An Integrated Approach to Teaching First Year Diploma in Bioelectronics

An Integrated Approach to Teaching First Year Diploma in Bioelectronics

A. Hong, P. Sing, T. Joo, T. Ping, C. Teoh (2007).  An Integrated Approach to Teaching First Year Diploma in Bioelectronics. 12.


The traditional and widely used lecture/tutorial/practical (L/T/P) format of teaching was seen to be not as effective as desired. Student learning was artificially divided into 3 separate sessions – one where new material was taught, another where problems were discussed, and yet another where practical skills were learnt. Often these sessions were taught by different faculty members, resulting in a lack of continuity and fragmented learning.

It was also recognized that students learnt deeper when practical examples could be introduced early to reinforce theory taught. These could come in the form of real world applications, a design exercise or project work. This was of particular importance in the first year where content taught was more theoretical in nature as opposed to the more application based modules in the later years.

In addition, it was important that staff could highlight disciplinary linkages between the different modules so that students could be given a holistic picture of Electrical Engineering as soon as possible. This was difficult as different staff taught the different modules.

When the Diploma in Bioelectronics started in 2005, a pilot-run to make use of an Integrated Approach to teach a sizable portion of the first year curriculum was proposed. The L/T/P sessions were integrated into one. 3 technical modules totaling 405 hours were “combined” and assigned to one staff to teach. Lesson time was extended to 4 hour blocks so that staff could have more time to experiment in the way they taught. 

At the end of the academic year, students from the pilot-run sat for the same sessional examination papers as those from other courses who were taught in the more traditional approach. The results obtained showed that students in the pilot-run did better than expected.


Authors (New): 
Au Siew Hong
Peh King Sing
Tan Hua Joo
Tsui Ping
Christopher Teoh
Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore
Integrated Teaching
Project based learning
Lesson Structure
Bransford J. D., Brown A. L. & Cocking R. R., Editors (1999). “How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School”. National Academy Press. Washington D.C. : 
“Problem Based Learning especially the context of large classes”. Retrieved on 15 April 2007 from 
Au Siew Hong & Stefan Mozar (2000). “Is Present Engineering Education Relevant for the 21st Century?” Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Symposium 2000, 6-7 July 2000, Singapore: 
“Chapter VII Independent Learning, Understanding the Common Essential Learnings – A Handbook for Teachers”. Retrieved on 15 April 2007 from 
Chow, Patrick (2006). “Master-Disciple Programme”. Journal of Teaching Practice Vol. 2006/07, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore: 
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