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UniSIM Hosts eLearning Forum Asia 2015

SIM University (UniSIM) hosted the 10th eLearning Forum Asia (eLFA 2015), in collaboration with Hong Kong-based non-profit organisation eLearning Forum Asia, from 17 – 19 June 2015. Organised annually by universities in turn in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, this forum provides a platform for the global academic community to come together to interact, share best practices, network, and advance the application of information technology in teaching and learning. 

Themed Innovations In Education: Responding Intelligently To Diverse Learning Needs, eLFA 2015 took a close look at recent developments and innovations in the education ecosystem, with a view to identify emerging technologies and innovative pedagogical practices that will become the mainstay of the educational landscape in the next decade. Held on the UniSIM campus, the forum attracted over 400 delegates from 23 countries.

In his opening address, UniSIM President Professor Cheong Hee Kiat noted three areas of importance to the advancement of knowledge of the use of information technology in education.

Topmost is quality. Even as the online mode brings much potential for scaling to reach many more, there is a need to ensure adequate quality as academic institutions scale up. Online learning demands new teaching and learning approaches, requires strong buy-in and participation from faculty, and policies and approaches to ensure quality learning outcomes.

Secondly, by strengthening confidence in the efficacy of online learning. While online learning is receiving more positive attention worldwide, academics need to continue to demonstrate and share with people including governments, employers, prospective students and parents how good online learning is.

Thirdly, increasing collaboration among institutions in online learning. This is because collaborative efforts such as the sharing and adoption of good practices, sharing of open educational resources, mutual credit recognition for courses students can take online from partner universities, and staff exchanges to work online learning innovations can elevate the quality, relevance and acceptability of online learning. 

The three-day event saw nine speakers share their approaches to online learning and teaching. Keynote speaker Dr Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the New Media Consortium – a research consortium made up of leading universities, museums and other educational organisations – shared some observations on why universities needed to break the traditional mould and how they could adapt their strategies to cope with a constantly changing landscape. UniSIM's Vice President of Learning Services Professor Wong Yue Kee, who was one of the plenary speakers, shared UniSIM's efforts in providing digital learning content to its students.

The forum also saw 75 paper presenters, with UniSIM represented by 14 paper presentations. Sponsors also presented their forthcoming technological offerings to the delegates during the Vendor Round Table tracks and User Group Meetings.

Professor Cheong Hee Kiat opening the forum with his welcome address.

Dr Larry Johnson delivering his keynote address.

An overwhelming turnout at UniSIM's Performing Arts Theatre during the forum's opening.

The audience listening intently to the presentations.

(From left) Professor Wong Yue Kee presented tokens of appreciation to keynote speaker Dr Larry Johnson and
plenary speakers Professor Franklin Luk, Hong Kong Baptist University; Professor Rosemary Luckin, London Knowledge Lab;
and Professor Perry Samson, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Professor Wong Yue Kee (centre) with plenary speakers Dr Jiang Zhibin (left), Shanghai Jiao Tong University; 
and Professor Kong Siu Cheung, Hong Kong Institute of Education.

(From left) Plenary speakers Dr Kyle Higgins and Dr Randall Boone, both from University of Nevada-Las Vegas,
taking questions from the audience.

An exhibitor showcasing her products to the delegates.

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