• Mae Lim

Undergrads Pick Up Research Skills Via E-Learning

A new e-learning module was developed for undergraduates enrolled in ASL10A Academic Discourse Skills course in July 2020. Over 100 students in the course completed the 10-lesson module over a 2-week period between August and September 2020. Responses to the in-house designed online learning module had been very positive.



One of the pre-requisite competencies for a successful undergraduate career is the ability to identify, find and use relevant, appropriate and high quality academic or scholarly material. However, new undergraduates may not be sufficiently equipped with this set of skills.


Over the last 6 years, co-ordinators of the ALS10A Academic Discourse Course had been collaborating with the Library to integrate literature search skills workshops into this core course. At the start of the semester, librarians were typically invited to the classes to introduce new students to the resources, tools and strategies needed to conduct effective literature searches.


The COVID19 pandemic, subsequent lockdown, and re-opening of schools ushered in a new way of learning. With the adoption of a blended learning mode from August 2020 after the lifting of the Circuit Breaker, the library was presented with the opportunity to go online with our library workshop.


Working with the Programme Co-ordiator, Dr Anitha Pillai, librarians from the Learning Services team developed a self-paced elearning module to replace the in-person workshops conducted by librarians.


Targeted at beginning scholars, the module aimed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge in conducting literature searches. Comprising 10 lessons including units on how to identify scholarly publications, what are the sources of academic research, research strategies as well as basic citation skills, the interactive module was launched in August 2020.


Over 100 undergraduates in the course completed the online module in two weeks between August and September 2020.


Here’s a look at the feedback gathered from 100 students in a post-course survey.


Over 72% of the respondents "Strongly Agree" with the survey statements:

The course content was informative.

I am able to use what I have learnt in this online learning course.


Some comments gathered in the survey included:


"Informative and relevant."


"A very well-made website, good to navigate and very informative. It made me realise that I actually am not very efficient when I did research in the past."


"Thank you for this! It was very easy to use."


"Very informative! I will definitely put this knowledge to good use!"



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