November/December 2018

On Technology and the NUS Lifelong Learning Initiative:
Interview with Associate Professor Erle Lim, Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education)

In the second installment of this series on continuing education and training (CET) and lifelong learning in NUS, we talk to Associate Professor Erle Lim, Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education).  A/Prof Lim weighs in on these questions …

  • How do we inculcate a mindset for lifelong learning?
  • How does technology contribute to the lifelong learning initiative?


On Having a Mindset for Lifelong Learning

The right mindset, a sense of curiosity, and passion to learn new things – these are ingredients which motivate us to keep learning not just in our own fields but also in other subject areas.  None of us, A/Prof Lim argues, is uni-dimensional.

“We would be boring people if we just learn our field and do nothing else.  What makes a person educated is his/her curiosity, his/her desire to learn new things, an ability to meet people of  different backgrounds and different fields, and still be able to talk to them and engage them.”


On the Use of Technology Tools for Lifelong Learning

Technology tools, accordingly to A/Prof Lim,

  • connect Pre-employment Training (PET) and Continuing Education and Training (CET) students
  • allow for deeper, more experiential and authentic learning experiences

^To activate subtitles/captions, click on “CC” within the Youtube screen. Best viewed on Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Google Chrome.  


How might these technology tools enhance lifelong learning within a mixed PET-CET classroom?
A/Prof Lim responds as follows:

advantages of using MOOCs, IBLOCs, SPOCs

* MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses, iBLOCs – Internal Blended Learning Online Courses, SPOCs – Single Private Online Courses.

A/Prof Lim on the Mixed Reality Spaces initiatives at NUS
A/Prof Lim on the Maker Movement


The Journey Ahead: Good Teaching Supported by Technology 

CET and PET learners can learn and interact in a common learning space

CET and PET learners can learn and interact in a common learning space

While these tools offer learners new experiences and the ability to learn and be engaged with their course content in different ways, A/Prof Lim also stresses that at the end of the day, even the most innovative technology-activated tools cannot replace good teaching. However, he adds that innovations such as MOOCs and augmented reality tools provide educators and learners different ways of teaching, learning, and digesting teaching materials and content. As he puts it,

“Different people learn in different ways, different people teach in different ways, and we see that these innovations are just part of the teaching tools that we all have at our disposal.”


To catch up on Part 1 of this series, go to this link.


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