Provost's Message

Provost's Message


Dear Colleagues,

In alignment with the swift pivot to digital instruction catalysed by the pandemic, the University’s Digital Learning Strategy is focused on advancing towards cultivating ambidexterity within both our curriculum and our academic community. Ambidexterity here denotes the seamless transition between face-to-face and digital interactions while upholding SMU's hallmark of a small-class, seminar-style, highly participative learning experience. Our commitment to personalised, collaborative, interactive, and experiential learning remains unwavering.

In 2022, we introduced the University-wide approach to Blended Learning (BL) as part of the overall SMU Digital Learning Strategy. This allowed instructors to allocate a third of total course hours to online learning, a measure enthusiastically embraced by students. This initiative has already made a very positive impact. Based on qualitative comments in end-of-term surveys, student sentiments about BL courses are consistently positive. We also observed higher overall FACETS ratings for courses delivered in BL format as compared to fully in-person ones. In addition, to date, we have more than 100 UG courses and 25 PG courses delivered via blended learning approaches. Given the positive adoption and reception of BL in courses, and the potential positive impacts on course-related FACETS ratings, we are keen to encourage more faculty to adopt this approach. Do please explore using blended learning in your courses. The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is here to support you and offers excellent pedagogical and technical support for faculty through Digital Readiness for Teaching & Learning (DRTL) resources, workshops, as well as individualised consultation services via its team of Learning Designers and Technologists. 

To support effective and excellent teaching more generally, CTE also provides faculty development programmes, teaching innovation initiatives, and funding support. These include the Faculty Teaching Forum and workshops covering instructional strategies, assessment, and technology integration. Faculty members seeking to integrate technology into teaching may find the recently developed systems CARIS and INSIGHT particularly beneficial.

Additionally, SMU’s collaboration with ASEAN universities aims to enhance our educational practice and student success. Since 2020, CTE has co-led the ASEAN University Network (AUN) TEPL thematic network, which has led to inter-university collaborative initiatives such as education research, sharing of digital learning resources, exchange of online courses and credit transfer.

Education research underpins the way we evaluate the various initiatives. The launch of SMU's Education Research Strategy marks a pivotal moment in which we will draw more systematically on research evidence to inform enhancements to our educational practice. The five-year plan (2023-2027) within the Strategy underscores our commitment to advancing the science and praxis of adult learning strategically.

Please do explore introducing blended learning into your courses, leverage new technologies, and collaborate with CTE to design transformative learning experiences. Please support us on our journey of educational innovation.


Warm Regards, 

Timothy Clark


Singapore Management University

provost 2024