Abtar has more than 30 years of teaching and leadership experience at various learning institutions. She is an alumnus of the University of Malaya (PhD), Malaysia, Syracuse University (MS Instructional Design) and Indiana University (Post-Doctoral Fulbright), USA. She was attached to the Ministry of Education (Malaysia) before she joined the University of Malaya as a lecturer and Chief Instructional Designer. Later she was offered to lead the Centre of Instructional Design and Technology, The Online and Distance Learning Pedagogical Centre and she held the post of Deputy Dean of Post Graduate Studies at Open University Malaysia. Abtar was in Dubai as the Dean of School of E-Education at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University from 2014- 2019. Currently, Abtar is Professor, Innovative Digital Learning at the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation.
Abtar trained educators worldwide under the auspices of various organizations such as the World Bank, UNESCO, the UNDP and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). Her most impactful e-learning project was for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where together with a team from Open University Malaysia, they assisted in setting up the National E-Learning Centre. Abtar is on several journals and advisory boards, and her recent appointments being the International Advisory Board member of the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education (ETHE). Abtar has published widely in international journals, books, and book chapters and has won numerous international awards related to e-learning. Her current co-edited book is Cases on Smart Learning Environments (https://www.igi-global.com/book/cases-smart-learning-environments/197081). Her research is focused on amongst others, how to create powerful and impactful learning designs for online, e-learning, hybrid learning and mobile learning. Abtar is currently looking into Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE) and AI Technologies related to disruptive learning environments.