ALSET Mid-Year Update (Letter from the Directors)

Dear ALSET Community,

With the summer break behind us and the semester now in full swing, we’d like to update you on some key developments at ALSET in the first half of 2018.

First off, we made considerable progress in building our community, which now includes over 40 faculty from a wide array of disciplines, as well as a growing set of internal and external partners. Bound by our collective interest in the rigorous evaluation of educational practices and policies, we look forward to driving major advances in the learning sciences and educational technology research.

In our Discovery Research Unit, which focuses on basic research on learning processes and technologies, we welcomed Joshua Gooley as our new Research Theme Lead in the Neuroscience of Learning. He will work alongside our other theme leads, including Jessica Pan, Tuan Q. Phan, and Patricia Chen, to envision and drive novel research projects. Our researchers will be supported by Alexandre Biotteau, our new Discovery Research Coordinator, and Teck Kiang Tan, our resident statistician.

In our Translational Research Unit, which focuses on applied research and educational technologies that provide insight on how learning happens in the classroom, we welcomed Kevin Hartman as our Translational Research Coordinator. He will be working with Chris Boesch, ALSET’s Deputy Director in charge of the Unit, to support deployment of ALSET data and technologies, including the ALSET Educational Data Lake. We also welcomed Laksh Samavedham as our new Research Lead for Translational Research Technologies, a role that will involve identifying and organising faculty interested in leveraging our translational research capabilities.

In our Educational Unit, which manages courses and other activities that help learners to learn better, we appointed Fun Man Fung as Assistant Director. We are now gearing up to launch ALS1020 (Learning to Choose), a new course on the fundamentals of decision making and cognitive bias. This follows the successful 2017 launch of ALS1010 (Learning to Learn Better), which examines recent research and longstanding wisdom from the field of learning science.

In other news, we recently won a grant from the Institute of Adult Labor (IAL), a division of SkillsFuture Singapore, to develop an automated recommender system for course and career options that help adult learners to navigate an increasingly complex and competitive job market. ALSET Directors Bob Kamei and Min-Yen Kan will serve as the PIs on this grant. Even more exciting, IAL has expressed interest in setting aside funds for further ALSET research on workforce development, so expect more projects in this area soon.

We look forward to continuing our work together in 2018 and beyond. This includes pulling together multidisciplinary teams to apply for grants that leverage ALSET resources, such as the ALSET Educational Data Lake, statistical capabilities, translational research technologies, and other services. If anyone you know is interested in joining our ranks, feel free to pass along our Faculty Intro for details on the benefits and levels of membership available. For further information, please visit the ALSET Website or reach out to any of us directly.

Best,

Bob Kamei
Associate Provost (Education) and Director, ALSET

Chris Boesch
Deputy Director (Translational Research), ALSET

Min-Yen Kan
Deputy Director (Discovery Research), ALSET