ALSET’s Translational Research Unit helps researchers to build, deploy, test, and scale activities and technologies that benefit learners.

Translation Research Unit

We provide three types of resources:

  • Data: we manage the ALSET Educational Data Lake, a powerful resource for learning scientists, data scientists, and education technology researchers. The data lake includes detailed data on student backgrounds, learning behaviours and outcomes.
  • Translational Research: we develop education apps, dashboards, and other tools that support the translation of findings from the learning sciences into effective practice.
  • Events: we host workshops, competitions, hackathons, and events to test and showcase educational innovations.

The Translational Research Unit also includes the Learning Innovation Laboratory. Through this hub, we connect ALSET faculty and NUS students with Singapore’s growing entrepreneurial community. By fostering ties between the academic and educational technology worlds, we initiate collaborations focused on educational innovations.

The ALSET Educational Data Lake

We manage the ALSET Educational Data Lake, an exciting new resource for education researchers and policy makers. The Data Lake securely houses data gathered from across the university and partner institutions in Singapore. The Data Lake bridges NUS’ traditionally siloed data sources and ensures that the collected data can easily be analysed by researchers without invading students’ privacy. Key data elements include the following:

We also support faculty in their use of the Data Lake by working with them to craft useful queries, managing APIs, and producing regular analyses of educational trends at NUS. Traditionally, educational evaluations occur after the end of a single course or intervention. However, the Data Lake enables more longitudinal research by storing data related to student learning for the long term.

One of ALSET’s newest initiatives is to evaluate NUS’s Lifelong Learners (L³) Programme. The programme increases every student’s valid enrollment period to 20 years from the point of admission. The Data Lake will allow NUS to follow how its students and alumni learn throughout their lifetimes—not just during their university years. This is an unprecedented opportunity to optimize NUS’ long-term impact on its students.

ALSET faculty will also use the Data Lake to investigate other important issues in higher education by enabling the measurement of learning outcomes along many dimensions. Examples of such learning outcomes crucial for lifelong learning include critical thinking, communication skills, quantitative reasoning, and intercultural competencies.

NUS and ALSET are committed to ensuring that the data they are trusted with is protected and used ethically at all times. To that end, ALSET continually works with stakeholders from across NUS—including faculty, students, and advisors—to develop data ethics and data management policies and processes.

Translational Research

We develop applications, dashboards, and other tools to help educators measure student learning behaviours across a variety of activities. For example, our tools can help faculty understand viewing habits of educational videos; skills development in programming and other technical disciplines; and conceptual proficiency in many domains. They can also guide students to make better decision about their own learning by providing them the information they need.

The ultimate goal of our tools is to take findings from the Discovery Research Unit about how learning happens and put them in the hands of real instructors and learners of all ages. Whenever possible, the translational research development process incorporates rapid iteration and regular guidance from all stakeholders.

ALSET Events

ALSET regularly hosts events for anyone interested in learning.

Ace Of Coders 2017

November 2017, ALSET Deputy Director Chris Boesch helped run Ace of Coders, a National Infocomm Competition that teaches students the fundamentals of coding. Co-hosted with the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) and held on the NUS campus, it included over 850 students from Singaporean secondary schools and junior colleges, as well undergraduates at NUS.

WESST 2017

Co-hosted by ALSET and the School of Computing at NUS in July 2017, the WESST workshop brought together some of the world’s leading experts in educational and social science technology, including keynotes from Dragan Gaševic of the University of Edinburgh, Xiangen Hu from the University of Memphis, and Carolyn Rosé and John Stamper from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Ultimate Learning Weekend and First EdTech Challenge

Students and faculty celebrate the First EdTech Challenge, a business case competition for new edtech solutions held in February 2017.