OUMH1103 Topic 1. Learning Skills For Open and Distance Learners


 (a) OUMH1103 Module is one of the important module in which every student need to understand,
(b) Module OUMH1103 consists of 10 topics namely :-

Topic 1 - Managing your Learning. It is an introduction to OUM’s learning environment and the student can become an independent learner. In general the topic look at strategies for managing stress, setting effective academic and personal goals, motivational tips, time management, and improving concentration. Student will also be able to identify their personal learning style.

Topic 2. Will enable students to familiarise themself with the components of the personal computer and internet. Students will also be acquainted with the myLMS and its features.

Topic 3. This topic will examine various reading techniques, including fast reading and slow reading. The fast reading methods that are discussed are scanning and skimming.On the other hand, the slow reading techniques are critical and analytical approaches, which are discussed in detail using SQ3R.

Topic 4. Will look at 5 methods of note-making and note-taking. This topic will also provide tips on how to take note more effectively.

Topic 5. Will guide you on how to write an assignment and prepare for the oral presentation. This topic will also look into method to cite information using the American Psychological Association (APA), the style which is adopted by OUM.

Topic 6. This topic discuss on some important point such as how to do revision and improve our memory, techniques for answering various types of assessement questions. Apart from that, this topic is also emphasized on ethical conduct so that students can cop[e with assessements effectively.

Topic 7. This topic will discuss about the digital library such as Tan Sri Dr Abdullah Sanusi Digital Library. This topic lay out the process of gathering information. Specifically it will guided the student to use 5 Search strategies and Boolean connectors to search for information.

Topic 8. This topic will discuss skills involved in retyrieving information like searching OPAC, electronic database and information from internet. This topic will also enable the students to distinguish that printed materials are searched in OPAC, while e-books and e-journals are searched under the electronic database.

Topic 9. Will help student to determine the authenticity of information by giving tips on evaluation of various sources of information.

Topic 10. Will focus on basic ICT skills such as using microsoft window application: microsoft words, excel and power point.


In this topic/posting today, I will highlight on OUM Blended Learning, Managing Stress, How to set goal, motivational strategis, time management, concentration strategies for better learning and last will be on Personal learning styles.

OUM’s Learning Environment

While studying in school we were guided and taught by our teachers. But in UOM, student have to play the lead role meaning one has to manage his/her own learning, indicate their learnings preferences to their tutors, and strtegies to be successful open and distance learners.
OUM is adopting a “Blended ” approach to Learning with multi-modes strategies. OUM blended learning is defined as a learning method which combined online learning with face-to-face interaction between student and tutor.

OUM’s Blended Learning

Figure 1.1 Blended Learning at OUM
Source : Abdullah sanusi Ahmad (2003, pg.6)
Self-Managed Learning

A self-managed learning requires students to study independently. The main sources of learning materials will be from printed and also the digital materials.
The advantages of self-managed learning are :-

  1. Improve employability
  2. Quality learning
  3. Ability to make effective use of new technology
  4. Preparation for life-long learning

The above advantages are what written in OUMH1103 Learning Skills for Open and Distance Learners, Version Jul 2009.
I fully understand, and do agree with the advantages (2) to (4). But I dont quite understand on advantage (1), how self-managed learning could improve improve the employablity of someone. For me, the method of learning will not be able to improve the employability of someone but only one paper qualification will do.

Face-to-Face Interaction (Classroom)
Face-to Face interaction is a toturial sessions conducted in actual classroom set-up by tutor at OUM learning centres. During the class, issues related to course materials, assignments and others are discussed. These sessions are conducted fortnightly during weekends.

