PPPJJ is an acronym that stands for Pusat Pengajian Pendidikan Jarak Jauh or School of Distance Education. University Sains Malaysia (USM) is one of the pioneers who initiated this out-campus distance learning education program since 1971. Part of the PPPJJ program includes the Intensive Course that currently held every first quarter of each year in USM main campus, Pulau Pinang.
Intensive Course is a unique feature of the PPPJJ program. Students who register with School of Distance Education USM are compulsory to attend the Intensive Course for every year of the study duration. This course is designed to develop confidence and competence as a distance learning student in social and academic environments to familiarise and comply with the awareness of universities mission and vision.
During this course, either attending the lectures or preparing for exams, students are given the opportunities to exchange and sharing of ideas with the lecturers. It does also provide an opportunity for students to experience the atmosphere of “campus life”, discover the ambience of being as a full time student, doing networking, organise group discussion and fulfill the need of completing the assignment or projects as required. Students also given the access to utilise the facilities provided by USM for academic or non-academic purposes such as library, Information Technology Center (IT), discussion/ meeting rooms and sports/ recreational amenities. It’s a very good programed that will nurture high quality distance learners equivalent standard with the full time students.
The intensive course should be held every year depending on needs might be prolonged. This will create effective communication among the distance learning students and the lecturers within the time frame. On the other hand, the process of ‘unofficial’ ice breaking among the students from different center or others area is a great way to know each other and fulfill the purpose of the Intensive Course.
As a conclusion, the Intensive Course is very crucial component to be held every year with the purpose to meet the objective of achieving an excellent performance among the distance learning students.