Located in Kuala Lumpur, Monash University Malaysia is a branch of the recognised Australian University based in Melbourne. Offering a culturally rich and distinctly international environment, the cohort at Monash comprises over 8,000 students hailing from more than 70 countries around the globe.
The diversity of the Monash University cohort is largely defined by their expansive international student base. As such, Monash has developed courses dedicated to providing both domestic and foreign learners with insight into the salient features that constitute modern Malaysian society in order to aid their understanding of the national culture and enhance their learning experience as a whole.
In developing this unit, Monash University Malaysia acquired Guroo Producer’sTM services to create
a blended program that met the Malaysian Governments aspirations to provide students with a more culturally immersive and experiential learning journey.
In alignment with the General Studies requirements of the Malaysian Government, Monash Malaysia developed a program to provide students with an introduction to many aspects of Malaysian history, society, culture and politics. While enrolment in the subject was mandatory, existing course loads and the relevance to learners main area of study resulted in low student engagement.
With student interest in mind, Guroo ProducerTM created an immersive blended learning program including both classroom-based and eLearning elements alongside gamification to produce a captivating course structure that stimulated student engagement.
The unique value proposition espoused by the program was based on the inclusion of experiential learning in the form of a game-like system that allowed students to acquire experience points by actively participating in Malaysian culture.
Goals and Objectives:
- Give first-year students a fun and engaging introduction to Malaysia.
- Grant students historical, politcal, social and cultural context
- Leverage experiential learning to create an immersive learner journey
- International students studying at Monash Malaysia
- International students are likely new to the culture and language
- First year Bachelor Studies
- 12 weeks in length, able to be condensed to 8 weeks for summer session
- Blended learning approach with experiential activities to allow students to truly experience Malaysian culture
- Must meet Mata Pelajaran Pengajian Umum (MPU) requirements as outlined by the Ministry of Education
- Content must be consistent with Government expectations
- Include links between Malaysian studies learning and the subject area different students are studying
The Learning Journey:
The complete learning journey comprised four core elements; face-to-face facilitations, digital eLearning modules, assessments in the form of written assignments, and the experiental learning component. While the classroom and online learning reflected elements of a classical blended program, the experience based assessment diversified the program from more traditional courses and prompted student engagement with the topics covered.
Integrating personalised questions to determine students previous interactions and experiences with Malaysian society, the experiential learning element demanded that students explore the local cultural and historical sites that Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas have to offer, thus granting greater context regarding the content covered while contributing to course outcomes.
Experience points were rewarded for each interaction while the number of points awarded varied depending on how far students ventured. Badges were also distributed throughout the course to track progress and acknowledge students for their engagement. A total of 500 experience points were required in order to obtain the full 20% weight and photos and comments needed to be uploaded to the LMS as proof.
Having received vastly positive feedback from participating students and faculty alike, ‘Malaysian Studies’ has become a core part of the learning curriculum. The originality of the gamified experiential learning element has been received with optimism from participants who believe it to have transformed not only their course interaction but collective university experience. Additionally, by opting to create a blended program, rather than implementing a purely digital or classroom-based solution, students felt better prepared for their studies.