Engaging Millennials in Blended Learning

Q & A with Mr. Kam, Lecturer of Business Management

Millennials are part of a socially connected generation who thrive in ‘on-the-go’, technology-oriented spaces. They often expect real-time updates and have decreasing intention. Their evolving need to continuously keep conversations going via text, messaging, etc., has begun to outlive traditional teaching practices. According to the US Chamber Foundation, “Millennials have and will continue to influence education. First, as students, these digital natives have forced learning institutions to communicate and educate in new ways.”

Kamarulzaman "Mr. Kam"
So, how exactly can educators re-connect with this generation?

We talked to Kamarulzaman from UiTM Sabah – Kota Kinabalu Campus about how he connects with his young students through the use of CourseNetworking (CN). Known by his students as Mr. Kam, he let us in on his favorite features on CourseNetworking and how they help him teach more efficiently while keeping the young millennial members of his courses actively engaged.

Q.  Why did you start using CourseNetworking back in 2015?

A. I started using CourseNetworking back in 2015 because I was impressed by the ease of use and the potential of improved interactivity between students and their instructors. The simple interface and FB-like layout makes it easy to use especially for the millennials who I'm sure you know take it like ducks to water.

Q.  How many courses have you taught/ do you currently teach on CourseNetworking?

A. I have taught 6 courses using CourseNetworking which are Business Logistics, Information Technology in Business, Digital Marketing, Corporate Strategy and Policy in Transport, Transport, Society and Environment and Fundamentals of Transport.

Q. Have you ever used another course management or learning management system? If yes, how does CourseNetworking compare?

A. Yes, I have. The university where I teach have one and due to privacy concerns I'm not at the liberty to mention it. As lecturers/instructors, we have to abide by the rules and use them as part of the teaching and learning curricula. However, I still prefer to use CN because of the following reasons:

 i. CourseNetworking can be accessed anywhere and anytime using a variety of browsers and platforms compared to the one from my university where sometimes the layout looks different and hard to navigate especially when using mobile devices.

ii. CourseNetworking’s interface is very user-friendly and response time is excellent.

iii. Students enjoy interacting among themselves and making new friends from all over the world.

iv. Students discover a lot more stuff related to the field of their study and are always eager to share what they found. Sometimes even I have a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of discoveries they made! 

v. The flexibility and features in CN especially in assigning tasks, assignments and quizzes makes it very convenient for me. I can even keep track of their responses using my mobile device via the CN app.

Q. What tools do you use that benefit your courses on CN? Are there certain tools that specifically benefit the subjects that you teach?

A. The tools that I frequently use are Task, Post, Quiz, Events, CN Dropbox and Gradebook. The one that greatly benefit the subjects that I teach is of course the Quiz tool where I can set it and students can immediately know their marks upon completing the Quiz. Saves me a lot of hassle marking their quiz. Another tool [I use] is the Task. Using this tool, I can set assignments and choose how the students respond to the assignments - either they upload it through a link that I set up or use the Post tool. I have yet to try the Turnitin tool linked to CN's GradeBook. That will be my next thing to learn on CourseNetworking.

Q. How does CN add to/supplement or balance your lecture or "in-person" course time? (if applicable - if courses are only online explain)

A. CourseNetworking supplements my lecture by giving me the opportunity to set assignments and class work online. Sometimes classes have to be postponed or cancelled due to official events or holidays. CN offers class continuity because the students can refer to lecture notes online. If they don't understand certain points or concepts, I can discuss it with them during regular class (Face to face interaction). As a matter of policy, the university encourages all academic staff to use blended learning in the courses that they teach. So, CourseNetworkong fits in well with this policy.

Q. What do your students think about CN?

A. They absolutely loved it! Although there are some Luddites among them but they are a minority. My students liked the opportunity given to them to earn extra marks if they can achieve 300 Anar seeds or more. It's transparent and fair. 

Q. In your opinion, what do you think the future holds for this type of educational technology in teaching and learning?

A. In my opinion, CourseNetworking and other learning management systems (LMS) have a bright future because it addresses the concerns of the ever changing learning styles among the millennials and the generation that comes after them. In this era of gadgets and information overload, CourseNetworking offers a fun and creative way to use information and acquire knowledge safely and reliably.

Mr. Kam is one of thousands of lecturers all over the world - from 5 different continents, using CourseNetworking to upgrade teaching practices in order to engage millennials in their learning. He is one of many educators who believe learning should be engaging and one of whom uses CourseNetworking to build a better learning environment while using technology that millennials know best.

If you’d like to join Mr. Kam and the many other educators and scholars around the world striving to “change the way the world learns”, email us at info@coursenetworking.com to request a free demo today. For more information, visit thecn.com.

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