TEG Learning Community Projects

About TEG Learning Community Projects

TEG Learning Communities is a new initiative that seeks to strengthen connections among teaching staff and create supportive networks for teaching at NUS through the establishment of funded learning communities. The purpose of the learning communities will be to engage in focused and sustained discussion of specific aspects of university teaching that relate to a topic of mutual concern to the group. 

This page lists the TEG Learning Community projects which have received support from the grant:

AY 2019/2020

1. Co-op Gurus

Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: HAN Zhe, Pharmacy/Faculty of Science (Email to: phahz@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitator: Paul GALLAGHER, Pharmacy/Faculty of Science (Email to: phapjg@nus.edu.sg)

A transdisciplinary and integrated approach is emphasized in higher education internationally and at the National University of Singapore (NUS). However, integrated teaching and learning faces numerous challenges not least of which is the limited experience and familiarity of academic staff in the delivery of integrated curricula.
 
This Learning Community addresses the crucial issue of developing an integrated approach to teaching and learning. It creates peer support among champions of integrated learning. We will focus on the design, development and delivery of Collaborative Learning Workshops (CLWs) which challenge students to work in teams to apply knowledge from various disciplines in solving real-world problems. In the process, students will also enhance their communication and critical thinking skills. The design of CLWs is rooted in collaborative learning and student-centered pedagogy.
 
Faculty from NUS Pharmacy and partnering academic units (e.g. Depts of Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine) will join this Learning Community, along with representatives from local healthcare institution and student organization. This membership allows the learning community to be a platform for dialogue between faculty members, employers and students and to facilitate the implementation of an integrated pharmacy professional curriculum (http://pharmacy.nus.edu.sg/bachelor-of-pharmacy/).  
 
Understanding and experiences gained through this learning community are applicable to all disciplines and will be shared with educators in NUS and beyond through teaching guides, video, presentations, and workshop.

Members:

  • CHUI Wai Keung, Pharmacy/Faculty of Science
  • CHEW Eng Hui, Pharmacy/Faculty of Science
  • Priscilla HOW, Pharmacy/Faculty of Science
  • WANG Aiwen, Pharmacy/Faculty of Science  
  • CHEN Zhi Xiong, Physiology/Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • TAN Kong Bing, Anatomy/Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • THE Sin Yee (Student), Pharmacy/Faculty of Science
  • TAI Chen Wei (Student ), Pharmacy/Faculty of Science 

2. Curriculum Re-design for Greater Community-based Learning

Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: James KAH, Biomedical Engineering/Faculty of Engineering (Email to: biekahj@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitator: KUAN Yee Han, Tembusu College & Office of Student Affairs (Email to: rctkyh@nus.edu.sg)  

“Corporate for Good” initiatives are often a way for many organizations to contribute back to society and create meaningful social impact. As an educational institution, NUS presents many possible pathways to realize its corporate giving within the context of delivering a world-class education. While internship programmes have been embedded in many programmes, community engagement is often considered as an extra-curricular activity. Furthermore, we also recognize the increasing desire of our Gen Z students to find meaning and social impact in their learning (Willms, Friesen, & Milton, 2009). Existing studies have shown that students are more engaged if they observe that their learning could impact people’s lives (Taylor & Parsons, 2011). These have therefore motivated us to propose a Learning Community where members from different faculties can examine published frameworks on community-based learning and share best practices that could be embedded into these frameworks.  Our aim is to allow members to co-learn how their degree programme, curriculum or a specific module could be re-designed to consciously incorporate elements of community-based learning in a discipline-specific manner, based on an established framework to achieve more effective community engagement. Community-based learning embedded as an integral component of a module or curriculum could provide formal and proper training to students to maximize social impact. This is a unique concept which we believe could maximize our student’s exposure to needs in the community and allow them to learn more, gain more empathy, give back to society while they earn their modular credits.

Taylor, L. & Parsons, J. (2011). Improving student engagement. Current Issues in Education, 14(1), 1-32. Retrieved from http://cie.asu.edu/ojs/index.php/cieatasu/article/viewFile/745/162.

Willms, J. D., Friesen, S. & Milton, P. (2009). What did you do in school today? Transforming classrooms through social, academic and intellectual engagement. (First National Report) Toronto: Canadian Education Association.

