Learn on the go with mobile micro-courses

Senior Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling (centre) meeting Gnowbe founder and CEO So-Young Kang at the launch yesterday. With them are SkillsFuture Singapore CEO Ng Cher Pong (far left) and Temasek Polytechnic principal and CEO Peter Lam.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling (centre) meeting Gnowbe founder and CEO So-Young Kang at the launch yesterday. With them are SkillsFuture Singapore CEO Ng Cher Pong (far left) and Temasek Polytechnic principal and CEO Peter Lam.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Temasek Poly rolls out 60 courses; citizens and PRs can enrol in one for free till June 4

What do digital marketing, food safety, semiconductor fundamentals, oral presentations and counselling have in common?

They are all among the 60 mobile micro-learning courses (MLCs) that Temasek Polytechnic (TP) rolled out for busy professionals yesterday in collaboration with Gnowbe, a microlearning app.

"MLCs allow learning to take place in pockets of free time such as while commuting to and from work, or during break times at work," said TP principal and CEO Peter Lam. "The other benefit of MLCs is that content can be updated very quickly."

MLCs fall into two categories: standalone Certificated courses, and Accredited Suite courses, which give credits for full or partial exemption for modules in TP's diploma or post-diploma programmes. Each MLC comprises 10 to 20 lessons - and each lesson can be completed in 15 minutes. In comparison, traditional courses could span one to four months.

From now till June 4, Singapore citizens and permanent residents will be able to enrol for free in one MLC out of a basket of 34. The course catalogue can be found on the school's website. Additional courses cost between $19 and $89 for the same period.

After the two-month launch period, the module fees will range from $49 to $149. Singaporeans who enrol in the MLCs over the next 12 months can also use their SkillsFuture Credit to offset the costs.

More than 285,000 Singaporeans used their SkillsFuture Credit in 2016 and last year, and over 4,900 people have enrolled in SkillsFuture Series courses as of February this year, said Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Education and Trade and Industry ministries. "This growing motivation to learn and keep up with the rapid pace of economic and technological changes is a good sign," she added.

TP is also working with NTUC to promote MLCs to the United Workers of Electronic and Electrical Industries union and the Hospitality and Consumer Business Cluster.

The Gnowbe app integrates readings, quizzes and reflections, and combines social media-like interaction with its learning.

Mr Lee Wee Li, 55, TP's section head of the Diploma in Aviation Management and Services, was one of the first 300 to enrol. He did a course on the psychology of ageing.

"It's very convenient. I can learn any time, anywhere," he said. "On the downside, you have to have some discipline to complete it as some modules may be a bit dry and you may gloss over them and not pick up the important points."

TP hopes to achieve 100,000 sign-ups by the end of the launch period.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2018, with the headline 'Learn on the go with mobile micro-courses'. Print Edition | Subscribe