Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Impacts of Training on Knowledge Dissemination and Application among Academics in Malaysian Institutions of Higher Education

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Impacts of Training on Knowledge Dissemination and Application among Academics in Malaysian Institutions of Higher Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper explores the linkage of knowledge dissemination and the application of new knowledge in teaching and learning practices. A survey data were collected from 519 academics from all the Malaysian public and private institutions of higher learning (IHLs) during the teaching and learning trainings offered by the Academy of Leadership in Higher Education Malaysia, known as the Akademi Kepimpinan Pengajian Tinggi Malaysia (AKEPT). Three out of ten behavioral actions were found to have a significant change in behaviors at the workplace: keep-up with the institutional change process, p=0.037, involvement in departmental change, p=0.027 and confidence in decision-making, p=0.037. The seven insignificant behavioral actions were asking peers and colleagues for suggestions, involvement of colleagues in the change process, reluctance in making decisions, holding group meeting, taking time to transform plan into action, and taking time to reflect the consequences of making decisions. These findings raise awareness and provide initial guidelines for AKEPT to develop appropriate strategies to ensure that the knowledge dissemination processes lead to the application of new knowledge. Further exploration of the formulation of comprehensive strategies to properly implement and manage the knowledge dissemination processes among the academics was also suggested. It is also one of the initial studies that highlight the linkages between AKEPT's Training Centre and the local teaching and learning training centre. It opens up new lines of future research possibilities on the provision of centralized professional development training programs that facilitate the application of new knowledge at the local teaching and learning context.

Keywords: Knowledge dissemination processes, Knowledge application, Perceived competence, AKEPT training programs

1. Introduction

In the higher education sector, the rapid expansion of knowledge makes regular training and skills updating essential for the academics that have significant roles in developing graduates for the global knowledge economy. In this case, the government and institutions of higher learning (IHLs) provide various professional development training programs to disseminate new and innovative knowledge and skills in teaching and learning for the academics. The effectiveness of the training programs are generally measured based on the feedback received from the participants' satisfaction of the learning experience(Sullivan & Haley, 2009). This information is then used to improve the delivery of future programs. However, the impact of the knowledge dissemination on the academics' everyday teaching practices at the faculty level has been largely ignored. Thus, the purpose of this study was to measure the relationship between the knowledge dissemination and application at the workplace among academics in the public and private higher education institutions in Malaysia. In this case, it is not the researchers' intention to examine the content of the training programs rather it is to fill the existing vacuum between the transition of knowledge disseminated during the training programs and the application of knowledge in the local teaching and learning contexts.

For the purpose of this study, professional development programs offered by the Academy of Leadership in Higher Education Malaysia, commonly known as the Akademi Kepimpinan Pengajian Tinggi (AKEPT) was selected. Pertaining to the Malaysian Higher Education transformation plan 2007-2015, the Centre for Teaching and Learning at AKEPT is responsible to develop leadership in teaching and learning of higher education among the academics both in Malaysia's public and private IHLs. The professional development training programs offered by AKEPT cater several aspects, such as describing the role of peers and colleagues and examining the supports academics give to each other. Further, considering that re-training and developing scholarship of academics are among the priorities of any university systems, AKEPT caters how academics' work are recognized, appraised and rewarded and how well the academics' professional development needs are being addressed. …

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