Engaging Learners in Online Asynchronous Learning (OAL)
2023-09-13, 08:40– (Asia/Tokyo), 4F Large Conference Room

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology-enabled learning in many educational institutes to allow students to continue their learning despite the closure of the physical campus. One of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's responses to technology-enabled learning is to leverage Flipped learning where students learn content via Online Asynchronous Learning packages (OAL) independently and apply that knowledge during In-Person learning (IPL) sessions on campus.

This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of OAL to engage learners using Learner-centered Learning (LcL) design to allow for muti-faceted feedback, use of gamification element, collaborative learning, opportunities for application of learning in OAL and the use of OAL features such as multimedia-rich resources and ease of access to learning in the Learning management system - Brightspace learning management system (LMS) environment.

The study adopted a mixed-method approach, which included an analysis of the student's perception of their engagement level with learner-centred OAL designs as well as data generated from the LMS. The results showed a significant increase in learner engagement in the OAL especially in learning activities such as discussion forums and quizzes. Feedback from students on the use of badges as a form of reward was generally positive, and they appreciated the weekly consultation hosted in the Bongo virtual classroom. The study provided reflections and insights into the effectiveness of the features and learner-centred approaches. One suggestion is to include different tiers of badges for different levels of participation as well as a system to exchange badges for rewards to further incentivise the students. For future enhancement, the author is considering further dividing the learning content into more manageable bite-size segments and exploring text-based AI, which could engage students in extending their learning.

The study concludes positively on the effectiveness of the features and learner-centred approaches used in engaging learners in OAL and highlights the need for future research on the OAL implementation in courses and the efficacy of the platforms used.

The pandemic has led to an increase in the use of technology in education, and two diploma courses at Ngee Ann Polytechnic used flipped learning with Online Asynchronous Learning (OAL) to train engineering students to work collaboratively and learn independently. This study investigated the effectiveness of features and learner-centred approaches in engaging learners in an OAL environment. The study used a mixed-method approach and found that the OAL features and learner-centred approaches increased learner engagement, and student feedback were positive. The study also highlights the need for future research on the implementation of OAL in courses and the efficacy of the platforms used.


Student engagement, Online Asynchrounous Learning, flipped learning

See also: Full Paper

Hock Wei serves as the assistant director at the School of Engineering, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, where he spearheads the advancements in teaching and learning innovation. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering (Hons) and a Master of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering). In addition, he completed his Master of Education programme with the University of Melbourne in 2020. Hock Wei has been teaching embedded systems programming to both full-time students and adult learners since joining Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 2013 and has strong project interests in IoT, web, mobile and cloud technologies.