The Successful Approach to Immersion Methodology by BERJAYA University College
KUALA LUMPUR: For the past ten years, BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC) has been advocating the Immersion Methodology which has heralded benefits not just in the literacy of students but also towards the development of their cognitive and soft skills.
“Our students are immersion programme learners – they are fully immersed in specific subject matter for a certain period of time, both in and outside the classrooms,” said Associate Professor Dr Ng Mei Leng, Dean, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism.
“First, we focus on the knowledge – stereotypical of any academic programmes, we use practical assignments, tests and written exams to measure classroom instruction. Then we expose the students to the content using various mediums to accommodate learning styles,” Ng added.
“For instance in March, students of the School of Tourism will be participating in the ‘Raptor Watch’, an eco-tourism event held annually in Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, Malacca. This event is held to celebrate the mass migration of birds returning to Mongolia, China and Siberia. It is a rare opportunity for the public to watch large birds of prey push off and glide in the skies using thermals which are hot air columns from the land produced naturally by heat from the sun. The event is organised by the Malaysian Nature Society in partnership with Malacca and Negeri Sembilan State Governments and supported by Tourism Malaysia. This is a great way for our students to observe and learn how practical skills can be applied towards organising an event.”
“Another way is for us to bring industry professionals who have ‘been there, done that’ into the classroom for knowledge sharing. In mid-February, we featured Shaun Liew, the Malaysian Brewer’s Cup champion to share his experiences and journey into becoming the Malaysian representative to the international competition to be held in April 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Topics that Liew shared were his coffee journey, competition experience, strategies used during the competition and hic contribution to the coffee community and industry.”
Hence, immersion methodology is a tool which can be used to frame classroom based discussions. Students not just learn about the programme but they develop the understanding of the programme. The global nature of our society means that learning is now dynamic. Immersion methodology is such a rich source of engagement: students work with students, students with teachers and students with industry practitioners thus providing opportunities for long-term and ongoing student interactions.