The crowd were drawn into the world of lifelong and lifewide learning by the sharing of real-life experiences of exploring new learning to add meaning, purpose and value to life.
Prof Abdul Karim Alias was addressing a public talk on ‘Lifelong and Lifewide Learning for All’ organised by WOU’s School of Education, Languages & Communications (SELC) at the main campus today. He is a Professor of Food Technology at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and the Director of USM’s Centre for Development of Academic Excellence (CDAE).
He truly embodies lifelong and lifewide learning in his own life. He teaches courses at USM and online, has accumulated a number of e-badges for completing online courses, uploads videos to his You-Tube channel for self-learning and to help others learn, writes for newspapers and on his blog, produces research papers, and listen to e-books while driving.
He stressed that a wide range of new knowledge, new skills, new competencies and new values can be obtained through lifelong and lifewide learning in an informal setting. He suggested moving beyond one’s area of expertise to learn other topics, and to use the acquired knowledge to help others. “Why not pay it forward, and contribute your expertise back to others!”
Prof Karim remarked that lifelong learning empowers people and communities to take control of their destiny. He has added to his core competency in food technology by developing competencies in photography, drawing, and other topics. “Lifelong and lifewide learning is a process to acquire wisdom. As an educator, I would never stop learning.”
He advised nurturing a growth mindset for lifelong learning by striving to learn something new each and every moment. “View learning as an adventure. Cultivate a growth mindset for lifelong learning through grit, perseverance, persistence and tenacity.”
He strongly advocated online learning as a vehicle for lifelong and lifewide learning in view of the current high connectivity and easy access to exabytes of information. “We can learn on demand, anytime, anywhere, and according to our personalised needs.”
Over 50 people attended the talk including SELC Dean Prof Balakrishnan Muniandy, along with the staff and students of WOU and a few other institutions.
A panel discussion ensued during which four speakers shared their postgraduate learning experiences. They were teacher Dr Maryam Haji Sulaiman from Maktab Rendah Sains MARA Balik Pulau; retired lecturer Dr Suranthiran Naidu; senior lecturer Dr Lye Siew Ean from TAR University College; and lecturer Tan Poow Suan from the Penang Skills Development Centre.
The full-day event, funded by WOU’s Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI), concluded with two workshops on ‘Preparing for Graduate Studies’ and ‘Overcoming Challenges in Graduate Studies’.