SUTD Collaborates with Partners for Further Innovations in Cyber-Physical Education at NTEL 2022

27 Oct 2022

Dr Oka Kurniawan (Deputy Programme Director of campusX and Senior Lecturer from the Information Systems Technology and Design pillar) sharing about SUTD's campusX initiatives with Education Minister, Mr Chan Chun Sing, who was Guest-of-Honour at the NTEL 2022.

  • MOU between SUTD, SkillsFuture Singapore, and Institute for Adult Learning on developing a joint Living Lab for adult educators and CET learning

  • Agreement between SUTD and Tecnológico de Monterrey to conduct joint research in cyber-physical learning

  • Publication of a white paper on cyber-physical learning

With how the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the education scene, learning in a cyber-physical environment is fast becoming the new normal. Hence, this year’s two-day National Technology Enhanced Learning (NTEL) conference theme “Empowering Learning in the Cyber-Physical Era”, has provided a timely platform for academic institutions, education industry leaders and start-ups to share their latest ideas and innovations in this area.
First initiated by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2015, NTEL is usually co-organised with local universities with the aim of inspiring teaching and learning transformation through the adoption of technology-enhanced learning strategies in higher education. This was the first time that the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) hosted the conference, with Education Minister, Mr Chan Chun Sing as the Guest-of-Honour, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Professor Sanjay Sarma and Microsoft Singapore’s Chief Technology Officer & Customer Success Lead, Mr Richard Koh, as the keynote speakers. (See detailed programme.)

This was the first time that SUTD hosted the National Technology Enhanced Learning conference.
SUTD has been focusing on research and development efforts into digital learning and the cyber-physical learning space since the pandemic struck. The University set up a new Office of Digital Learning earlier this year and pioneered the SUTD campusX initiative, which aims to leverage innovative cyber-physical technologies to create a fun, safe and inclusive educational experience for lifelong tertiary learners (undergraduates, postgraduates and adult CET learners) to personalise their learning journeys and achieve optimal learning outcomes.
To commemorate NTEL 2022, SUTD has published a white paper that explores the future of higher education in view of the challenges faced through digital transformation in the education sector. The paper also outlines pedagogical and andragogical concepts of the SUTD campusX initiative, and approaches that various academic institutions have taken to address the transformational challenges faced, and the possible next steps in moving towards cyber-physical learning.
During the conference, SUTD signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) on a joint Living Lab to incorporate new andragogies, practices and educational innovations developed for adult educators and CET (Continuing Education and Training) learners. Under this MOU, curated skills interventions, industry-led CET modules, events and research projects will be piloted on a cyber-physical platform for “live” study and data analysis of interaction between technology and users, leading to insights for improvements in CET educational innovations and practices that will benefit Singapore and the region.

SUTD signed a memorandum of understanding with SkillsFuture Singapore and Institute for Adult Learning on a joint Living Lab.

In addition, SUTD also signed a project agreement with Tecnológico de Monterrey (Tec) on joint research on cyber-physical learning between the two universities. This includes conducting joint experiments to test out innovative cross-border cyber-physical educational models across different time zones, and sharing of data for joint analysis to identify optimal cyber-physical educational models.

Juan Pablo Murra, Rector for Higher Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey, witnessed the signing of agreement between SUTD and Tec via holographic presence technology.

SUTD Provost, Professor Phoon Kok Kwang said: “This year’s NTEL theme aligns well with SUTD’s research and development push into cyber-physical education that further enhances its unique pedagogy through human-centric design. The conference presents a platform for educators and industry partners to share ideas on the challenges and opportunities brought about by the convergence of digital technologies that continues to blur the boundaries between physical and cyber reality. This goes beyond blended learning and requires reimagining the possibilities in continuous learning and educational innovation. Through the white paper SUTD has published, we would like to propose a collaborative framework called Technology of Learning (ToL) that aims to bring classroom-based cyber-physical innovations combining technology and science of learning. The MOU signed with SSG and IAL as well as the agreement with Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico will further expedite our collective efforts in this area and take us one step closer to building an effective and inclusive cyber-physical environment for learners of all ages across different cultures.”
“SSG’s partnership with SUTD and IAL is part of a larger effort to deepen the know-how of the Training and Adult Education (TAE) sector, to deliver high quality and relevant training to Singaporeans. Specifically, the partnership will explore how best to exploit the cyber-physical medium and related tools, for lifelong learning.” said Tan Kok Yam, SSG Chief Executive.
“IAL is delighted to collaborate with SUTD and SSG on this joint endeavour, which is a considerable step forward in optimising the potential of digitalisation for learners. As one of the appointed partners in the development of the Living Lab, IAL continues to be steadfast in our support for advocating adult learning, catalysing cutting-edge innovations to equip our adult educators and will strive to be an anchor for training excellence. This partnership also aligns with our capability development philosophy and contributes to sustainability in building a future-fit, technology-blended Training and Adult Education sector” said Professor Lee Wing On, Executive Director, Institute for Adult Learning.
Furthermore, Michael Fung, Executive Director of Tec’s Institute for the Future of Education emphasised on the importance of collaboration between transcontinental Higher Education institutions: “Tec has pioneered educational innovation in Mexico and Latin America, and we aim to expand our projects and initiatives to have an increasingly global footprint and impact. We are very pleased to extend collaborations with SUTD to conduct joint experiments to test innovative cross-border educational models, toward developing effective cyber-physical learning environments. This collaborative project will increase learning opportunities for global higher education audiences, capitalising on the intercultural exchanges between Singaporean and Mexican students and professors, and developing best practices with an international perspective.”

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