Part 4: Wakelet certified!

It took me more than 2 days to study and retake the test on Wakelet. While waiting for the badge, I watched YouTube videos of previous AKRI winners, to get some ideas on the presentation of ideas.

Those who are natural presenters with high oratory proficiency, they opt for free-style presentation with minimal media graphics. But some with background in multimedia, they opt for combining recorded videos embedded in the slides, with multimedia graphics.

Me and my team members? We opt for creating a video using a platform that we already know and familiar with. Nothing fancy. As long as the video can deliver the ideas well, nothing else matters. We might add some voice over too.

Part 3: Become a Wakelet superstar!

I had a workshop yesterday. I informed one of the team members who was down with a flu that I will revise again the version that I submitted to her. Even though she was sick, she looked at the latest version and gave her comments. I felt honored that she took a time to review it despite feeling unwell. But both of us agreed that we need to take a step back for while from it and perhaps when we look at it again in another few days, we have a fresher look at the things that we have done so far. At the moment, it feels things are saturated. As if there is nothing more to add but we know that we still have to make certain changes here and there.

I got a message from a senior that I befriended through FB. We had agreed that we are going to have a brainstorming session about action research. She is enthusiastic to conduct the session even though it began at 930pm. To be honest, I was feeling exhausted. But seeing her cheerful face on WebEx, I felt less tired and tried my very best to take notes from the session.

May be an image of 7 people, laptop and screen
I looked so serious while taking notes (tongue in cheek remark!)

This is an opportunity for me to learn something new about action research. Her critical buddies for her action research are prominent figures in teaching and learning. I know both of them even though I have never met them before. She was mentored by these two critical buddies. A final note that she shared in her FB is

When a toxic no longer can control you, they will try to control how others see you. the misinformation will be unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, just like you did.

Part 2: Become a Wakelet superstar!

While attending a session, I tried to self-study the materials in Wakelet. Normally, I would write my own notes like I did when I self-studied materials for MyDigitalEducator@MOHE program. But multitasking is too much, I guess, so my notes are less perfect.

When I took the Wakelet test, I did not score well. So, I did not get the certificate or badge. I have to try it again.

Moral of the story: Even though it is self-study mode, but I should take note.

Part 1: Become a Wakelet superstar!

I received this email from Wakelet to offer a training session to become a Wakelet superstar. We will be given a badge if we complete the training (plus evaluation). It is interesting! But when I looked at my existing schedule even on weekends, I was stumped by how packed my weekends (this weekend, especially). With a tuition class, a two-day workshop (which I can only attend on Saturday) and a wedding organised by my cousin, I feel I need to slow down, take a pause and reflect.

Perhaps I need a valid distraction like this Wakelet training as I really need to upskill my technology knowledge. I was excited to just start the training when I received a message from my colleague, asking me to replace her for something. Can I use this Wakelet training as an excuse? A dilemma indeed.

There are six modules (including one assessment). It is self-directed study. In each module (five modules), there are more than three materials that we have to self-study.

The Wakelet training could enhance my knowledge in using Wakelet, but the thing that I have to attend is just ________________ (fill in the blank).

We’ve created a self-paced online course that will train you to become a Wakelet pro and help you share the magic of Wakelet with your learning community. The course takes around 30 minutes, and if you pass, you’ll get an official Wakelet Certified Certificate and badge that you can show off to the world! ” (this is taken from the email that I received)

The 30 minutes are for pros. I am not in that category yet.

Tuition class or counseling session?

I had a tuition class yesterday. I gave the students notes about writing an email. I also explained the written comments that I wrote in the previous essay which I returned to them. Some of the common mistakes that I notice are mistakes in using prepositions and tenses.

We discussed that for an hour or so and after that the students continued with completing the email. Alhamdulillah things went quite smooth. We had few minutes left when I asked the students about “what had happened to few of your classmates who ……… (fill in the blank)”.

One of them who apparently is the bystander told me about the situation from his classmates’ perspectives. The funny thing was they started to ask me about my own experience when I was a student. It is a bit challenging to recall back some experiences which happened more than 30 years ago but I tried my best.

Knowing their current state as teenagers who are in a search of their ” identity”, I gave them my perspectives as someone with some knowledge in psychology. I challenged them to think about options and alternatives, choices, things that are controllable and uncontrollable. Some of the concepts seem a bit alien to them. They never thought that they should be accountable for their actions and seem to be egocentric in which blaming others is the best way to justify their actions. This has to stop.

They need to learn about being accountable. They should stop blaming others as an option to justify their actions. It seems that one of them finds it difficult to accept. I know that he might be unsure, perhaps afraid of being responsible and accountable. The thing is, they are adolescents. In a few years time, they will be adults. They are no longer children, and thus, they have to learn about being responsible and accountable of their actions and themselves. Goodbye to childhood, and welcome to adulthood! Indeed.

Part 8 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: Final evaluation before the real one

The deadline for final evaluation before the “real” one is 29 July 2022. My mentor started to evaluate each of us by looking at the materials, activities and assessments in the Moodle one by one. It took him quite a while to check all of our works.

He gave us a prompt reply using WhatsApp. The comments that I received are: 1) Add information relating to the duration of the module, learning mode, targeted learners and requirement of prior knowledge and (2) Add self introduction.

