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.


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.

Part 6 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: I am not alone

There are more than five colleagues from my faculty who are also in this MyDigitalEducator program. But I only discuss ideas with a few of them. Having these few individuals who share their ups and downs with me, makes me feel more confident and motivated to finish the materials needed for the module. It is not easy but I know that I can always discuss things with those who are in the same journey as me.

There are also colleagues from different faculties who I exchange ideas with. We had a few WebEx sessions. I learn to create video using Canva from one of them. She also showed me how to use Quizlet. She mentioned Prof Dr Azidah Abu Ziden from USM. There is a module which Prof Azidah created which is in the MOHE module. I googled her and found few more videos that she has created or she was an invited facilitator.

Some might wonder why do I have time to create this post even though I have limited time to edit my videos. Chill ok? I need to capture this moment as it happens. What I want to emphasize is when doing the materials of this module, I learn a lot about myself and others. I also learn about the importance to unlearn, learn and relearn things or upskilling. It is time consuming. No doubt about that. But it is important for me to push myself to learn video making, craft teaching materials and activities using various platforms (even though I have to subscribe to some of the platforms) and assess my own current skills.

I show some of the videos to former students. As a role model, I know that I need to be competent and thus, be able to teach and guide students accordingly. One of the students said “Dr, don’t you feel bored and tired to learn new things?” I replied “To stay relevant, we have to learn new things every day. If it is not much, at least we learn one or two things every day. Try not to miss any chance of learning new things everyday. But, I learn things according to my ability and stay in the state of flow as proposed by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi. Even though I set my own standard and deadline, I welcome feedback from others. I only feel bored and pressured when people who do not have the skills to make video but force me to do something for them“. This student asked “Does anyone can force you to do things for them?” I just relied “Welcome to ________ (fill in the blank) environment workplace”.

Part 4 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: First internal evaluation

Having a passionate mentor is like having a gyutou knife. It is a dream to have one but it can cause serious injury too with its sharpness. A learner who is like me who needs extra time and lots of efforts to master learning new things can be a nightmare for any passionate mentor. My mentor had decided to have a quick evaluation before we submitted our materials (deadline is on 30th July 2022). Even though he is not feeling well yesterday, but he made a point to have one-to-one session with us. I was the third person to be evaluated. So after seeing the first two people getting their feedback, I know how serious my mentor is.

When it was my turn, I showed him the downloadable checklist first before I showed him my lesson plan and materials in MOHE moodle. He gave constructive feedbacks which I would use to implement. One of the feedbacks is I should omit the links to the materials in the checklist. His justification is students will use the links in the checklist without accessing moodle. My thought is still in the MCO mode in which I used to give such checklist to students who had difficulty to access elearning. This module is not for such students. I overlook this aspect.

The second feedback that he gave is I should use embed display setting for the materials. I tried it several times to no avail. This is one good example of a struggle that I have to overcome. I will try to watch again the related videos to learn about this. A quick solution would be to bug one of my friends to teach me (she gave a talk before about elearning stuff and she knows elearning better than me).

Another thing that he suggested is to have an opening or welcoming video with a short instruction. I am thinking to use Genially with the voice recorded mode. I need to learn to do that. I have tried once but I am not satisfied with the recorded video. My laptop is a bit slow when converting video to MP4 so using an online video recorded video is an option that I have to consider as the only option now.

I lamented to one of the seniors. He advised me “Just do the things within your ability. If you have to learn something new, learn at your own pace. If somebody pressure you to do something that beyond your ability, just ignore it. Just ignore it until it is no longer relevant. But if you must do it and do not have any other choice, just deal with it“. With a chuckle he said “Masa tu la nak pening kepala“.

I try to convince myself that this is just a phase. Indeed. But I am starting to feel helpless. This is not good. Knowing the severity of learned helplessness, I need to do something to avoid myself falling into that situation.

Note: What is learned helplessness? It is a term coined by Martin Seligman and Steven Maier to describe a condition that occurs when we face uncontrollable situation continuously (repeatedly) and despite our best efforts to find solution, we face failures or negative outcomes. This will lead us to stop trying to change the circumstances or the situations even when we have the ability to do so. In this case, our judgment about our ability is being clouded by the negative assessment of our efforts based on the negative outcomes of the uncontrollable situations.

My 1st tuition class this year (2022)

I was involved in the tuition classes as an enrichment program that the school organized since 2018. Back in 2018, I had a little choice to say No as I was a part of the teaching staff. But I was entrusted to teach the low achievers who knew they were labeled as such based on their performance. I had a blast with them even though it was challenging to boost their self-esteem and improve their performance at the same time. I continued to teach tuition classes in 2019 but in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and whatsnot, the tuition classes had to stop for a while.

