Engaging Learners to Learn Tajweed through Active by idesajith


									Short Paper
                       Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Computing, Control, and Telecommunication Technologies 2011

   Engaging Learners to Learn Tajweed through Active
    Participation in a Multimedia Application (TaLA)
                       Marina Ismail, Norizan Mat Diah, Suzana Ahmad & Aida Abdul Rahman
                     Computer Science Department, Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
                                   Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam, Malaysia
                  E-mail: marina@tmsk.uitm.edu.my, norizan@tmsk.uitm.edu.my, suzana@tmsk.uitm.edu.my

Abstract—Tajweed is the rules of reading al-Quran together                             II.   BACKGROUND   OF THE RESEARCH
with the proper pronunciation of the Quranic letters. Learning
tajweed requires a two-ways communication between the                        Children at young age are easily bored with just reading
learner and the teacher. This paper will discuss the design              books especially in learning tajweed. According to [1], tajweed
and development process of a multimedia application that was             cannot merely be learnt from books because the movements
designed to encourage active learners’ participation in                  of mouth as well as the sounds are important to make the Al-
learning tajweed. This application focuses only on the                   Quran recitation correct. Currently, tajweed are being taught
introduction of Izhar Halqi of the tajweed. This application             at school or special classes. Learning is done on one-to-one
has blended the various multimedia elements into the
                                                                         or group basis with religious teacher attending to each of the
application to create a learning environment that invites
learner to actively participate in the learning process. Multiple
strategies such as storytelling sessions, quizzes, and games                 An interview conducted with religious teacher from an
are designed in a single application for a rich learning                 Islamic school in Selangor revealed that tajweed is difficult
environment that engages learners to the learning process. A             to be learned and understood by the children because the
study that was conducted with students ages 10 years old found           children do not really know the meaning of the words in the
that learners are able to recognize the izhar halqi’s letter             Al-Quran and learning tajweed is only confined to limited
after using the application and can identify where the rules of          time available at school or special classes. The current method
Izhar halqi is applied in a Quran verse. This application is a           that is used to teach the children about tajweed which is
supplement to the process of learning tajweed which is
                                                                         using books and face to face tutorial is not sufficient as
currently being taught in classroom setting through books
                                                                         students need also to study on their own and do revision of
and one-to-one interaction with the teacher. The active
interaction between learner and the application make the                 what they have been taught.
learning process more appealing and fun.                                     Another interview with Islamic scholars in Kedah
                                                                         conducted by [2] discovered that the use of sound is
Index Terms—rich learning activity environment; children’s               important in learning tajweed because children need to hear
learning; multimedia application; tajweed                                how to pronounce the word in Al-Quran correctly and how
                                                                         to recite the rule of tajweed properly. Based on the interview,
                        I. INTRODUCTION                                  [2] concluded that full explanation of tajweed function, it’s
    Developing a computer based training is becoming a                   usage in the Al-Quran verses and also the proper way of
fardhu kifayah to Muslim especially in converting existing               reciting Al-Quran cannot be done at school alone due to the
static based Islamic materials to a software program that are            time constraint. Therefore, the children need to study tajweed
more appealing to Muslim Ummah in general. Children                      at home as well.
nowadays are adventurous, always keen on new technology                      So far, very few or limited tool is available that can be
be it for learning or playing. Computers have been used for              used by learners to learn tajweed at home and in a more
decades to teach children on variety of knowledge such as                attractive approach. A study by [8] had developed a
Science, Mathematics and languages. Learning tajweed in                  multimedia application to teach tajweed to a group of student
Malaysia most oftenly are conducted in classes through a                 in a religious school in Indonesia and proven the use of the
face-to-face approach and tested through pencil-and-paper                application has increased the learners attraction and
approach. Face-to-face approach is no doubt, the best                    motivation to learn tajweed. The application however, focuses
teaching method, however, the class size hinder the                      on adult learner, which contain merely information about
interaction required between learner and teacher. Meanwhile,             tajweed in various media, as discussed in their article [8].
pencil-and-paper evaluation does not provide an instant                  Another initiative to promote the learning of tajweed
feedback which is very useful in teaching and learning setting.          electronically is conducted by [9] when they develop a
Therefore, this research is conducted in order to try to lessen          multimedia based learning application to teach tajweed with
the interaction and feedback gap and also to contribute to               semantic approach.
the Islamic Umma. This new perspective of learning tajweed
is hoped to be able to groom Muslims into a proficient Al-                               III. THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Quran reciter.                                                              The purpose of this study is to provide a more refresh-
                                                                         ing, more interesting and interactive way to learn and under-
                                                                         stand tajweed. This research focuses on blending the best
© 2011 ACEEE
DOI: 02.ACT.2011.03. 45
Short Paper
                       Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Computing, Control, and Telecommunication Technologies 2011

