT-TEACHERS: THE EXPERIENCE OF EPIC ONLINE SUPERVISOR (EOS)
Widad bt. Othman
Lim Tick Meng
Shawira bt. Abu Bakar
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The emergence of web-based social media has made it possible for people to communicate freely with one another, regardless of time and place. This has resulted in a changing notion about teaching and learning. In particular, educators from all over the world are beginning to pay attention to the possible roles of web-based social media in enhancing learning. Traditional mode of teaching and learning is very much teacher centered with information transfer mainly in a one-way manner. Learning is bounded by time and space. The use of social media enables the creation of a hybrid learning environment that leverages on the strengths of both traditional learning and the more constructivist learner-centred learning. OUM adopts a blended approach where learning is enabled through multi mode strategies. Here, learners learn self-managed learning with print modules or webbased modules and learning materials, face-to-face interactions and learning via online forum discussion. This form of learning provides learners with the best of both worlds by giving learners the guidance that can be achieved in an actual classroom, as well as the flexibility and openness of self-paced learning through online and virtual learning methods which allow students to experience online learning through online forum discussions. To explore the possibility of implementing effective learning via a fully online learning environment, OUM has designed and developed a web-based learning system named as EPIC. As a first step towards implementing learning via hybridized communication environment, four fully online courses were conducted, supported by the EPIC learning environment. The four courses are namely: Co-Curriculum, Professional Practice, Professional Development and Inclusive Education. These courses are not only fully taught fully online, but the assignments were also designed in a scaffolding format. This paper will highlight how OUM students’ (in-service teachers) explore and perceive EPIC as a new hybridized communication media as perceived by the EPIC online supervisor (EOS).