Asia Centre has begun convening Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Trainings for Master Trainers in Malaysia. In collaboration with Google and ASEAN Foundation, these trainings, which make up the “ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme (ADLP)”, seek to build resilience against disinformation among underserved communities in Malaysia.
Aiming to train around 200 people, the first training session was held on the 23rd of November 2022 for 32 academic staff of the University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM), followed by another joint session with the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), UniKL and Taylor’s University Malaysia for its 15 students and lecturers.
The training were led by Asia Centre’s regional director Dr James Gomez, who is a communication academic and policy expert and supported by the Centre’s team that included Nalinrat Tingoum, Program Coordinator, Korbkusol Neelapaichit, Research Coordinator and Lina Sakina Salim, Asia Centre Malaysia Coordinator.
The Master Training comprises two parts: part 1 constitutes a total of 20 hours of instruction and learning, and part 2 constitutes the delivery of 3 hours of training to 100 end beneficiaries per master trainer.
The 20 hours of instruction are delivered both online and on-site; Fourteen hours are online including the prerequisite 3 hours of pre-training readings, 1 hour of pre-evaluation, followed by 5 hours of online self-study, 3 hours session of preparation for EB Training and last 2 hours of evaluation as well as 6 hours of onsite training.
The 6 hours on-site allows Master Trainers to acquire insights and skills in tackling disinformation through two instruction sections:
- Media and Information Literacy
- Evolving perception of mass media and the rising popularity of social media
- Malaysia’s statistics on social media presence and usage
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet and Social Media Platforms
- Types of information disorders, with a special focus on Disinformation
- Online Safety
- Types of Disinformation
- Tactics of Disinformation; algorithms, filter business, coded messaging and deep fakes
- Ways of Tackling Disinformation
The on-site training also includes interactive sessions where participants identify real-life examples of disinformation in Malaysia, examine how such incidents impact the public, assess any weakness in current measures to combat disinformation and propose solutions to improve the situation. During the training, participants from the University of Reading Malaysia, in their interactive sessions, cited examples of the false ‘Melaka Disneyland news’, ‘Poodle and Romance Scams’ and conflicting reports by Astro Awani and CNA regarding the appointment of Anwar Ibrahim as the new Malaysian Prime Minister’. Meanwhile, the joint session between IIUM, UniKL and Taylor’s University cited examples of the Tiktok viral videos circulated during the 15th General Election and false COVID-19 testing methods and reflected upon strategies political parties and their supporters used for campaigning through social media, particularly in reaching out to the younger demographics.
The training sessions ended with a briefing on the delivery of End Beneficiaries Training, informing participants of the expected deliverables post-training, mainly to conduct a 3 hours programme for 100 end beneficiaries, consisting of 1 hour Pre-Reading, 1 hour online training and 1 hour post evaluation.
Following the two trainings and to pitch more master training sessions, the Asia Centre team visited Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology (TAR UMT) and INTI International University & Colleges (Nilai Campus) on 25 November 2022 to discuss potential partnerships for the MIL (ToT) training. TAR UMT has expressed interest in partnering with Asia Centre to provide MIL training for Trainers to its (i) academic staff under the Centre for Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) and (ii) student leaders through the Student Career Development Centre (SCDC).
Meanwhile, INTI has indicated its preference to partner with Asia Centre in hosting the MIL training for Trainers for the university campuses within Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, such as the Islamic Science University of Malaysia (USIM) and Manipal International University (MIU). Both institutions have also offered to connect Asia Centre to their respective branches around Malaysia to assist in expanding the outreach.
Asia Centre looks forward to delivering more master training sessions in the next few months and supporting these trainers to deliver their End Beneficiaries Training within their communities.