Founded in Kuala Lumpur in 1993, the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) has become one of Malaysia’s premier universities with more than 400 awards under its belt. Today, APU teaches more than 13,000 students from 130 different countries. With a clear vision to be a leading university in technology and innovation, APU launched its Digital Learning Hub in 2021 to guide the university into adopting a hybrid learning model that combined in-person lectures (synchronous learning) and engaging e-learning courses (asynchronous, open and distance learning) for their international student body. That’s where Jonathan Kovilpillai comes in: after having spent more than a decade teaching at APU, he joined the Digital Learning Hub as Program Manager to provide his expertise and assistance in digital learning design to faculty members across departments. With limited time and resources to transform hundreds of courses into e-learning content, Jonathan set out to find a tool that could be easily adopted by his colleagues at APU to take the course creation process into their own hands.
When the Digital Learning Hub launched in 2021, most online lessons at APU consisted of virtual streams of in-person lectures. However, as the pandemic made online classes the norm, the challenge for APU became how to make these online lessons more appealing and engaging for their students. The Digital Learning Hub thus began working with 8 university departments to turn lesson plans into e-learning content that students could access anytime, anywhere. In this initial phase, the Digital Learning Hub took a very hands-on approach, individually identifying which existing modules could be moved to an open and distance learning (ODL) model and then co-creating e-learning content with each faculty member. As more university departments requested the Digital Learning Hub’s assistance, however, it became impossible for the team to maintain its level of involvement in this process due to lack of time. Jonathan knew he needed to find an authoring tool with a low learning curve that would allow faculty members to create their e-learning content easily and quickly on their own.
When Jonathan stumbled upon Easygenerator’s Learning Objectives Maker, he decided to sign up for a free trial and play around with our platform. He was surprised when he realized that within just 3 hours he had been able to create a full lesson for his students – including the time it took him to learn his way around this new authoring tool. Almost immediately, he reached out to his fellow colleagues in the Digital Learning Hub and invited them to try the tool. Jonathan realized that if he could learn to use Easygenerator so quickly and easily, then anyone within the APU faculty would be able to as well.
275 courses created in 6 months
In their first month alone, APU onboarded 100 authors to start creating their e-learning courses with Easygenerator. By enabling faculty members to take ownership of the e-learning content creation process, APU has eliminated the need to outsource to external vendors thus saving the university valuable time and money. For instance, when APU’s School of Foundation approached the Digital Learning Hub to transition one entire course from in-person lectures into an ODL model, the team introduced them to Easygenerator and they were able to create 180 hours of e-learning content in less than 5 weeks on their own, saving the university almost $10,000 by creating that content in-house. To date, within APU’s first 6 months of using Easygenerator, the faculty has created 275 courses and produced 4 resources, setting a new record in Easygenerator history.
How APU did it
After finding Easygenerator, Jonathan quickly adapted one of his lessons into an e-learning course and uploaded it to Moodle for his students to access. The positive feedback from his students made him realize he was onto something: they were excited about the ability to complete their lessons anytime, anywhere. With this experience and feedback, he showed Easygenerator to his coworkers and manager at the Digital Learning Hub and the team quickly signed up for a 6-month Pilot to test the tool. After onboarding the team as Easygenerator authors, everyone began using the tool to adapt university course modules into an ODL format. Within a short amount of time, they had adapted 2 modules into a digital format using Easygenerator for 80% of the course content. Consistently, the lessons developed in Easygenerator received more feedback from students at the end of each week, with some students even stating they preferred this format over in-person lectures. Ultimately, APU’s push to take their academic courses digital with its dedicated Digital Learning Hub helped steer faculty in the right direction. But it was Easygenerator’s ease of use, coupled with the positive feedback from students, that helped aid the implementation process at APU. In fact, implementation has been so successful that the administrative services at the university have begun reaching out to Jonathan to use Easygenerator for their own learning and training needs.