By Nicola Choon
December 12, 2022 min read
The power of communication lies in its ability to connect us to others and to the world around us, whether it’s through language, visuals, online, face-to-face or more. It was this spark of connection that inspired OpenLearning Ambassador, Tung An Gie, to pursue a lifelong career in education.
Today, An Gie is the Deputy Principal at MAHSA Avenue International College, mainly focuses on the provision of leadership within the college, and is heavily involved in college planning, performance, and quality management. We sat down with her to find out more about her journey into education, as well as her online course creation experience with the OpenLearning platform.
How did you begin your career?
“I started my career as a lecturer in event management. Being a comms-trained professional, I then returned to my forte in the communication discipline,” she says, adding that she chose to become an educator and trainer because she is passionate about sharing her ideas and thoughts. “I always aim to be an effective communicator, so teaching is my platform to achieve that goal.”
What made you interested in the OpenLearning Ambassador Program?
“Ever since I joined the education industry, I understood that the medium, or tools, used by educators are changing constantly due to technological advancement. In the past, we used overhead projectors or textbooks—but these days, because of new media and the adaptation of instant gratification, everyone uses the Internet or social media to learn new knowledge .”
Reflecting on the past, An Gie describes her previous challenging experience of joining a new institution: “I was still new to the learning system at that time, and I was given very little time to learn how to use it to facilitate my teaching. As a result, my students were having issues locating the learning materials as well as answering the tutorial questions. It caused them to lose interest in participating in the activities that I prepared using the LMS.”
“As a facilitator, it is very important to have a versatile and useful LMS as a medium to share knowledge and conduct formative and summative assessments in an interesting way with learners. Apart from that, we need to learn and strategize the best way to communicate with students through the LMS—‘Engagement’ is the key word here.”
An Gie saw the OpenLearning platform as the solution: “I realised that the OpenLearning platform could do what was required. That is why I was interested in joining the OpenLearning Ambassador Program. I hope to enhance my skills on OpenLearning so that my learners can learn in a more engaging manner.”
OpenLearning provides the course authoring platform and assessment tools to support An Gie’s teaching and training.
🌟 Get the guide: Register for the OpenLearning Ambassador Program.
Describe your personal course building process, from start to end.
“Speak the language of your learners and see things from their perspective,” An Gie explains. “I imagine how a student would feel to open up a course page with lengthy words and disorganised content—these are the biggest turn-offs for learners when they use an LMS! As a visually oriented person myself, I try to add more images, video content, and interesting questions when developing activities.”
For An Gie, the motivation and excitement builds when a new group of learners joins her classes. “Educators and trainers need to be flexible when it comes to delivering knowledge and skills to learners,” she says. “The new generation is very different from us, in terms of learning patterns and their way of interpreting information. We need to study our learners by understanding their demographics, psychographics, and behaviours before developing the material.”
A slide from An Gie’s recent workshop at the OpenLearning Symposium 2022 on culture shock at the workplace, where she explained the importance of understanding learners and employees in order to support them better. Watch it here: Culture Shock or Culture Syiok?
How do you engage with your learners?
An Gie designs class activities by applying gamification which allows her learners the chance to engage with one another, both online and in person, usually opting to show their comments on the OpenLearning platform and discuss them virtually or physically during live sessions.
“It gets learners to take ownership of their ideas and thoughts, and others can learn also at the same time. Most importantly, it allows them to understand that there is always something new to learn when we share knowledge and ideas,” she explains.
The OpenLearning platform provides social sharing tools that enable learners to post their work, comment, and give each other ‘kudos’.
💡 Top tip: Try these 5 simple strategies to motivate your online learners.
“Educational technology is not going to stop any time soon,” she cautions. “It means we will need to accept, adapt, and apply the new technologies that will help us to facilitate learning.”
In An Gie’s opinion, one of the biggest hurdles of learning new skills like online teaching is the emotion of fear. “Learning is never going to be a walk in the park. But if we put aside the thought that we must champion the new skills overnight, and learn it with an open mindset, we will understand that it is just a change of channel in communication,” adding that sooner or later, she hopes online learning methods which complement teaching will become a habit for more educators.
If you would like to explore more online learning ideas and collaborate with Tung An Gie, reach out below or join her in the OpenLearning Ambassador Program:
An Gie regularly conducts training on topics such as personal branding.
Connect with An Gie, an educator and professional trainer who focuses on soft skills, corporate rebranding, and training programmes related to:
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