A total of 38 students from the Postgraduate Education Programme (PGDE), School of Education and Modern Languages (SEML), Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) successfully produced a variety of innovative game-based learning products in preparation of teachers of the future who will face the challenging educational evolution.
The effort was realized through the Technology and Innovation in Education course under the supervision of Dr. Siti Nazuar Sailin and Dr. Farah Mohamad Zain.
Coordinator of the PGDE Programme, Dr. Siti Nazuar said SEML was committed in producing teachers of the future in tandem with the development of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
“In line with the learning outcomes of the course, students became actively involved in the process of designing innovative products to solve the problem of learning of mathematics and English among students in the lower secondary forms.
“Having developed their own group of innovative products, these students put much thought into designing their products according to the different phases of design thinking namely empathy, problem-solving, idea generation, prototype development and experimentation,” she said.
According to her, the game-based learning products also integrated digital technologies such as web programming, mobile applications, Augmented Reality and QR Code in the production of their products which were in tandem with the content and learning outcomes of the course.
The nine innovative products also competed at the Sintok International Games and Gamification (SIGG) 2019, at the Universiti Utara Malaysia Muadzam Shah and gold medals were secured for BMOmatic and AMathZing products which incidentally also won the Best Award.
Fellow student, Hui Ling and the team that created AMathzing said they took about two months to produce a complete digital game product that was ready to be marketed through CD-ROM.
Hui Ling expressed hopes that the products produced will not end there as these products had the potential to be commercialized and help students master Math.
In addition, two products namely CongMath and PRO Racing BM secured the Silver Medal, while 5 other SCOG (Spin & Count Game) products namely DKLIA Proverb Exploration, Grammar Spell (PETA), PIE (Proverb is Easy) and GoalMath took home the Bronze medals.
According to Dr. Farah, student participation in the innovation competition became a form of transformative learning method introduced by the course lecturers. Through such participation students can showcase innovative products developed to the wider consumer community and receive feedback from external evaluators. Thus, such experience became every meaningful and added value to these would-be teachers.
“Throughout the process of producing innovative products until the day of the competition, students successfully demonstrated their 4C skills namely creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.
“These skills are very important as preparation of future teachers in facing the challenging educational evolution,” she said.
The Dean of SEML, Assoc. Prof Dr. Fauziah Abdul Rahim fully supported the pro-active efforts of lecturers in highlighting this transformative learning approach as a step towards making teachers of the future become designers of innovative learning.
“Efforts to prepare teachers of the future implemented at the post-graduate level such as this should be implemented in all programmes including at the undergraduate level as it can become a catalyst for the engendering of exceptional teachers of the future,” she said.