The Best of the Best at ICE2021Webmaster
Last month’s International Conference on Education (ICE2021) recognised two noteworthy research papers by Dr Vaikunthan Rajaratnam and Dr Rosinah Mahmood, respectively.
Of the 29 papers presented at the conference, Dr Vaikunthan Rajaratnam bagged the best paper award in the student category while Dr Rosinah won in the academic category.
A hand surgeon by profession and PhD candidate at OUM, Dr Vaikunthan presented a paper entitled, “An Online Training Module for Micro Suturing Incorporating Motor Imagery and Mental Practice: A Design and Development Research Study”.
The paper evaluated the effectiveness, ease of learning, and usability of a new online training module for novice medical students to learn basic microsurgical skills in the absence of hands-on training opportunities.
“The teaching and learning process took seven days with approximately two and a half hours for every session. I used a new model that is designed using motor imagery and mental practice for skill acquisition in basic microsurgery.
“The most important lesson from this experimental study relates to motor skills acquisition. In any situation where motor skills are required, mental imagery and mental practice are important for someone to reach a high level of expertise,” explained Dr Vaikunthan, who is based in Singapore.
According to him, one of the most important implications of this research is the need to design and develop a mental script for all surgical procedures. The techniques of motor imagery and mental practice should also be taught to all surgical trainees.
“I hope this design and development research methodology can be incorporated in other surgical training opportunities,” Dr Vaikunthan concluded.
While Dr Vaikunthan wowed everyone with the unique perspective of his research study, Dr Rosinah grabbed the audience’s attention with her presentation entitled, “A Case Study: Issues, Challenges and Coping Strategies of Student-Teachers During the Covid-19 Pandemic”.
In addition to Dr Rosinah, the study involved four co-researchers, who were Eti Fairudz Zainudin, Dr Md Rosli Ismail, Assoc Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Md Nor, and Assoc Prof Hazidi Abdul Hamid.
Dr Rosinah highlighted several issues and challenges faced by OUM student-teachers while undergoing their practicum online. Among these problems include differentiated learning, teaching approaches, and difficulty teaching behind the screen.
She shared, “They are also hindered by limited knowledge and interruptions related to Wi-Fi signals and online platform functions, as well as home environments that may not be suitable for online learning at this stage.”
So, how did they cope with these challenges? Dr Rosinah says the student-teachers learned to cope through self-directed learning, and improving computer and Internet self-efficacy. They also collaborated with senior teachers and learnt to manage time for smooth transition of lessons. Last but not least, they found that patience is key while transitioning to online learning.
From the findings, Dr Rosinah says that the student-teachers embraced the change to online teaching delivery during the pandemic.
“This study enabled them to reflect on the different perspectives, approaches and lessons learnt in online learning delivery during the pandemic. They are still striving and learning to be resilient working during these challenging times,” Dr Rosinah stressed at the end of her presentation.
It is a lesson well-learnt for all participants of the conference. We have been learning, adapting, embracing change since the start of the pandemic. One thing is for sure, we are transitioning well in times of crisis.
Interested in reading the ICE2021 papers? They will be made available here soon!
By Izyan Diyana Merzuki