multimedia approach to be incorporated into a single appli-                         V. RICH LEARNING ACTIVITY ENVIRONMENT
cation to create a rich learning environment that are able to
                                                                             Active learning has been described as involving students
attract learners to learn tajweed and also able to remember
                                                                         in activities other than listening or reading [3]. According to
what have been learnt. This application has blended a vari-
                                                                         [3], engaging students in the learning process has been shown
ous multimedia elements into the application to create a learn-
                                                                         to be an effective means for education. Multimedia application
ing environment that invites learner to actively participate in
                                                                         can become the mean for active learning as it can engage
the learning process. Multiple strategies such as storytelling
                                                                         children with learning. [4] Contented that students’
sessions, quizzes, and games are designed in a single appli-
                                                                         engagement could be increase by allowing them to be in
cation for a rich learning environment that engages learners
                                                                         control or in-charge of the system, granting ownership or
to the learning process. Our scopes for this research are chil-
                                                                         personalization into the system and provide immediate
dren in a range of 7 to 10 years old who already knew how to
                                                                         response for every actions.
read Al-Quran but not proficient with the rules, that is the
                                                                             Interactivity is another activity that can be held to increase
tajweed. The benefits of this project are as follows:
                                                                         students understanding. An interaction can be either with
       The application enables children to learn tajweed at
                                                                         instructor, peer students, or with technology (hardware or
          home. This will promote independent learning
                                                                         software). An interaction which is followed by a feedback
          environment where the children could learn tajweed
                                                                         will stimulate students’ participation. Feedback will allow
          by themselves or together with their parents or
                                                                         students’ realize about the impact of their actions and,
                                                                         furthermore, about the topic being taught. This reaction, will
       The use of game in this application will make the
                                                                         lead to new knowledge constructed. [5] Quoted that active
          tajweed learning process more interesting.
                                                                         learning is the way children construct knowledge. The
       The active interaction between children and this
                                                                         learning process is seen as an interaction between goal-
          application make the learning process more
                                                                         oriented actions of the learner and the environmental realities
          appealing and fun.
                                                                         that affect those actions.
    This project also provides valuable information about
                                                                             Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) suggests that
tajweed in order to make it easier for children to learn tajweed.
                                                                         learning styles may differ in individuals with some learners
This application focuses only on the introduction of Izhar
                                                                         grasp new information through concrete experience while
Halqi of the tajweed.
                                                                         others by conceptualizing it through symbolic representation
                                                                         [10]. Experiencing learning requires active interaction through
                  IV. IMPORTANCE OF TAJWEED
                                                                         various activities and conceptualizing the information may
     According to [1], the word tajweed literally means to               come through the examples or learning models.
improve and to make better. It comes from the same root                      Active learning if blends together with multimedia
letters as the word ‘Jayyid’ in Arabic (meaning ‘good’). When            elements will create an interesting multimedia application that
applied to the Al-Quran, it means giving every letter of the             will provide a ‘Rich Learning Activity Environment’ (RLAE)
Al-Quran its rights and dues of characteristics. When a                  that engages learners to keep on learning and support the
Muslim recite the Al-Quran, they should be able to observe               various learning styles as suggested by Kolb.
the rules that apply to those letters in relative situations. A
Muslim should also give the letters their rights by observing                              VI. DEVELOPMENT METHODS
the essential characteristics of each letter. According to [1],
                                                                             The development methods that was used for the
there are two types of mistakes that one might be committing
                                                                         development of this project follows the five steps approach
when reciting the Al-Quran:
                                                                         in Instructional Systems Design (ISD), the ADDIE. ADDIE is
       Clear mistakes: Mistakes in pronouncing a word,
                                                                         an acronym referring to the major processes that comprise
          usually changing the meaning of the word. These
                                                                         the generic ISD process [6] which stands for Analyze, Design,
          mistakes are normally related to incorrect
                                                                         Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.
          pronunciation of letters, or letters had been mixed
          up by the reader.                                              A. Analysis and Design
        Unobvious mistakes: Pronouncing without                             During analysis, the problem statement, the objectives,
         following the proper tajweed rules. This type of                scope and methodology used for this project is being
         mistakes only can be realized by those who have                 analysed and identified. Interview conducted provides an
         studied tajweed rules or experts in this field.                 overview situation of current learning process for ‘tajweed’
                                                                         among primary school students. The approaches that has
    Reciting al-Quran wrongly will cause a wrong                         been adopted for this system are storytelling and gaming,
interpretation of the meaning of the verses. This issue is               where the playground has been used as the metaphor together
critical and must be avoided. Therefore learning to read al-             with the multimedia elements such as text, graphic, audio and
Quran profoundly must be tackled at the early stage of a                 animation. The application has five learning modules
muslim’s development.                                                    comprises of main page, learning module, storytelling, game
                                                                         and exercises. Active learning approach method was applied
                                                                         in the exercise and game module. Story telling module was
© 2011 ACEEE
DOI: 02.ACT.2011.03. 45
Short Paper
                       Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Computing, Control, and Telecommunication Technologies 2011

