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Lesson Blog

Year after year teaching EN105A, I have learned and adjusted the ways I utilise this blog to assist me and my students.  Lesson blog usually started after my first lesson but this time, I decided to start early because I have increase interest from students to kick start idea generation and research before the start of the course.  So it is important for me to set some perspectives so that students who like to or have to (due to timely seizing of opportunity) start early know where the boundaries within and without are. 

Reading Students' Blog

posted 6 Feb 2011, 18:16 by Roderick Chia

Having been reading all the blog of various groups, I think it would be good to express some thought as a reference for all, especially to those that I didn't leave any comment on their blog.

I enjoy seeing blogs that are well updated and are doing so in a regular manner. They give me a sense of progress in the groups and I'm comfortable that things are moving, even though they may or may not be smooth. Some blogs are torturing to read.

Eg. No update for about 2 months then suddenly put up many entries in retrospect. Worse when the entries may not follow strictly in chronological order of events. I was totally lost in perspective of space and time trying to make sense of what I read. I also saw blogs that students griped about having to manage so many things at a time such as CCA and other projects. Sincerely, while this is kind of interesting to note but those information are totally useless for me. Actually, I'm not allow to take this into any consideration at all. If one choose to over commit oneself, it is one's choice. Every decision has a price. If the price is low grade due to under performance of project, so be it. Accept it and be responsible for the initial decision to over commit.

Sense of Urgency

posted 20 Jan 2011, 22:27 by Roderick Chia

I once learned from a friends, who is also my business partner, a quote of wisdom that I always remember.  He learn that during his navy time being the commander of the ship. He said, be a paranoid is peace time and stay clam in war time will ensure you are always ready for war. Yes, while the war is not on, everyone of us must be very paranoid and behave as if war is coming. Work very fast and take care of all possible pitfall so as to address them early. But once war started, a paranoid mind cannot think; you cannot be a "kan cheong spider" not knowing which legs to move forward. If you have already done what needed to be done and be well prepared for adversity, what needed is to stay clam and make decision on the fly. 

However, sad to say, I don't see such attitude in most of the students. I see them very relax and wasted their time during peace time. I don't see much sense of urgency at all. The meeting detail on 22nd has been posted for sometime already yet, a day before the meeting, I see less than 50% actually login to practice using the tool.  What worse is that basic instruction like putting a photo to their profile is also not well followed. Is it so difficult to get people to follow simple instruction? How are the youth of today going to survive in this competitive world with China and India having low cost, hard working and intelligent workforce?  With the rising of those super nation, will our future be optimistic given the poor attitude of our current youth?

Please wake up and don't stay in dream land. There are still lots of work to be done.  You'll enjoy the fruit of success in due time if you put in effort beyond and way above the tolerance level of the men in the street. Not only that, you also need to sustain these energy of at least 10 years. Thomas Alva Edison once quoted, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!”.  In En105A, I need to see "sweat and blood" because that is what needed in the real world out there.  You are fortunate to do it in the comfort of the University setting where towel and bandage are within reach so it is less hard when you fall. Don't waste this opportunity and work hard for your venture.

Duties & Responsibilities

posted 20 Jan 2011, 08:57 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 20 Jan 2011, 09:25 ]

For any venture to have resounding success, all members of the team must take their role and responsibility very seriously.  As long as there are members that don't take responsibility at their top priority, conflict within the team may arise. I was very disappointed that there are participants emailing me to request permission to be excused for the 22nd Jan's meeting! The schedule has been published long ago and everyone knows that this is an official lesson.  How would any intelligent person (being a student of NTU) aspect me to agree to an excuse of absent like "working somewhere" or "overseas with no internet connection" etc.

If the lesson on 22nd Jan is to be at NTU, everyone would have to be there officially and physically. Having it online is already consider a wellfare because you can even do it at home in the comfort of your pajamas or overseas at your home town etc. without missing a lesson.  What I expect, at least from those that have problem with the timing, is to provide a work around solution to ensure that the meeting still goes on smoothly. 

Please show me that you are mature individual that we can trust and that you take your duties & responsibility VERY SERIOUSLY and also be on time for the meeting. 

Lesson #4: 22 January 2011 (Update of Team’s Progress)

posted 18 Jan 2011, 05:16 by Roderick Chia

2 month would have been passed since the business plan presentation. As such its time for progress update.  We expect that there are lots of work being done and things should be moving well with some ups and downs here and there.  Not being able to find common time for meeting is not an excuse of not having regular meeting and not updating the blog biweekly. 

In order to get everyone familiar with using IT tool to increase operational efficiency, I have been trying various possible tools.  I was exploring using Google Chat and MSN Messaging.  However, it seems that when conversation involved too many people, it will becomes chaotic.  Last batch I tried using Google Wave to help facilitate online meeting and the feedback from students were great.  It is sad that Google had announced that they no longer want to support this service due to slow adoption. However, they are still keeping alive for 2011. So you are fortunate to lay your hand on it. But why do you want to use a technology that will not be there for long? Google had also mentioned that they will integrate the function of Wave into other Google product after they stop the service so it is always good learn tool of tomorrow's technology.  To familiar yourself with Google Wave you may like to view the video below.

Get Started with Google Wave

You may login with the ID and Password that you are using for the blogging from or in case you are in China and not able to access this domain, you may try

Please go in and get yourself familiar with the tool before the meeting. Try out the wave with your group mate first and understand how to use it.  Please make sure that you test the computer that you are using Wave application on the actual meeting day of the meeting.  IE browser might need to install some component before you can use Wave.  If you are using public computer and not allowed to install application, you might want to test out the system first before the actually Wave conference to ensure that things go smooth.

