SINGAPORE : The National University of Singapore (NUS) will re—design its key classes to promote active learning.
It will do this through integrating on—line programmes and introducing changes to face—to—face learning in the classroom.
NUS president Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said this at the annual State of the University Address on Friday.
Focusing his speech on the role that technology and social media could play in education, Professor Tan said technology can do what traditional lectures cannot, which is to ensure that each student has a good grasp of foundational knowledge and concepts.
He said this is especially useful for popular courses with large class sizes.
Professor Tan said: "Well—designed interactive on—line programmes allow each student to learn anytime, at his or her own pace. In—built assessments enable students to monitor their progress, and also help lecturers identify areas where students have problems.
"More importantly, the on—line programmes also free up face—to—face classroom time for much more active learning. Students can work in teams on problems and their solutions. They would need to explain and defend their ideas, and to critique those of their peers."
Professor Tan said NUS will also develop other innovative ways in which technology is used to stimulate interest and promote collaborative learning.
He cited six examples of pilots that have already started in achieving these aims.
They include the redesigning of an introductory programme methodology course with the School of Computing, and enhancing an Engineering core module, by converting part of the module into small Web—based units on fundamental concepts.
This will include providing Web—based lectures as well as Web—based tutorials with self—marking capabilities.
Professor Tan also announced that the university will create a S$5 million funding pool, which, among others, will support NUS start—ups that come up with novel educational products.
The fund will be called Learning Innovation Fund—Technology or LIF—T.