Two and a half years after the official inauguration of NUS’ Design-Your-Own-Module (DYOM) initiative for undergraduates, the initiative has gained traction and was honoured at the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia 2021, widely known as the “Oscars” of higher education.
One of the MOOCs offered by NUS was “Data Science for Construction, Architecture and Engineering”, conducted by Assistant Professor Clayton Miller from the School of Design and Environment (now the College of Design and Engineering)’s Department of Building.
NUS clinched the award for “Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year”, for the DYOM programme that leverages technology to encourage more independent, self-directed learning among students.
In a statement accompanying the Awards announcement, THE applauded the programme for putting students “at the wheel of their own learning”.
Empowering self-directed learners
Launched in August 2019, the DYOM programme is composed of two tracks, with the option for students to use eight unrestricted elective module credits either in a group or individually.
The programme uses a low-risk “completed satisfactorily” or “completed unsatisfactorily” grading system that gives students the freedom for genuine learning and intellectual exploration without worrying excessively about grades. It instils independence and critical thinking in students and cultivates a knowledge of how to learn that will serve them well as lifelong learners.
One track in the DYOM programme connects students to more than 2,000 massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the edX platform via the NUS learning management system, giving them immediate access to a wealth of expertise from lecturers and academics around the world. These include those from industry-leading companies and top universities such as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tsinghua University and Kyoto University.
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