New “Norm” in LnT

As salam all, well everyone knows that the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred in Malaysia and around the world. The main impact is on learning and teaching in institutions of higher learning including Malaysia. New methods of learning and teaching began in this era with the implementation of online learning among university lecturers. The question is whether we are all ready for this change. Online learning is not something new in higher education. It has been there but it was not the favourite choice among lecturers.

We cannot blame lecturers why they are not good at using online learning in their teaching. Previously, this did not force them to try online learning as face-to-face learning and teaching were still possible. Now, with the current state of the Movement Control Act, the situation has forced them to try to implement the lessons online. After trying to use it, it seems that paradigm shifts occur among lecturers. They began to feel that online learning had the potential to be implemented in the context of the Movement control order. However, there are some lecturers who still do not want to conduct online teaching for a number of reasons.

One of the factors is the lack of skills in using technology tools for online learning. There is a sense of fear among those who feel ashamed to make the mistake of handling the technology. When these perceptions are present among the lecturers, then feelings of interest on online learning are present indirectly. Actually, no real interest on something exists when we don’t know about it.

What is happening should not be viewed as a weakness among university lecturers. It is a new challenge for them. This challenge is not only faced by the lecturers. University students also face the same challenge since they never use and inexperience online learning before.

Therefore, how the university should respond to this challenge and ensure that it is addressed effectively. One of the steps that can be taken is to provide training for lecturers and students in the use of technology tools for learning and teaching purposes. Not only training in technology, training in designing active learning activities that can attract students’ interest in learning should also be provided.

For students, training in managing time in learning during the Movement Control Command and how to concentrate on learning online. Getting used to something unusual is a new normal in student life. This in turn will prepare them for life in order to adapt to the challenges that will be faced in the future.

We all need to win this COVID-19 fight together. Although we are not front liner, we still have an important role to play in fighting COVID-19 in the higher education sector.

May we all succeed ….