New online platform for schools provides a richer learning experience for students

The Student Learning Space is currently being used to customise lessons for individual students in a classroom, encourage collaboration and cooperation between students and allows for a richer learning experience through faster feedback from teachers
The Student Learning Space is currently being used to customise lessons for individual students in a classroom, encourage collaboration and cooperation between students and allows for a richer learning experience through faster feedback from teachers.PHOTO: FENGSHAN PRIMARY SCHOOL

SINGAPORE - A Fengshan Primary School student lacked the confidence to shout out answers in his Tamil class. Coming from a non-Tamil speaking background, he was afraid of making mistakes in front of his classmates.

But, with the introduction of the Student Learning Space (SLS), he was able to do so online rather than orally in front of his classmates. The new online platform helped build his confidence in his studies.

SLS is a learning platform that supports teaching and learning in schools. For example, at the beginning of a lesson a teacher may use the SLS go through answers to questions that students had posted online prior to the lesson. Students will also be able to use the platform to watch videos that aid in their learning, and work together to answer questions. The platform also features games, animations, simulations and quizzes.

It is currently being used in schools such as Fengshan Primary to customise lessons for individual students in a classroom, encourage collaboration and cooperation between students and allows for a richer learning experience through faster feedback from teachers.

SLS will be rolled out to all schools under the Ministry of Education by the end of this month (May 2018).

Ms Veronica Guo Liyan, 37, the head of department of mother tongue at Fengshan Primary, said that lessons could be customised for different learners in a class.

"Those who are slower learners can actually leverage this platform by being assigned a differentiated task. Everybody does not need to do one worksheet," she said.

Students agreed that collaboration or co-creation has  led to a better learning experience.

Aaradhanaa Haridas, 10, a Primary 4 student at Fengshan Primary, recounted how learning was more effective when she and a classmate were able to combine their thoughts and responses to arrive at the correct answer.

Madam P. Theivanai, 39, a Tamil teacher at the same school, highlighted the impact of using the SLS to provide immediate feedback to students.

"Immediately I can correct their (the students') thinking and correct whatever misconception they are having," she said.

The online platform also provides opportunities for self-directed learning.

"It (the platform) is not just providing information," said Ms Fauziah Bte Muhd Fadzillah, 38, a senior teacher of Malay language at Fengshan Primary. "It stimulates thinking in the process of learning."

The use of technology (such as the SLS) on learning will be discussed at the upcoming International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology 2018 (iCTLT 2018) from May 31 May to June 1.