For more than a decade as a law lecturer, I met my students every day in a classroom with a large whiteboard and trusty marker. Then in 2020, as we all know, everything changed. My trusty marker has been decommissioned.
The uptake of learning technologies has been, in many cases, disappointing. University managers, educational technologists, educators and other practitioners are looking for ways to overcome this resistance and boost the use of learning management systems, also known as virtual learning environments, or VLEs. However, researchers have found factors that influence the adoption of learning technologies are not universal, and they differ from country to country.
In this multimedia article we will introduce a new model of teaching and learning at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore: the Collaborative Learning Cases. In short, CLCs.
We will share the rationale, process of developing the approach and key feedback. One of the common problems in the medical curriculum is that medical students have poor understanding of clinical medicine due to the inability to apply basic concepts to clinical practice.
Employers often lament new graduates lacking the basic skills that can contribute to the workplace. Indeed, many of us of in the older generation would agree that most of what we learned at university, if we remember it at all, has served us little in our professional lives. For HE to bridge the skills gap and ensure that university graduates add economic and societal value, it must address three questions: what skills are students being taught? How are students really learning them (if at all)? And how effective are they in the workplace?
Assignment feedback is key to helping students improve and correct their understanding so they can build upon solid foundations of knowledge as their course progresses.
Yet, traditionally only about 30 per cent of students review their assignment feedback in my experience of teaching. This feedback consists of answers to quizzes and/or comments on how to improve the quality of their writing.
Having experimented with different forms of feedback – written remarks, reports, pre-recorded video discussions – I’ve found the engagement level remains at around 30 per cent.
Many UK universities have developed transnational education outposts in Asia leading to concerns about whether Western pedagogical approaches can be equally effective for students with an Asian educational background.
I am a lecturer on one such biomedical sciences programme in China. The programme is taught in English and, to date, the majority of students have been Chinese nationals. To encourage and develop the students’ ability to discuss science in English we place a strong emphasis on tutorials, with first-year students having up to five tutorials each week.
Many academics bring their valuable research into the classroom. The challenge is for them to frame and communicate their findings, ideas or even professional practices in a format that is accessible to students as non-experts. But if they succeed in doing this, the contribution from a diverse study body through the teaching process can broaden, enrich, stimulate and further inform the research.
The following tips are designed to help academics bring their research into the classroom order to boost the learning experience and also to improve their own work:
Maintaining teaching, social and cognitive presence as part of the community of inquiry (CoI) proposed in the work of Randy Garrison, emeritus professor at the University of Calgary, has long been key tenet of higher education. But in online learning, designing and implementing learning activities to address these presence elements and maintain engagement and connection are even more essential.