|One of the most important
tools you are likely to come across in NUS is the Integrated Virtual
Learning Environment (IVLE), a courseware that the University has
designed so you can interact with your peers and lecturers online.
Different lecturers will use this tool in different ways. Below is
a list of activities you may find when you access the online part
of your course and some suggestions on how you might go about participating
in these activities such that you maximise the learning opportunities
The course outline provides information on the prerequisites for
the course, topics, texts, and types of assessment to expect. It
is usually made available early in the course and is useful when
you plan and prepare for assessment.
The course calendar includes class schedules and venues, and schedules
for topics to be covered, assignments and examinations. Some lecturers
will send you electronic class announcements of more current updates,
which you will automatically receive when you login to the IVLE
Discussion forums provide you the opportunity to carry out discussions
with your peers and lecturer regardless of your physical location,
as long as you have access to a computer. Studies have shown that
those who participate in online discussions tend to do better academically
than those who do not. Your level of participation will dictate
how much you get out of these discussion forums. Some lecturers
may try to encourage you to participate by making part of your grade
dependent on your contribution to the discussion.
Some lecturers may set up an online chat room where you can communicate
in ‘real-time’ with the lecturer and other students
in your class. However, to take part in a chat session, you will
need to know exactly when one will be held and login at the right
Online quizzes are usually automated multiple-choice questions
that are marked (usually by the computer) in a few seconds after
you have completed the quiz. The purpose of these quizzes is to
give you instant feedback about what you think you know. It is always
more important to know why you got a quiz question right or wrong.
Better online quizzes may give you possible reasons for why you
got a question right or wrong, and some suggestions on how you might
correct your mistakes. If they do not, then you should seek this
advice from your lecturer or tutor.
Most lecturers will encourage you to contact them if you have
questions or are having problems in the course. For some lecturers,
the best way to reach them is via email. The IVLE template allows
you to send email to your lecturer from the course web page by simply
clicking on your lecturer’s email address in the course outline.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQs are useful starting points if you have questions about a
course. FAQs are usually a compilation of answers to questions that
a lecturer has already anticipated, or a compilation of questions
that past years’ students have asked about the course.
The secret to getting the most out of your lectures, tutorials,
laboratory sessions, etc., is preparation. Some of your lecturers
will oblige your willingness to prepare by giving an outline or
plan of what you can expect to do in each of your classes. However,
these lesson plans are usually skeletons of what will be covered
and therefore are not substitutes for attending and participating
in the class activities.
Having course notes available online can mean that losing handouts,
missing the occasional class, or not having received an important
handout is not the end of the world. However, course notes, as readily
available as they are, are usually not enough to get you through
the course as they do not replace the actual lectures, during which
lecturers will enhance these notes with explanations and examples.