Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Cisco Redefine Learning with Smart Classrooms Transformation

by | Feb 8, 2024 | News / Interviews | 0 comments

Cisco has revolutionised the university’s traditional classrooms, digitising them with its suite of advanced collaboration technologies. The partnership is a key driver of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s aspiration to support the nation’s push to promote hybrid and flexible learning in higher education institutions. The initiative is part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme in Malaysia.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has expanded its partnership with Cisco, a worldwide leader in technology, to usher in a new era of hybrid learning for its students as part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme in Malaysia. As part of this initiative, six pilot classrooms at UTM have been transformed into state-of-the-art smart classrooms with Cisco’s collaboration and secure connectivity technologies to enhance the learning experience for students, lecturers, researchers and administrators.

The future of learning is hybrid and includes a dynamic blend of virtual and in-person learning experiences that empower students with a versatile learning journey from anywhere. Building on its ten-year-long partnership to equip students with relevant technical skills and industry experience through Cisco Networking Academy – one of the longest standing IT-skills-to-jobs programmes in the world – UTM and Cisco have worked together to redefine how learning environments and meeting spaces are designed, deployed and managed across campuses.

In partnership with Atek Technology (Atek), which led the technology installation, Cisco has provided its full range of purpose-built, Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered collaboration tools and connectivity solutions to deliver engaging hybrid learning experiences, including the Cisco Roomkit, Webex Smart Boards, Switches, LED TV and cameras.

 enVision UTM 2025: Strategy for Hybrid and Flexible Learning

The partnership supports UTM’s enVision 2025 as it promotes hybrid and flexible learning by facilitating the development of digital content such as Massive Open Online Courses and Micro credential modules, empowering blended learning implementation, and offering academic programmes entirely online through Open and Distance Learning. The state-of-the-art facilities are crucial in accelerating these developments to help UTM realise its vision.

The impact of the project is already evident with the successful completion of the first phase at UTM. Almost 1,000 students have benefitted from the enhanced smart classrooms in various ways.

  • Learn from Anywhere: Traditional AV equipment has been replaced by purpose-built AI collaboration tools including room kits with built-in microphones, cameras, controls and displays supported by underlying secure connectivity. This has enabled UTM students in Malaysia to learn from anywhere, while also breaking down geographical barriers for UTM to launch more programmes that cater to international students.
  • Enhanced User Experience for Teaching and Learning: Faster connectivity from Campus LAN Switches has created a more seamless and secure experience for students and lecturers to access university resources and applications with minimal delay.
  • Enriched Digital Content: These innovations have helped future-proof UTM’s physical and virtual classrooms, enabling the university to develop an academic curriculum offered entirely online. UTM is now well-positioned to align with the government’s agenda to equip and prepare the younger generation and students with advanced technology and knowledge in the digital industry.

To ensure the university takes a synchronised step towards transformation, Cisco and UTM have collaboratively developed a training and quarterly technology refresh programme. This ensures effective use of Cisco devices and solutions, enabling teaching and learning from anywhere.

“UTM has been a long-standing partner of Cisco through our global skills-to-job programme, Cisco Networking Academy, where we have jointly trained, nurtured and inspired the next generation of technology talents in Malaysia. We are proud to have taken the next step in our partnership to invest in hybrid learning experiences with our suite of AI-powered collaboration and seamless digital connectivity  technologies for students to learn from anywhere,” said Hana Raja, Managing Director of Cisco Malaysia.

“Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration and Networking Academy programmes work in tandem to empower communities through technology and elevate opportunities through education. Today, this starts with making learning without boundaries a reality and driving opportunities for people around the world to participate in the digital economy. We are proud to work with UTM and other higher learning institutions in Malaysia to foster innovation, skills and education for students regardless of their location with our technology as an enabler,” said Clarence Barboza, Senior Director, Digital Impact Office, Asia Pacific, Japan and China, Cisco.

“The collaboration with Cisco aligns seamlessly with our vision to promote hybrid learning and offer an inclusive educational experience. Our commitment to providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning is reinforced through the Cisco CDA programme. This partnership not only enhances our technological capabilities but also positions UTM as a pioneer in the adoption of advanced learning solutions,” said Professor. Datuk Ir. Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi bin Ismail, Vice Chancellor of UTM.

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February 2024
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