Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (UAJ), supported by ASEAN – Quality Assurance (ASEAN-QA), organized a workshop of “Blended Learning Implementation from the Perspective of Quality Assurance” at Campus 3, BSD, on 10 – 13 December 2018. ASEAN-QA itself is a program which was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Rectors´ Conference (HRK), and University of Postdam. It aims to develop the quality of higher institutions in ASEAN.
The aim of the workshop was to provide participants knowledge regarding various methods of quality
The aim of the workshop was to provide participants knowledge regarding various methods of quality assurance in blended learning, either from the government policy perspective or from the blended learning actor perspective in Indonesia and University of Postdam. The mentioned quality assurance is comprised of planning, executing and evaluating the process of blended learning. The workshop was attended by 26 participants from six ASEAN countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos and Indonesia).
The speakers were all experts in their respective fields. There were Dr. Uwes A. Chaeruman (Head of Sub Directorate of Special Education, Directorate of Learning, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education), Prof. Dr. Paulina Pannen, M. Ls. (Expert Staff of Academic Field, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education), Prof. Drs. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., Ph,D. (Rector of Open University), Dr. Jorg Hafer (Head of Department of Teaching and Media University of Potsdam), and Sam McNeill (Solution Specialist for Education, Microsoft Asia Pacific). Two lecturers of UAJ, Dr. Agustina Watumesa Tan and Agatha Novi Ardhiati, M. Psi., Pscyhologist, also participated by sharing their experiences in implementing blended learning.
Blended learning is a learning approach combining online and face-to-face methods. The online method incorporates a platform commonly known as massive open online course (MOOC ) as a media of interaction among lecturers, students and other communities. On the other hand, in the face-to-face sessions, lecturers act as facilitators in encouraging active discussions. Learning materials can also be developed to be interdisciplinary.
The reformation of learning approaches in higher institutions in fact has been developed long since. Alternative education besides face-to-face method has been operated through distance learning in Indonesia. Distance learning is a teaching and learning process done through various media with minimal frequency of physical face-to-face sessions. Along with technology development, distance learning has evolved to e-learning, which later further evolved to blended learning.
Blended learning might become the solution in this 4.0 era. In practice, technology development cannot easily make people believe in online-based educational services. Some of the factors might be caused by human aspects, such as ideologies, perception, and fear of losing cooperation skills, empathy and critical thinking which still need direct meeting in order to transfer the values. Therefore, blended learning is believed to be the bridge between technology and higher institutions.
UAJ has implemented blended learning
The rector of UAJ, Dr. Agustinus Prasetyantoko, explained that currently UAJ is trying to bring massive digital transformation in all aspects, including teaching and learning process, in order to catch up with technology development. UAJ is committed in producing highly qualified human resources. In 2019, Atma Jaya University aims to achieve Global Reach through student/ staff exchange, innovation in education and interdisciplinarity.
In line with the attempt, UAJ has applied the blended learning approach. AtmaZeds (MOOC) is a vital response of UAJ in fulfilling educational needs of everyone by offering flexibility and easier access.
AtmaZeds consists of interdisciplinary and innovative modules as the media for collaboration among national and international institutions. At the moment, it has six modules from various disciplines and it can be freely accessed through http://atmazeds.atmajaya.ac.id. The six modules are: Basic psychometrics for non-psychometricians and Understanding special needs children (Faculty of Psychology), Elderly care and people with dementia at home (Faculty of Medicine), R Software R Financial Data Analysis (Faculty of Economics and Business), Computational Thinking (Faculty of Engineering) and Communicating Science through the Art of Blogging (Faculty of Biotechnology).
Everything in AtmaZeds can be accessed free of charge. Additional fee only applies for participants who request certificates from UAJ. This certificate is important as it allows a participant to receive feedback and evaluation of his learning process.
The Importance of Quality Assurance for Blended Learning
The “Blended Learning Implementation from the Perspective of Quality Assurance” workshop showed UAJ’s full attention towards the qualities of higher institutions while emphasizing technology development through AtmaZeds (https://atmazeds.atmajaya.ac.id/).
Up until now, there is still no fixed evaluation system towards blended learning process. The Permenristekdikti No.50/2018 regarding changes upon regulation of Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education Number 44, 2015 about National Standard of Higher Institutions, talks about general guidelines in conducting learning process in higher institutions but it does not specifically control the quality standard of e-learning and blended learning process.
Elisabeth Rukmini, Ph.D., the Vice Rector of UAJ, in a workshop session, expressed, “This workshop is an initial step for UAJ in regards to quality standard of blended learning. It is our concern as an education provider and we hope we can give contribution to many parties through the establishment of blended learning quality standard.”