CDTL’s First Symposium on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education was, by many accounts, a success! Held on 6 and 7 July, the event was hailed by the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Peter Chen (Senior Minister of State for Education) as “timely” in addressing “the issues of teaching and learning in higher education and also on life-long learning which is becoming an important component of our education system” in the face of globalisation and rapid technological advances.
The two days (plus the pre-symposium workshops on 5 July conducted by Prof James Wilkinson and Prof David Kwan) were jam-packed with many opportunities for both participants and presenters to listen, interact and reflect on the issues and challenges surrounding the theme, Facilitating Life-long Learning. Prof Wilkinson, Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University, delivered the keynote lecture. Other invited lecturers were NUS’s Deputy Vice-Chancellors Prof Chong Chi Tat and Prof Hang Chang Chieh, as well as Prof Kwan (McMaster University) and Prof Peter Jarvis (University of Surrey). Over 70 papers were presented by speakers from NUS, various Singaporean polytechnics and schools, Ministry of Education, and National Institute of Education, as well as Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Squeezed in between were ample teas and lunches, and even a dinner on board the Kingfisher Cruise.
Says Mr Tan Oon Seng, Director of the Temesek Centre for Problem Based Learning, “This symposium reflects in many ways the educational innovations at NUS. I am impressed by the many initiatives such as problem-based learning approaches and the creative use of IT. The international presentations and participation added to the very valuable exchange of ideas and global networking. This is indeed a very stimulating and fruitful conference
—thanks to the excellent effort and organisation by CDTL.”
Adds A/Prof Benito Tan from the Dept of Biological Sciences: “The symposium was generally well organised into various themes and successfully implemented. The various ideas presented were also of practical value and not too theoretical about good teaching. As a participant, I enjoyed very much the two days and benefitted greatly from the many talks presented. I especially like, and learnt a lot about good teaching, from the ‘Reflections on Teaching’ session offered by the best NUS teaching awardees.”
So for those who relished this occasion, and for those who unfortunately missed it, there is good news: Please look forward to CDTL’s next TLHE Symposium!