Members

  • Stephen HSU, Faculty of Dentistry
  • Norman NEW, Ridge View Residential College
  • LIM Cheng Puay, Ridge View Residential College

3. Designing Quality Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

 Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: Andre Matthias MULLER, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (Email to: ephamm@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitator: Raymond LIM, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (Email to: ephlbtr@nus.edu.sg)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have gained significant popularity around the globe. NUS has joined the non-profit MOOC platform EdX (www.edx.org) in 2019 in an effort to increase its educational reach beyond the confines of the University. The NUS community is now encouraged to develop quality MOOCs in diverse subject fields. Unfortunately, MOOC development can be a daunting endeavour considering a number of barriers and lack of experience. In addition, high drop-out and low completion rates hamper the inherent potential of MOOCs once they are set up. The MOOC LC aims to discuss and share aspects related to designing and developing quality MOOCs in a scholarly manner. This will be achieved by bringing together a) NUS faculty who are at different stages of MOOC development, b) professional staff who have relevant expertise, resources and skills, c) online learning experts, as well as d) research staff and students with user experience. The following topics will be discussed in various formats: MOOCs basics, barriers and facilitators to development, who are the MOOC users, role of the instructor, helpful tools, accreditation and evaluation of MOOCs. We anticipate that the output of the LC will lead to more quality MOOCs being developed by NUS staff.

Members

  • SEAH Siang Joo, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
  • Alan SOONG Swee Kit, Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning
  • Rafi RASHID, NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences & Engineering (NGS) 
  • Olivier Patrick LEFEBVRE, Civil & Environmental Engineering/Faculty of Engineering
  • Hafizah OSMAN, School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE) 
  • Clayton MILLER, Building/School of Design & Environment
  • Narayanan SHYAM, Centre for Instructional Technology (CIT) 
  • Thirugnanasambhandan DHANESHAN (Student), Biological Sciences/Faculty of Science
  • Alex LIU Kaiyi (Student), Geography/Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

4. Developing More Learner-centred Teaching 

 Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: Daniel JEW, College of Alice & Peter Tan, & History/Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (Email to: rc3jyhd@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitators: Eddie LAU Siu Kit, Architecture/School of Design & Environment  (Email to: akilsk@nus.edu.sg)
                         Bellam SREENIVASULU, Residential College 4  (Email to: rc4bs@nus.edu.sg)

Learner-centred pedagogies (Weimer, 2013; Fink, 2013) are increasingly impacting the global academy, based on evidence of their efficacy towards deep learning (Blumberg 2009). However, university teachers can sometimes struggle to gain support in their understanding of, growth within, and practice of these pedagogies, as the teacher-centred paradigm focusing on transmission of content is still, arguably, often the (receding) norm. 

This Learning Community will read key chapters of Maryellen Weimer’s Learner-centred Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. Originally published in 2002, Weimer’s book popularised the concept, organising learner-centred approaches into a framework with five dimensions. In Semester One, we will study each of these five key areas of potential change, and share reflections relating the ideas to our own current practice. 

Based on the collective understanding gained, we will identify, design, and implement an actual intervention in our own teaching practice in Semester Two, with the help of the rubrics provided in Blumberg 2009. Members will support one another by providing constructive pre- and post- feedback on the intervention, and by providing an informal classroom observation for another member. The reflections on the interventions will be posted on the LC’s blog.

Our activities will culminate in a joint workshop, reflectively sharing with the rest of the NUS community on the interventions and growth toward more learner-centred practice.

Members

  • KUAN Yee Han, Tembusu College & Office of Student Affairs
  • Paul ONG, Civil & Environmental Engineering/Faculty of Engineering
  • Lynette TAN, Residential College 4
  • Daniel SNG, Mechanical Engineering/Faculty of Engineering
  • Kankana MUKHOPADHYAY, College of Alice & Peter Tan
  • Bryan Benjamin GOH Yu Xian (Student), History/Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • Joel CHOW Ken Q, Philosophy/Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences 

5. General Education Learning Community

Name of Facilitator (s)
 
Principal Facilitator: Nicholas CAI, General Education Unit/Office of the Senior Deputy President & Provost (SDPPVO) (Email to: pvocxn@nus.edu.sg)

Co-Facilitator: Kenneth CHONG, General Education Unit/SDPPVO (Email to: pvocbsk@nus.edu.sg)

The General Education (GE) Unit of the Office of the Senior Deputy President and Provost (SDPPVO) comprises 28 full-time instructors and teaching assistants who are tutors for the GEQ1000 (Asking Questions) and GER1000 (Quantitative Reasoning) modules. The proposed Learning Community aims to establish a regular platform for our teaching staff and invited guests to 1) reflect upon and improve our teaching practice, 2) discuss issues related to student engagement beyond the classroom, 3) encourage and facilitate cross-discipline and pedagogical knowledge exchange and collaboration, and if possible, 4) explore and develop new content, with a special focus on General Education.

