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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Ida Fatimawati Adi Badiozaman, Hugh John Leong and Wallace Wong

As an institution that has invested in e-learning infrastructure and technology for e-learning delivery, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak conducted The Digital…

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Abstract

Purpose

As an institution that has invested in e-learning infrastructure and technology for e-learning delivery, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak conducted The Digital Educator Series as a means of embracing this educational disruption. In particular, this paper reports on the first three courses held under the Digital Educator Series that aims to equip teachers with practical and effective online teaching to school teachers in Sarawak. While the training is still in effect, preliminary results are shared, and implications for practice and recommendations for further research are considered.

Design/methodology/approach

Approximately 136 questionnaires containing close-and open-ended items were distributed to the teacher participants of the Digital Educator Series. Close-ended items were designed to gather general information about their perceptions of online teaching and learning. Items were constructed to gather insights on familiarity with online teaching and learning, perceived usefulness of platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms. The open-ended items were designed to gather information on areas of improvement for the courses and professional development needs of teachers for online teaching.

Findings

The findings revealed very mixed responses in terms of teachers' familiarity with online teaching and learning. Nonetheless, it was encouraging that the majority of teachers felt positively about the impact and usefulness of the courses in the Digital Educator Series and have expressed that would like to learn more about online teaching pedagogy. Teachers reported the greatest familiarity with Google Classroom and were very positive about the applicability the Google Classroom Course (91.2%) in their own teaching practice. Conversely, all of the participants reported they were unfamiliar with Microsoft Teams. Accordingly, the teachers did not perceive its applicability to be as high as the Google Classroom. The qualitative findings further corroborated this and expressed the need for specific professional development programmes that include pedagogical and technological support. Overall, the teachers are strongly focussed in their professional development in order to improve their online teaching,

Research limitations/implications

Like other research, this too has its limitations. The sample size in this study was restricted to those who attended the Digital Educator Series training. Hence the results of this study, whilst have been enriching, and to a certain extent are supported by the current literature, the accuracy of the description may be unique to this particular group of individuals, within this particular setting. Additionally, the study only relied on self-reports from both the questionnaire and the semi-structured interviews. This study accepts that self-reports have shortcomings. Not all experiences of the courses would have been readily accessible through the teachers' conscious reflections. This makes it difficult to construct a complete picture of the experience, challenges and identify all salient factors within a particular workshop or training.

Practical implications

Although the adoption of teaching and learning to online platforms is undoubtedly the way to maintain continuity of learning for students, it has also unveiled glaring inequities in Sarawak. Therefore, continuous and personalised professional development needs to be provided, focussing on pedagogical and technological support. There is a need to embrace these changes as a long-term response that will develop and improve over the next few years. That response should include better infrastructure, policies for quality improvement, accessibility standards and strategic plans for continuous access in the future. This includes advocating for platforms that can fit into the core technology environment and for teachers to adopt an innovative mindset.

Originality/value

In light of the complex and multifaceted challenge of transitioning to online learning in Sarawak Malaysia, it was evident that the need for innovative solutions to optimize educational endeavours has become accelerated. To ensure that students are well-supported and widening participation and access to education, it is imperative that the education disruption be embraced. This starts with addressing teachers' digital literacy through a professional development programme of online reaching.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2021

Ida Fatimawati Adi Badiozaman, Augustus Raymond Segar and Dorene Iah

This study aims to examine the faculty perceptions of their competence and readiness for online teaching in Sarawak higher education (HE).

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the faculty perceptions of their competence and readiness for online teaching in Sarawak higher education (HE).

Design/methodology/approach

A validated instrument, Faculty Readiness to Teach Online (Martin et al., 2019), was distributed to four main higher learning institutions in Sarawak, Malaysia, yielding 174 responses.

Findings

The highest rated competencies across the four HEs were course communication and course design. This was followed by time management and technological competence. MANOVA results showed no significant differences in the demographic variables.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study must be viewed in light of some limitations of its generalisability. First, the small sample size does not fully represent all of the target population. Secondly, the study did not provide qualitative research data, especially pertinent to how the teachers perceived their competence linked with their ability and online teaching behaviours.

Practical implications

This current study shows that all participants were cognisant of the need to enhance their competencies to teach online. As acquisition and mastery of such competencies may require time and support, this means that the transition to online teaching requires advanced levels of instructor training and support, be it through professional development programs or in-service training.

Originality/value

Perceived importance for online teaching competence was ranked highly across all the four institutions. This understanding can help HEs transcend emergency online practices to provide data-driven approaches to better support and improve coordination, resilience and adaptability in HE.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 April 2019

Ida Fatimawati Adi Badiozaman

The study explores how a novice English teacher’s motivation is sustained as she navigates a range of complex educational contexts in her teaching career. Through the lens…

Abstract

Purpose

The study explores how a novice English teacher’s motivation is sustained as she navigates a range of complex educational contexts in her teaching career. Through the lens of self-concept, the purpose of this paper is to gain an in-depth understanding of the role of this construct when navigating the challenges often faced in the early stages of the teaching profession.

Design/methodology/approach

In this case study, data were drawn primarily from a series of interviews with one English teacher over the course of three years. Teaching materials, together with teaching evaluations, were used to compare and validate the information obtained during the interview.

Findings

Despite the challenges faced in each new teaching context, the teacher’s motivation and commitment to the profession were driven and sustained by the high integration of personal goals with one’s self, goal fusion. Furthermore, an inherently strong drive to minimise the discrepancy between her current self and her ideal future self, helped the novice teacher navigate each new setting and its respective demands.

Practical implications

English teachers need specific support and professional development that goes beyond pre-service education into in-service training. It is important that continuous professional development be undertaken to allow opportunities for the conception of reflective practice and reflective practitioners.

Originality/value

Self-concept is not only a means of self-evaluation, but also a key driver for goal-relevant cognitions and behaviours effective for teaching practice.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Ida Fatimawati Adi Badiozaman, Hugh John Leong and Olivia Jikus

The purpose of this paper is to explore students’ perception and use of English in higher education (HE) institutions in Malaysia. In doing so, it aims to better…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore students’ perception and use of English in higher education (HE) institutions in Malaysia. In doing so, it aims to better understand the relationship between students’ perception of English and academic self-efficacy, particularly since English is used as a medium of instruction in HE institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

Approximately, 980 questionnaires were distributed to four HE institutions to explore relationships and patterns of students perceived English language proficiency and academic self-efficacy as potential variables shaping their academic performance. About 838 students participated.

Findings

The findings revealed that although students did not rate their English proficiency very highly, they placed high value on English in regards to their academic performance and job prospects upon graduation. More importantly, the findings also show that the majority of the students had high academic self-efficacy beliefs in L2, and were more accurate at calibrating their efficacy beliefs with subsequent performance in academic settings, unlike typical research findings on Asian students as generally holding lower self-efficacy beliefs. This finding was evidenced by the strong and positive relationship between perceived English language competence and academic self-efficacy in L2.

Practical implications

It is imperative that students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs be enhanced as it has been revealed to mobilise motivation and cognitive resources. It is also necessary to offer targeted support services specifically designed to further help students to improve their English academic skills.

Originality/value

In this study, rewards offered by instrumental motivation in terms of increased academic literacy and career appear to supersede the motive of identification with the L2 language community. It is likely that students in Malaysian HE institutions are becoming increasingly motivated to study due to their own visions and desires, rather than as a result of external requirements. Such findings should be capitalised since self-efficacy is predictive of academic performance.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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