Faculty Learning Day 2012

Engaging Students Effectively

Speakers and Abstracts

Topic: Building Community in Online, Blended, and Face-to-Face Environments

Subject matter experts enrich the classroom learning experience by sharing current information and meaningful real-world experiences directly with students. Classroom speakers are generally limited to the pool of experts in close geographical proximity. However, technology can step in as a substitute for travel and greatly expand possibilities, while maintaining the seamless interaction and rich experience for students. In this session, Professor John Boyer and Katie Pritchard will describe techniques to successfully garner top experts – the ones most likely to make the largest impact. They will demonstrate a variety of technology options and share the advantages and challenges of each. Finally, they describe how to incorporate invited speakers within the pedagogy of a case-study approach to foster optimal learning benefits.

Prof. John Boyer, Senior Instructor, Virginia Tech

John Boyer is an award-winning Senior Instructor with the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech, where he has taught ever-expanding courses in World Regional Geography and the Geography of Wine. In the last decade, enrolments have grown from average class size of 50-60 to 550-600, with World Regional Geography now being taught to a record-breaking 2,750 students every fall. Professor Boyer has a B.S. and M.S. in Geography and has been teaching since 1998. He has published textbooks on world geography and wine, developed a graphic novel series, produces podcasts and an educational website for his classes, and actively incorporates all manner of technologies into the classroom in order to increase interaction and learning for the students, and the world.

Katie Pritchard, Technical Assistant, Virginia Tech

Katie Pritchard is a technical assistant with the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech. She specialises in research, incorporation, and implementation of new educational technologies and social media/networking into large and ultra-large classroom formats, with a specific focus on creating teacher-student and student-student interaction opportunities.

Topic: Engaging Students: The Instructor's Perspective - Teaching lor? Or teaching law?

How do we design courses for part-time students that can engage an adult learner? As an educator, Wee Leng will attempt to answer the question by sharing his personal teaching experience in the classroom. During his presentation, Wee Leng will also share his views on what it takes to thrive as a professional academic and educator in an adult learners' environment, and his motivations for teaching and engagement with the students.

Peh Wee Leng, Teaching Excellence Award Winner 2012, School of Business, UniSIM

Peh Wee Leng teaches law modules in UniSIM's School of Business. Over the past 13 years, Wee Leng has been in the education industry as a lecturer and curriculum design specialist. In recent years, he has moved on to take up management roles in Institutes of Higher Learning. His academic background spans three continents – from the US (University of California at Berkeley - BA in Mass Communications) to UK (University of London - LLB), and Singapore, where he completed his graduate studies with an MBA from The National University of Singapore and an MSc in Information Studies from Nanyang Technological University.

Student Panel: Engaging Students: The Student's Perspective

Topic: Reflections on Student Engagement at UniSIM

Leading learning theorists agree that student engagement is crucial to meaningful learning, contributing both to deeper understanding and a positive orientation to lifelong learning. UniSIM is committed to creating a teaching and learning environment which fosters student engagement. On this panel, current students from each of the four schools will share their insights and experiences about UniSIM's learning environment and their views about how this can be further enhanced.


Professor Gopinathan Saravanan, Academic Adviser, Teaching and Learning Centre, UniSIM

Student Panellists

Students: Joey Chin (School of Arts and Social Sciences), Ashlyn Thia (School of Business), Aminah d/o Mohamed Shariff (School of Human Development and Social Services), Chua Teck Sing (School of Science and Technology)