Online Learning To Complement Conventional Classroom Learning

It was reported by Channel News Asia on 16 August 2017 that Singapore’s Ministry of Education would be launching an online learning portal next year to complement conventional classroom learning. Currently being piloted at select primary and secondary schools, the “Singapore Student Learning Space” will ultimately cover all schools including junior colleges and tertiary institutions in Singapore. I was exhilarated by this wonderful initiative, which is a testament to the government’s constant efforts in bringing innovations to education, which many Singaporeans like myself attach great value to. According to the Channel News Asia article, the benefit of this new online learning portal can be three folds:

A Platform Hosting Rich Resources

The Singapore Student Learning Space will provide an additional platform for students, school teachers and private tuition like economics tuition teachers alike to find rich and reliable resources to complement their classroom learning/teaching. The various subjects covered include English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, among others. I hope with the portal fully operational in 2018, it will be able to cover a wider range of subjects to become the choice portal by students of various levels whenever they need to turn to internet for information relevant to their school subjects.

Make Learning More Interactive and Engaging

The portal will introduce students to a wide spectrum of interactive resources. These include not only videos and animations, but also games and quizzes to make learning more interesting, interactive and engaging. Furthermore, the materials will follow closely the national curriculum and incorporate real-life elements. It is proven to be highly relevant and effective by many private tuition including economics tuition and science tuition teachers to follow closely the MOE curriculum and relate to real-life problems whenever possible.

Source of Reference for Teachers

The portal can become a useful source of reference for teachers who can make good use of the high-quality, interactive materials available on the portal when designing their own teaching materials. Hopefully, they can also take inspiration from there to make their own teaching more fun and engaging.

With private tuition as a popular choice among local students and parents, how will the online learning portal impact the private tuition business?

Positive Impact

The private tutors too, be it English tutor or economics tutor will have access to the quality materials on this portal. With access to a wider range of reliable materials, the economics tutor, for example will be able to enrich and enhance their teaching. An economics tutor can also refer to portal to make their teaching more fun and engaging with the use of interactive teaching materials and real-life examples.

Negative Impact

Like private tuition, the online learning portal is also a way to complement classroom learning. Some effective self-learners will find less of a need to resort to private tuition if they can make good use of the online materials available to reinforce their grasp of the various subjects. In terms of economics tuition, as economics is currently not covered by the portal, the students and their parents will still find private economics tuition offered by their economics tutor relevant and necessary. An economics tutor will also be able to value-add by offering customized teaching to each of their students.

Looking at its positive and negative impact in entirety, it seems for economics tuition at least, the positive impact outweighs the negative impact. Same as the way international trade boosted global economic development which students have learned at economics tuition, I believe by allowing free access of its resources online, the portal will also greatly contribute to the development of local education in Singapore. The immediate effect will be on the quality of teaching and learning. In time to come, it will also have an impact on the teaching methodology adopted by school teachers and private tutors like economics tutor which will ultimately benefit our students in the future.

Linda Geng

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