A volunteer stint spent with primary school children gave Mr Edison Wu the impetus to further his studies.
Having worked in the wealth management sector for a decade and presently in the private banking industry, his job scope includes handling the onboarding programme for new hires, training employees on front-end processes and assessing the training needs of the business.
Mr Wu realised he wanted to take up a higher degree while he was teaching financial literacy to children during a volunteer stint. This desire to improve his competency was cemented by his experience in conducting training to bankers and receiving positive feedback from the learners on his training delivery.
“To me, lifelong learning is a self-motivating desire to develop knowledge or skills one has passion in. The learning journey itself is more important than the outcome,” he said of his decision to enrol in Master of Arts in Professional Education (MAPE) in Training and Development at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore).
COMPREHENSIVE IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
To Mr Wu, the NTU association with the MAPE programme was a significant draw. “NTU is a highly regarded institution in Singapore. Its emphasis on quality education attracted me to this programme,” he said.
Furthermore, the MAPE programme has several unique features that make it stand out from other professional training qualifications. It offers experiential components focused on applying learning in authentic workplace contexts, and the development of specialised skill sets such as coaching and mentoring in the workplace.
Ensuring that students have access to the newest research and insights, the MAPE syllabus incorporates the latest developments in theories of learning from a learning sciences perspective. It provides ample opportunities for students to understand the theories and practice of technology-enhanced learning.
For those who are unable to commit to a full Master’s programme, some courses within MAPE can now be taken individually as Modular Graduate Courses, which can be stacked up to qualify for an NTU MiniMasters qualification, or further accredit towards attaining the MAPE.
Courses available from MAPE include E-learning Tools for Training, Programme Evaluation Models and Methods, Training Methods and Strategies, and Instructional Design Models and Practices – all of which are designed to benefit students like Mr Wu who work in dynamic organisational environments.
BEST IN CLASS
According to Mr Wu, the most striking aspect of his MAPE experience was the diversity of learners, as the students all came from different industries. He said: “It allowed me to see perspectives from many different angles, as well as tap on fellow peers’ experience, which is invaluable to me.”
He was also impressed by the NIE NTU faculty, whom he described as “one of the finest in the world”.
“They are very sound on the technical side and are able to design and implement an all-encompassing curriculum,” he explained. “They have a strong and enduring collaboration with other reputable institutions to value-add to the students’ learning.”
These collaborations gave him and several classmates the chance to participate in the EdMedia Conference, an annual event on innovation in education, in Amsterdam last year. “As part of the presenting team of four, we showcased our project The Global Library of eLearning Tools - GLeLT Portal.”
He also presented an essay on conducting problem-based learning in large groups at the 2017 NIE NTU Graduate Student Conference.
During this hectic time, Mr Wu was thankful for his partner, who was fully supportive of his studies even though it meant less family time.
Having to assimilate back into an academic environment after leaving school years ago was also a challenge. Thankfully, Mr Wu thrived with the help of his cohort peers. “We kept one another up to date on upcoming deadlines, exchanged constructive feedback and helped one another to buy dinner when we had evening classes,” he said.
Becoming part of the MAPE network was an unexpected bonus for Mr Wu, who said that even after graduation, his former teammates continue to share interesting information about learning with one another.
“What I learnt at NIE NTU is instrumental in diversifying my instructional strategies,” he reflected. “This has a major effect in boosting my training quality, allowing me to communicate more effectively to my target audience.”
Looking back, Mr Wu added that he has no regrets enrolling in the MAPE programme. “It is designed to extend the boundaries of your craft, test the rigour of your knowledge and help you achieve the next level of your potential,” he said.
For information on NIE’s Modular Graduate Courses, visit nie.edu.sg/mgc. For information on NTU MiniMasters, visit nie.edu.sg/minimasters. For information on other programmes, visit nie.edu.sg/gpl/hd.