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Implementing Technological And Pedagogical Advances In Very Large Group Teaching

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



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Page Numbers

6.561.1 - 6.561.14

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Wang Chien Ming

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Mohamad Ridwan

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Ang Kok Keng

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Section 2793

Implementing Technological and Pedagogical Advances in Very Large Group Teaching

*Ang Kok Keng, **Wang Chien Ming, and *Mohamad Ridwan *Center for IT and Applications, Faculty of Engineering **Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning The National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260


The current paper describes some new technological and pedagogical advances that were implemented in the teaching of a course module EG1104 Statics to about 1400 students. The module was taught at the National University of Singapore as a first year common course for all engineering students as well as some cross-faculty students in the first semester. Besides the push by the government to develop “thinking” students and the general consensus by employers on the weakness of analytical, evaluating and planning skills shown by fresh graduates, some changes were carried out in this module in order to make a shift in the teaching paradigm from that of transferring information to that of processing information. In addition to the documentation of the specific techniques and details with regards to these advances, this paper will further provide an analysis of the feedback by students and staff, which shows the various merits in employing the techniques concerned and how they can be further refined for greater effectiveness.

1. Introduction

Over the last decade, many educators have come to realize the limitations of the traditional paradigm of education that implicitly views the primary goal as the effective transmission of knowledge content. In fact, as far back as 1916, Dewey, in his book entitled, Democracy and Education [1], presented a critique of the aforesaid paradigm. As an alternative, he offered what he called “progressive education”. He consolidated his earlier findings in 1938 when he wrote another book, Experience and Education [2]. Many other authors have similarly highlighted the many shortcomings of the traditional way. One example is Gardner who, in his book, The Unschooled Mind [3], describes how otherwise competent college students do not “really understand” what they have learnt, even when showing a high degree of ability in solving standard textbook problems.

The Singapore Government, through the Ministry of Education, has collated many complaints from the employers about the quality of the graduates from its institutions of higher learning. It was reported in a major local newspaper how most graduates are seen to be lacking in creativity and initiative, are awkward, uncertain and vague, and unable to work independently, preferring to be spoon-fed and hand-held by their supervisors. There is a growing trend from the alumni and employers alike, who want graduates to have more than just a sound grounding in the fundamentals of the subject as detailed by Woods [4].

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Ming, W. C., & Ridwan, M., & Keng, A. K. (2001, June), Implementing Technological And Pedagogical Advances In Very Large Group Teaching Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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