Oline Learning Methodologies

Online learning means using electronic communication tools such as e-mail, forum and chatroom for discussion and to debate on relevant subjets between tutor and students. OUM also provided electronic learning materials to students which can be accessed via OUM Learning Management Systems (myLMS)
Independent Student
Every OUM students are expected to study independently. Some of the techniques suggested to become Independent students are :

(1) Planning and Managing Smartway
(2) Applying Smart time Management
(3) Motivate yourself
(4) Developing learning strategies

Maximizing OUM Learning Facilities
In order to score good exam results, all students are advised to make full use of OUM facilities such as follows :-

(1) Face-to-Face Tutorial
(2) Learner Service Centre
(3) Information Resources
(4) Online discussion Forum

Personally I experienced with Face-to-Face Tutorial and learner services centre. But for the Information Resources and Online discussion Forum, so far I’ve not been successfully to use both of the facilities. The Discussion Forum was not user friendly. The topic discussed were not put in the Table Of Contents therefore very difficult to find the topic that interests the users or relevant to user.

Managing Stress
Strategies For Managing Stress
For the adult learner which is not only responsible toward his studies but also toward his work and the well being of his family members, is very vulnerable to stress.
Stress if not manage properly can have negative impact to one health therefore will affect his/her study.
Some of the most common causes of stress that a self-managed learner could encounter include those related to academic performance, lifestyle changes, health, social relationships, family and friends.
Therefore it is very important that one must master some strategies in more realistic and reasonable ways to overcome any stressful situation.

(1) Take Action to Organise Yourself
(2) Control Your Environment by Controlling Who and What is Surrounding You
(3) Give Yourself Positive Feedback
(4) Reward Yourself
(5) Exercise Your Body
(6) Relax
(7) Rest as Regularly as Possible
(8) Be Aware of Yourself
(9) Eat a Balanced Diet
(10) Learn to Enjoy Yourself

Coping with Everyday Study Problems
Some ways to cope with everyday study problems are as follows:
(1) Recognise Your Own Resources
(2) You Do Not Have to Cope Alone
(3) Be Realistic
(4) You Cannot Achieve Absolute Control
(5) Learn to Accept Failure

The stress also can caused anxiety. There are two type of anxiety; The anticipatory anxiety and situational anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety (http://www.paniccure.com/ )is an anxiety that one experience before starting a challenging activity. Where as situational anxiety
(http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/ )
is a state of apprehension, discomfort and anxiety. Participated by the experience of new or changed situations or event, and usually disappears as the person adjust to new experience.
As an OUM learner, one may get anxious when about to face an examination or when it is time to hand in the assignment. Much of the anxiety comes from the fear that you might not perform well in the task, be it an examination or an assignment.
Below are some important points that can help you overcome anxieties :

Anticipatory anxiety:
(1) Relax.
(2) Be focused.
(3) Think positive.
(4) Study in a group.
(5) Have a speciÔc study time.
(6) Get a set of complete notes.
(7) Get comfortable with your study place.
(8) Know where you stand and where you are heading.

Situational anxiety
(1) Be punctual.
(2) Organise your work schedule.
(3) Avoid highly anxious friends.
(4) Read and understand the instructions.
(5) Work at a comfortable pace.
(6) Ask for clariÔcation.
(7) Keep moving.
(8) Relax.

Thus, the most important thing that the OUM students can do to control anxiety level is by studying and knowing the material well enough so that you can recall clearly even under stress. Learn to set goals, motivate yourself, practise good time management and avoid laziness, procrastination or day dreaming.

Goal Setting
Characteristics of Effective Goals
(1) Goals must be self-chosen. You yourself need to determine your own goals.
(2) Goals must be relevant and congruent to your mission and core values.
(3) Goals must be challenging. These are goals which require you to achieve more than you did before, but will not give you unnecessary pressure of achievement.
(4) Goals must be realistic or attainable. To set realistic goals, you must evaluate your chances of achieving the goals. Ensure that you have the necessary knowledge, skills, talents or resources to accomplish your goals.
(5) Goals must be specific. Specific goals are necessary both to measure progress and to ensure their attainment. The more specific your goals, the more you will be motivated to achieve them.
(6) Goals must be measurable. They are measurable if you can determine whether or not you reach them.
(7) Goals must be time-bounded. If goals are not time-bounded, you will delay action towards attaining them. Deadlines are also important in motivating you towards attaining your goals.
(8) Goals must be positive. When working towards something, it helps to have positive attitudes.
(9) Goals should be written and kept in a place where you can see them often. Writing crystallizes thought which motivates action.

