Education as we know it has evolved radically over the years. Being physically present in a classroom isn’t the only option anymore. Various online learning platforms are offering access for learners to continuously upskill and keep up with current and future workforce demands.
Like OpenLearning. Founded in Sydney in 2012 by uni mates CEO Adam Brimo and CTO David Collien, with their University of New South Wales lecturer Professor Richard Buckland — OpenLearning was built to increase access to quality education for everyone around the world.
“OpenLearning aims to enable lifelong and lifewide learning for people everywhere by providing an accessible and user-friendly tool for educators, institutions and organisations to offer personalised, high quality and effective online courses for their target learners based on the principles of social constructivist learning,” says Marsyitah Ismail, Head of Learning Services at OpenLearning Malaysia.
“We know that deep and effective learning happens when the learners themselves feel intrinsically motivated to participate actively and encourage one another within a course.”
Marsyitah leads a team of experienced Learning Designers at OpenLearning’s Kuala Lumpur office; who work alongside education institutions and corporate clients to turn their existing learning content into great online learning experiences that are social, active and engaging.
“We sit down with every client and their subject-matter experts to understand their project goals and learning needs. We then gather all available learning materials and think about how to structure them so that it’ll be easily digested by learners. At every stage of the project, there are opportunities for reviews so that both parties take ownership and are involved throughout the process.
“My team and I use social constructivist pedagogy when developing online courses. It’s a more challenging approach as opposed to merely digitising existing content. As a team, we brainstorm the best possible experience for learners where, rather than watching hours of videos online, they get to share ideas, collaborate and work together to construct new knowledge.
“This is what makes courses on OpenLearning different from the rest. The authoring tools and widgets available on OpenLearning encourages course creators to create social learning experiences, so learning online is less lonely,” Marsyitah adds.
Education and training providers, as well as content creators can also use the same tools and widgets to design and deliver their own suite of online courses. OpenLearning’s course authoring features are based on proven social learning research.
“The platform is both intuitive and powerful for educators to design their own courses. Course creators have access to our course-building guides, ready-made templates and The Learning Designers’ Toolkit.
“The Toolkit,” Marsyitah shares, “is where OpenLearning Learning Designers share their go-to tools or learning design techniques when designing online learning experiences for learners. This way, different tools or ideas are available within easy reach for anyone to implement in designing learning experiences for their own learners.”
UPSKILLING FOR THE FUTURE Around the world, online education is gaining momentum as the way we live, work and learn is rapidly being transformed by technology. Online learning not only allows learners more freedom and flexibility, but also provides a faster, cost-effective option for those looking to upskill and re-skill in an increasingly competitive global job market.
In response to the changes in the global economy, OpenLearning has recently launched a framework called OpenCreds for the delivery of micro-credentials — practical and stackable online courses to meet the learning and training needs of industry and learners.
In Malaysia, the framework adheres to the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF) and outlines how education providers can provide market-leading lifelong learning and micro-credentialing courses, or OpenCreds, that prepares learners for the future of work.
“The benefits of turning to online can be seen in many industries as well as education and training. Personally, I think the future of online learning is more certain now, as a result of the current situation. Before, online education was not deemed as highly as face-to-face. However, we now see more providers going online as it is becoming increasingly recognised, accepted and reputable. The launch of OpenCreds for Malaysia is just the beginning of our ongoing support for providers looking to increase access to quality education,” Marsyitah adds.
“Short courses and micro-credentials on OpenLearning will also provide an opportunity for those who might otherwise be left behind to develop their knowledge and become successful in the digital economy, bridging the skills gap that has been highlighted by employers in Malaysia.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? OpenLearning offers a variety of courses from providers around the world ranging from short courses focusing on specific skills, all the way through to micro-credentials and longer programmes where you may receive credit towards industry-relevant, online qualifications from universities and colleges. Whether you are a high school or university student who wants to supplement your education, a SPM or university graduate looking to pick up a new skill or hobby, or a working adult up for some professional development — there’s something for you on OpenLearning.
The social learning elements and features available on OpenLearning allows you to actively participate in courses with others from around the world.
“Although your course mates receive the same content as you, how we learn and apply new concepts will differ depending on our background, culture and beliefs. So, it’s definitely interesting to learn in a group or as part of a community as there’s more opportunity to expose yourself to different ideas, discussions and projects,” Marsyitah concludes.
As a learner, you’ll also get to collect digital badges and certificates to mark achievements and feature them on your digital portfolio on OpenLearning. With this, you can easily keep track of your courses and projects, share progress on your social and professional networks, and showcase mastered skills during job interviews.
As for fees, it depends on the courses themselves. Some require an enrolment fee; some are free. You can be a complete beginner to enrol in some courses; but for the more advanced levels, some form of knowledge or skill is a prerequisite.
Here is a list of courses we think you should check out:
- Personal Finance: Key to Financial Security (RM49)
- Time Management: Declutter, Plan, Prioritize (RM49)
- Resume Writing Guide: Go Beyond Templates & Secure Interviews (RM49)
- Job Interview Preparation: A Complete Guide to Pass the Job Interview (RM49)
- Land the Job: Showcasing Your Best Work on OpenLearning Portfolio (FREE)
- Personal Branding and Marketing (RM30)
- Interpersonal and Human Relations (RM30)
- Persuasive Communication (RM30)
- Introduction to Entrepreneurship (FREE)
- Big Data and Analytics in Business (USD250)
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: In-depth Short Course (USD500)
Interested? Learn more and register now at www.openlearning.com