Learning Innovation Festival (LIFE) 2018

The Learning Innovation Festival (LIFE) is an annual event that celebrate innovation in teaching in SMU.

Formerly known as the Teaching Innovation Week (TIW), the LIFE event usually spans 3 - 4 days during the months of September and October.

During the event, faculty members are invited to share with their colleagues about their involvement and their latest innovations in technology enhanced learning (TEL) initiatives.

In recent years, CTE also invited other centres, the SMU library and external partners to share their contributions to TEL.

LIFE also hosts the sharing sessions from the nominees of the SMU Innovative Teacher Award and SMU-X Award.

The next LIFE event will be held in late 2020. More details will be announced in the near future.



The first day of LIFE saw presentations from key members of the SMU community who shared about their plans for meaningful impact on (and of) SMU students by transforming them through the SMU educational experience.

CTE Director Assoc Prof Lieven Demeester opened the event with a talk on CTE's role in creating meaningful impact on teaching and learning at SMU. Video -- Slides

Asst Prof Aidan Wong outlined SMU's new Core Curriculum and how it generates learning outcomes for both existing and new students. Video -- Slides

Prof Venky Shankararaman shared the SIS model for transformative education and some of the tools he and his colleagues use to enhance teaching. Video -- Slides

Prof Paulin Straughan shared how graduate learning outcomes will be measured in the enhanced credit-bearing community service and internships. Video -- Slides

Colleagues from the SMU Libraries shared how they adopted various pedagogies to teach students about research and the library resources at their disposal. Video -- Slides

The day closed with Prof Rick Smith and Assoc Prof Pascale Crama sharing LKCSB’s vision and plans to transform learning through The Future of Management Education Alliance (FOME) partnership model. Through this alliance of like-minded business schools, SMU aims to provide high quality business education with global reach through collaboration and pooling of resources. Video -- Slides


On day 2 of LIFE, faculty members and staff who had developed digital resources with the support from CTE and IITS shared how they use technology to blend in-class and online learning.

Asst Prof Terence Fan (LKCSB) shared how he used Power Simulation (developed by CTE) in his strategy class. Video -- Slides

Prof Gary Chan (SOL) gave a walkthrough of Mind the Drone, a Virtual Reality simulation that puts students in the shoes of a plaintiff in a law of torts case.
Video -- Slides

Colleagues from the SMU Libraries gave a talk on how they integrated game-based learning with GameLead, a gamification app, and a physical board game – The Publishing Trap Game. Video -- Slides

Asst Prof Ivy Lau (SOSS) shared how she utilized eLearn’s LEAP tool to perform analytics on her students’ learning path. Video -- Slides

Ms Sumathi Krishna (CEC) and IS480 students shared how they have worked together to develop Power Grammar, an app to make learning grammar fun for CEC’s Programme in Writing and Reasoning course. Video -- Slides



Day 3 saw the Innovative Teacher Award nominees take centre stage as they gave an overview of how they apply innovative approaches to teaching and learning and impact students.

Assoc Prof Marcus Ang (LKCSB) creates videos to illustrate concepts and graphical solutions, and leverages online quizzes to provide automated feedback. Video & Slides

Asst Prof Fang Xin (LKCSB) uses Capacity, an online simulation (developed by CTE) to teach capacity planning and management. Video & Slides

Senior Lecturer Low Lay Chin (SOA) utilizes interactive videos and active learning techniques to reinforce learning. Video & Slides

Senior Lecturer Hong Bei, Hailey (SOE) uses a series of self-developed short videos and chunked e-learning materials to help students learn before class. Video & Slides

Asst Prof Tan Kar Way (SIS) integrates games, real world applications, reflections, analytics and personalized learning in her course design. Video & Slides

Asst Prof Hiro Saito (SOSS) applies a mindfulness-based approach in his teaching to increase students’ metacognition and to cultivate good habits. Video & Slides

Prof Locknie Hsu (SOL) uses real-life scenarios to establish content relevance, and encourages intellectual curiosity in her students. Video & Slides

This was followed by a series of presentations from our SMU-X Excellent Teacher Award nominees, who shared their approaches, challenges, and impact of their courses.

Dr Patrick Tan (LKCSB) uses the Business Model Canvas Framework in his Business Capstone course. While students face challenges in dealing with complexity and ambiguity, some of his challenges include grading and managing clients’ expectations. Video & Slides

Assoc Prof Gary Pan (SOA) and Prof Venky Shankararaman (SIS) co-teach Accounting Analytics Capstone. Gary shared the challenges and positive outcomes of the group projects. Venky provided insights on the course design principles and framework of faculty’s roles. Video & Slides

Assoc Prof Ho Kong Weng (SOE) shared how his students are required to apply interdisciplinary knowledge to analyze issues related to the family and the society, and the key learning points they gain from their projects. Video & Slides

Assoc Prof Chen Siyuan (SOL) shared how he collaborates with the alumni and industry partners to effectively train student teams to achieve excellent track records in international moot competitions. Video & Slides

Senior Lecturer Rani Tan and Adjunct Teaching Mentor John Chen gave an overview of the experiential learning activities students go through in Leadership and Team Building, and the positive impact of students’ projects. Video & Slides


On the final day of LIFE, representatives from LKCSB EdTech (Blended) Initiative, SOA and IE-SMU MBA Programme took centre stage to share how they leveraged blended learning effectively in their respective courses and programmes.

Ms Aarthi Sridharan, Project Manager, and Assoc Prof Pascale Crama, Academic Director for the FOME Alliance Blended Learning Initiative, shared LKCSB’s approach in developing and scaling fully developed online and blended courses. Video & Slides

Asst Prof Tracey Zhang and Senior Lecturer Katherine Yuen shared their strategies in using learning objects, such as animations and videos, as part of their flipped classroom strategy to provide students with self-paced learning content before classes and to follow-up with active discussions in class. Siu Ho Fung, 3rd year SOA student, also shared his insights as a student who has benefited from the use of such videos. Video & Slides

The session closed with Asst Prof Aurobindo Ghosh sharing how he leveraged blended learning to reach out to his students in his SMU IE-MBA programme course. Through the effective delivery of his lessons via a video conferencing platform and engaging them in online discourse via discussion forums, his students were able to connect and collaborate seamlessly across countries.  Video & Slides

cte [at] smu.edu.sg ( )cte [at] smu.edu.sg ()

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