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  • Case Study - Republic Polytechnic
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Introduction



 
Republic Polytechnic (RP) is the fifth polytechnic in Singapore. The education at RP is wireless and paperless. Learning and necessary interaction is done electronically through the wireless IT infrastructure of the campus. RP has a unique way of learning. The students use Problem Based Learning (PBL) to learn concepts and theories from solving problems.

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The use of IT


Daily routine

 Here is an everyday routine that every RP student has to go through:

  1. Login to RP's VPN (virtual private network) to assess the school's wireless internet connection (Current they have stop using VPN and use computer's firewall to connect instead)
  2. Using a web browser,  login to LEO (Learning Environment Online) to download Problem Statements (Microsoft word)

    (Screen shot of Learning Environment Online)
  3. Find information from the internet (Internet explorer or Mozilla Firefox)
  4. Answer questions on worksheet (Microsoft word) with researched information
  5. Create a presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint) to present the research information to the class
  6. Upload PowerPoint  (Microsoft PowerPoint) and worksheet (Microsoft word) to the team folder (LEO)
  7. Facilitator will present the 6th presentation(Microsoft PowerPoint) to class
  8. Do online quiz (LEO)
  9. Do peer and self evaluation (LEO)
  10. Do Reflection Journal (LEO)

(Where students download daily problem statements, do quizzes, do peer/self evaluations, Upload powepoint presentation slides, do reflection journals and see grades and facilitators' remarks)

Administrative purposes

Every part of the students' daily routine in RP has to be done by using ICT. Students also use ICT for important administrative purposes.
This includes:

  1. Module registration
    • At the middle of every semester, year 2 and year 3 students have to fill up an online form to select the modules for the next semester.
  2. Specialisation registration
    • At the end of year 2 (for courses that allows you to choose specialisations), students can choose their specialisation through an online form.
  3. Final year project registration
    • Before every final year project, students can register the team members and select the project from the list of available projects from the Final Year Project website.

      (Final Year Project Website for School of Information Communication and Technology (SIT) students. Web link: https://fyp.sit.rp.sg/)
  4. Professional Profiling (PP) registrations and submissions
    • As RP does not have attachments, students were required to complete a module called Professional Profiling (PP).
    • PP is to profile a subject/topic, addressing functional aspects of a company, business, technology, industry sector, strategic issue/problem, case study, or an area of a fundamental, industrial or an applied nature.
    • Students are required to register their PP scope and submit their PP report online.

      (PP registration form for student to fill up for their project)
  5. Results and Creative Engagement(CE) Points on Student Administration Support System
  6. Students can view their academic results the Student Administration Support System.
  7. CE is also another module to replace attachments.Students get points from talks and activities that related and non related to their diploma. To complete the module, they have to collect 40 CE points = 30 active points + 10 passive points. Students can keep track of their CE points with the system.

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Advantages


The total use of IT has many advantages. No paper is wasted for printing notes, worksheets or tests papers as everything is digitalised. Thus, the campus is environmentally friendly. Students do not need to speed money on buying books or any reading materials as everything can be found in LEO. The knowledge of the students is not confined in books or lecture notes as other information can be found from internet resources. There is better communication between teammates as well as facilitators because they can be found on instant messenger as well as email most of time in RP. As students are required to have a laptop, they are more efficient in using IT as their advantage as well as tech-savvy.

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Disadvantages


Students are reliant on technology because of its convenience. This will give students opportunities to plagiarise works of other students and seniors who have done the modules before. As information can be found on the internet, students can just plagiarise from internet resources and presented as their own without fully understanding the information.If a student does not know how to judge or evaluate the credibility of a source, the student will spend time gaining useless knowledge. As the campus is wireless and paperless, students will be affected badly when the wireless is down or having a blackout. As some computer viruses can be spread through hard disk and thumb drives, these viruses can be spread very easily from laptop to laptop. In addition to that, facilitators' thumb drives which has the virus can pass from class to class.

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References


http://www.rp.sg/about/why_diff/it_supported_learning.asp

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