Category Archives: Session: Talk

Proposal for a session in which you offer to lead a group discussion on a topic or question of interest.

Computer models and simulations in higher education

Computer models and simulations have been used to aid complex real-life negotiations such as the Law of the Sea Conference ( Simulations have also been developed to facilitate the teaching and understanding of complex topics such as climate change ( In this particular case of the Climate Change Negotiations Game, a traditional role playing exercise has been greatly enhanced with the use of a computer simulation. I will like to explore how we can increase the use of computer models and simulations in higher education.

In the coming academic year, I will be working with a student (as part of a UROP project) in developing a computer simulation exercise that can be used in a negotiation workshop that I conduct outside of the formal curriculum for students at Tembusu College. As such, I will like to

(1) “TALK” about the contexts in which computer models and simulations can supplement existing teaching pedagogies and their effectiveness, and

(2) brainstorm on how we can structure a computer model and simulation aided activity into a class with specific teaching objectives. I hope to find collaborators who are keen to “MAKE” and prototype a simulation that will fit into a one-day teaching session to introduce students to the issues in complex multi-party negotiation.

If you are keen to participate in a session of this kind, please contact me at

I am also keen to participate in all forms of experiential learning activities that tries to introduce an element of “technology” into the activities as I am also exploring creative uses of technology that can be incorporated into experiential learning. Hopefully, this can help to spark off ideas that I can use for other seminar classes that I teach at the college.

Teaching with “Non-Technological” Technologies

The technological revolution in higher education is regularly promised but, like flying cars and jetpacks, seems to be always just on the verge of arriving. MOOCs and DOCCs, flipped or virtual classrooms, screencasting, and e-learning dominate the current landscape but in previous decades typewriters, projectors, educational television, and CD-ROMs brought with them renewed promises of a pedagogical paradigm shift.

Often this revolution is portrayed in terms of technological interventions, additions, and disruptions in what is taken to be a non-technological space. But hasn’t teaching always been technological? Were not abacuses, writing slates, ink pots, and blackboards technologies with their own particular scripts for scholastic action? Are not both books and e-books technological aides?

In truth, technologies have always been a part of teaching but we seem to spend much less effort reflecting on the influence of these outmoded methods than the potential impacts of Udacity [1] or Minerva University [2, 3]. The purpose of this session is not to assess whether or not revolutions in teaching tracked technological innovations, nor to embrace or thwart new revolutions. Instead, we will explore the contention that anachronistic technologies offer particular values that cannot or should not be superseded by hi-tech solutions. We will look at the pedagogic values of lo-fi technologies, slow technologies, and ‘non-technological’ technologies. What does the ‘low tech’ classroom offer an educator and a student?

If you would like to participate in this session, email me at .






Try out classroom exercises

In my teaching, I would like to develop more classroom exercises. I am particularly interested in exercises that can be used for one of two things:

(1) to give students a taste of how one might look at, problematise and analyse, certain artefacts, phenomena or cases. I am thinking of the exercise devised by Robert Martello and Jonathan Stolk to introduce their course The Stuff of History (Olin College) which brings together history of technology and materials science. The version I experienced at one of Olin’s summer workshops a few years ago had us (in small groups) choose an item from a big pile of heterogeneous stuff and examine it by comparing the material composition and societal impacts of this modern artefact with those of an ancient counterpart.

(2) to create an experience that ‘brings home’ something of importance for the class and/or individual students in it. I am thinking, for example, of role play as a way to get students to break away from the constraints of being themselves when exploring an issue from multiple perspectives.

For this proposed THATCamp session, I would like to bring one of my classroom exercises to try out on, and critically evaluate with, other participants. The exercise will be for the interdisciplinary seminar on ‘Fakes‘ which I’ll teach again later this year with students at Tembusu College, National University of Singapore.

I would also like to be a participant in classroom exercises others wish to try out.

If you are keen to participate in a session of this kind let me know ()! We can then think about what time limits to set for the exercises, flesh out what kind of critical evaluation would help us improve them, etc.