In establishing effective goals, all you need to remember is the mnemonic, SMART which stands for:


Motivational Strategies for Successful Learning
Motivation is the force which causes events in the mind to occur. It can be described as something that energises, directs, and sustains behaviour towards a particular goal. It affects how you do your work, when you do your work, how long you work on a task, how well you concentrate on your work, and which study strategies you use.
Here are some of the basic strategies that could help you to motivate yourself:

(1) Set Challenging but Realistic Learning Goals
(2) Break Down the Bigger Task at Hand
(3) Maintain a Positive Attitude
(4) Aim for Higher Peaks
(5) Use Active Learning Strategies
(6) Learn from Mistakes
(7) Monitor Your Learning

Time Management

Time management is the way you regulate or schedule your time. The key to successful time management is allowing enough time to complete your work while still finding time to complete other responsibilities. All successful time management begins with planning. Some of the benefits of effective time management are that it helps you to:
(1) plan ahead;
(2) evaluate your progress;
(3) spend more productive time;
(4) take control of your own activity;
(5) prioritizes by listing the most important things to do first; and
(6) avoid time conflict like getting caught with 2 assignments with the same deadline.


Discovering your learning style can help improve your learning. When you know your learning style, you can be more focused on your learning, thus improving your concentration. There are many different styles of learning.
There are three type of learners, as follows :-

Active And Reflective Learners
(1) Active learners tend to retain and understand information best by doing something active with it·discussing or applying it or explaining it to others. Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first.
(2) “Let’s try it out and see how it works” is an active learner’s phrase; “Let’s think it through first” is the reflective learner’s response.
(3) Active learners tend to like group work more than reflective learners, who prefer working alone.
(4) Sitting through lectures without getting to do anything physical but take notes is hard for both learning types, but particularly hard for active learners.

Everybody is active sometimes and reflective sometimes. Your preference for one category or the other may be strong, moderate, or mild. A balance of the two is desirable. If you always act before reflecting you can jump into things prematurely and get into trouble, while if you spend too much time reflecting you may never get anything done.

Sensing and Intuitive Learners

(1) Sensing learners tend to like learning facts, intuitive learners often prefer discovering possibilities and relationships.
(2) Sensors often like solving problems by well-established methods and dislike complications and surprises; intuitors like innovation and dislike repetition. Sensors are more likely than intuitors to resent being tested on material that has not been explicitly covered in class.
(3) Sensors tend to be patient with details and good at memorizing facts and doing hands-on (laboratory) work; intuitors may be better at grasping new concepts and are often more comfortable than sensors with abstractions and mathematical formulations.
(4) Sensors tend to be more practical and careful than intuitors; intuitors tend to work faster and to be more innovative than sensors.

Visual and Verbal Learners
 Visual learners remember best what they see · pictures, diagrams, Òow charts, time lines, Ôlms, and demonstrations. Verbal learners get more out of words · written and spoken explanations. Everyone learns more when information is presented both visually and verbally. In most college classes very little visual information is presented: students mainly listen to lectures and read material written on chalkboards and in textbooks and handouts. Unfortunately, most people are visual learners, which means that most students do not get nearly as much as they would if more visual presentation were used in class. Good learners are capable of processing information presented either visually or verbally.

Sequential and Global Learners

(1) Sequential learners tend to gain understanding in linear steps, with each step following logically from the previous one. Global learners tend to learn in large jumps, absorbing material almost randomly without seeing connections, and then suddenly “getting it”
(2) Sequential learners tend to follow logical stepwise paths in finding solutions; global learners may be able to solve complex problems quickly or put things together in novel ways once they have grasped the big picture, but they may have difficulty explaining how they did it.

What Type of Leaner Am I ?
Based on self-assessment using the ILS form at Page 29, what type of learner do you think am I belong to ?

Thanks for reading

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4 responses to “OUMH1103 Topic 1. Learning Skills For Open and Distance Learners

  1. Thanxx alot for the materials…. hope u wud upload the rest of the book too!!! thanxxx hehehe

  2. As you can see this website is full of Bioshock – Limited Edition

  3. Hi, may i ask how many topic we have in this subject?

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