Thursday, July 9

Using e-Learning To Facilitate 21st Century Learning


I was invited by the Ministry of Health (Training Division) to give a two hour lecture during a 2-day Tutor Seminar at the Hotel City Bayview, Penang. There were 165 participants (17 males only!). This seminar's theme was 'TRAINING EXCELLENCE', and it explored e-learning, student assessment, self-assessment, self-motivation, lateral thinking and emotional intelligence over two (2) days.

My 2-hour talk explored learning and how we can use web 2.0 learning tools and Open Educational Resources (OER) to transform the way we learn. Finally, it reflected some of the challenges that we will probably face as we embark on this 21st century learning adventure.

Here are the slides:


The moment of truth had arrived after my lecturing nightmares in 2008. This was my first lecture of the year to more than a 100 participants. Was I ready? Or would I crash, and procrastinate into total self-destruction?

Interestingly, I was invited again by the Ministry of Health (Training Division), after putting so many tutors to sleep during my previous lecture. I suppose they might have found something valuable from it. Otherwise, why would they have invited me back again? Maybe my negative imagination during that sad period had misled me to believe that it was much worse than it really was. Sometimes setting too high expectations can kill our joy to enjoy the process of learning and mastering. Nothing can be mastered over night! Ask Tiger Woods, and he will tell you?

So, let's start with the presentation slides? 108 slides (54 slides per hour), including four inspiring short videos (adding up to around 25 minutes) over a two-hour period. There are several more excellent short videos in the slides, which I ignored during the talk due to time constraints, but still worthwhile sharing for participants to explore after the talk.

Since, I was going to talk about e-learning, I was of course reluctant to give them print-outs to prove a point. So, I uploaded the slides to Slideshare the night before my talk for them to access during and after the seminar. Interestingly, I believe this is the first time in my life that I have actually been really satisfied with my presentation slides. Although, I missed out on a few resources and tools I wanted to share, and a few messy slides, I felt good about them. That was at least a good start.

My positive feelings were probably picked up by the Slideshare team, which within 24 hours featured the presentation slides on Slideshare's front page. Within 48 hours it had been viewed more than a 1000 times, and retweeted 20+ times. So, this indirect feedback from a global audience has surely helped me regain my confidence :)

But then again, it was not my slides that were a problem last time. Instead it was my actual delivery (lecture) that literally nearly procrastinated me into total self-destruction. So, how would it go this time around?

Strangely over the last few months in my recovery to rediscover myself, I have lowered my expectations, and started to enjoy life. Yes, I have even started swimming 2-3 times a week, built some muscle, and should be ready to challenge Michael Phelps in the next Olympics. London here I come!

After months of frustration, reflections and rejecting several offers to conduct talks and workshops in Malaysia and abroad, God (Allah to me! For Atheists, I have no idea!) sparked a small light that has literally changed my life (at least until now!). My little four year old son looked me in the eyes and said a few words of magic (Please, get better soon!), and from that day on, slowly and steadily an inner strength has increasingly touched every cell in my body.

So, how did the lecture go? No fear, no pressure, no high expectations, more muscle, more experience, more fun, and more 'Yes, I can'! Al-Hamdulilla, I believe it went very well. Actually, I believe I nailed it (Simon are you reading!). At the moment I feel like an e-Learning Gladiator that can battle through all the destructive forces of negativity to inspire people to explore all the wonderful opportunities to learn beyond face-to-face learning (please explore the slides!).

Looking back, I should have video recorded it! But then again, I am not ready to become a Stephen Downes yet (recording and sharing to the world!). Give me a couple of years of messing up first, then perhaps! But at least you all can enjoy my presentation slides as I learn to master the art of lecturing.

However, as I have been so obsessed during the last few months trying to rediscover myself and become an e-learning gladiator, I have neglected and not given the kind of love and time a marriage and family deserves. At the moment I am paying the price for it, and should stop writing right now, and instead win back the only woman that I have ever loved.


Update (15/7):
Al-Hamdulilla, 'My Love' mission has been completed successfully. Now, I can focus on being an e-Learning Gladiator again :)


Mark Ayton said...

Regarding your closing comments...

By coincidence I watched this rather appropriate TED Talk earlier this morning:
Healthy take on time

I'm a keen follower of your posts and hope the balance can be found where your family is happy and you can continue to share your views.

Best Regards, Mark

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Hi Mark Ayton,

Thanks for sharing the inspiring video. Highly appreciated!

Al-Hamdulilla, the family issues have been resolved, and hopefully I can from now on succeed on both fronts (work and family) with joy and happiness.

Anything is possible :)


ruthdemitroff said...

It's very difficult to maintain balance in life. It gets easier as the children grow more skillful and can share more of the responsibility of managing a household.

sanjida shaheed said...

You have a very friendly and useful blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Are you from Bangladesh? I noticed Bangla in your profile.

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Sanjida Shaheed,

No, I am sad to say that I am not from Bangladesh. Though, I am curious to know where you noticed 'Bangla' in my profile?

Funny, because I can't remember writing or finding any 'Bangla' in my profile. Perhaps you mistook me for someone else profile. It happens!

Our memory sometimes mislead us, so it is always good to double check :)

As for citizenship I am actually British, but my actual background is a mixture of Norwegian (50%), Arab (41%), Indian (3%), Chinese (3%) and Malay (3%).

Though, I am pretty sure that there are tons of Alsagoff's (perhaps spelled differently there)in Bangladesh.

So, that is perhaps the reason for you thinking that I am from Bangladesh.

Anyway, nice to know you, and it is actually wonderful to be associated with Bangladesh.

In the past I have been mistaken for being Albanian, Bosnian, Russian, Syrian, Lebanese, Algerian, Chinese, Indian, etc. and even one of my friend's mother told me that I look like Carl Lewis. That was surely the icing of the cake.

In short, it is nice to be part of the United Nations of colors.

Since I am mixed, I have to accept that people see many colors in me :)

Let's say I have had many funny moments throughout my life experiencing all the different perceptions about who I am.

Have a great week and thanks for adding one more nation to my origin.

What is next :)

Thanks and warm regards,