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Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction (MJLI) Vol. 16, No.1 June 2019

These articles have been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in MJLI, but are pending final changes, are not yet published and may not appear here in their final order of publication until they are assigned to issues. Additionally, titles, authors, abstracts and keywords may change before publication.


Chockalingam Aravind Vaithilingam, Reynato Andal Gamboa & Siow Chun Lim

 

An Analysis of University Legal Learning Spaces Effectiveness in Developing the Employability Skills of Future Law Graduates

Jason James Turner, Puteri Sofia Amirnuddin & Harmahinder Singh Iqbal Singh

 

The Impact of Teaching Oriental Music using Blended Learning Approach: An Experimental Study

Chamila Nishanthi Edward, David Asirvatham & Md Gapar Md Johar

 

Strategizing Inclusivity in Teaching Diverse Learners in Higher Education

Rosna Awang-Hashim, Amrita Kaur & Nena P. Valdez

 

Mazlina Che Mustafa, Nor Mashitah Md. Radzi, Abdul Halim Masnan, Juppri Bacotang, Zainiah Mohamed Isa, Zaharah Osman & Azila Alias

Empowered Pedagogy: Catching Up with the Future
Chockalingam Aravind Vaithilingam, Reynato Andal Gamboa & Siow Chun Lim

 

ABSTRACT
Purpose - Recently, a layered and lateral framework that provides opportunities for students to design the pedagogy that creates a broad based, flexible and personalized learning is introduced by the Taylor’s University School of Engineering. This approach creates avenue for the students to design their own curriculum within the framework that is developed with inputs from the industry. The framework, the key components, and the tracking of the performance to align the set outcomes through assessment tool is presented.
 
Method - My Study Plan (MySP) a macro-enabled software is used to develop a four-year tier model for the students to design the curriculum with the help of a mentor at the start of the programme. Student’s learning is monitored on a semester-based learning analytics process implementing the Programme Outcomes (PO) Scorecard. The August 2018 cohort of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme is used to pilot this pedagogy.
 
Findings - Currently the PO measurement is done for the graduating student and focus only on the effectiveness of the programme. The Programme Outcome Assessment Review (POAS) used in this study to monitor the MySP the continual monitoring each semester rather towards the end of graduation. Initial simulation of existing PO attainment record of students suggest that this can generate interest towards the learning progress on a semester basis.
 
Significance - The successful adoption sees an effectiveness in the long run in developing graduates through the continual monitoring of the programme outcomes. The graduating students carry the PO scorecard that complements a second transcript for value addition for their studies. Prospective employers can use the PO scorecard as a metric for initial recruitment purposes, a measure for the soft skills achievements of the applicant.
 
Keywords: broad-based education, personalized learning, empowered pedagogy, humanistic, IR 4.0, outcome-based education, programme outcomes.

An Analysis of University Legal Learning Spaces Effectiveness in Developing the Employability Skills of Future Law Graduates

Jason James Turner, Puteri Sofia Amirnuddin & Harmahinder Singh Iqbal Singh

 

ABSTRACT
Purpose -  The objectives of this research are to examine the role of legal learning spaces in a Malaysian university and how these spaces impact on law student’s preparation for the employment market. This research comes as a response to the identified inexperience of graduates, lacking the appropriate employability skills for the world of work, commonly referred to as the ‘graduate skills gap’.

Methodology -  This research used an online survey, accessed via a QR code, with 256 law students at a university in Malaysia. The sample size comprised 213 currently enrolled students and 43 alumni, with the former cohort representing 95% of the total available law student population at the university and the latter representing 17% of the total alumni population.

Findings - The research found that students, regardless of their year of study, did not feel legal learning spaces at the university replicated legal practice but thought the spaces prepared them for employment. Students felt that some legal learning spaces were better than others at developing their employability skills but enjoyed interacting with the spaces collectively and felt that they improved their team-working and communication skills as well as their softer employability skills. The research also revealed that the perceptions of legal learning spaces could be improved with better management of staff and student expectations.

Significance - This research is one of only a few studies, which investigate the role of the learning space in developing a student’s employability skills set. The findings consolidate existing research in the area of the graduate skills gap and the development of graduate employability skills, and take research forward in terms of identifying student perceptions of the learning spaces and the specific skills they felt they developed while engaging with these spaces. The research will be of particular interest to both employers and universities as they seek to manage each other’s expectations and pursue a more practice based learning curriculum.

Keywords: Legal learning spaces; Law students; Graduate skills gap; Employability skills.


The Impact of Teaching Oriental Music using Blended Learning Approach: An Experimental Study
Chamila Nishanthi Edward, David Asirvatham & Md Gapar Md Johar

 

ABSTRACT
Purpose - The purpose of this experimental study is to investigate the impact of teaching Oriental Music using Blended Learning (BL) approach for the students of senior secondary level in Sri Lanka specifically focusing on their achievement on required competencies of Oriental Music at Ordinary Level. The study analyzes the academic performance of students with detailed comparison of BL environment and traditional learning environment. Authors propose the application of BL approach to teach Oriental Music and study its impact on improvement of students’ competency. The study conducted with the application of a mixed instructional design model of objectivist and constructivist approaches for the design of the blended learning course in a student centred learning environment.