I was contacted by Ita last Monday (4 July 2022) if I was available to join their enrichment program again this year. I immediately said Yes even though I know that I will be a bit preoccupied with examination thingy and stuff this month. So, I looked up my old notes that I used when I taught English in 2018 and tried to find information about the current SPM format. Well, they have changed the SPM format for English paper (Writing). No more 350 words. Now, the word counts are between 200 to 250 words for continuous writing. Well, I learn something new with the new formatting. There is also a revised rubric to evaluate Part 3: Continuous writing. Having a former student who is also an invigilator cum examiner of the Paper 2 is a blessing. I contacted my former student and asked about the latest things to update myself.

She laughed at me when I said that I was nervous as I was entrusted to teach the high achievers this time around. She said: “I bet you will love it! Teaching such students is a challenge in itself, but rewarding. Just try it” I came a few minutes late as I stopped at Pekan Tiram to photocopy some materials. Cikgu dan kedai fotostat berpisah tiada. Indeed.

The shop owner and I had a small talk and he remarked “Lama dah tak nampak cikgu datang kedai fotostat“. I just smiled but he could see me smiling as I was wearing my face mask. Alhamdulillah I wore the face mask at that time, so I could hide my uneasiness after hearing him saying that.

I had a quick background check with Ita about the students. Knowing that some of them are from B40 families, I predict that they might not have foolscap paper. I brought some papers which I took from old examination booklets. So, I can give it to anyone who does not bring or have any foolscap paper.

What should I do with this examination booklet? There are few unused pages. The student had graduated (I checked with her personally).
Since UTM is really into sustainability and whatever, I will reuse the unused pages as foolscap paper. Tada…. I got more than 20 unused pages which I took from several examination booklets which had been used. There are 10 students in the tuition class. So I only used 10 pieces of paper.

There are a couple of students who brought their own foolscap paper but upon seeing that I have the left-over papers from the examination booklet with UTM logo, they requested me to give them too. One of the students tried to sniff the paper. “This is not a perfumed paper.” I told the student while rolling my eyes. With a cheeky smile, he said “Saja nak bau. Mana tau ada bau UTM”. Huh?

UTM does not have that budget to have perfumed examination booklet (tongue in cheek remark!). Our students are not that lucky to have such paper. Nevertheless, the paper from the examination booklet is thicker than the foolscap paper that they have.

While collecting the papers from them, one of the students said to me “Teacher, pelajar di UTM guna kertas ni ke ketika peperiksaan?” Well, with that question, I had to tell them the truth by saying “Well, I took this from the examination booklet. These are the unused pages in the booklet. I shredded the used pages and threw it away. I kept these as foolscap paper” . While nodding her head, she replied back by saying, “Saya suka lah guna kertas ni. Saya rasa bersemangat nak tulis karangan dengan baik” Errmm… should I believe that or what?

Padlet bukan bahan econtent untuk kategori collaboration tools

Saya baru ada sedikit masa terluang untuk menyemak TESDCP tahun lepas (2021). Saya mendapati bahawa hasil perbincangan pelajar saya yang menggunakan nota (Prezi) yang diletakkan dalam Padlet tidak dikira sebagai bahan e-content (tiada markah diberikan). Dalam Padlet tersebut ada soalan berbentuk terbuka yang memerlukan pelajar menjawab secara naratif atau esei pendek.

Kesimpulannya, Padlet tidak lagi diterima sebagai bahan econtent. Ini adalah bercanggah dengan nota yang diberikan oleh Dr Nurbiha.

Komen yang saya terima ialah “Not e-content but using technology in teaching and learning”

Ini adalah nota dari sesi taklimat yang diberikan oleh Dr Nurbiha (mungkin nota lama)

Lihat URL dalam nota Dr Nurbiha ini. Ianya adalah Padlet di bawah kategori Collaboration tools.

Apa yang saya faham ialah Padlet adalah alat seperti Youtube, Powtoon, Trello, Quizziz, Kahoot, Socrative dan sebagainya yang mana ianya digunakan dalam membina bahan pengajaran. Sebagai contoh, Powtoon, Genially, Moovly, Canva dan sebagainya adalah alat yang boleh digunakan untuk membangun, dan membina bahan pengajaran berbentuk video (sila betulkan saya sekiranya ialah ada salah konsep [misconception]).

Bagi Genially, pembina tidak perlu memuat turun video dalam bentuk MP4 dan memuat naik video ke YouTube. Bagi Powtoon, pembina bahan perlu memuat turun video dalam bentuk MP4 dan memuat naik video tersebut ke YouTube. Yang berbeza ialah apabila menggunakan Genially (versi berbayar dan dilanggan), kita diberi pautan URL yang boleh dikongsi dengan pelajar dan sekiranya pengguna awam ingin menggunakan bahan tersebut mereka boleh mendapatkan dan menggunakan bahan tersebut (cuma agak sukar sekiranya pengguna awam kurang biasa dengan Geniallymeskipun pautan tersebut adalah umum (public).

