Development of a hybrid system to enhance borderless learning: Challenges and opportunities for the underserved

Kyaw Ahr Kar Nyunt
Sentral College

Penang, Malaysia

Khar Thoe Ng, Baharulnizam Baharum and Annamalai Chockalingam

Penang, Malaysia

With the increasing and easily accessible tools in the digital era, the instructional design of blended-mode platforms to facilitate student-centred learning should consider multiple-mode approaches that can enhance the multiple intelligences of Millennial Generation or Gen Y learners from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds and levels of achievement. If well guided with exposure to sustainable awareness and enriched knowledge through online libraries and the sharing of open educational resources (OER) in course delivery, these groups of learners should gain independent lifelong learning abilities with enhanced motivation and thinking skills.

This paper reports on the authors' recent initiative to explore collaborative efforts for borderless learning, especially in promoting local wisdom among the underserved in the SEAMEO countries. An interactive student portal entitled 'AllinOne' with hybrid features consisting of the combination of 'a social networking system, a learning management system (LMS), Google applications, an online library system and a student management and information system (SMS and SIS)' is illustrated using flowcharts or diagrams. These include reports on challenges faced in designing the hybrid system with elaboration on the technical aspects of how learning can be facilitated through mobile learning and e-platforms hosted in the institution of the first author from Myanmar who had attended curriculum development workshops to promote borderless learning organized by the second author. This hybrid mode of a blended learning platform is mainly anchored on the Oxwall Social Networking Platform with the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) framework to enable integration between Moodle, and SMS and SIS. The Koha (online library system) and Google Apps (Gmail, Google calendar, Google drive) that are common features of a blended learning platforms were developed and piloted in the two collaborating institutions, with feedback on how local wisdom for the underserved SEAMEO countries could be facilitated. Online feedback and interview findings from the respondents are reported for selected respondents to a survey entitled 'Attitudes to the use of technology to enhance sustainable living' (ATUTESL) developed by the second and fourth authors prior to the organization of the biennially held 'Search for SEAMEO young scientists' (SSYS) regional congress from 4 to 7 March 2014. The analysis of quantitative data revealed positive attitudes from respondents to blended learning digital tools, especially the need to have an online library that could better facilitate their learning in countries with different cultures. The implications of study are considered and it is suggested that more research should be carried out on opportunities for e-/m-learning.