At the Vice-Chancellors direction, the former Centre for Educational
Technology was renamed the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning
(CDTL) in February last year. I am pleased to report in this first issue
of the Centres newsletter that the past year has been an interesting
and productive time.
The Centre was given an extended brief with the change in name. In addition
to providing technical support and facilities, it became the hub for promoting
excellence in teaching and learning. Good teaching has always been highly
valued and expected at NUS; what is notable is the increased and increasing
attention to enhance learning. As the University prepares to move into
the next millennium, it reiterates its mission "to excel in teaching
and research and contribute to the nations development". Recognising
that a world-class university cannot neglect its primary function of delivering
a sound and high value-added education, the recent exercise in strategic
planning chaired by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Hang Chang Chieh identified
among six major thrusts the enhancement of NUS as a centre for quality
education and the spearheading of continuing higher education.
With the guidance of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Chong Chi Tat, to whose office
the Centre reports, CDTL aims to contribute to the Universitys goal
of ensuring excellence in teaching and learning while sustaining a vigorous
research programme. In its first year, the Centre has put in place a fairly
extensive programme to support the NUS academic community. We now provide
more frequent induction programmes so that so that all new staff receive
some guidance at the outset and are encouraged to obtain on-going support
from a series of workshops conducted in small groups and designed with
a good deal of "hands-on". Workshop topics have included the
- Instructional design
- Encouraging interactive learning in large group teaching
- Optimising small group teaching
- Oral communication skills
- Developing lecturing skills through micro-teaching
- Assessments and examinations
- Dealing with difficult teaching/learning scenarios
- Effective use of OHP transparencies
- Video production and editing
- Multimedia software production
- Computer-based printing and imaging
- Introduction to staff self-access facilities
Multi-image slide programming.
To contribute to an environment conducive to reflective teaching practice,
CDTL provides various platforms for discussion and experi-ence-sharing.
During the past year, monthly seminar and dialogue sessions were mounted
on the following topics.
- Producing high value-added students
- TQM: Does quality matter?
- Strategies for teaching critical thinking
- Obtaining and using feedback to improve teaching
- Strategies for graduate research and supervision
- Maximizing the use of the computer for teaching and research
- Computer-aided lecturing: Principles and examples
- The Internet and interactive multimedia: Applications in the development
of teaching and learning at NUS
Video post-production editing.
In addition, we have setup newsgroups to facilitate electronic exchange
of views and ideas. We also continue to disseminate literature on teaching
and learning issues.
CDTL is in the process of setting up student/ learning support services
and facilities. We currently offer an on-line university foundation skills
module and hope that with additional manpower, we will be able to provide
more structured and personalized support for students, especially those
with learning difficulties, as well as training in skills that augment
The Centre is actively exploring and developing new methodologies such
as alternative teaching and learning approaches that promote thinking
skills, autonomous and lifelong learning habits and innovative modes of
assessment. Working with the Computer Centre, we are spearheading the
use of IT as a teaching and learning tool.
As evidenced by the articles contributed to this inaugural issue of CDTLink,
University staff have strong interest and expertise in educational development.
With this in mind, we hope to stimulate interest in, and provide support
and funding for, active research in this area. Classroom observations,
innovations in teaching methodologies and exploration of new paradigms
are all potentially significant bases for valuable research.
Guided by a collaborative rather than prescriptive ideology, we welcome
input from all staff. Indeed, in the past year, we have drawn greatly
on support and participation from various quarters: the Vice-Chancellor,
Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads and fellow teachers. I would like
to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you, and to ask
for your continued support, so as to enable CDTL to serve this community
of scholars in its pursuit of excellence.