On Using Formative Feedback, Virtual Mobile Technology, and Other Classroom Strategies to Engage Learners


In this issue, colleagues reflect on the effectiveness of various learning activities put in place to deepen their students’ knowledge and understanding of course content (within and beyond the existing curriculum), and to build their capacity for critical analysis and self-regulated learning.

For students taking his module on industrial organization, Dr Ko Chiu Yu (Dept of Economics) developed a comprehensive formative feedback mechanism to help enhance the academic quality of the written reports for their research projects. His article charts the implementation of this feedback mechanism over two academic years and its subsequent refinement, where students received formative feedback from both the instructor and their peers at early and intermediate stages of the research project. Dr Ko also discusses how he scaffolded the feedback process, the challenges involved in doing so, and students’ responses regarding the effectiveness of instructor and peer feedback strategies. In her article, Dr Tan Kai Soo (Dentistry) discusses the rationale behind the introduction of a 7-day bridging programme for residents taking the Masters of Dental Surgery (MDS) programme, namely to deepen their knowledge of oral microbiology, immunology and molecular biology. She describes the implementation of the programme in its first academic year, the gaps uncovered during the post-programme evaluation survey, and the refinements put in place to enhance the bridging programme’s effectiveness in meeting the key learning outcomes of the MDS programme.

Meanwhile, Dr Kevin Yap (Dept of Pharmacy) chronicles the process involved in developing a virtual patient record (VPR) mobile application which simulates an electronic health records (EHR) system. The VPR app aims to educate pharmacy students on how to retrieve patient health information from EHRs during their pharmacy practice. He also reflects on students’ perceptions of the app’s effectiveness as a tool to support their learning, and how he plans to refine its existing features. Finally, Dr Satyen Gautam (Dept of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering) and his colleagues discuss the various aspects of industry development in the capstone design project for chemical engineering students and the learning benefits to be gained, including how it gives students exposure to expert knowledge and performance which would give them insights into how “a real practitioner behaves in a real situation” (Herrington & Herrington, 2006, p.5).


Herrington, A., & Herrington, J. (2006). What is an authentic learning environment? In T. Herrington, & J. Herrington (Eds.) Authentic Learning Environments in Higher Education (pp. 1-14). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-59140-594-8.ch001.

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