JCU and Pearson partnership rethinks education to deliver interactive learning
As online and blended learning becomes more prevalent, James Cook University in Singapore has been working with Pearson to make learning more engaging and accessible.
James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore has partnered with the world’s leading learning company, Pearson, to deliver an advanced online learning experience for students. After all, concerns over the coronavirus pandemic demanded a rapid shift to digital learning in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Professor Abhishek Bhati – Campus Dean and Head of Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at JCU in Singapore – said, “JCU academics, in collaboration with Pearson’s learning designers, jointly developed a range of synchronous and asynchronous content to enhance student learning experience by providing professionally-curated eLearning.”
November 2020 saw nearly 600 learners across the JCU Singapore Business School and School of Health and Social Sciences engaged in this heightened approach to online delivery.
Mr Mark Sturman, Business Development Director at Pearson, said, “During the rapid transition to online learning due to COVID-19, JCU in Singapore – being a progressive university – engaged Pearson to apply an innovative approach that would provide a more engaging and sustainable online experience for their learners; a stark contrast to the oft-implemented series of live-streamed/pre-recorded videos in place of the classroom lecture. JCU subject matter experts paired with Pearson learning designers, steeped in evidence-based learning design principles and innovative approaches, to create engaging online asynchronous learning – significantly increasing student engagement and the impact of the education.”
Indeed, the key to learning in a virtual environment is interactivity. To integrate more interactivity into JCU’s virtual lessons, Pearson sought to add more engaging activities such as videos with embedded quizzes, reflective journaling, discussion forums and drag-and-drop activities. In addition, students also receive automated feedback in activities, so that they can swiftly react and improve their work as well as have ownership over their own learning process.
What’s more, information is divided into smaller, digestible portions, and key themes throughout the subject connect with each other, allowing the content to be absorbed more effectively and then reinforced through the activities. This approach enables more frequent validation of the learning, and can alert educators to step in where necessary.
Dr Jagdeep Kaur Sabharwal, Lecturer in Psychology at JCU in Singapore, said, “Redesigning the subject to make it ready for self-paced learning encouraged me to revisit my approach to teaching and learning. I actively sought new and innovative ways to deliver online subject content so that the student learning experience could be kept intact in a fully online environment. Following a learner-centred approach, I designed subject content in a way that learners would engage and interact well with the learning materials to acquire meaningful knowledge. Collaborations, discussion and feedbacks were embedded in the subject design so that the students would have an enjoyable and engaging learning journey.”
“As an academic professional, this has been a transformational experience for me. I now see value in creating a community of engaged learners using digital learning technologies – which are here to stay.”
Students have expressed positive feedback towards the enhanced online learning experience, with one student sharing that it offers “much more freedom and focus on the topics that are important.” They also mentioned that the self-paced learning helped them become more responsible and organised in their learning – allowing them to speed up and slow down their learning, as well as revisit study materials, to fit their preferences – paving the way for students to absorb information more effectively.
About James Cook University
James Cook University Australia offers pathway, undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the Singapore campus of James Cook University. www.jcu.edu.sg
Find out more about the Singapore campus of James Cook University.
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Pearson is the world’s learning company with more than 22,500 employees operating in 70 countries. Pearson provides content, assessment and digital services to learners, educational institutions, employers, governments and other partners globally. https://www.pearson.com/en.html
Pearson: Mark Sturman firstname.lastname@example.org