When I created the welcoming remark video, I just mentioned my name. It was insufficient. Alhamdulillah I use Genially, so I just rerecord again the specific slide. I rewrote the script for the video after Subuh and rerecorded that part again while waiting for a sharing session with one of the members in my group.

In a panicky mode, we need extra assistance from each other and in this case, peer support does help to manage our anxiety. Indeed.

AKRI?

What is AKRI? It stands for Anugerah Khas Reka bentuk Kurikulum dan Penyampaian Inovatif. I attended the sharing sessions with the previous winners (last Tuesday and today, Thursday 28 July 2022). Some of the tips and take home messages that I pick up from the winners are:

a) Use AKRI as a platform to share and showcase your teaching practice

This was mentioned several times by some of the winners. Dr Melissa from UKM crafted instructions for her course (Literature) which are aligned with the CLOs and assessments. I think, it is a common practice by anyone who embrace OBE but the details of how we implement teaching strategies, assessment etc. might usually be overlooked. We have to precise in crafting and giving instructions to our students. The assignments that we assign must be self-motivated in which students feel motivated to complete the assignments, rather than feeling overwhelmed.

b) Keep the necessary things well-documented

We have to make sure the teaching and learning processes that occur is well documented. Using certain platforms where students share their assignments such as YouTube might be useful. Have to make sure to give clear instructions to students to make it public sharing.

c) Think about how it might benefit the students, not only to you as the instructor

AKRI can be a platform to get feedback from experts from various institutions. Any improvement that we do to enhance our teaching practice, it will benefit the students directly or indirectly. But, I think let’s not waste the experts time to evaluate half-done project. This is a reminder to myself as I realise that the data that I currently have is not enough. I need at least a few cycles of data collection. Indeed.

I feel a kind of overwhelmed but I could not stop thinking about a little project that I have started with a junior colleague. I hope our collaboration can be continued in the future. She seems excited when I told about the possibility to assess our teaching practice and get feedback through AKRI. Not this year though. I notice there are several winners who showed the few cycles of data collection, like what Prof Haslinda from UUM showed. I am really impressed what she has done. To go out from one comfort zone is not easy, but any improvement cannot be done if we do not change. A small change is better than none. The impact is not something that we can predict but In sha Allah nothing will go wasted.

Micro credential? What’s that?

I have attended several sessions of briefing about micro credential. It is interesting, but I am not just into it. Why? This is a good example of commodification of knowledge. When I learned about the concept of commodification of knowledge 20 years ago, I could not imagine how it can be actualized but my mentor could foresee it. Reading his works again recently makes me feel scared because the reality is in front of me now. It is daunting.

Having a first hand experience of crafting a simple module for MyDigitalEducator thingy makes me ask myself again “Do I have what it takes to do this?” I am really struggling. I promise myself that I would no longer spend my weekends on creating videos and whatsnot as I am starting to have English tuition classes again starting this July. It is a little project, no grant, no official letter but it is an honor bestowed upon me by the school to make a little difference (if you may call that). I am not an English major but a stint at school for a year was resulted in me having lots of teaching materials that I crafted on my own. I enjoy doing that!

The teachers know and recognize that I am the best person to teach the tuition classes using my materials. Ita said “Kak, bahan yang banyak kau buat dulu tu, kau buat apa sekarang? Kak Imah tanya nak buat lagi tak kelas tuisyen sebab sekarang ni dah macam sebelum PKP. Tak ketat. Hari Jumaat atau Sabtu boleh tak? Budak-budak batch ni ramai yang B40. Tak mampu nak ada cikgu tuisyen yang berbayar macam dulu tu. Budak-budak tu dah tau kau akan ajar mereka. Diorang dah excited” Ita does know my weakest link.

To be honest, I need this in restoring my decreasing faith in myself.

Part 7 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: How important mentoring sessions are to scaffold one’s learning?

Lev Vygotsky proposed that learning is a process which needs social supports from individuals around a person such as parents, peers, and teachers. However, the social support does not stop there, it could be provided and found from society, community etc. at large. In this sense, social supports enable an individual to learn information and skills through the help, guidance and support of a more informed, knowledgeable individual. This is what scaffolding means. According to Vygotsky’s proposition, when individuals who are learning something new receive the support that they need, they will have better chance in understanding and mastering the knowledge or skills that they learn independently in the future.

 For the MyDigitalEducator program, even though I feel overwhelmed with the demands of the program, but I remind myself to take one thing at a time. Having a mentor who closely monitors our progress does help even though some might feel suffocated. In our group, there are some of us who decided to drop from the program due to various unforeseen reasons and circumstances.

This program is demanding in a way that we have to ensure the materials that we develop is not just good enough, but perfect (or almost perfect) to be showcased to others. This is not easy. “Janji buat, janji siap” adage is not applicable in this sense. Being me, I know well better that rather than doing something just for the sake of doing (Janji buat), I would rather not wasting myself to do it on a first place. So, once I have decided to do something, I will commit to it until its completion.

Some colleagues say “Ala, janji siap sudahlah”. I no longer feel annoyed hearing that from them, but if my students ever say that, they will know (or later find out) what I will do.

I am blessed to have a mentor who is willing to sacrifice long hours and even weekends to have mentoring sessions with us. May Allay grant him the best rewards for his efforts.