(The learning centre team, from left to right: Mr Michael Joyce, Learning Advisor, Pathway Programs; Dr Nimrod L. Delante, Learning Advisor, Degree Programs; Ms Hwee Leng Toh-Heng, Learning Advisor, Degree Programs; Ms Esther Fink, Learning Technologies Specialist; Dr Stanley Loo, Learning Advisor, Mathematics and Statistics Skills)
In September 2019, the Learning Support department at the Singapore campus of James Cook University has been rebranded as the Learning Centre.
This change emerged from a humanistic view of education which is committed to the promotion of holistic student development, well-being, and dignity as the ultimate goal of human thought and action. The humanistic model of education ensures that students receive the right guidance to build their strengths and overcome their weaknesses in order to achieve their full potential.
Dr Nimrod L. Delante, Learning Advisor at the Learning Centre, explains that “At the Singapore campus of James Cook University, we are moving away from the view that students have certain deficits, therefore, they need extensive support to cope with academic demands”.
“As learning advisors, we view our students as unique individuals who have their own strengths and weaknesses as well as hidden talents waiting to be unleashed. We focus on helping them build their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. We advise them to establish and maintain a strong awareness of their identity and self-worth — of who they are and what they are capable of doing.”
Dr Delante underscores the importance of effectively communicating this mission statement. “For instance, we have been proactive in our efforts to recalibrate our messaging within and outside the University. This involves eliminating the term ‘support’ in our speech, posters, advertisements, other documentations and our webpage because such a term is associated with deficit and stigma.”
The Learning Centre team has been actively involved in the strategic decision of the University to create a physical centre located at the ground floor of the library where they can carry out work more efficiently. This centre is ready for occupancy in January 2020.
In November 2019, the Learning Centre also facilitated a learning symposium which created a tremendous opportunity for learning and teaching professionals in higher education institutions in Singapore, to come together and engage in discourse surrounding the identity and role of “learning support”.
The overarching theme of the symposium was “Challenges in providing learning support to students in higher education institutions in Singapore”. Three sub-themes, each presented by a panel of experts, were covered:
- The theoretical and practical underpinnings of learning support
- The thin line between providing generic and specialist support to students
- The role of educational technology in learning support
The symposium helped reinforce the team’s commitment to discovering the best approaches and enhancing pedagogical practices for nurturing holistic student development and well-being.
Overall, the rebranding of Learning Support as Learning Centre exemplifies that the Singapore campus of James Cook University is resolute in providing students with a meaningful, enjoyable and fruitful experience in the University.
Find out more about the Learning Centre here.
Dr Nimrod L. Delante email@example.com
Ms Hwee Leng Toh-Heng firstname.lastname@example.org
Media: Pinky Sibal email@example.com