Student inability to explain concepts learnt in lessons using their own words academically and intellectually and their lack of interest in learning the subject are a cause of their incompetence in the development of their personality. This presents a challenge to lecturers that they should not rely entirely on conventional lectures and tutorials. Instead, there is a need to employ a variety of teaching methods to stimulate student minds and encourage them to pursue knowledge. As an effort to diversify learning and teaching methods, a study was conducted to improve weaknesses of teaching and learning methods by organizing to motivate students. This was done to help students realize that concepts learnt in the course are relevant to their daily life and to encourage them to seek knowledge of self development which can be applied outside the class. The fora were followed with an action research. This action research was aimed at analyzing the effectiveness of the forum as an alternative method of teaching and learning of the Self Development Course. A sample of 73 students of various academic faculties 2012/2013 were involved in the forum competition. The sample was divided into two groups: panelists group and audience group. Panelists wrote two reports on their experience from the beginning stage of preparing forum materials until the final stage of conducting the forum itself. Listeners 89 groups were assessed as to their interest and observation to the forum content and its discussion while it was being conducted. The effectiveness of this strategy is based on analysis of student reports on the conducted forum and debates in it. Results show that forum received a positive response among the students. The forum approach increased student skills to relate to current issues in explaining facts they have learnt, encouraged cooperation among them to solve problems and increased interaction skill as well as built self-confidence. Therefore they could sharpen their soft skills and were able to solve problems and human-related issues.
Effectiveness, forum, self development, UKM, interest