Untuk pelantar yang membolehkan pelajar berbincang dalam talian sama ada secara segerak atau tidak segerak, kita boleh menggunakan pelantar seperti Padlet, Jamboard, Wakelet, Trello dan sebagainya. Ianya lebih bersifat agak terbuka kerana ianya boleh digunakan oleh pelajar untuk menulis jawapan, pandangan atau memberi komen tertentu yang boleh dikongsi dengan rakan yang lain. Bagi keadaan bersemuka, selalunya kita menggunakan kertas mahjung untuk pelajar menulis sesuatu. Pelantar seperti Padlet dan Wakelet mempunyai ruang untuk pelajar memberikan komen terhadap pandangan atau jawapan rakan. Sekiranya ianya hanya dianggap sebagai teknologi dan bukan bahan econtent, saya agak keliru kerana ianya menjadi bahan econtent dengan apa yang ditulis dalam pelantar tersebut.

Ianya seolah sekiranya bahan pengajaran video dimuat naik di YouTube tidak diterima sebagai bahan econtent kerana menggunakan teknologi iaitu YouTube dalam pengajaran. YouTube adalah alat seperti Padlet.

Sesungguhnya saya keliru kerana dalam sesi taklimat yang diberikan oleh Dr Nihra, beliau ada menunjukkan contoh Trello yang digunakan untuk perbincangan pelajar. Beliau ada mengatakan bahawa itu menunjukkan bahan econtent yang memberikan peluang kepada pelajar untuk berinteraksi dengan rakan. Padlet saya mempunyai nota kelas, arahan dan juga ruangan untuk pelajar berinteraksi dengan bahan (nota) dan rakan. Mereka boleh berinteraksi dengan rakan melalui ruangan komen atau mereka boleh membina ruangan komen baru.

Jadi dimanakah silapnya saya sehingga Padlet tidak dikira sebagai bahan econtent? I rest my case. Adakah mungkin kerana saya silap memilih kebenaran untuk paparan sama ada umum atau peribadi? Kena melihat semula aspek ini.

Dimanakah tempat pengisian Econtent yang terkini?

Jangan kalut. Jangan panik.


  1. Pastikan anda telah log masuk (log in) di UTMPortal
  2. Di bawah “Academic” pilih “TESDCP
  3. Di paparan utama TESDCP, pilih “T&L Delivery and Resources
  4. Di bawah paparan yang ada muka anda yang _____ (isi tempat kosong), terdapat empat (4) pilihan: Blended learning, OBE, NALI & HIEPS, E-content.
  5. Pilih E content.
  6. Seterusnya, anda boleh masukkan maklumat yang diperlukan seperti biasa.

IUCEL 2022

We had no grant, no product nor any commercialisation value for this project. Nope. But what we have is something that we want to share with others about our teaching practice. This is our little experiment. So, Dr Doria Abdullah and I brainstormed last year about the things that we want to do for our class. It was a new session (session 202122) so I want to try out something new for my class. Dr Doria has used comics in her class for few semesters. I like the idea and I want to try out for my class but since I only taught one course which I did not pair with others, I could only experiment this idea in this course. It is a bit tedious to discuss and involve others whom I do not have any experience collaborating with.

Dr Doria was my former student and she likes the idea of some of the things that I did when I was teaching her (I have forgotten what I did back then – it was more than 10 years ago). To cut the story short, we had data from our little experiment. It is might be not enough for publication yet as it might need few cycles of data collection to have solid and sufficient data. So, as a start, we share our findings in IUCEL 2022.

Alhamdulillah, we got Silver medal. Well, our intention is not for the medal but we want to share and get feedbacks from others which we can use to improve our teaching. So our project is nothing fancy. It involved just the two of us because the process happened in our classes (Dr Doria used her undergraduate class and I used my postgraduate class). My students were informed about this.

Last year, I submitted my own project which I conducted alone for my class (the data collection took place three semesters). Somebody asked me why I did such project alone. Well, Alhamdulillah Allah Gives me someone to collaborate with. Even though, Dr Doria is a junior but she has lots of ideas that I find interesting to replicate in my own class. I hope our collaboration will not stop here.


IUCEL 2022: Gather Space

I am struggling to get myself familiar with this Gather Space platform. When I got the tentative program, my turn for presentation is on 29 June 2022 (Wednesday) from 2 to 5pm. During the briefing, it is suggested that we wait nearby our poster during the evaluation session. If we want to move out from the session, we can do so but we need to let the evaluators know. However, I do not know how to do it at first but after several attempts, I find that there is a space in which I can type a notification about my status. This is really interesting!

UPM has done a well done job in preparing this year IUCEL using Gather Space platform. I know from Dr Chong about Gather Space and he mentioned about using it for his students. They interact using metaverse mode in Gather Town. For someone like me who takes extra time to learn new things like Gather Town, knowing this platform gives me an idea about what I can do for the MyDigitalEducator module. But it might be a bit too overidealistic on my part as I am still struggling to create a content/collection in Wakelet (LOL to myself). It is a challenge that I set for myself but I will take it in a stride.

What can I conclude from the briefing?

During this briefing, there are so many things to digest though. I feel a bit cognitive overload but I will try out according to my own pace. Chill!