Students love the pre-recorded videos and found them to be so informative and extremely useful in helping them understand the lesson. They are also able to rewind, pause and repeat videos after a synchronous session until they fully understand the topic.
Since March 2020, when Home Based Learning (HBL) was announced in Singapore for schools, all courses at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), except for the Graduate Capstone Projects, were delivered fully online. With multiple online learning technologies already available at SUTD, lecturers had to swiftly decide on their choice of platform, delivery mode and types of assessment for their courses. This was followed by receiving various trainings to prepare them for fully online teaching. Students were also provided with the necessary assistance by the university and being such digital natives, they quickly adapted to remote learning.
Providing extra help:
Dr. Bina Rai and her colleagues made themselves more available to students during HBL by reaching out and conversing in various ways. This included sending reminders through Blackboard Announcement, personal emails, social networking sites, and making additional recordings to provide clarity on expectations and homework. In addition to the regular remote teaching, Help Sessions were organised to assist students who were inactive and struggling to understand the content in virtual sessions. This allowed them to clarify their doubts and receive further help. For those lagging behind, instructors and teaching assistants sent personal emails to offer personalised assistance in the form of office hours, even on weekends if required.
Reflection and thoughts on the future:
“Going fully online was definitely something no one expected. However, over the past months, HBL has proved to be equally as effective as face-to-face learning in achieving positive outcomes with regard to our students’ academic performance for this course at SUTD. It encourages students to be self-directed and take ownership of their learning, which are important values for tertiary students preparing to step into the working world. But of course, at the moment there is no true replacement for the human connection that happens in a physical classroom and having a blended approach may be a post-COVID teaching model worth considering.