- Dr. Zaleha Abdullah (UTMLead)
- Dr. Noor Dayana Abd Halim (FP)
- Dr. Nurbiha binti A. Shukor (FP)
- Dr. Abd Rahman Tamuri (FS)
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia has launched BLOSSOMS project or a blended learning system for learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States of America taking place starting 8 January 2013. The project that includes collaboration with Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE) is a new teaching approach to encourage students to learn Science and Mathematics. BLOSSOMS is a video-based learning resource that complements the available curriculum. It is unlike traditional video-based learning because the video lesson is separated in segments including learning activities in between, facilitated by the content experts. The main focus is to enhance understanding about abstract concepts especially in Science, Mathematics and Engineering subjects.
Fatin, Mohd Salleh, Mohamad and Salmiza (2014) reported that the decreasing number of students enrolling in science streams in Malaysia is alarming. Malaysian students have lack confidence and were troubled with the perception that learning Science and Mathematics would be difficult. Feeling anxious about learning science-related subjects had withdrawn students’ interest to further studies in science-related areas (Fatin et al., 2014). Hence, BLOSSOMS project becomes very relevant and is significant for Malaysia education system. It plays the role to escalate the number of students enrolling in science streams by fostering interest and improving understanding in science-related subjects at school level particularly to resolve misconceptions in a more interactive way. The followings are the important elements of BLOSSOMS:
- BLOSSOMS has interesting pedagogy for more effective and meaningful learning. It is especially useful to assist less experienced teachers or teachers lacking in the levels of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). These teachers can conduct lessons using BLOSSOMS video which has been prepared in sections and can be immediately applied.
- BLOSSOMS supports the idea and the need for nurturing STEM. Using BLOSSOMS video, teaching and learning occurs in an active, creative and critical way. Students’ understanding will be improved through learning instructions that foster memory retention about the learning content and learning activities that involves application of learning content in daily life activities. This includes analyzing, conducting experiment, discussion and solving problem in a creative way. These approaches are in line with Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia 2013-2015 that aspires to enhance higher order thinking skills among Malaysian students (KPM, 2012).