Sunday, October 31, 2010

24th AAOU Annual Conference Hanoi Vietnam - Part 2

Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam delivers his opening address. Picture courtesy of Zulhairi

The 24th Association of Asian Open Universities (AAOU) annual conference held in Hanoi from 26th to 28th October 2010 has brought many fond memories to 12 participants of Open University Malaysia. It was made more memorable with the warm greetings and kind hospitality provided by the host, Hanoi Open University.

The dragon dance performance during the opening ceremony. Picture courtesy of Zulhairi

Before coming to Vietnam, we generally have different perceptions towards Vietnam. But the moment we landed at the Noi Bai Hanoi International Airport, our perceptions were proven wrong. We were greeted by students volunteer, who could speak some good English, which all of us could understand. These students were holding placards with the AAOU 2010 words on it. They made us feel very much at home showing us the direction we required.

Yhung (in red), one of students volunteer meeting us on arrival at the Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi, Vietnam

Our group from OUM was taken care by 4 students, Yhung, Oanh, An, and Ken taking us from the airport to Melia Hanoi hotel where we stay. The hotel was also the venue of the conference.

At the ceramic factory. From left: Rina, Dr. Janet Woo, Richard Ng, Zulhairi, Iryanty and Umi

The Cho Dong Xuan bazar in Hanoi. Picture courtesy of Zulhairi

As our bosses (Tan Sri Anuwar Ali and Prof. Mansor) were busy at the AAOU Exco meeting, we took the opportunity to do a city tour of Hanoi where we visited the Ceramic and Silk Factory in the morning.

Group photo at the Melia Hanoi Hotel before our city tour

We stopped for lunch at the Nisa Restaurant, a Malaysian owned restaurant. Of course our meal is the local Pho (pronounced as fur) beef noodle soup. In the afternoon, we went shopping at the Cho Dong Xuan bazar where you can find all the things that you want from locally made biscuits, Nike and Adidas shoes, souvenirs, to products made of silks, leather belts and furniture. One of the unique things about Hanoi was that the people generally like to have tea and local liquor along the walk-way sitting on stools and small tables.

A typical scene on the streets of Hanoi City

Tan Sri Anuwar Ali (left), talking to Dr. Olubiyi Adeniyi Adewale of Nigeria Open University

Group photo after the dinner on the first night

We were hosted to a dinner for three consecutive nights. On the first night, we were hosted to a dinner by the Hanoi Open University, the conference organizer. We were treated to a 8-course meal with free flow drinks. We were also treated to a cultural performance during the second night hosted by the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam. On the final day of the conference, we were treated to a farewell dinner at the Sen Restaurant, located at the West Lake of Hanoi, approximately 45 minutes away from Melia Hanoi Hotel. It was hosted by the Deputy Minister of Vietnam. We were served with mostly local Vietnamese dishes.

Deputy PM of Vietnam, Prof. Nguyen, shaking hand with Tan Sri Anuwar Ali

Prof. Mansor (left) and Tan Sri Anuwar Ali among the participants at the conference

The signing ceremony of MOUs between Open University Malaysia, Hanoi Open University, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Picture courtesy of Zulhairi

The proper conference started on the second day on 27th October 2010 at 8.30am. The conference was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, Prof. Nguyen Thien Nham. It was followed by a cultural performance and dragon dance. Five keynote addresses were delivered. Several keynote addresses were also delivered. The highlight of the morning session was the signing of MOUs between Open University Malaysia and Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University of Thailand, Hanoi Open University, Philippines Open University and Universitas Terbuka Indonesia to collaborate on areas of developing programmes.

Posing in front of AAOU 2010 backdrop. From left: Prof. Latifah, Prof. Mansor. Tan Sri Anuwar Ali and Richard Ng

In the afternoon the parallel session began where participants presented their papers. Among the presenters from OUM include Prof. Mansor and Dr. Janet Woo.

Prof. Mansor gave a powerful presentation of his paper. Picture courtesy of Zulhairi

Prof. Mansor presented two papers entitled: "Widening Access and Improving Retention in Open and Distance Learning: The Strategies of Open University Malaysia" and "Helping distance learners stay connected: The effectiveness of mobile learning via SMS at Open University Malaysia".

