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Running a Master’s Program During Lockdown

  • by Hyper Island Asia

When COVID-19 hit, the challenge for us in the education sector was something that needed to be embraced. At Hyper Island Asia, we had to put our students and staff first in order to create the best online experience.

Jarrod Howe, Global Director of Academic Affairs Jarrod Howe, Global Director of Academic Affairs

In Singapore, we were given guidelines to follow by our authorities immediately. In April 2020, the Singapore Ministry of Health, the Singapore Ministry of Education, and the Council for Private Education (CPE) announced a series of measures in response to the global pandemic. To be precise, all Institutes of higher learning were instructed to:

“Conduct programmes via a virtual classroom or e-learning, and ensure that the required quality in training/assessment delivery, appropriate trainer to learners ratios, effective facilitation, and quality student learning experience are maintained in this revised mode of delivery.”

Redesigning our master’s learning model to shift online

With the health and safety of our students, staff, and loved ones as our top priority, we embraced this challenge and made provisions for the transition of our Master of Arts in Digital Management Program from its usual on-campus, face-to-face delivery model to a blended mode of delivery based on the distributed learning approach.

Source: “Distributed Learning: What’s in a word?”

Hyper Island embarked on an academic redesign journey that would free us from the constraints of Fixed Time and Space for learning (which was not allowed during this period of time) and moved us into the exciting world of variable learning, where content can be delivered remotely, across geographical barriers, through synchronous collaborative online learning.

We created a unique online distributed learning experience for our students that incorporated the following elements:

  • Guided Pre-Course Activities
  • Self Study E-Learning Pack
  • E- Lectures
  • Guided Online Group Collaborations & Reflections
  • Guided Post-Course Activities
  • Online Consultations and Feedback Sessions with the Module Leader and Programme Manager
  • Individual Research Assignment

Ensuring the best learning experience for our master’s students

Our Academic Team worked hard to ensure the best learning experience possible for our students by stress testing and quality assuring our Learning Designs, Tools & Resources, and Assessment Design.  We were guided by the following principles through the design process

  • Focusing our design on “learning by doing” rather than on content delivery (as in our face-to-face programme design)
  • Using peer-to-peer interaction and learning groups to support effective team collaboration and working
  • Providing students with a reliable archive of notes, slides, session recordings and discussions which they can access online
  • Using industry standard tools that go beyond learning and support team communication
  • Incorporating new facilitation methods (such as polling) to support online components
  • Encouraging staff to experiment (and evaluating these experiments) with new blended approaches that might include data, automation, gamification, simulation and large scale learning communities

Hyper Island has so far successfully delivered our Master of Arts in Digital Management Program utilising the online blended/distributed delivery model. Applications for 2022 Master's program is open. Find out more here.

Tagged with: MA

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