Photo - Dato' Seri Idris Jusoh is signing the digital plaque to officiate the Innov8 Lab at the Faculty of Computing and Informatics (FCI) MMU Cyberjaya. Also present, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob (second from right), Prof. Datuk Dr. Ahmad Rafi Mohamed Eshaq (second from left), and Datin Paduka Ir. Dr. Siti Hamisah Tapsir, Higher Education Ministry Director General (third from right).
Malaysia's Multimedia University (MMU) in Cyberjaya said it's taken another step to enhance its collaborative approach to ICT learning with the opening of an intelligent teaching lab.
During the recent opening of the Innov8 Lab at MMU's Faculty of Computing and Informatics (FCI), Malaysia's Higher Education minister Dato' Seri Idris Jusoh spoke of the new facility as "an intelligent teaching lab, a classroom of the future, which will provide MMU students with new opportunities for interaction."
This move follows the University's recent initiatives to prepare talent, develop big data analytics skills in collaboration with industry such as Cloudera and Dimension Data as well as national ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
"[It] is a new physical environment that will promote learning by seamlessly blending pedagogy, technology and space," he said. "The tremendous effort taken by the university to ensure its facilities are up to date is much applauded. Leveraging on high-end technology in teaching is inevitable for the future of the nation's higher education sector particularly in ICT and Multimedia, as well as digital economy domains."
"I believe that MMU has always had the nation's best interest at heart, and I am confident that by elevating their ICT efforts, they will be able to provide Malaysian students with world-class knowledge, enabling them to effectively compete with the best talent from around the world," the minister said.
He added, "I trust that MMU's efforts will help realise the Ministry's aspirations to produce holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates, in line with the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education). Of course, to affirm its presence as a key education industry trendsetter, MMU must continuously benchmark against other education service providers particularly in the fields of ICT, engineering, multimedia and business.""
What the lab actually offers
Prof. Datuk Dr. Ahmad Rafi Mohamed Eshaq, the MMU president, was on hand to reveal more about the new lab and its place within the university's direction. Also present was Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob, the Chairman of MMU and Telekom Malaysia (TM).
Prof. Dr. Ahmad Rafi first said the university remained enthusiastic about transforming its learning environment. "[By] combining real and virtual spaces, adding conduciveness to 'blended learning' envisioned by MMU (i-University). Facing the gradual birth and rise of the demographic cohort, it is timely for MMU to be a few steps ahead, and be the responsible institution that emphasises true, scalable lifelong learning experience.""
"Newer generations such as the millennials are living in vast convergence in digital technology," he continued. "MMU constantly works to enrich its students' competency in ICT, preparing them with applicable and adequate mastery, growing future innovators who should know more than what it takes to become entrepreneurs and to contribute to their surrounding folk."
Moving on to the Innov8 lab, he said that it has been furnished with four multi-touch tables where each table can accommodate up to six students in various computing subjects such as Software Requirements Engineering, Human Computer Interaction and others. Compared to the traditional lab setting, the students are able to access the interactive elements concurrently on the same display using their bare fingers.
This system allows students to "open commonly used computer files types such as office documents, pdfs, pictures and videos. During each group activity, the students can more innovatively articulate their ideas, negotiate the task delegations and coordinate their content creation. The students can share their content fluidly between tables and mobile devices while a lab instructor facilitate a holistic class discussion by interacting and annotating the table's content using the multi-touch wall."
Besides Innov8 lab, a few other laboratories have been established in tune with the MMU transformation plan, the i-University initiative, he said. The laboratories include the SiRi Learning Lab, SMART Lab and e-Moot Court, and these will be followed by the upcoming launch of the Robotic i-Learning Lab, Augmented Reality i-Lab, Business Simulation Lab, and Visual FX Lab in 2017.