Thursday, August 09, 2007

Degree Via Handphones?

Yes, you didn't read it wrong. Soon, you will be able to obtain your degrees via your mobile phone. As reported in the New Straits Times yesterday, "in the near future, Open University Malaysia (OUM) students can get snippets of their course modules on demand through SMS, courtesy of mobile learning (m-learning)."
"M-learning could become a global open university for all to participate in," she said.
OUM president Prof Tan Sri Anuwar Ali said it was important to utilise m-learning due to the ever increasing availability of wireless portable devices.

This was echoed by LTT Global Communications Sdn Bhd chief executive Wemel Cumavoo who said that mass usage of mobile devices today presented a more feasible environment for the deployment of m-learning than before.

He also added that Malaysia, with its 20 million mobile phone subscribers, had huge potential for m-learning.
I really don't know what else is there for me to add. How is one going to earn his or her degree via SMS? How can the president of OUM even regard this as even feasible intellectually? Is there no rigour left in university education?

As it stands, OUM offers PhD programmes for working adults on a part-time basis in subjects such as Engineering and Information Technology, which I'm not in favour of. Now, you can purchase your degree via SMS.

Submit your essays in chunks of 160 characters? Multiple choice essay questions with very short answers? Fill in the blanks?

The whole idea of obtaining a degree via SMS sounds even more incredulous than the bogus universities concept perpetuated by "institutions" the non-Irish Irish International University.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

We should increase the quality of local undergraduate and postgraduate students in order to compete with other international university.

Maybe this so-called "m-learning" can attract more people in getting their degree and hence increase the profit of the university. But, the university should not trying to "sell" degree like pasar malam...

Sometimes, i wonder those universities are trying to "educate" the young generation or trying to earn more money...

Anonymous said...

We are the first in the world to do this. Malaysia Boleh !!!

What A Lulu said...

i dont know whether to laugh or cry at this proposal

Anonymous said...

The govt has no concept of what tertiary education is about. That is why it is so difficult for them to understand that quality is lacking in Malaysian universities. When they think they are already good, what more is there for them to learn? That is why you have degrees through SMS. Malaysian innovation in higher education. Mana boleh PhD tesis 200 pages -- lima cukup lah. Must know how to sms that 5 pages though; that is the only requirement.
Just the other day, MOSTI's parliamentary secretary said that Malaysia would participate in Russia's Mars venture. Wow! Malaysia has become a space-faring nation. Maybe, they need to buy another squadron of Sukhois from Russia to pay for Malaysia's Mars venture. They bought a satellite from the US and then claimed to be able to teach other countries about satellite technology. Just because Russia will send a Malaysian to space, now Malaysia has the technology to go to Mars. Who is so stupid not to understand that Malaysian taxpayers are paying for the Malaysian space tourists? Malaysia boleh.

Anonymous said...

Yes, quite agree with the Malaysia Boleh Concept. Pretty soon we can fly to Jupiter and back, make a round trip and transit at Mars. Perhaps find aliens and have tea with the Saturn folk. Perhaps on the way there we can promote our Nasi Lemak and Goreng the Pisang.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of having an accredited university that flouts all the rules. That is the reason why I advocate that students go to unaccredited honest universities then spend tons of money on accreditation only to get this kind of treatment not just from local universities but from Wagga Wagga unis elsewhere.

Say Lee said...

While this may not be the right forum, I feel that this article is a timely and cogent wake-up call, Malaysia included:

Science and the Islamic world—The quest for rapprochement

Internal causes led to the decline of Islam’s scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism. To contribute once again, Muslims must be introspective and ask what went wrong.

by Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy and accessible at:

http://ptonline.aip.org/journals/doc/PHTOAD-ft/vol_60/iss_8/49_1.shtml

Anonymous said...

well, what he only said was "snippets of course modules", not the whole programme being conducted via smses. perhaps we shouldnt judge too soon.

snippets of course modules could be the main themes of the courses? or the list of books or reading chapters? that could be possible and doesnt cheapen the education one gets, really. it doesnt say that you could hand in essays and assignments through the phone. stop jumping to conclusions, it was only a proposal and we are still in the dark as to whats the extent of the usage of mobile phones are used in this arena.

clk said...

SMS stands for "Short Message Service", which means "short" in plain english. Maybe there will be a expanded version in time but not in the immediate future.

Via the WWW, many courses are already available including podcasts.

The OU in the UK has made available some of the contents of their courses via http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/ for free.

