I graduated from University of Nottingham Malaysia campus with a BSc in Biomedical Science degree in 2018. All my life I knew I wanted to be either an academician or a lecturer. However, right after I graduated, I had to start working to support myself and my family as I come from a humble background. I tried to apply to do my postgraduate at a public university as the fees is usually much cheaper than private universities but most of the supervisors wanted a full time postgraduate student or someone that could do part-time but can commit to a 100% research-based Masters programme. I knew that doing a 100% research-based postgraduate programme might need a higher level of commitment from me. Hence, I thought of maybe doing an MBA because at that time, I was already working in a corporate company. But deep inside, I knew that my dream was to follow the science pathway. I surveyed around and attended the Open Day at IMU. All this while I thought their degrees might be very expensive. However, I found that to me, the MSc in Molecular Medicine (MMM) degree was reasonable and on top of that, this programme is also available in the ODL mode. As I was one of the first ODL mode students, I received a bursary from the University. So, in terms of fees, it was very affordable. To be able to do such a high quality degree with a reasonable fees was very good for me. I approached Dr Ho Keat Li, the Programme Director for MMM. He was very helpful and provided me with a comprehensive overview of MMM ODL mode programme at IMU. I enrolled in this MSc MMM with ODL learning mode part-time (2 years) in September last year and am currently in my 2nd semester. This programme has been so convenient in upgrading my knowledge and academic status without creating much conflict between my work and postgraduate learning as 100% teaching and learning are done online. I am closer to my dream of becoming an academician without much hassle.
|My Learning Experience|
|The course materials for online teaching and learning sessions like voice over or video Power point lectures are available online and accessible via IMU ODL portal that is secured with student username and password. The downloadable slides and notes for the lectures are also provided, they can be downloaded and stored in a device to be reviewed even without internet connection or they can be printed out for further reading at my convenience. Occasionally there are also live synchronous pre-scheduled tutorial sessions with the lecturer and course mates. Assignments are also submitted online according to the deadline. There is no difficulty to interact with the lecturers – they can be contacted online to ask for help or clarification of an assignment. All the lecturers and my course mates have been very supportive and helpful to me. We are required to do seminar presentation for majority of the modules. The seminar presentation will be recorded comprising both audio and visual component, followed by the question and answer session in the ODL portal. This cultivates my advanced understanding in the use of Microsoft Office and recording software when preparing for the video presentation. Besides the knowledge and assessment requirement, recorded presentation is useful for self-reflection to improve my presentation skills. The easy access to course materials, discussions, assignment submissions, presentation, and feedback allows me to learn at my own convenient time and place guided by the targeted learning timeline with also guidance by the lecturers. Although open distance learning mode is a great alternative learning mode and convenient for me as a working adult, however it is undeniable that I do sometimes struggle with time constraints and face difficulties in juggling my work commitment along with assignments workloads.|
Online learning encourages me to be more self- disciplined, independent and to practice good time management to keep up with all the assignments and lessons according to the targeted timeline successfully.
Written by IMU MMM ODL Student, Kashmita.