At SMU, the pedagogy is about engaging students in:
- seminar-style learning, where students, guided by the instructor, ask questions and share knowledge by participating in class discussion;
- experiential learning, where students solve real-world problems with the instructor as a facilitator, and the industry partner as a mentor; and
- online learning, where students use technology tools (e.g. discussion forums, webinars, learning platforms, digital resources such as videos, animation, games, simulations), to make learning personalised and collaborative.
The two guiding principles to deliver the SMU pedagogy are to:
- get minds to meet, where the instructor engages students with authentic issues (through a study of a real case, or interact with real-life business or societal problems); and
- leverage on distributed cognition, where the instructor respects the diversity and experience of students and sets expectations for them to be responsible for contributing to learning.
The instructor engages students to participate in different types of conversation (discussions / debate / dialogue). Due to the dynamic nature of engaging students, the role of the instructor becomes dynamic and interchangeable (lecturer, facilitator, coach). Here are some factors to consider:
- Do you create adversarial or collective camps?
- Do you suspend judgement or advocate your views?
- How does interactive pedagogy build critical thinking skills?
To answer these questions, check out the sections on the (a) types of conversation and its purpose in promoting learning, (b) use of icebreakers to build social presence, and (c) ways to initiate and sustain discussion using questioning strategies.
Learning spaces such as seminar rooms in tiered seatings, flat classrooms, and learning labs with flexible seating and tables are designed to support the SMU pedagogy. Most of these rooms have a seating capacity of 40-50 to encourage interactive learning among students. The outcomes of the SMU pedagogy are for our graduates to be critical thinkers, collaborators, and problem-solvers. To this end, several units have come together to support faculty members in delivering the SMU pedagogy. In particular:
Last updated on 26 Apr 2017 .