20 February 2021 saw the return of the annual NTU Open House, and with Singapore and the world still grappling with COVID-19, the much-awaited event went virtual again this year, but with a more exciting programme and line-up than last year.
Better prepared this year, and with better digital tools on-hand, LKCMedicine made a strong presence by showcasing the best of what the School has to offer through a vibrant line-up of live talks on YouTube and Instagram, Team Based Learning (TBL) demos, live chats, interactive videos and 360 virtual campus tours.
LKCMedicine's microsite was the central hub to the School's day-long programme and was where the School kicked off its morning session with a live stream opened by Vice-Dean for Education Professor Jennifer Cleland who gave a warm virtual welcome to attendees.
Prof Cleland's address was followed by a presentation delivered by Associate Professor Koh Nien Yue, LKCMedicine Assistant Dean for Year 3, introducing LKCMedicine's MBBS programme curriculum, pedagogy, application process and financing, after which Year 5 student Andrew Yap and Year 3 student Angeline Aw waxed lyrical about student life, community and overseas project opportunities, and the School's strong links to Imperial College London.
The session was wrapped up with a lively Q&A discussion generated by questions messaged in from the audience.
With the nation not out of the woods yet with COVID-19, an all-virtual Open House is the right thing to do. A/Prof Koh said, "It's been a great experience. It's great that we've moved forward and away from traditional methods, while maintaining interaction and giving people a good experience."
Keeping the momentum going, the online viewers were next invited to jump into the live TBL demonstration with TBL Facilitator and Lead for Educational Engagement, Mr Emmanuel Tan, who navigated attendees through the forward-thinking student-centric pedagogical approach to medical education at the School.
The demo ran concurrently with a dynamic Live Chat with MBBS students Jeremy Lim, Aiyappan Raksha, Chua Tze Hean, Soon Wei Ze, Oh Sheow Boon, Bryan Yong and Hafez Sorouri on standby to give first-hand knowledge about the student experience and life at LKCMedicine.
The Live Chat team responded instantaneously to a variety of questions. "Lots of people have been asking about tuition fees and scholarships, and bursaries as well," said Bryan. "It's been really useful for the participants to be able to send out links instantaneously, as well as being able to communicate openly our personal experience as students."
He added, "Some of the questions have been about BMAT and personal statements, so it's been helpful to talk (to the participants) through that."
A midday breather provided visitors the opportunity to explore the School further at the Virtual Booth through a fully immersive experience with self-guided explorative tours of the Clinical Sciences Building's star features on levels 5 to 7, including the Learning Studio, Anatomy Learning and Anatomy Resource Centres, Practical Skills Lab, the Simulated Ward and Communications Suite facilities used for true-to-life clinical practice, and the jewel in crown on Level 20, the Medical Library. Browsers could also catch videos from students and faculty giving further insight into TBL lessons, science practicals, anatomy teaching, as well as practical and clinical communication classes in our School facilities.
Diving straight back into the afternoon session, Assistant Dean for Admissions Associate Professor Kwek Tong Kiat, and Year 3 students Sean Png and Joan Li ramped up the second half of the day with a second live talk for those who missed the morning session on YouTube, again touching on the MBBS programme, clinical years in hospitals and polyclinics and life as a student at LKCMedicine.
A/Prof Kwek was particularly enthusiastic about the potential of the virtual format's success in engaging potential candidates. He commented, "Using this format to reach out to (prospective students) and telling them about the School even though we can't meet face to face is something that harnesses and builds upon what we're already very good at as a School." He also said, "We are confident in the product that we have and the students we are producing, and we very much look forward to new students coming to join us."
Sean said of the experience, "It's quite fun being given the opportunity to engage more with prospective students of LKCMedicine," while Joan said, "From being someone attending this kind of talks to actually being part of one is very interesting."
The vibrant online presentation again concluded with questions fielded to the panel from the virtual audience in the closing Q&A, going into deeper details about topics such as the admissions process and training as a doctor in the making, before inviting everyone online to log into another enlightening TBL demo, while the Live Chat opened again for more discussion and rapid-fire questions with our MBBS student volunteers.
In presenting this highly interactive Open House for both NTU and LKCMedicine, our Schools have paved the way for taking a traditionally in-person event to the next level of digital sophistication showcasing the very best of what our institutions have to offer online.
Check out the following video link to view highlights of first-hand virtual tours and the Open House Livestream here