Learning is a lifelong activity. As individuals, we all learn differently. But we all want to learn well, regardless of why we learn, what we learn, and how we learn. Temasek Foundation Innovates’s interest in this area is focused on learning which brings about lifelong skills, and learning in special situations where there may be some specific difficulties. More recently, from our 9th grant call, we have also encouraged research in early childhood development; especially in language acquisition which is a critical skill underpinning many areas of subsequent learning.

Building online platforms to complement learning

Mobile education networked tutoring on request

By Associate Professor Tan Seng Chee, Department of Learning and Sciences and Technologies, Nanyang Technological University
Start Date: 1 November 2016
Status: Ongoing

E-learning platforms have been increasingly adopted by universities to extend and enhance learning. However, there has been a lack of research on the efficacy of facilitating peer tutoring electronically.

Therefore, anew smartphone app – the Mobile Education Networked Tutoring on Request (MENTOR), is proposed to address this. The app analyzes students’ academic performance and questionnaire responses to predict tutoring needs and prescribe suitable peer tutors. The app also matches students’ requests for specific tutoring with tutors of relevant expertise in terms of coursework and discipline. It offers students the choice of remote peer tutoring via their smartphones or face-to-face peer tutoring via the use of location-based services of smartphones. Matched and selected tutee-tutor pairs can arrange to meet at a convenient spot face-to-face or join an ongoing tutoring session at any time and place via MENTOR.

Creating a collaborative healthcare workforce: Designing a virtual hospital for collaborative practice across higher education institutions in Singapore

By Associate Professor Liaw Sok Ying, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore
Start Date: 1 February 2016
Status: Ongoing

In today’s healthcare setting, it has become more common for healthcare professionals of various expertise to collaborate as a team, to achieve the best outcome for their patients. The lack of effective communication among an inter-professional healthcare teams, however, has been identified as one of the causes of medical errors and negative health outcomes.

In response to this, Professor Liaw and her team created a virtual platform known as “Create Real-Life Experience and Teamwork in Virtual Environment (CREATIVE)”, which aims to hone collaboration and communication skills among students across various healthcare disciplines. CREATIVE allows students to practice working as part of an inter-professional team to treat a patient in a simulated environment. The importance of face-to-face interactions is not forgotten, as the CREATIVE virtual reality environment seeks to complement the students’ training.

The project aims to

  1. Portray the learning processes of tutees via remote tutoring sessions offered by MENTOR;
  2. Investigate the efficacy of on-demand tutoring versus scheduled tutoring; and
  3. Examine tutee perceptions of the tutor-tutee matching offered by MENTOR versus the current scheduling approach.

Read more here.

Online Tutor for Engineering Students (OnTEN)

By Professor Gan Woon Seng, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Status: Completed in 2017

The aim of this project was to develop a one-stop online platform for engineering students to complement and reinforce what they learn in school. Professor Gan Woon Seng has created OnTEN, which contains easy-to-navigate and bite-sized review modules for engineering students.

The OnTEN platform provides several features such as the availability of a complete set of review modules on topics taught in earlier courses. Each module has a short description and practice exercises, which students can attempt to solve and receive feedback on. Additionally, OnTEN also includes educational games and videos to supplement learning.

The conclusion of the research has resulted in an online platform that allows the student quick access to fundamental engineering knowledge in a bite-sized format, which coupled with games and videos enables students to boost their confidence and understanding of a particular topic. The development of OnTEN thus encourages students to take ownership of their own learning.

Tracking and Facilitating Childhood Speech Acquisition and Development in the Singapore Context

Dr Chen Jer-Ming, Science Pillar, Singapore University of Technology and Design & Dr Emily Guo, Rehabilitation Medicine, National University of Singapore
Start Date: 1 November 2019
Status: Ongoing

In the Singapore context, factors influencing speech sound development in young children are still not clearly understood, thereby limiting suitable smart strategies available for early detection and appropriate remediation. Healthy speech sound development in early childhood is crucial for effective language acquisition. If not addressed early and effectively, speech sound disorders (SSD) may negatively impact the child’s learning, literacy and socialization. The team proposes to develop innovative speech-tracking Apps, aimed at:

  • developing a Singapore children’s Speech Database, and
  • detecting and classifying (automatically) common speech sound errors to identify causal factors influencing SSD in Singapore children

Consequently, the team will design appropriate interactive game based speech-training Apps to support traditional speech therapy and quantify the efficacy of such “smart” interventions. The research would contribute to establishing the 1st Singapore children’s database of normal and disordered speech sounds, developing new technology for speech screening and training and addressing underlying factors in SSD.