SINGAPORE: A new online learning portal will be rolled out to all schools, from primary to junior college level, by the end of May, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in response to media queries.
The Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) was piloted at 62 primary and secondary schools in August last year, and the portal has been progressively rolled out to other schools in phases since February.
The platform aims to enhance the learning of various subjects including science, history, social studies and mathematics.
Feedback from teachers and students have been positive so far, the ministry said.
English language teacher Lu Suxin at East Spring Secondary School has been using the portal during its pilot phase to teach students how to analyse language and text. She said she has seen improvement in her students’ work since the portal was introduced.
“In the recent mid-year examinations, I saw some improvement in the quality of their answers on how they are able to answer questions and interpret the different literary devices given to them,” said Ms Lu.
One of the features of the SLS is that it promotes self-directed learning. Students can learn at their own pace, revisit concepts and read up on other areas of interest.
Secondary 3 student Ngiam Li Jia at East Spring Secondary School said she prefers the individualised form of learning on the SLS compared to old-school methods of teaching, which sees a teacher-student ratio of 1:20.
“I can log in to the portal any time, anywhere, and I can look at classes again,” she said.
“It also helps deepen my understanding of a subject because it’s a personalised platform. It tells me where I went wrong and what I don’t understand, allowing me to focus on my weaker areas.”
The online portal also encourages collaborative learning through peer assignment assessments.
Students can discuss their answers with other students through the portal and teachers can give feedback and bridge learning gaps.
Feedback and responses are presented in the form of a heat map that consolidates students’ responses and allows teachers to assess their understanding.
The map is colour-coded for efficient monitoring – red means the answer is wrong, green shows the answer is correct and orange signifies that the answer is partially correct.
A red danger sign will also appear if more than half of the students do not get the right answers.
Fengshan Primary School teacher Veronica Guo, who co-designed a common mother tongue language lesson in SLS for Primary 3 and 4 students, said the platform has helped to keep the students engaged.
“For primary school students, we need to get their attention and we need to keep them engaged. The engagement level that students have now is definitely higher when children get to collaborate easily,” said Mdm Guo.
LIMITATIONS OF ONLINE PORTAL
But East Spring Secondary School staff developer Noreha Nordin, who co-designed her school’s lessons, said there are limitations to the online platform.
"We had to link up to a third-party tool like Google Docs in order for groups of students to collaborate in real-time while using SLS. Perhaps in the future, we can see all these tools being incorporated into SLS."
In response, MOE said it will continue to gather feedback from students and teachers and work towards enhancing the portal further.