IKURNIA MOOC Basics in Autism: Enhancing Early Childhood Educators’ Knowledge of Autism

  • Farhana Huda Binti Zainudin GENIUS Kurnia Centre, GENIUS Division, Ministry of Education, MALAYSIA
  • Nor Malissa Binti Mat Isa GENIUS Kurnia Centre, GENIUS Division, Ministry of Education, MALAYSIA
  • Nil Farakh Binti Sulaiman GENIUS Kurnia Centre, GENIUS Division, Ministry of Education, MALAYSIA
Keywords: Autism, MOOC, Online learning, Early childhood educators, Teacher training, Knowledge

Abstract

Globally, the increased prevalence of children with autism calls for increased support in services. Therefore, support for parents and professionals such as teachers are crucial in order to ensure effective early intervention and services to improve children's development. Previous research indicates the lack of knowledge and training on autism among educators. Moreover, local studies have shown that teachers in the mainstream and preschools face obstacles to teaching children with autism as they do not have sufficient knowledge and skills. A course on early intervention and education for children with autism had been carried out for a group of educators in Selangor using the content of iKurnia MOOC: Basics in Autism. iKurnia MOOC: Basics in Autism is an online learning for educators that provides information about autism that could improve their knowledge, awareness and skills about autism. As such, the purpose of this study is to identify the major themes of iKurnia MOOC: Basics in Autism which indicate the major type of knowledge gained by participants after attending the course. A research-based self-constructed questionnaire was distributed among the participants after they had attended the course. The questionnaire was built based on the five major themes; i. Diagnose; ii. Symptom; iii. Autism Cause; iv. Treatment; and v. Screening or Early Detection. Participants in this research involved 250 early childhood educators who attended a workshop on educating children with autism in an inclusive setting. Findings show that educators scored high means for all the major themes. The highest mean is Screening or Early Detection (4.28) while the lowest is Autism Cause (4.04). iKurnia MOOC: Basics in Autism enables educators to gain knowledge about autism. Based on the findings, the paper further discusses ways to upgrade the contents of Basics in Autism to be more comprehensive for educators and professionals.

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Published
2021-12-07
How to Cite
Zainudin, F. H., Mat Isa, N. M., & Sulaiman, N. F. (2021). IKURNIA MOOC Basics in Autism: Enhancing Early Childhood Educators’ Knowledge of Autism. Jurnal Pendidikan Bitara UPSI, 14, 89-103. https://doi.org/10.37134/bitara.vol14.sp2.10.2021