used to introduce the learning content - ‘izhar halqi’. The
game module was used for the reinforcement of the content
while exercises module will test the students’ knowledge
about ‘izhar halqi’. The conceptual model for Tajweed
Learning Application (TaLA) is shown in Fig.1

                                                                          Figure 3. Sample screen shots for the main menu and storytelling
                                                                             Fig. 4 showed the exercise and game screen for
                                                                         reinforcement. Based on communication theory, instructional
                                                                         process occurs when the instructor, or in this case the
                                                                         application were informed of the learners learning status [7].
                                                                         TaLA injected this feature in the exercise and game module.
                                                                         Exercise module is where the children knew that they are
                                                                         being tested and evaluated. It gives feedback for each action
                                                                         given by the learner. Scores are given at the end of the exercise
                                                                         for the teacher/ parent to assess the children’s learning
                                                                         progress. Meanwhile, game module enhanced retention by
                                                                         allowing children to freely play a game which actually testing
                                                                         their knowledge on all the different characters in Izhar Halqi.
                                                                         Children are able to assess their progress through scores at
              Figure 1. Conceptual Model for TaLA
                                                                         the end of the game. The score motivates the children to
The conceptual model describes the components that built                 keep on trying in order to achieve a higher score, and in order
the Tajweed Learning Application (TaLA). For the learning                to achieve a higher score, the children need to master the
theory, it emphasizes on active learning in the main modules             knowledge of the tajweed, Izhar Halqi.
of the application. The teaching and learning approach that
was adopted is the storytelling and gaming, while the
metaphor used is the playground. These are selected to meet
the requirement of the target audience that is children ages
between 7 to 10 years old. Multimedia element uses were
also presented in the model which are text, graphic, audio
and animation. The choices of elements to be used in the
application are decided to suit the children’s interest. Finally,
the model presented the modules that are available in the                Figure 4. Sample screen shots for the exercise and game module for
application.                                                                                       reinforcement

B. Development & Implementation                                          C. Evaluation
    This stage involves the development of the prototype of                  A usability evaluation was done with 10 years old children
TaLA. Tools that have been used in this project were                     of a primary school in the Klang Valley. The usability
Macromedia Flash 8 to develop the application, Adobe                     evaluation evaluates students engagement towards learning
Photoshop to design interfaces and buttons, Game Maker to                when using this rich learning application to learn tajweed as
design the game, and Windows Movie Maker to edit the                     well their learnability in terms of its content. The participant
sound. This application contains four main learning activities           are already familiar with jawi characters and able to recite al-
through its’ modules which are: the Learning module,                     Quran, however they are not proficient with the tajweed. The
Storytelling module, Game module and Exercises module.                   requirements that had been used for the testing are the
    Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 showed samples of screen shots for                 headphone, mouse and laptop COMPAQ Presario V3000. Fig.
TaLA. Fig.3 showed the main menu screen which adopted                    5 showed the test that was conducted at the school.
the playground metaphor that signifies the children’s interest
whom enjoy playing on the playground and the storytelling
approach for content delivery. The storytelling module
explains the content and provides examples for children to
understand the content better. The storytelling requires user
involvement through interaction with the ‘teacher’ character.
The interaction also contributes to active learning which
enhance user’s engagement to learning.                                      Figure 5. Video capture of children during usability evaluation
                                                                         During the testing, students were allowed to roam around
                                                                         the application to listen to the storytelling, and the correct
© 2011 ACEEE
DOI: 02.ACT.2011.03.45
Short Paper
                      Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Computing, Control, and Telecommunication Technologies 2011

character pronunciation. The students use the application                                         REFERENCES
with little assistance and they were all attracted to the appli-
                                                                        [1] F. Barakatullah, “The importance of tajweed”, 2006 [online].
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© 2011 ACEEE
DOI: 02.ACT.2011.03.45

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