Please be mindful that certain computer may require to install additional components in order to use Google Wave.  Too old computer may also be a little laggy when using Google Wave because, this application is kind of resource intensive running on browser.  Also most of the Google applications have intermittent problem in China. This was even before Google exited China.  The "Great Firewall of China" is a well known problem in internet.  They are highly efficient in blocking out website that has not gone through their filtering.  In order to increase the chance (but not guaranty) of being able to access the tool that I setup for you, you may need to use alternate URL addresses.  See below for more information.

Default URL Address

In China, use the following URL Address
Below is the schedule (22 January 2011, Singapore Time) for the online meeting.  If any group needs to change schedule, make your own private arrangement but please keep us updated.  We'll not facilitate the changing of schedule but we're ok of any changes if it is mutually agreed between groups.
  1. HeartWorks - 0900 hrs
  2. VOX Art - 0920 hrs
  3. QWER-T - 0940 hrs
  4. Munch Munch - 1000 hrs
  5. UniStrength - 1020 hrs
  6. SmarFishy - 1040 hrs
  7. OMGdeals - 1100 hrs
  8. Escape - 1120 hrs
  9. ShippingSpree - 0900 hrs
  10. SuperSupper - 0920 hrs
  11. YiDuBao - 0940 hrs
  12. 8ThingsAboutEvents - 1000 hrs
  13. Lifetunez - 1020 hrs
  14. RaveHaus - 1040 hrs
  15. Campus Cut - 1100 hrs
  16. NTU Solutions - 1120 hrs
  17. Envisage - 1240 hrs
  18. SleepIsOnMe - 1300 hrs
  19. The Mockers - 1320 hrs
  20. INnovelty - 1340 hrs
  21. i-W@LL - 1400 hrs
  22. L.One - 1420 hrs
  23. Bag Pit - 1440 hrs
  24. Excelsior - 1500 hrs
While we don't have to have everyone online to start the wave discussion, but for this exercise we'll do it with everyone online so that we can have a real-time discussion.  It will start by having everyone give a quick update of what you have done and your progress.  Then follow by a discussion addressing any teething issues. We'll be in the discussion for the first 20 min but the discussion can continue.

Someone in the group shall compile a minute for this meeting and update the team blog. 

Facebook Pages

posted 9 Jan 2011, 01:25 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 22 Feb 2011, 22:00 ]

Facebook Page overview. It is easy to view all the progress of each team's Facebook page and compare it with one another.  For team that have page not included here, please send your page link to Roderick for update.

Monitoring Blog

posted 4 Jan 2011, 22:08 by Roderick Chia

Some students have been wandering how the instructor monitor so many blogs and give accurate assessment of their involvement?  Let me share with you my secret.

Remember that I instruct all of you to set the team blog and individual blog using Announcement template? The reason I need all to follow this instruction strictly is that under the Announcement template, every post is tracked by a RSS feed. There you'll see  Subscribe to posts for those page following this template. What I do is to subscribe to all this post in my Google Reader and group them under respective team. Each time a new post is submitted by any student, it will appear in my feed as unread and I'll know that I have unread post.  

Another tool I use is my beloved Android Tablet, Galaxy Tab by Samsung. I installed the free Google Reader so that I can monitor my feeds everywhere I go. Now I can start to comment directly to blog.  If students also used Google Reader, they can also subscribe to this lesson blog.

Have fun with technology and be efficient connected seamlessly to the virtual world. 

Summary of Comment from Business Plan Presentation

posted 13 Dec 2010, 22:10 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 13 Dec 2010, 22:16 ]

Inter-group Peer Appraisal Batch 22-24‎‎(Summary)‎‎

Please note that row highlight in yellow is comment from instructor.


posted 21 Nov 2010, 00:17 by Roderick Chia

Many of you already know that this is an assessment module more than a teaching module. The main objective is to assess if students are able to put what they had learned from all the previous modules and put into practice. As such idea provided by instructors and implemented by students would not be credited to the skill of the students. Yet it is hard not to give suggestion when we see students about to fall into a "trap". As such, we decided to have 2 kind of consultation, "free" and "chargeable". Any suggestion provided during official lesson are free.  Anything outside the official lesson are chargeable. Chargeable means that idea from instructors shall not be considered as effort from the students. However, the effort in carrying out the ideas successfully would still be credited to effort of the students. Does it means that students is not supposed to ask the instructors anything outside of the official lessons? No, students can sill ask questions related to the course and the assessment but not on the plan. It is unfair for instructor that is grading you to give private session and guide you on your plan. This does not stop you from seeking advice from anyone else other than your direct instructor.

Business Plan Presentation

posted 20 Nov 2010, 23:18 by Roderick Chia

In business, it is often that those who are privileged to obtain exclusive information would have the competitive advantage. Others manipulate information to their advantage. However, in EN105, we not only want to see progress, we need to also have visibility to the process.  As such disclosure of all information is important in order for the instructors to be able to grade the participants accurately. Honesty and integrity are 2 main values that cannot be compromised. It upset me when I notice that some groups trying to hide essential information so that their business plan looks better and they seems more capable. While not all did it intentionally and some did it out of ignorance, I'm tolerance of such mistake. As such, I allow all to resubmit their plan to us and I'll ignore their previous plan. The deadline is end of Sunday, 21 Nov 2010, 2359 hrs. Send it directly to the respective instructor's email. If we find dishonesty in any way through our investigation, it will cost you dearly in your grading and no appeal shall be entertained. Be Smart not Smart Alec!

Lesson 1

posted 29 Oct 2010, 06:03 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 29 Oct 2010, 07:06 ]


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