Category Archives: LumiNUS Hacks

A showcase of LumiNUS Hacks

Assess students prior knowledge to identify misconceptions

Activity type:  Feedback, Student Learning 

Tool(s) used:  LumiNUS Quiz, Readings, Weblinks

Prior knowledge is necessary for learning, hence it would be a benefit if faculty are able to assess their students’ prior knowledge of a subject before they start their introduction of the subject in class.

Using a simple quiz (LumiNUS Quiz) with multiple choice questions, faculty can quickly gauge their students’ knowledge level. For instance, you could have a short quiz at least two days before the lecture asking students to identify new concepts or distinguish between various new concepts in the assigned readings.

Provide support for assignments

Activity type: Assessment, Communication, Collaboration

Tool(s) used: LumiNUS Files, LumiNUS Forum

Week 1:
During the first week, the facilitator provides the class with an introduction and overview of the assignment, essay or proposal that is to be prepared by students.

Week 2: The students take this time to think through their proposals, while the facilitator helps them with their queries

Week 3: Students submit their draft proposal through the discussion forum (LumiNUS Forum). Students from the class peer review at least three draft proposals submitted by their peers. The facilitator also participates in the discussion and gives his feedback. However, the facilitator gives time for other students to give their comments before he intervenes with his comments.

Week 7: During week 7, all students submit their sections 1, 2 & 3 through the Students Submissions available in the LumiNUS Files. Students are paired up to review their peer’s work. Each student submits their peer reviewed back into the Students Submissions section. The facilitator then review both the draft poposal and the feedback from the peers and gives his feedback allowing students to further improve on their work.

Week 13: Students then submit their final assignment (1,000 – 2,000 word essay) through the Students Submission section of the LumiNUS Files.

This way the students benefit a lot and are able to critically evaluate and improve on their assignments effectively.

Engage students or gather data

Activity type:  Communication, Feedback

Tool(s) used:  LumiNUS Poll

Intersperse “Opinion polls” to engage students using the LumiNUS Poll.

This terrific activity enables you to gather short snippets of data that can be for conducting “real-time” research on student learning in the classroom setting. It is beneficial for students in helping them understand course concepts.

This will also allow students to reflect on their understanding and thereby contributes to the improving of their exam grades.

5-minute chats before or at start of class

Activity type:  Communication

Tool(s) used:  LumiNUS Chatroom

A five-minute chat before or at the start of a class gets EVERYONE talking right away and gives the faculty member a quick sense of students’ understanding of a topic
The chat could be done based on groups with the facilitator joining in different chats
Chats could make references to a specific assignment due that day

The chat sessions can be easily archived and enables the facilitator to revisit the chats

Provide feedback on peer’s presentation

Activity type:  Feedback, Collaboration

Tool(s) used:  Multimedia, LumiNUS Forum

Students view the video recorded session uploaded in the multimedia
Students do a peer review with another student assigned in a forum and provide feedback on areas identified
Tutor will review the feedback and give final comments in the forum

Variations to using the video is to use audio clips

Enhance students’ understanding of topics

Activity type:  Understanding student learning

Tool(s) used:  Readings, Web links, LumiNUS Forum

Post reading articles online weekly
Create question(s) in discussion forum(s) based on reading articles – for specific topic
Students discuss using the forum before face-to-face class ( 1 week duration)
Discussion moves  from discussion forum to face-to-face class

Extend real-time class discussions

Activity :  Communication, Collaboration

Tool(s) used:  LumiNUS Forum, LumiNUS Chatroom


  • Divide students into groups to discuss on different issues related to a topic in class. A variation could be to ask groups to further discuss using the LumiNUS chat room.
  • Summary of the group discussion is posted on the discussion forums
  • Class discusses each group’s inputs/comments
  • Allows for review/re-visit/continue  discussion

Course glossary with pictures

Activity to promote:  Content Creation

Tool(s) used:  Glossary, LumiNUS Files

Create a glossary which features works of your students – where a student defines a term along with a picture to illustrate. Also ask your students to give references to the pictures origins.

Allow your students to submit the entries to the LumiNUS  Files and then you can setup the glossary.

To allow students to add to it, rate entries and make comments on entries.

Be sure to educate students regarding copyright issues

Using chats to debate with other students

Activity to promote: Communication, Evaluation

Tool(s) used: Chatroom

Language students can use the “Chat” feature to debate with another student. Multiple chats are created for students. Each chat will have 2 students who will debate in the language being learnt.

Chat transcripts will be viewable to all so the teacher can evaluate the debate and the students can evaluate their own debates. This also allows for other students to view other students’ debates.

Another variation to this is to take those chat transcripts and give them to the students who were debating and have them evaluate and edit any mistakes and hand in again.

Setting up individual Chatrooms may be tedious.

Ice Breaker for ALL, get to know your fellow students

Activity to promote: Communication

Tool(s) used: Forum

This activity is designed to encourage students to get to know each other in an informal and fun way.

Each student (and the course facilitator) is asked to enter three statements in the forum, two truths and a lie about themselves. Everyone is then asked to guess which is the lie.

It’s an amazing experience and generates huge discussion amongst peers as to which are truths and lies. For instance in an online course with 25 students this generated over 300 forum entries and was an invaluable resource in the formation of an online community.

Just one warning, if you feel the need to respond to each student you will spend a lot of time doing so. The upside to this is that once generated, the forum takes on a life of it’s own, and you can leave it to the students to keep the ball rolling without significant input yourself.

Reading student entries to this forum can give you invaluable information regarding the likelihood of problems ahead.