Higher Education in Malaysia

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The rapid growth and evolution of technology has seen many institutions of higher learning in Malaysia enhance the student learning experience by integrating technology in their teaching methods. Some technology-minded lecturers have been using technology in the form of computer-aided learning presentation systems, or as a research tool. Given the rapid pace of technological innovation, however, others may lack the necessary skills and training to transfer the use of technology to learning outcomes (Antonnaci & Modaress, 2008). With the current advancement of integrated circuits and chipsets, computers today are far more interactive than they once were (Kristof & Satran, 1995). A decade ago, technologies available to classroom teachers included slides, tapes, videos, and multi-image presentation equipment (Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999), but these media have evolved and are now available digitally. Computers are now used as a compulsory teaching tool and as an instructional medium. According to Jonassen et al. (1999), the computer now has the ability to capture, synthesise and manipulate multimedia effects and integrate them into a single presentation that will better engage students.

The emergence of new technologies, such as three-dimensional (henceforth 3D) virtual worlds (i.e., Second Life and Active World), creates new opportunities for teaching and learning. In addition, these virtual worlds reinforce the wider strategic drive in education towards a more personalised style of learning, which is tailored to the individual learner’s needs (De Freitas & Roberts, 2005; West-Burnham, 2005) and greater learner autonomy. Since learning depends on the way technologies are used, and so much not the technologies themselves (Clayon,...

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...ate the skills required for a successful solving of a case. These examples address the areas of DNA, nucleic acids, literacy, investigation skills, and the job skills needed to work as a crime scene investigator. In addition to these models, simulated activities contained in the virtual learning environment enable users to practice the aforementioned skills in highly graphic realistic settings. While engaged in these virtual activities, the learners receive feedback and guidance from the virtual support group.

Project CSI was designed and developed by the researcher in the field of biotechnology and uses instructional pedagogy. While recommendations for its suggested use by practitioners in one private university college have been developed, questions remain on how they will be implemented successfully by teachers and others involved in biotechnology education.
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