The virtual classroom: A catalyst for institutional transformation

Nantha Kumar Subramaniam, Maheswari Kandasamy


This study explores the use of the virtual classroom which has been created in myVLE, a learning management system used by the Open University Malaysia (OUM). The virtual classroom in myVLE is an asynchronous-based online learning environment that delivers course materials to learners and provides collaboration and interaction using an asynchronous-based forum as the main platform to support the learners' independent study. It also provides a learning environment with learning tools, learning materials, opportunities for contextual and collaborative discussions, and individual learning and assessment. OUM uses this virtual classroom to deliver the subject Object-Oriented Programming (CS1) and in this paper the impact of this delivery system is explored. The study aimed to elicit students' perceptions of the virtual classroom, based on their learning experiences, how well it supported their self-managed learning, and their personal preference for this compared with face to face interactions. Findings obtained using a questionnaire indicated moderate responses (average value for the items was between 2.0 to 3.6 on a five point Likert scale) for the use of the virtual classroom, and some possible reasons for this are discussed in this paper.

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