Dr. Janet Woo presenting her shortlisted for Best Paper award paper

Dr. Janet's paper entitled, "Developing Quality Learning Materials for Effective Teaching and Learning in an ODL environment: Making the jump from print modules to online modules", was shortlisted for the best paper award.

Prof. Tan Sri Anuwar Ali delivers his keynote address

On the third day of the conference, on 28th October, 2010, Emeritus Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Anuwar Ali, President and Vice Chancellor of OUM, delivered his keynote address entitled "Going Global: Ensuring Sustainability, Access, Equity and Quality in Open and Distance Learning".

Richard Ng presenting his paper during the conference

In the afternoon, Richard Ng, Director of OUM Perak Learning Centre, presented his paper entitled: "Improving Graduation Rates of Open and Distance Learners via Online Community".

Umi Hanim asking for clarification during the parallel session

The 2-day conference witnessed the participation of over 500 participants from 22 countries. 173 papers were presented under 5 sub-themes. The main theme of the conference was: "OPEN DISTANCE LEARNING TOWARDS BUILDING SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES".

During the closing ceremony, the outgoing President of AAOU 2010, Prof. Tian Belawati of Indonesia, announced the incoming newly elected AAOU 2011-2013 President, Prof. Wong Tat Meng of Malaysia. Also announced was the winner of the best paper awards and Young Innovators award. The Gold Medal went to Korea, and the two Silver Medals went to the Philippines and Malaysia.

Participants of the AAOU 2010 conference from OUM took the opportunity to visit Ha Long Bay on the final day before departing for Malaysia. The group chartered a boat to take them to visit the mystical mountains which numbered about 2,000. The journey took us almost 3.5 hours to arrive from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. We spent almost 3 hours at the Ha Long Bay enjoying the scenic beauty and the Heaven Cave located at Ha Long Bay. The weather was good with temperature about 13 degrees Celcius.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

24th AAOU Annual Conference Hanoi Vietnam - Part 1

Prof. Tian Belawati, President of AAOU 2010 delivering her speech

The 24th Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) Annual Conference began in Hanoi on 26th Oct 2010. As usual the AAOU board members will hold their annual meeting to discuss any matters arising.

The dragon dance performance during the Opening Ceremony

Honoring the exco members of AAOU

Emeritus Prof. Dr. Anuwar Ali delivering his keynote address

Among the participants from OUM (from left), Prof. Dr. Latifah, Prof. Dr. Mansor Fadzil, Tan Sri Dr. Anuwar Ali and Richard Ng

The AAOU 2010 conference which was held at the Melia Hanoi hotel in Vietnam was officiated by the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, Prof. Nguyen Thien Minh. Earlier, Prof. Dr. Pham Minh Viet, Organizing Chairman of the conference delivered his welcoming address. The opening session was followed by a dragon dance performance. In his speech, Prof. Nguyen hoped that the conference will be able to assist Vietnam in developing its Open and Distance Learning.

Richard Ng with Prof. Pham of Hanoi Open University, the Organizing Chairman of AAOU 2010

Signing of MOU between Open University Malaysia and Open Universities of Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam

Among the keynote speakers invited to speak during the conference include Emeritus Prof. Dr. Anuwar Ali, the President of Open University Malaysia. Others include Prof. Asha Kanwar of Commonwealth of Learning, Emeritus Prof. Gajaraj Dhanarajan of Wawasan Open University, Prof. Jon Baggaley of Athabasca University, Prof. Insung Jung of International Christian University, Prof. Hiromitsu of The Open University of Japan, Prof. Lam of Thang Long University, and Dr. Gatot Hari of SEAMOLEC.

Prof. Mansor presenting his first paper

More than 500 participants from over 20 countries attended the 3-day conference. A total of 173 papers were presented under 5 different sub-themes; Ideology and philosophy; Partnership and Communication; Methodology and Technology; Sustainability, Accessibility,Equity and Quality; and Opportunities and Challenges. The most popular sub-theme is Methodology and Technology with 73 papers.

Recipients of the best paper award: (from left) Gold Medalist - Korea, Silver Medalist - Philippines, Prof. Tian Belawati, President of AAOU, Silver Medalist - Malaysia

Presenters from OUM include Prof. Mansor Fadzil (Senior VP), Prof. Latifah, Dr. Janet Woo Tai Kwan, Richard Ng, and Umi Hanim. Dr. Janet's paper was one of the shortlisted papers for best paper award.

