Temasek Poly launches mobile micro-courses for learning on the go

Temasek Polytechnic has rolled out mobile micro-learning courses for busy professionals in collaboration with Gnowbe, a microlearning app.
Temasek Polytechnic has rolled out mobile micro-learning courses for busy professionals in collaboration with Gnowbe, a microlearning app.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

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

These are just some of the mobile micro-learning courses (MLCs) that Temasek Polytechnic (TP) rolled out for busy professionals on Thursday (April 5) 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 chief executive Peter Lam. "The other benefit of MLCs is that content can be updated very quickly."

The 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. Each lesson can be completed in 15 minutes. In comparison, traditional courses could span one to four months.

TP has developed over 60 MLCs. 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 are 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 credits in 2016 and 2017, 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 Education and Trade and Industry at the launch.

"This growing motivation to learn and keep up with the rapid pace of economic and technological changes is a good sign," she said.

"More Singaporeans are recognising the need to adapt and build up strong capabilities."

TP is also working with the National Trades Union Congress to promote MLCs to the United Workers of Electronics and Electric Industries (UWEEI) 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, an approach that has reportedly seen a tenfold increase in engagement. Gnowbe founder So-Young Kang called it the world's largest mobile-first content library.

About 300 pilot participants have already signed up for the MLCs. TP hopes to achieve 100,000 sign-ups by the end of the launch period.