Singapore Management University

Singapore Management University (SMU) is a premier, internationally recognised university reputed for world-class research and distinguished teaching. We are committed to providing learners with an interactive, participative and technologically-enhanced learning experience through our hallmark interactive seminars, SMU-X experiential learning and technology-enhanced learning (TEL).

SMU’s transformative education nurtures its core attributes of work-ready and socially conscious graduates who excel as global citizens, change agents and lifelong learners. The successful delivery of these graduate outcomes is very much dependent on the effective implementation of SMU’s distinctive pedagogies of personalised; collaborative and interactive; and experiential learning. The SMU distinctive pedagogies are at the core of the Digital Learning Strategy which seeks to leverage on selected technology trends and innovations to deliver an enhanced transformative educational experience.

SMU’s Technology-enhanced Learning (TEL) Framework

SMU’s TEL framework is based on an educational philosophy of our conception of an undergraduate – first, as individuals with different learning needs; second, as social beings who learn through interaction and collaboration; and third, as members of a community whose experiential learning should lead to knowledge production, innovation and benefit the community. Thus, SMU’s TEL framework comprises the use of technology to enhance:

  • Personalised learning which caters to individuals with different learning needs and progression, and provides learners with prescriptive feedback and choices to aid them along their unique learning paths.

  • Collaborative and interactive learning which enhances collective and social experience of learning.

  • Experiential learning through innovation and knowledge production; and Participatory learning and action which involves students using technology in order to effectively address a problem pertaining to a business, community or societal need.

Digital Learning Strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has further accelerated SMU's digital transformation journey, bringing with it opportunities for the University to embed the key learnings from the very quick pivot from an in-class environment to an online learning environment. It is imperative that we continue to build upon the progress and momentum gained in this period to best position SMU to successfully navigate the post-COVID world with resilience and agility. We aim to build within the University an ambidexterity into the curriculum, instructors and students to enable the seamless move between the face-to-face and digital forms of SMU’s distinctive pedagogies and student experience.

Selected Initiatives

TEL Grant

At SMU, the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) supports TEL through funding support, pedagogical consultation, vendor management services and evaluation of student learning.

The SMU TEL Grant is an annual competitive fund where project proposals are reviewed by the Faculty Advisory Committee for Teaching and Learning (FACTL) to ensure sound alignment to learning objectives and to steer projects with the potential for wider application across SMU.

Fund Categories
The TEL Grant will comprise of three types of funds to support different target applicants, namely the Subscription Fund, Exploration Fund and the Incubation Fund:

Subscription Fund
The Subscription Fund aims to support faculty members who may wish to try out existing third-party applications and digital textbooks/platforms for their course. This would include subscription-based 3rd-party online applications (e.g. Classroom Responsive Systems, Interactive Video platforms, Virtual Collaboration tools) with the possible intent to integrate with Integrated Information Technology Services (IITS) to scale for campus-wide adoption. As part of the personalised adaptive learning strategy, CTE also works with faculty who are keen to trial the use of subscription-based textbooks/platforms with adaptive Learning features through the funding of students’ accounts for a term. This is coupled with an experimental study to evaluate the impact of the adaptive digital tool on students’ learning (see link).
Exploration Fund
The Exploration Fund aims to support faculty members who wish to experiment or innovate through the development of a unique TEL solution at the course-level. This would include pedagogical projects involving the use of more sophisticated levels of technology (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Learning Analytics, and Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality), innovative solutions (e.g. games and simulations) and Blended Learning Objects.
Incubation Fund
The Incubation Fund aims to support faculty members linked to projects identified with the potential to scale campus-wide and beyond. This fund supports the translation of a prototype or proof of concept, through enhancements and further testing based on user requirements and feedback, to integration to existing IT systems (e.g. eLearn learning management system) as part of the EdTech Greenhouse model. Faculty with identified projects that show high potential to benefit the SMU community, through either the Exploration Fund, operationalisation of research projects or SMU-X’s IS480 student application projects, would be invited to apply for this fund. Faculty, on their own initiative, are also encouraged to apply for these funds to fund their existing proof of concept for scaling. CTE may also initiate potential projects through working with interested faculty to drive initiatives that enhance Personalised, Collaborative and Interactive and Experiential Learning. 

EDGE: EDTech Greenhouse

The EDGE: EdTech Greenhouse was established by CTE in 2019 with the aim of identifying and developing high impact innovative home-grown digital solutions that could be scaled across SMU to enhance learning. These TEL projects are usually identified through the annual TEL Grant, pedagogical experiments, research labs (e.g. Living Analytics Research Centre) and School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS) faculty and student projects and will undergo an incubation process which involves user-centric design through faculty and student engagement, exploring pedagogical implications, project scoping and development, integration to current SMU IT systems as well as evaluation of impact of the digital solution.

One project arising from EDGE is the Graduate Learning Outcomes (GLO) system, which was initially developed by SCIS as part of a research project. The GLO system sets out to provide instructors with a platform to (i) improve assessment-based feedback to guide students in the attainment of learning outcomes, including prescriptive recommendations on how to improve; (ii) measure and manage relevant learning outcomes to assure achievement of SMU’s Graduate Learning Outcomes and;  (iii) facilitate coordination to achieve efficient and effective assessment of SMU graduate learning outcomes within courses and curriculum.

On their end, students will gain access to their own individual dashboard which enables them to visualise clearly the extent to which the learning outcomes tested in the assessments have been achieved.

ASEAN University Network Technology Enhanced Personalised Learning (AUN-TEPL) Thematic Network

SMU, together with co-leads Mahidol University and Universiti Malaya, have established the AUN Technology Enhanced Personalised Learning (AUN-TEPL) Thematic Network with the proposed mission to foster collaboration amongst ASEAN+3 universities to improve student success through technology-enhanced personalised learning.

The three key objectives of the proposed Thematic Network are as follows:

  1. Build capacity amongst participating universities
  2. Serve as a platform for universities to increase collaboration
  3. Promote technology-enhanced personalised learning as a research area

Following the successful launch of the thematic network, a series of exciting initiatives such as symposiums, a webinar series, a resource sharing platform and educational researchers’ community have been rolled out.

For more information on the AUN-TEPL Thematic Network and to sign up as a member, please refer to the AUN-TEPL Website.