Fourth varsity explores MIT style of teaching

First, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology curriculum.

Next, the MIT style of teaching?

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is exploring the possibility of adapting the American institute's "hybrid approach" of blending online courses with face-to-face classroom teaching.

SUTD provost Chong Tow Chong revealed the plans when asked how he intends to deepen ties with MIT, which helped the Singapore school develop its curriculum. "Let's go beyond curriculum. Let's look at pedagogy collaboration," he said.

Referring to MIT's hybrid approach, he noted:

"Professors can be deployed differently. They can use online modules to teach, and (focus) on encouraging more open discussions in the classroom."

But he added that talks with MIT are still under way and details have not been finalised.

The institute conducts online teaching using the edX platform, which it set up last year with Harvard University using a combined investment of US$60 million (S$77 million).

This enables it to offer massive open online courses - or MOOCs - which are free classes that combine video lectures and other online materials with quizzes and even assignments that may be graded by other students or computer software.

There are now close to 30 colleges on the not-for-profit edX platform initiative, including Boston and Peking University.

Students who use it hail from some 192 countries.

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