Projects

The academy members have embarked on projects that are of importance to the NUS community. Work has started on many fronts and we will be providing updates of our progress periodically in this space. If you have constructive ideas or comments related to our projects or on any matter related to Teaching and Learning, just drop us an email and we will be happy to explore it further with you.

Presently, the projects being pursued are:

 

Student Feedback

One of the project teams is looking into ways of enhancing the utility of the student feedback system which is so vital for maintaining the high standard of NUS education. Among other things, the team recognizes that: (i) the modes of teaching are changing in response to external factors such as information & communication technology and globalization and (ii) educational practices (teaching and learning) and the expected outcomes of education can vary significantly across the faculties and schools in a comprehensive university like ours. The team hopes to come up with a student feedback instrument that recognizes the above issues and ask the right questions of the students to elicit more meaningful quantitative and qualitative feedback data on the Teaching/Learning process.

The proposed changes were discussed at different levels and at various forums – e.g. Provost-Deans meeting, roadshows at many Faculties/Schools, Teaching Academy meetings, and Teaching and Learning Club meetings organized by the NUS Teaching Academy involving faculty members and students. Feedback and comments obtained from the community were factored into the final set of recommendations that the NUS Teaching Academy made to the Provost. Please click here for a summary of the NUS Teaching Academy subcommittee’s recommendations on changes to the student feedback at NUS.

Following extensive consultations, some of these recommendations were approved by the Office of the Provost earlier this year. The Provost requested that an implementation committee comprising Teaching Academy Fellows, CDTL staff and Computer Centre staff be set up to look into the implementation phase of the new student feedback system. The first phase of the new system will be implemented from Academic Year 2013/2014, Semester 1.

Three major aspects will be implemented in phase 1.

  1. Creating an efficient and streamlined user interface system for the students to provide their end of semester feedback.
  2. Creating a configurable student feedback report for faculty members with a view to improve its interpretability.
  3. Offering Departments the option of including/proposing up to 3 questions in the Student Feedback form.

 

Peer Review of Teaching

In addition to student feedback, the peer review conducted for faculty members has been widely accepted as an additional instrument for evaluating the quality of teaching and learning. However, the conceptualization and implementation of an effective peer review system can be a real challenge. To evolve a more valuable peer review system for faculty members at NUS, a team of Academy Fellows was tasked to review the existing peer review practice in AY2010/2011. Through several rounds of consultations with faculties and departments, Teaching Academy Fellows,  Teaching and Learning Club meetings with the NUS teaching community and Provost-Deans meeting, a number of key changes have now been supported for implementation. The key changes seek to enhance the quality of peer evaluation and to integrate various aspects of the process of review using an online platform to facilitate the whole review process.

With effect from 1 August 2013, a revised Online Peer Review System has been implemented. Details are provided in the Staff Portal.

 

Teaching Track

The NUS Teaching Academy has set up a teaching track subcommittee to look into matters arising in the NUS teaching track. The major objectives of this subcommittee are to define the role and future of teaching track, to refine and clarify the criteria for promotion and contract renewal, and to recommend a mechanism to support teaching scholarship within NUS.

 

IT in Education

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are changing the way we work, live, play and learn. Worldwide, educational systems are increasingly leveraging on ICT to bring changes to classroom teaching and learning. The deployment of ICT into universities clearly changes the way education is conducted. Not only is it possible to work through distance learning and achieve a closer collaboration, but also to pave the way for a new pedagogical approach. The proliferation of increasingly sophisticated mobile devices offers feature-rich means for students, faculty, and staff to communicate and to access information. Hence the IT in Education subcommittee, comprising Academy Fellows and other NUS colleagues, is looking at the use of mobile devices (“smart” telephones and tablets) in education at NUS.