ACTIVITY 1                                                          2

ACTIVITY 2                                                          4

ACTIVITY 3                                                          8

ACTIVITY 4                                                          17


1.0              INTRODUCTION
The teaching and learning environment of the Open University Malaysia (OUM) has been transformed by independent learning opportunities provided by the OUM Learning Management System (myLMS) and supported by the Learning Skills for Open and Distance Learners course (OUMH1103) which provides learners with the required skills and knowledge while operating in a technology-rich environment. This article will discuss how Learning Skills course like OUMH1103 provide learning resources and services to Open University Malaysia (OUM) students to develop their study strategies and academic writing skills.

2.0              LEARNING SKILLS
A simple definition of learning skills is, all the skills that are provided to a learner to equip him/her with the necessary knowledge to function efficiently as an ODL learner.  According to Schumaker and Sheldon (1985), these are “techniques, principles, or rules which enable a student to learn to solve problems and complete tasks independently” (in Gordon, 1994).  Why are learning skills important? Research shows that learning skills affect academic achievement whereby they expect an increase in academic skills and performance.

At the OUM, the OUMH 1103 course Learning Skills for Open Distance Learners is being offered to students to equip them with adequate knowledge and skills to function as efficient ODL learners capable of maximizing the different learning modes. Broadly, the course which was written by a panel of 7 experts and implemented in 2004 include the following major sections: Learning to Learn Skills, Basic Computer Sills and Information and Library Skills.  The course is further sub-divided into nine topics:
  • Managing learning.
  • Reading for information.
  • Note- making and note- taking skills.
  • Presenting information.
  • Coping with assessments.
  • Information gathering process.
  • Skill in information retrieval.
  • Evaluating of information.
  • Using Microsoft application (Words, Excel, and Power point).

In the year 2006, the module was selected by an International Panel of the Commonwealth of Learning and was awarded the Best Distance Print Learning Material. This indicates that the module had all the merits of good content, layout and instructional design.

3.0              CONCLUSIONS
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that students are well prepared with the OUMH1103 course. Moreover, it is apparent that there are no differences in attitudes regarding the course between genders, age, different learning centers and different programs. It is noticeable that the course helps learners to acquire all the needed skills for the open and distance learning.

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Bozarth J., Chaman D. and LaMonica L., (2004), “Preparing for Distance Learning: Designing an Online Student Orientation Course

Gibson, C. C. (1998), “Distance learners in higher education”, Madison: Atwood Publishing

Pallof, R. M., Pratt, K. (2003), “The virtual student”, San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Pomeroy, G. (2001), “Real changes in education”, Retrieved November, 27, 2015, from  http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0801education.htm



Distance learning offers enormous potential for students who want to take a class but are physically unable to attend a traditional classroom. It affords a flexibility that many students find appealing; however, others find this flexibility challenging, intimidating or frustrating. Distance-learning classes can present problems for students in the areas of support, interactivity, commitment and technology.

2.0       THE PROBLEMS

2.1       Support
By its very definition, distance learning implies a physical separation between student and instructor. This creates a challenge for students who might need or desire academic or technical support, and it can quickly become a source of frustration. An effective distance-learning instructor will provide multiple methods of contact, including a phone number, Skype user name and/or email address, along with general availability and response times. Sometimes a "Help" discussion thread is included in an asynchronous environment, to give peers the opportunity to help each other. Even with these support structures in place, however, students new to distance learning will need to adjust to the absence of regular office hours.

2.2       Interactivity
Another problem facing distance-learning students is the level and type of interactivity. Similar to the issue surrounding support, the lack of face-to-face interactions between student, teacher and other classmates can be problematic for those new to the distance-learning environment. An effective distance-learning class will incorporate interactive tools, such discussion boards, wikis and blogs, and synchronous audio or video components. Group or paired projects can further foster a sense of interaction and collaboration. A lack of meaningful interactivity may cause students to feel isolated and become discouraged.

2.3       Commitment
In a distance-learning class, students must be committed to their own success. A traditional classroom environment carries with it a certain level of social pressure: the teacher and other classmates expect each student to come to class every week, complete the assignments, answer the teacher's questions and actively participate in group projects. In a distance-learning class, these behaviors are expected as well, but the social pressure to comply is absent. Students must possess or learn to develop the self-discipline required to organize their time effectively and participate fully in the learning process.

2.4       Technology
The technology required to participate in a distance-learning class must be readily available and fully functional. Furthermore, students must have or acquire a certain level of competency with the technology, including hardware, software and all related accessories, in order to be successful in the course. Technology that is unavailable or unstable quickly becomes a barrier for distance-learning students. Technology that is hard to learn or use is enormously frustrating. Tutorials, user guides and other support systems should be in place for distance-learning students, in order to minimize -- if not eliminate -- this problem.

Despite the need for improvement, the future of distance learning seems bright. Increasing numbers of students enrolling in distance learning classes underscore the need for comprehensive and thoughtful evolution of distance education if it is to become the educational model of the future (Harnar, et al., 2000, pg. 37). Despite the cost, coordination, and training that must be put into a program, it has great potential to deliver and receive educational programs to and from remote sites (Weber, 1996, pg. 219). Perhaps Keegan (1995) puts it best when he says the challenge is to design cost-effective and educationally-effective systems for use in the new millennium of the new technologies that permit for the first time in history (electronic) teaching of students face-to-face at a distance.
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Harner, M., et al. (2000). Measuring the effect of distance education on the learning experience: Teaching accounting via Picturetel. International Journal of Instructional Media, 27 (1), 37-50.

Keegan, D. (1995). Distance education technology for the new millennium: compressed video teaching. ZIFF Papiere. Hagen, Germany: Institute for Research into Distance Education. (Eric Document Reproduction Service No. ED 389 931).

Weber, J. (1996). The compressed video experience. Paper presented at Summer Conference of the Association of Small Computer Users. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 405 838).

Scanned ‘Annotation Notes’

Mind Map

Depending on the purpose you can select a strategy that best achieves it. For example, to get the gist of the text skimming or scanning is appropriate. For more concentrated reading and to understand, the SQ3R method will be useful.

To read for an overview of a chapter
To identify main ideas so you can explain them to another student
To locate specific information
fast until you locate the section you want, then slowly.
To gain detailed critical understanding
Slowly and thoroughly underlining and taking note



Many facilities available for use by OUM students and among of the facility is myVLE, an interactive website that connects between students, tutors and university administrators.

Myvle can be accessed through 'http://oumvle.oum.edu.my/index/home' while the first experience when I went to the website is I forgot he password. I have to contact Mr Nik to 'reset' the password. To overcome such incidents recurring, I have kept the relevant password so easy to access Myvle in the future. Upon entering the main dashboard of Myvle, various symbols / 'icon' such as My Account, My subject, Announcements, Digital Library and others.

Figure 1: OUM myVLE Dashboard

2.1       MY SUBJECTS
For this display, I can see all the subjects taken in one semester and full details about the content of the subject and their assignment. The subjects that I took this semester is OUMH1103 and MPU2313.

Figure 2: Course Subjects

On this page, I get a brief update of the Administrator of the University as announcements of the University, Registrar, Exams, Finance, CSM, faculty and Digital Library.

The name of the digital library is OUM Digital Library Tan Sri Abdullah Sanusi. To find a suitable reference books with subjects taken, I can refer to this site for related information and download it as a video tutorial 1, part 1-4 'subject OUMH1103.

Figure 3: Tan Sri Sanusi Digital Library of OUM

Myvle is undeniable significance for the primary source of students studying in OUM because it can be accessed anywhere, whether in the office or home, with a laptop and a smartphone application

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