For three consecutive nights, participants were hosted for dinners by Conference Organizer, The Ministry of Education and the Government of Vietnam. The 3-day conference ended on 28 October 2010. During the closing, it was announced that a new president for AAOU has been elected for the period 2011 till 2013.

Prof. Tian Belawati, the outgoing AAOU President from Indonesia (right) passing the AAOU flag to the newly elected AAOU President, Prof. Wong Tat Meng of Malaysia

The handover ceremony was held briefly with the passing of the AAOU flag from the current President Prof. Tian Belawati of Indonesia to Prof. Wong Tat Meng of Malaysia. It was also announced that the next AAOU Conference will be held in Penang in Sept 2011.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

AMOS Workshop on 23rd Oct 2010 at OUM Main Campus KL

The AMOS workshop has been arranged to assist OUM PhD students understand and use it in their Structural Equation Modeling. Details of the workshop are as follows:

Date: 23 Oct 2010
Time: 9am to 4pm
Venue: OUM Main Campus, KL (Room GA01).
Fee: RM75 per person
Facilitator: Dr Sharifah Faridah Syed Alwi from UM.

Dr. Sharifah's CV can be viewed here.

Fee includes lunch and 2 tea breaks.

As places are very limited, interested participants must register and pay up their fee prior to the start of the workshop. Kindly deposit the registration fee via Chia Bee Ching's Public Bank Account Number: 4706877819 and inform her of your confirmation. Bee Ching can be contacted through 017-3402968.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SPSS Workshop on 24th Oct 2010 at OUM Main Campus KL

Attention All PhD Students:

The SPSS class has been arranged for all OUM PhD students. Details are as follows:

Date: 24 Oct 2010
Time: 9am - 4pm
Venue: Room GA01, OUM Main Campus
Facilitator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bahaman Abu Samah from UPM
Fee: RM75 per person.

The workshop will be conducted using hands-on approach.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bahaman's details can be found here. He has been teaching Statistics & Advanced Statistics for Social Science since 1997.

As places are very limited, interested participants must register and pay up their fee prior to the start of the workshop. Kindly deposit the registration fee via Chia Bee Ching's Public Bank Account Number: 4706877819 and inform her of your confirmation. Bee Ching can be contacted through 017-3402968.

Monday, October 11, 2010

PhD Viva for First Batch of OUM Students

PhD Candidate, Richard Ng, with his supervisor, Prof. Karl Wagner during the viva-voce held on Sept 2 at OUM Main Campus

The first batch of PhD (Business Administration) students had their Viva-Voce set beginning September 2 to September 29 2010. Among the first candidate to attend the Viva was Richard Ng, who started his PhD journey in September 2005. It was then followed by Lum Heap Sum, Wong Siaw Ming and Patrick Wong.

The Viva-Voce process is the final stage of a PhD candidates' journey before they can be called "Doctor". It was conducted within 3 months after candidates have submitted their final thesis.

Richard Ng presenting his research in front of the panel of examiners

At OUM, three examiners (2 external and 1 internal) will examine the theses of a candidate. The viva was then fixed where the candidate will give a short presentation of approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Candidates will then be asked on why they choose their research topic, what is the objective of the research and how he is going about with it. Candidates will also be asked on their literature reviews and theories supporting their research. They will also need to explain their conceptual model and how they derive at it.

Richard Ng answering questions posted by the panel

Examiners are keen to find out the methodology used and how the research findings are analysed, aspect of validity and reliability of data and what is the outcome of their research and how it can contribute to the body of knowledge.

The viva-voce normally takes about 2 hours in all. At the end of the session, candidates will be informed about the decisions of the panel. Decisions could range from minor correction (usually within 1 month), major correction (within 6 months), to redo (within 12 months) or outright failure.

All the four candidates mentioned above who have had their viva-voce in September 2010, have passed their viva with minor or major correction. Candidates will then need to respond to the panel's proposal for correction and submit within the time frame given.

Once the corrections have been submitted, a reviewer (not necessary the same examiner) will review the amendment submitted. Once all the suggestions have been fulfilled the Chairperson of the panel will approve it and submit for confirmation to the academic board of OUM before it is endorsed by the senate. Upon endorsement of senate, the candidate can use the "doctor" title in front of their names.