Connecting Dots Across Asia's Tech and Urban Landscape
Connecting Dots Across Asia's Tech and Urban Landscape

SMU Hosts The Inaugural ASEAN University Network-Technology-Enhanced Personalised Learning Symposium Online

The Singapore Management University (SMU) hosted the inaugural ASEAN University Network-Technology-Enhanced Personalised Learning (AUN-TEPL) Symposium on 27 February 2020. Originally scheduled to be held at SMU comprising many overseas educators from the AUN+3 network, the symposium was moved to an online platform so more could access and participate in it. A total of over 100 educators from 51 universities signed up for the half-day symposium.

The inaugural Symposium marks the launch of the AUN Thematic Network on Technology-enhanced Personalised Learning (TEPL) and SMU is leading this initiative together with partners Mahidol University and University of Malaya. The Symposium aims to bring together like-minded educators from universities in the ASEAN region to share and discuss best practices in the use of technology to bring about personalised learning and to seek opportunities to collaborate in inter-university projects. It featured a series of presentations by speakers from various ASEAN Universities and beyond, covering a wide range of topics such as learning analytics to enhancing student learning through technology.

According to SMU Provost, Professor Timothy Clark, “The Symposium is the first in a series of symposiums that will allow all member universities of the network to build capacity and knowledge towards TEPL. It is a concrete step towards collaboration among the AUN members, and I am delighted that SMU is leading this very important initiative together with our partners Mahidol University and University of Malaya. It is my hope that the creation of this thematic network gives us additional impetus to reach across borders and consider research collaborations in the area of TEPL.

In order to address a situation where students and faculty may be absent from campus for a period of time due to Covid19, we have put a significant number of course and assessments online ensuring that no one misses out on their education. This has been presented a number of challenges, but I am delighted to say that Faculty and students have responded positively to these changes. At SMU, we have undertaken a large-scale exercise in technology-enhanced personalised learning and I envision SMU to be a thought leader in this area, leading the AUN-TEPL thematic network in rallying members in thinking and collaborating on strategic approaches to improve student success.”

Vice Provost (Undergraduate Matters) and Professor of Information Systems (Education), Venky Shankararaman gave a preview of some of the exciting tools that SMU had been developing.  His keynote presentation on “Learning Analytics for Enhancing Student Learning Experience” touched on how learning analytics, if used effectively, could enhance curriculum design, and both live and online learning sessions. He shared how three SMU projects addressed three areas of application of learning analytics: analysing student performance and providing personalised feedback; analysing student feedback in order to adapt content and delivery; analysing live presentations and discussions to provide personalised feedback.

In addition, other SMU faculty members such as Associate Professor of Accounting (Education) and Associate Dean (Teaching and Curriculum) Seow Poh Sun and Assistant Professor of Information Systems (Practice) Tan Kar Way shared their research and teaching approaches in the areas of games and simulations, and automatic assessments respectively, to leverage personalised learning strategies.

Chairman of the AUN-TEPL Thematic Network, Associate Professor Lieven Demeester, also facilitated a brainstorming session to crowdsource ideas for sharing of digital TEPL resources within AUN. Leveraging a mobile web-based classroom response system, he was able to solicit ideas on how to encourage AUN instructors to find, use, review, endorse, and share digital resources that can enhance learning.

More details on programme, speakers and topics can be found at the website:

The second symposium will be hosted by the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and the third by Mahidol University in Bangkok. In August, a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by the three universities – SMU, Mahidol University and University of Malaya in KL. The MOU is intended to provide a framework which will allow the Parties to foster collaboration among the ASEAN universities to improve student success through technology-enhanced personalised learning.

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