By Kimberley Wang, Manager, Media and Publications, Communications and Outreach
On 19 February, LKCMedicine had another successful run of its annual Open House. Held “live” as part of NTU Virtual Open House on various online platforms using digital tools, the event provided visitors with an even more interactive experience than in previous years.
Prospective students and their parents saw first-hand the best of what the School has to offer through live talks on YouTube and Instagram, Team Based Learning (TBL) demonstrations, live chats, and 360 virtual campus tours.
Introduced at the Open House for the first time, prospective students got to engage in personalised interactions with LKCMedicine students through live chats in five virtual worlds.
Meanwhile, virtual tours were offered through the interactive virtual gallery featuring venues in the Clinical Sciences Building and Experimental Medicine Building where visitors could interact with multiple multimedia hotspots.
With this exciting and vibrant line-up, the event attracted about 1,000 visitors across the different platforms – similar to previous years’ on-site Open Houses!
Kicking off the full day event, Vice Dean (Education) Professor Jennifer Cleland warmly welcomed the attendees and introduced LKCMedicine’s world-class MBBS programme in a pre-recorded message.
This was followed by live talks on YouTube and Instagram with Assistant Dean (Years 1 & 2) Dr Lucy Rosby andAssistant Dean (Admissions and Overseas Electives) Associate Professor Kwek Tong Kiat who gave the viewers an overview of the School’s excellent medical curriculum and innovative pedagogy. They covered key topics ranging from overseas student electives and international exposure to the admission criteria and application process.
Joining them were LKCMedicine students who spoke passionately about their learning experiences and student life at the School. Ernest Ong (M3) and Hafez Sorouri Zanjani (M2) touched on the pre-clinical years of the programme while Thirrisha Murugan and Amelia Chay (both M4) spoke about their clinical years where they were immersed in the healthcare ecosystem. The students also highlighted how they benefitted from the close-knit OneLKC community.
During the enthusiastic Q&A session, the faculty and students shared thoughtful and detailed responses to the wide-ranging questions from the audience. Some of the queries sent in include the uniqueness of the programme, qualifications for admission into the School, scholarship opportunities, what the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is used for, tips for the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI), and a day in the life of a MBBS student.
On the virtual format's effectiveness in engaging potential candidates, A/Prof Kwek commented, “It has allowed us to still be able to reach out even though there are restrictions and limitations. We feel that with technology, that ability to still get the message across is there. Based on the feedback, it’s a format where people do feel that they are being engaged.”
Said Thirrisha of the experience, “Five years ago, I was also one of [the prospective students] listening to the talk and I remember how much of an impact this can have. I really want them to be able to get the best information that helps them make a decision that will determine a significant part of their future years.”
At the end of each live talk, attendees were invited to participate in a live online TBL demonstration where they could find out more about this innovative teaching approach, which is the School’s core pedagogy.
Led by TBL facilitators, Lecturer in Medical Education Dr Raihan Jumat and Lecturer in Physiology/Medical Education Dr Han Siew Ping, participants experienced for themselves what it was like being in an e-TBL session. MBBS students were on hand to get the discussion flowing on questions related to COVID-19 testing.
After each session, the facilitators and students addressed questions from the participants on team-based learning such as how TBL helps in their learning, how often students participate in TBL sessions in a week, and the challenges that students may face in their studies.
“I observed lively discussions in the breakout rooms. For me, TBL provides an environment to think critically and think deeply, which engages you and get you thinking,” said Year 2 student Lim Rong.
Another TBL student volunteer Purjita Kiruparan (M3) added, “Within a short time, [the participants] were able to experience the sense of bonding and the essence of TBL, which is learning from each other and differences in interpretation, and that was achieved today.”
Throughout the day, visitors could also get “up close” with LKCMedicine students spanning Year 1 to Year 4 through live chats across five virtual worlds.
A new feature for Open House, prospective students got to customise their own avatars and explore booths where they could download brochures, watch exciting videos, and view posters with more information about the School.
Helmed by LKCMedicine students Soon Wei Ze (M2), Esther Tan (M3) and Sean Lim (M4) at the booths, together with their coursemates, they responded in real-time to the visitors’ queries with first-hand knowledge of their experience and student life at LKCMedicine.
To give a glimpse into the vibrant LKCMedicine community, students were also roped in for publicity efforts on social media.
“We wanted to showcase the candid and more informal aspects of life at LKCMedicine from the students’ perspective. And to feature more personalities that are fun and lively and the facilities that allow us to have fun – the not so serious side of medicine,” said student volunteer Phoon Yan Xin (M1).
Despite being held online for another year due to Covid restrictions, the highly interactive virtual Open House tapped on technology to showcase the very best of what the School had to offer and give visitors a dynamic and immersive experience.