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CRADLE connects with MERSU on potential education research collaborations​

Published on: 17-May-2017

A collaborative research dialogue session between researchers from the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE@NTU) and the Medical Education Research and Scholarship Unit (MERSU) was held last 5th May 2017 at the new Clinical Sciences Building – the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) city campus in Novena. This inaugural exchange of ideas between the two key education research centres within the University was a significant milestone for developing innovative education and learning research for NTU Education.

The event was kicked off by LKCMedicine Vice Dean for Education and Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer, and MERSU Acting Director and LKCMedicine Associate Professor Nabil Zary (who is also a Visiting Professor at CRADLE) introducing MERSU’s role in enhancing medical education through research and scholarship. The dialogue commenced with presentations by CRADLE Deputy Directors and Associate Professors Tan Seng Chee and Annabel Chen, introducing CRADLE’s multidisciplinary fields of research expertise and ongoing projects.

Lively discussions on potential research collaborations that are pertinent to higher education in medicine resulted in five areas of focus.  These include (1) team-based learning (TBL) – the pedagogical approach of choice in LKCMedicine. Research can examine how the approach influences the development of students’ social skills and other non-cognitive learning outcomes. Further studies on (2) technology-enhanced learning (TEL) that are aligned with the University aims to migrate course structures for digital learning. For medical education in particular, virtual reality or app development based on specimen and evaluating the value of technology in teaching can be explored. Stemming from TBL and TEL is (3) information processing - a research area that uses data analytics to filter and analyse students’ questions and inputs.  Another area of research interest is (4) learning through transition. Medicine students go through multiple environment switches prior to full-pledged practice. Exploratory themes under this area include formation of student competencies from formal school to work-based learning such as internship and residence.  Finally, both CRADLE and MERSU see potential research collaboration on (5) knowledge transfer modalities – how knowledge changes from one learning community to another.  Together, these areas affect motivational stages in learning, workforce development, and healthcare learning outcomes.

The afternoon dialogue session culminated strong with potential bridging of research between CRADLE and MERSU. It ended with a tour of the teaching and learning facilities at the newly completed Clinical Sciences Building. The LKCMedicine’s Novena campus boasts of a state-of-the-art auditorium with a seating capacity of 500, a large learning studio, an anatomy learning centre, clinical skills and communication lab, recreational spaces, and a medical library on the 20th floor with a sprawling view of the city.

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