During the final semester of the IMU Foundation in Science programme, students carry out community engagement projects, for their Cross Boundary Studies (CBS) module, with support from IMU Community Engagement. It is a 2-credit hour module which teaches students creative problem-solving skills, project management, and team working skills. Some of the projects the Foundation in Science (FiS) students have engaged in were tutoring students from national schools and community from the urban poor. However, due the pandemic, these physical / face to face engagements were halted. However, this did not dampen the spirits of the FiS students who still continue to engage with the community.
As schools nationwide close and transition to online learning, FiS students had assisted SK Bandar Baru Seri Petaling 1 (SKBBSP1) teachers to create online learning materials which the teachers could use in delivering their lessons. The FiS students had created Power Point presentations, videos, quizzes and online worksheets for Mathematics, Science, English and Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi for various primary levels.
It was an eye-opening experience for the FiS students, as they mulled over the best method to prepare online lessons for children of various age groups.
|Prashwin Singh A/L Tejpal Singh, from FS220 says|
|“The CBS project has been an enriching experience! With Covid-19, the transition to online learning has been challenging and our project focused on enhancing the learning experience of primary students. I feel euphoric realising that our effort has somehow made a difference in the community! It truly is a privilege to serve.”|
|Martha Then Xin Yi who completed her foundation studies in April and is currently pursuing the Dentistry degree in IMU said|
|“I think it helped me understand online projects more, working with teammates and learning social skills. This project also helps in undergraduate studies as we are required to submit a project for the MPU module too, so what we did during FiS gave us prior experience.”|
Veronica Lim Ying Hui enrolled into the Foundation in Science in July 2020. However, due to the pandemic, classes were conducted online almost the entire year, with little chance for interaction with her classmates. When asked what her thoughts were of this project, Veronica explained, “To me, the Cross Boundary Studies project actually enabled me to get to know new friends because I didn’t meet all the members in my group in the earlier semesters of Foundation in Science. Through this project we learnt to communicate and help each other when we face problems.”
|How has this benefitted and helped the teachers of SKBBSP1?|
|The Principal of SKBBSP1, Puan Norzila Otoh, was recently asked to give an update to Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah (District Education Office) dan Jabatan Pendidikan Wilayah Persekutuan (JPWPKL) on their coping mechanisms for online learning. Puan Norzila had presented the initiatives from IMU FIS which were well received and acknowledged by the above departments. When asked for feedback on the online learning materials which the FIS students have prepared, Cikgu Suhaidi Sujak from SKBBSP1 responded, “Sangat cantik dan sangat membantu,” (Very beautifully done and very helpful materials). Cikgu Bakri from SKBBSP1 who teaches Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi said, “Bahan bagus dan membantu,” (The materials are good, and very helpful).|
All in all, the pandemic brought about changes and challenges to students’ learning experience. Despite that, it didn’t hinder the FIS students from engaging with and serving the community.