Members

  • SOON Wan Mei, Amanda, General Education Unit/SDPPVO
  • WANG Hui Ting, General Education Unit/SDPPVO
  • LAU Chee Loong, Desmond, General Education Unit/SDPPVO
  • ZHANG Chen, Will, General Education Unit/SDPPVO
  • WI Chee Yong, Andy, General Education Unit/SDPPVO
  • LIM Lit San, General Education Unit/SDPPVO 

6. Inclusive Education Learning Community

 Name of Facilitator (s)
 Principal Facilitator: Dara Leah RICHARD, Centre for English Language Communication (CELC) (Email to: elcdlr@nus.edu.sg)

Co-Facilitator: LEE Gek Ling, CELC (Email to: elcleegl@nus.edu.sg)

The Inclusive Education Learning Community explores learner-centred education for diverse student cohorts that include students with disabilities, students from under-represented minorities, first-generation university students, and lifelong learners. We have adopted Hockings' (2010) definition of inclusive education as “the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant, and accessible to all” (p. 1). We agree with Lawrie et al. (2017) on the need for “initiatives that operate both within and across institutional contexts and engage multiple stakeholders” (p. 9). 

Our learning community aims to account for existing inclusive practices in our interactions with our students, identify student strategies to negotiate barriers, and propose ways through which we can make our pedagogical, curricular, assessment and institutional practices inclusive with two threads of inquiry. The first thread involves designing on-the-ground interventions for marginalized or under-represented students. These interventions are largely based on Universal Design for Learning principles and focus on pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and institutional support. The second thread involves a pilot project that can lead to longitudinal study to better understand the barriers marginalized or under-represented groups encounter, as well as student strategies to cope and negotiate barriers.

Members

  • Shobha AVADHANI, Communications New Media/Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • Gene Segarra NAVERA, CELC
  • Jamila OSMAN, Central Library
  • Deborah CHOO, CELC
  • Marissa E Kwan Lin, CELC
  • Nazerene IBRAHIM, CELC
  • Inthrani Raja INDRAN, Pharmacology/Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Salome Antonette REBELLO, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
  • Agnes YUEN, Office of Student Affairs
  • LEUNG Wing Sze, University Scholars Programme
  • Angeline LIM, Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre
  • Nilanjana SAXENA, School of Continuing and Lifelong Education

7. "Insight” Out on Student Motivation–We Learn What We Share, We Share What We Learn

 Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: CHNG Hui Ting, Pharmacy/Faculty of Science (Email to: phacht@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitators: CHONG Yuan Yi, Chemistry/Faculty of Science (Email to: chmcyy@nus.edu.sg)
                         NG Tao Tao, Magdeline, NUS Libraries (Email to: slbnttm@nus.edu.sg)

It was quite a different Anne [than] I had known as my daughter. She never really showed this kind of inner feeling. She talked about many things, we criticized many things, but what really her feelings were, I only could see from the diary. And my conclusion is, as I had been in very, very good terms with Anne, that most parents don’t know, really, their children.” 

- Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank

The above excerpt were thoughts shared by Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, the girl who was a victim of the Holocaust and wrote the famous “The Diary of Anne Frank”. 

Like Otto, as educators, do we really know our students? Why do they seem disinterested, disengaged and unmotivated in class? Based on mutual interest and common challenges encountered in our journey as educators, our Learning Community has identified motivation in learning as our teaching and learning issue. Specifically, we would like to learn more about: 

- What motivates or demotivates NUS students in their learning
- How to engage or motivate students, given the different contexts and determinants of learning 

Members:

  • Ivan LOW Cherh Chiet, Physiology/Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • LEE Li Neng, Psychology/Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • NG Shun Geng, Information Systems & Analytics/School of Computing
  • Noopur Vinayak JOSHI, Architecture/School of Design & Environment
  • SEOW Teck Keong, Biological Sciences/Faculty of Science & College of Alice & Peter Tan
  • TAY En Rong, Stephen, Building/School of Design & Environment
  • YEO Heu Ming, Jeremy (Student), Mathematics & Chemistry/Faculty of Science 

8. Project-centricity versus Learner-centricity in Project-based Learning

Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: CHEAH Kok Ming, Architecture/School of Design & Environment  (Email to: akickm@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitator: Hans TAN, Industrial Design/School of Design & Environment  (Email to: didtyhh@nus.edu.sg)

Project-based learning (PBL) has been the modus operandi for teaching design to meet our diverse needs – furniture, architecture, infrastructure, landscape and the city. Mirroring the industrial practices, these projects produced by students may have commercial or speculative value, generating an engaging conversation that easily side-lined an equally important discussion on the students’ learning. We forget about the learner, the learning process and lost the yield of pedagogical lessons. There is an assumption among most design teachers that a well-conceived design project is a tacit manifestation of successful learning. A successful project delivery does not mean that the learner has undergone an intended learning process or attained all the learning outcomes. The desire for project-centricity could also lead to the adoption of master-apprentice model of teaching, where the teacher gives specific instruction for students to complete the project. This process usually leaves little room for independent thinking. 

