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    UiTM Develops MOOC for Science and Technology

    A group of senior lecturers from the Universiti Teknologi MARA, Negeri Sembilan branch (UiTMCNS), Malaysia, have successfully developed a massive open online course (MOOC) for the General Virology course which is named “MIC281 MOOC” to be offered as an open online course for the enrolment of users from all over the world. The MIC281 MOOC is a basic virology introductory online course that can efficiently act as a basic knowledge for many disciplines including biology, microbiology, environmental microbiology, advanced virology, veterinary, health sciences, and also in medical sciences. Students or scientists from around the world can enroll to this MOOC as an additional course to enhance their knowledge of viruses. Interestingly, at the same time, MIC281 MOOC was also utilized as a supplementary learning tool to support the teaching and learning activity in the classroom. All in all, MIC281 MOOC is a great platform with multiple functions that can benefit various groups.

    The MIC281 MOOC has been utilized to enhance the student learning experience by utilizing interactive posters, exciting teaching videos, colorful 3D images, educational games, activities, and also quizzes. This online course can aid students to further grasp the factual knowledge taught in the classroom in a more exciting, interactive, and efficient way. Each chapter has its respective games to test students\’ knowledge in a very fun way. One of the most exciting features of MIC281 MOOC is the practical activities included. The practical activity can be performed by students even at home using easily available materials. This practical session is very efficient in helping the students to understand the characteristics of the virus via a hands-on activity which is believed to be a very efficient learning method.

    A validated questionnaire was utilized by the developers to assess the efficiency of the MIC281 MOOC in enhancing students\’ learning experience. Several items were also included in the questionnaire on the practicality and usefulness of the developed MOOC to assess the students\’ experience using the MOOC in their learning process. Based on the users\’ feedback, out of 103 respondents, 85% were satisfied with how easy it was to use the developed MIC281 MOOC and 92% agreed that the interactive elements developed contributed to the excitement of its use. 91% agreed that MIC281 MOOC helped them to refresh the knowledge they have gained in the classroom and 92% expressed their impression that the developed MOOC was useful in learning the course.

    The MIC281 MOOC was awarded the gold medal and the special award of “Best MOOC for Science and Technology” in the International e-Content Development Competition 2023. More MOOCs should be developed with greater interactivity and excitement to enhance the user learning experience. Fun, colorful, and efficient MOOCs can promote life-long learning activities not only for students but also for any person of all ages who enjoys enhancing their knowledge without attending physical classes.