Methodology - The study was directed by using true experimental study design with pretest and posttest control groups. BL was applied to the experimental group and the traditional instruction method was applied to control group. 9 schools from Colombo district were randomly selected for the experimental and control groups covering all the three existing school types of Sri Lanka. The study group consisted of 360 students of Grade 10 and Grade 11 who has been studying Oriental Music as a subject for General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level. To analyze the data Descriptive statistics, Paired samples t test, Independent samples t test were utilized.

Findings - The findings of the experiment indicated that students who has studied Oriental Music under BL strategy showed a significant improvement in their music academic performances after the intervention. The mean post-test of the experimental group was 71.75 which is significantly higher than the mean control group which was 52.07. The mean difference was 19.68 1.91. Hence, there is a statistically significant increase in the performance of students who studied Oriental Music under blended learning. Thus, it is clearly evident that the blended instruction was effective.

Significance - This study indicated a positive platform to mould and cater the entire teaching learning process by introducing BL strategy to Sri Lankan secondary education system and fulfilled an existing research gap by utilizing BL to teach highly traditional abstract art. Results of the study contributes to the curriculum designing field with novel ideas to adapt blended instructions to teach secondary level students effectively.

Keywords: Blended Learning, Instructional Design Model, Objectivist and Constructivist Mixed Approach, Secondary Education, Technology Based Music Education.


Strategizing Inclusivity in Teaching Diverse Learners in Higher Education
Rosna Awang-Hashim, Amrita Kaur & Nena P. Valdez
 
ABSTRACT
Purpose - As the classrooms in higher education are growing increasingly diverse, it is imperative that higher education practitioners build a responsive learning environment for diverse learners to optimize their potential. Continuing professional development programmes (CPD) are central to such strategic approaches that equip educators with essential knowledge and skills to handle diversity related issues, achieve equity and increase participation by students. Therefore, the present study aims to examine strategies used by higher education practitioners to address diversity and inclusion in teaching and learning.

Methodology - Participants were nine academicians (6 males and 3 females) who emerged from natural retention along the iterative cycles on Community of Practice (CoP) participation. The present study adopted CoP as the theoretical lens and a methodological tool to understand what strategies higher education practitioners devise for their inclusive teaching and learning practices in response to the diversity related challenges. The data was collected through a series of observations and reflective journals. Initially, thematic analysis techniques were used to reduce data into two categories- strategies and challenges. Later, according to the prevalence and frequency count the strategies were analysed against the challenges reported and finally the strategies were reduced into major themes.

Findings - Three major themes emerged that report the inclusive strategies conceived by the participants. The themes were - Inclusive/differentiated assessment which suggested that creating differentiated assessment that are inclusive in nature and can provide equal opportunity to every student to participate. The second theme, Motivation and Goal Strategies, revealed that students were found to be diverse in their goals for learning, hence, a variety of motivational strategies such as including students’ voice, providing them a clear rationale for studying and fostering relatedness were deemed suitable to address those differences. The final theme, inclusive pedagogy suggests a variety of accommodations to be made in pedagogy such as integrating technology, adopting culturally responsive material and initiating collaborative learning to address students’ differences.

Significance -The findings have implications for faculty professional development, classroom teaching practices for inclusive pedagogy in higher education institutions and use of CoP as a framework for such developments.

Keywords: Diversity, Higher education, Teaching and learning, CoP, Inclusion.


Teachers’ Practices in the Acquisition of English by Asian Immigrant English Language Learners
Mazlina Che Mustafa, Nor Mashitah Md. Radzi, Abdul Halim Masnan, Juppri Bacotang, Zainiah Mohamed Isa, Zaharah Osman & Azila Alias

 

ABSTRACT
Purpose - The increase in the enrolments of immigrant children in New Zealand seems to have posed great challenges to early childhood education services when it comes to developing the children’s English language acquisition. This qualitative case study explored how New Zealand early childhood teachers develop the English language acquisition of Asian immigrant English language learners (ELLs). The theoretical framework of this research drew on a range of sociocultural perspectives, including sociocultural adaptation and acculturation strategies.

Methodology - The main participants of this study were seven early childhood teachers and six Asian immigrant ELLs from two early childhood centres. Data on the teachers were collected through
observations and semi-structured interviews. For each centre, observations were carried out over a six week period which enabled a series of snapshots of how the teachers developed the English language acquisition of the ELLs.

Findings - Making interactions comprehensible for the ELLs is one of the main strategies used by the teachers in developing the acquisition of English language by the ELLs. In the process of
teaching the English language to the ELLs, most of the teachers were observed to use certain strategies in making interactions comprehensible for them. The teachers highlighted the strategies and modifications they made in order to make their interactions comprehensible for the ELLs. During the interview, it was clearly seen that with better proficiency in the English language, the communication between the ELLs and their teachers improved. Therefore, the sociocultural adaptation process takes place in a smooth manner for both the ELLs and the teachers.

Significance - The central significance of the finding is that through the exploration of New Zealand early childhood teachers’ beliefs and practices, important insights are offered which lead to the improvement of educational practices in early childhood settings for immigrant children in relation to English acquisition. While some of the teachers’ beliefs and practices may have facilitative or positive effects on English acquisition, others may bring debilitative or harmful effects. The findings also add to the existing body of knowledge on teachers’ beliefs and practices in developing English acquisition among the ELLs, particularly Asian children. In the New Zealand early childhood education context, the study provides a platform on how early childhood teachers in New Zealand could develop English acquisition among Asian immigrant ELLs, while valuing and understanding children’s cultural backgrounds.

Keywords: Early language learners, early childhood, Asian learners, second language acquisition, sociocultural theories.