The proposed Learning Community(LC) assigns equal importance to both Project-centricity and Learner-centricity in project-based learning. It is the aim of the LC to study how successful project delivery also reflects a strong underpinning of effective learning. It will examine assessment protocol and methods of evidencing learning to derive a set of critical lens to better sense-make the dual-deliverables of a project-based learning (PBL) for teaching design.

Members

  • TAN Beng Kiang (Advisor), Architecture/School of Design & Environment 
  • LOH Ai Poh (Special Advisor), Innovation & Design Programme/Faculty of Engineering
  • TANG Kok Zuea, Innovation & Design Programme/Faculty of Engineering 
  • Nikhi JOSHI, Architecture (Conservation)/School of Design & Environment
  • ZHANG Ye, Architecture (Urban Design)/School of Design & Environment
  • CHEW Jia Ying, Industrial Design/School of Design & Environment 
  • Donn KOH, Industrial Design/School of Design & Environment
  • Kenya ENDO, Architecture (Landscape)/School of Design & Environment 
  • LIN Shengwei, Ervine, Architecture (Landscape)/School of Design & Environment
  • Tsuto SAKAMOTO, Architecture/School of Design & Environment
  • KONG Kwok Hoong, Thomas, Architecture/School of Design & Environment

9. Student Growth and Development in the New Learning Spaces of Residential Colleges

 Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: TAMBYAH Siok Kuan, College of Alice & Peter Tan  (Email to: rc3tsk@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitator: TOH Tai Chong, College of Alice & Peter Tan  (Email to: rc3ttc@nus.edu.sg)

The world of contemporary higher education is dynamic and constantly evolving. Students are increasingly challenged to acquire 21st century competencies so that they can be ready for the workplace. Consequently, there are rising expectations on educators to help students meet these challenges.  In this learning community, we examine how we can enable students to grow and develop, not just as workers for the global marketplace but also as unique individuals.  

This learning community will assess and consider the impact of innovative programs and initiatives that contribute to student learning outcomes in the new learning spaces of residential colleges (RCs). ‘Learning spaces’ is a conceptual space beyond the confines of the physical spaces and formal curricula. These learning outcomes include leadership, metacognition, and others that are difficult to define or measure.  These programs and initiatives are situated within formal or informal curricula, and involve learning in local or overseas contexts.  They incorporate a spectrum of interactions and sharing of responsibilities among students, educators and other partners.

In summary, the learning community will:

  1. Maintain a balance of diversity of learning outcomes and a focus on residential colleges
  2. Focus on learning outcomes that are difficult to define or measure, starting with programs and initiatives related to self-reflection, co-creation and reflective writing.
  3. Incorporate views from all stakeholders (educators, professional staff and students)


Members

  • Naviyn Prabhu BALAKRISHNAN, Residential College 4
  • CHUA Siew Chin, Ridge View Residential College
  • Eric KERR, Tembusu College
  • Kankana MUKHOPADHYAY, College of Alice & Peter Tan
  • NG Jia Yun, Ridge View Residential College
  • Susan SEE THO, Accounting/NUS Business School

10. Teaching PET and CET Students within the Single Classroom: Issues and Approaches

Name of Facilitator (s)

Principal Facilitator: WONG Yao Hing, Lee Kuan Yew of Public Policy (LKYSPP)  (Email to: sppwoyh@nus.edu.sg)
Co-Facilitator: Agnes TAN, LKYSPP  (Email to: spptana@nus.edu.sg)

NUS has responded to the Government’s SkillsFuture initiative through, among others, the provision of credit-bearing modules under the NUS Lifelong Learners (NUS L3) programme and NUS CET500 programme where participants study alongside current NUS undergraduates within the same classroom. This unique learning arrangement poses novel challenges and warrants dedicated research—while much has been researched and written about pedagogical issues affecting non-traditional learners (i.e. adult learners embarking on tertiary education for the first time), both the NUS L3 and NUS CET500 programmes are unique, one-of-its-kind programmes aimed at professionals with tertiary qualifications who see the need to re-skill/up-skill themselves in order to meet the challenges of a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. 

This Learning Community thus seeks to bring together staff who are already currently involved in the teaching and administration of CET modules and modules where PET and CET students converge within the same classroom, and staff who may in the future be involved in the teaching and administration of such modules to discuss, explore and study pedagogical issues related to teaching in this unique classroom setting. 

Members:

  • Naniek YULIATI, LKYSPP
  • James CRABTREE, LKYSPP
  • Aileen LAM Wanli, CELC