November/December 2017


As we approach the end of the first semester of AY2017/2018, we thought it timely to focus this second issue by reflecting on the current semester.  The reflection may lead to a review of or a tweak in our curricula, teaching/learning materials, assessments, or approaches.

  • Has my module achieved its intended learning outcomes?
  • Based on the assessments, to what extent have my students learned what I had intended them to?
  • How effective has my teaching approach been?
  • What are some areas in the module that I should maintain and what are some that I could strengthen to enhance student learning?

These are some questions we might ask as we look back on the semester and as we prepare for the next iteration of the module that we teach.


This issue of CDTLink shares a few practical suggestions on documenting reflections. While there are other resources on reflections, we thought to draw from some of the works led or contributed by scholars who visited us in recent months.

  • In her workshop on evidencing teaching, Prof Denise Chalmers, our 2017 Educator in Residence (EiR), advocated the use of “reflective course memos as a good way to document and summarise changes made to course content” (CDTL, 2017; Chalmers & Hunt, 2016).
  • In an issue of Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education (TLTHE) in which Prof Peter Felten is one of the founding Advisory Board members, Prof Theresa Tensuan shares excerpts of her weekly blog (Tensuan, 2011a; Tensuan, 2011b).
  • In the second issue of Teaching and Learning Connections, a newsletter published by the Hong Kong University’s Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), of which Prof Grahame Bilbow is Director, Dr Kennedy Chan reflects on using formative assessment practices to better attune to the learning needs of his students (Chan, 2016).
  • Besides the use of a course portfolio for quality reflection on teaching (Bernstein, Brunett, Goodburn & Savory, 2006), Prof Dan Bernstein shares the use of an eclectic approach of trial and error, action research, and methods grounded on learning theories in enhancing student learning (DeAngelis, 2003).


Here, we would also like to share some examples of reflections on teaching written by colleagues within and beyond NUS.  They are as follows:

  • individual reflections embedded in the portfolios of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), Kansas University
  • collections of reflections at CTE, Kansas University
  • a sharing through the blog space on Teaching Matters, University of Edinburgh
  • individual reflections by Fellows of the Higher Education Academy in the blog Talking Teaching
  • a recent initiative, SoTL Blog, by the Centre for English Language Communication (CELC) where colleagues share their views on a teaching and learning issue


Apart from doing a systematic query about how our modules went, reflections on our practice could potentially form part of the narrative for the development of our teaching portfolios.

In line with this, we are pleased to highlight the series of Developing a Teaching Portfolio workshops in November/December 2017 in addition to another iteration of the Teaching Assistants’ Programme (TAP) in December 2017.


Participants of the TAP (July 2017) preparing for their micro-teaching project.

Until we meet again in 2018…



Bernstein, D., Burnett, A.M., Goodburn, A., & Savory, P. (2006). Making Teaching and Learning Visible: Course Portfolios and the Peer Review of Teaching. Bolton, USA: Jossey-Bass.

Chalmers, D. & Hunt, L. (2016). Evaluating teaching. HERSDA Review of Higher Education, 3, 25-55. Retrieved from

DeAngelis, T. (September, 2003). A case study in scholarly teaching. American Psychological Association, 34(8). Retrieved from

Chan, K. (2016). Learning to be a better teacher: What can a novice teacher educator learn from his students through engaging in formative assessment practices? Teaching and Learning Connections, Issue #2. Retrieved from

Tensuan, T. (2011a). A semester in the life: Reflections of a faculty member. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 1(1), 1-6. Retrieved from

Tensuan, T. (2011b). A semester in the life: Reflections of a faculty member. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, 1(2), 1-9. Retrieved from


Workshops to Enhance Teaching

Developing a Teaching Portfolio Developing a Teaching Portfolio walks participants through the process of

  • identifying characteristics of quality teaching
  • reflecting on teaching and its impact on student learning
  • developing a teaching philosophy and a teaching portfolio based on relevant and sound evidence

Find out more…

Teaching Assistants’ Programme

The Teaching Assistants’ Programme (TAP) aims to enhance the Graduate Teaching Assistants’ knowledge and skills in facilitating collaborative learning and a growth mindset.


Find out more…




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