As a chemical engineering sophomore back in 1985, Laksh Samavedham’s conceptions of teaching and learning were heavily influenced by the ideas of Professor Richard Felder (whom he finally met in 2007) after reading his “Random Thoughts” column in the journal Chemical Engineering Education. He has since adapted and implemented various ideas and teaching approaches proposed by Felder (NCSU), Phil Wankat (Purdue), and Donald R. Woods (McMaster).
Besides basing his classroom practices on theories grounded in the learning sciences, Laksh has engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) at local, regional and international levels. He talks to various audiences hoping for positive change in how teaching and learning (in STEM fields) happens at Universities. His recent work has focused on higher education in the Philippines where he designed and coordinated a project funded by the Temasek Foundation (and supported by NUS) to help the University of Philippines build capacity in order to transform their pedagogical practices for the new century. He has also helped BITS Pilani (India) start their own Teaching and Learning Centre and engage in scholarly teaching practices and SoTL. He has tried to plant the culture of scholarly teaching practice, blended learning, and best assessment practices in many other higher education institutions in India, and hopes to continue doing so for the near future. His other passion involves working with schoolchildren from around the world to help them utilize systems thinking and modeling as a way of understanding and solving complex problems.
Laksh is the winner of many teaching awards (including the NUS Outstanding Educator Award in 2006) and research awards (Pan-Canadian Petroleum Award, DuPont/PapriCan Research Excellence Award). He has authored more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed top quality international journals and presented over 125 conference papers, including 10 keynote talks at international conferences. Within NUS, he has participated in recent education reform initiatives for the General Education modules, the Residential Colleges’s module programmes, Technology in Education and Engineering Education.