Anonymous said...

wow, that sounds just great. it´s a bit like the degrees you can get via internet. but i don´t know how this should work via cell phone?... and the other thing is that all students then would have to have an appropriate cell phone with them.
chilli

Anonymous said...

We are being led by a bunch of "baka." When will we come to our senses? When will quality come before quantity? When will UMNO be overthrown? When will Malaysia become Indonesia? When will these idiots in the parliament die and get burnt in hell?

Amir said...

whats wrong with SMS or usage of mobile devices to deliver snippets of the course or may be important points about the course. I have students using hand phones to store 90Mbytes of power point presentations.

It is not something new, it has been developed and refined by eminent educators worldwide.

One of the many conferences organized around that team. From first page of google come http://www.iadis.org/ml2005/ and there are many-many more around.

rani@lttcom.com said...

I am Rani Wemel, Executive Director of LTT Global Communications Sdn Bhd and wish to clarify on blogs here that I read where there were remarks such as:
- essays in chunks of 160 characters? Multiple choice essay questions with very short answers? Fill in the blanks?

- it was stated "m-learning" can attract more people in getting their degree and hence increase the profit of the university" and others where they had stated who can do a degree via sms.

First and foremost m-learning goes beyond sms platform. Today we have technology where you can put course modules on the mobile devices. You can have text,image, audio and video. Globally mobile learning is still in its infant stage as we try to create awareness on the availibility of such materials.

Over the past three years devices have become more user friendly and have more features and the mobile service providers also have made data rates more attractive.

M-Learning complements elearning. It helps the busy individual to capture lost time like while waiting for an appointment or travelling in a train or stuck in a jam to read/study materials that are already downloaded on their hand held device.

Putting the power of knowledge literally in the hands of today’s society, by enabling them to have 24/7 access to acquire and ascertain study materials via a mobile device, takes away the constraints of always having to be in a “classroom environment” for learning to be effective.

We see great potential in mobile learning as it caters for the need of busy adults who lack time, money or facilities but who wish to enhance themselves.

For mobile learning to take off we need the support of the people, the mobile service providers, the manufacturers of hand held devices, the regulators and government departments, content developers and application providers to work hand in hand.

LTT Global Communications aims to attract the Public Sector, Academia, IT and Telecom Companies, to establish a networking platform for discussion/dissemination on all aspects of Mobile Learning. The 1st Asia Pacific Mobile Learning Conference 2007 was among our effort to create awareness of mobile learning in the region.

You may contact me at lttglobal@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

well wat rani wemel wrote does make sense, as technology is evolving over time so does da same ting 4 teaching & learning methodologies, so i guess instead of jumpin in conclusion we should all keep n open mind 4 new ideas, rite???

Hazidi said...

Getting a degree using handphones is quite feasible but there is a misleading idea inserted somewhere here. The SMS will be employed but only for brief communications, the rest of the education process will employ various combinations of teaching and learning strategies including, access to vast online libraries via wifi and internet enables handheld devices (eg smartphones etc), discussion and planning of work via multiple forms of wireless communication and periodical face to face and classroom sessions and a whole host of other methods. Please get your facts straight before making negative comments. Ignorance is bliss but revealing your ignorance isn't :-)

Hazidi said...

Getting a degree using handphones is quite feasible but there is a misleading idea inserted somewhere here. The SMS will be employed but only for brief communications, the rest of the education process will employ various combinations of teaching and learning strategies including, access to vast online libraries via wifi and internet enables handheld devices (eg smartphones etc), discussion and planning of work via multiple forms of wireless communication and periodical face to face and classroom sessions and a whole host of other methods. Please get your facts straight before making negative comments. Ignorance is bliss but revealing your ignorance isn't :-)

Anonymous said...

its not easy as everybody thought...i dare you a challenge...people might think "wah,senang la..guna sms pun boleh"... the issue is: facilities that we can used more easily to new era student...not like outdated "people" that so odd with the technology...go learn to the west "people"...have a good day

Anonymous said...

present education with regards to the past 20 years ago have very much differences, to comment & to compare one must be thinking parallel with the evolution of technology, look around your now, don't expect student nowadays to study like "donkey"..like proverbs says, "work smart but not work hard"..but not "too smart" until you lose your self respect...

Anonymous said...

you dont need to worry that much, no matter what heck learning mode it is,eventually the person still have to sit and pass for the paper.if he managed to do it,why not? the cert will not come automatically without passing the exam.

Anonymous said...

what about status m-learning in malaysia?can explain to me with details?