Professor Lau Sian Lun Awarded Lancaster University Education Conference 2021 Prize

The Lancaster University Education Conference 2021 has taken place virtually on the 7 and 8 July 2021. Three colleagues from Sunway University have been accepted to present their work at the conference to an international crowd. Among them, Professor Lau Sian Lun from SET has been awarded the Education Conference Award, among other five awardees from Lancaster University, Blackpool & the Fylde College and University Academy 92. His oral presentation on the 8th July 2021, titled ‘The good, the bad and the “surprises”’ shared the results from an analysis study on students’ feedback and perception on teaching and learning experience throughout the pandemic impacted semesters in 2020. Co-authors of the work done were Professor Alvin Ng Lai Oon (School of Medical Life Sciences), Associate Professor Dr Sim Tze Ying (Center for American Education) and Professor Abhi Veerakumarasivam (from School of Medical Life Sciences).

Feedback from the conference team member commended ‘Sian Lun went beyond 'observation' to undertaking and presenting on rigorous qualitative research and demonstrating how the results of this research might feed into teaching practice going forward.’. The conference committee team recognised the presentation as outstanding for the presented contents engaged well with the key conference themes of thinking backward; looking forward. Apart from that, the study also demonstrated how learning is applied to practice and is able to articulate innovation and change. The discussions after the presentation with the track audience were engaging and interesting to allow the authors to plan on follow up work.

Professor Lau was pleasantly surprised by the recognition, “I didn’t expect to receive the award as my intention to join the Lancaster University Education Conference 2021 was to share our findings from the study carried out by my colleagues and me in 2020 in an international platform. I was looking forward to feedback from my colleagues at Lancaster University and other international participants, and I have received positive and useful feedback. The award and recognition were indeed unexpected, and I am humbled by the positive words from the conference committee. On the other hand, I hope this award may also inspire my colleagues at Sunway University to continue to show case the good work we do in Malaysia to an international crowd when the opportunity arises. The experience will be rewarding.”

The abstract of the paper is as following: “The academic departments at the School of Science and Technology carried out two surveys to understand students' sentiment and feedback on the different initiatives introduced due to the lockdowns imposed during the pandemic in 2020. This presentation discusses the students' feedback on the online teaching and learning implemented at Sunway University. Among the key themes discussed are the students' perspectives on what they liked and disliked most throughout this unprecedented experience as well as what they hoped that the university will continue to practice post-lockdown.”

Professor Lau welcomes any inquiry on the study carried out and its results. He and his co-authors also welcome ideas and collaborators for further studies focusing on understanding factors and issues that may affect students’ teaching and learning experience throughout the pandemic period. He can be contacted via email at sianlunl@sunway.edu.my.