Academic Development Team

Research is an important part of the work the Centre does. For more information see research projects and publications

A/P Johan Geertsema
Director and Associate Professor

Johan Geertsema directs the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL). He oversees the Centre’s activities, providing strategic direction to foster scholarly approaches to academic development and align the Centre's practices and principles with the University’s priorities. Johan's background is in the Humanities—he has a PhD in English. He came to Singapore in 2001 to join the NUS University Scholars Programme, where he taught in—and later coordinated—the Writing and Critical Thinking Programme. Over the years he has developed a keen interest in higher education, especially in research-intensive contexts. Some of the topics on which he has been focusing include the ways in which teachers’ evidence-based reflection on practice made public can strengthen student learning outcomes; how to foster such scholarly work and use it to strengthen teaching at NUS; the distinction between education research and the scholarship of teaching and learning; teaching academies; and how to evaluate teaching achievement.
[more information]

Dr Adrian Michael Lee
Deputy Director

Adrian Michael Lee is the Deputy Director of CDTL. He oversees the Centre’s Professional Development Programme-Teaching (PDP-T). He read Natural Sciences at Downing College at the University of Cambridge. For his work on small trapped ion clusters, he received the ICI Prize in Theoretical Chemistry. After graduation, he worked briefly at the British Antarctic Survey under the supervision of Prof. Howard Roscoe. He took up a PhD scholarship at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, under Prof. John Pyle FRS. A highlight of his doctoral studies was the development of a chemical forecasting methodology. In recognition of the use of this methodology during the ASHOE/MAESA international research campaign, he was awarded the NASA Achievement Award in 1995. He subsequently won a University Merit Award in 2000. Adrian continued his research in atmospheric science in Prof. Pyle’s research group until 2002, when he was awarded the Singapore Millennium Foundation Fellowship. This fellowship brought him to NUS, and his research under the fellowship centred on developing models to understand the economic cost of air pollution and global warming.

Dr Lee Kooi Cheng
Deputy Director

KC Lee is Deputy Director of CDTL overseeing Publications and Outreach initiatives. She has been with NUS since 2000 and has a concurrent appointment at the Centre for English Language Communication where she teaches communication and writing modules. KC has a keen interest in the use of technology for learning. Her PhD thesis discusses transfer of ideas from two discussion modes (face-to-face and online) to written drafts. Her interest has since expanded to student engagement in the online environment. Recently, KC has been exploring informal teaching and learning areas in higher education that include experiential learning in living-learning context and inclusive education.

Kiruthika Ragupathi
Associate Director (Educational Technology and Research)

Kiruthika Ragupathi is an Associate Director for Educational Technology and Research at CDTL. She has been with the Centre since 1997. She oversees the Technology in Pedagogy Series (TiPS), co-leads the planning of Continuing Professional Development Programme (CPDP) and co-plans the core module of the PDP-T. In addition, she has oversight in the development of teaching evaluation instruments at NUS—student feedback system and online peer review system— and also helps in administering the teaching awards submission system. Her research interests are in analysing pedagogical issues surrounding the integration of educational technologies into teaching and learning; understanding the learning processes and outcomes for learners engaged in technology-supported tasks; and in tracking and supporting learning in interactive learning environments. Her current research focuses on optimizing instructor interventions in massive open online course (MOOC) discussion forums to enhance the student learning experience, and the impact of gradeless learning on student motivation. Kiruthika was awarded the Commendation Medal at the 2013 National Day Awards.
[more information]

Soong Swee Kit, Alan
Associate Director (Learning
Design and Research)

Alan Soong is an Associate Director for Learning Design and Research at CDTL. He has been working in the area of academic development and the use of ICT for teaching and learning in higher education since 2002. Alan's research interests include academic development and blended learning in higher education. He has also been actively serving as a member of the executive committee of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite) since 2012.

Jeanette Choy
Senior Educational Specialist

Jeanette Choy is a Senior Education Specialist at CDTL. She has been working in education since 2004, focusing on student learning in a problem-based learning environment and conducting adult training on various topics as such instructional design and education research at institutes of higher learning. Jeanette firmly believes that practice should be informed by evidence, and effective, meaningful learning involves active participation and reflection. Her research interests include topics relating to pedagogical and instructional effects on student learning processes and achievements. Jeanette has been actively involved in educational research and her research papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Mark Gan
Senior Educational Specialist

Mark Gan is a Senior Education Specialist at CDTL. Mark obtained his PhD in Education at The University of Auckland and has worked at the university’s Faculty of Education as a Research Fellow in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice. He was also a member of the quantitative research team on the Starpath Project for Tertiary Participation and Success. Prior to completing his PhD, he has taught secondary Chemistry in Singapore for eight years. Mark’s research interests include assessment, using data to support learning and peer feedback studies.

Charina Ong
Senior Educational Technologist

Charina Ong is a Senior Educational Technologist at CDTL. Charina obtained an M.A. in Learning and Teaching (MaLT) from De La Salle University-Manila; and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, majoring in Computer Applications (BSBA-CA) from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. Her main responsibilities at the Centre include conducting workshops that promote teaching and learning, developing projects on e-learning, providing consultation to teaching staff who are interested in integrating technology in their teaching, and researching on educational trends.

Shin Dee Liew
Publications Manager

Liew Shin Dee is the Publications Manager at CDTL. She has been with the Centre since 2008 and has been involved in various aspects of the publications industry, including social marketing and health promotion. Her main responsibilities include managing the Editorial Office of the Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, managing the production of the rest of the Centre’s publications such as CDTL Brief, and providing support to teaching staff who are interested in sharing their teaching practices on the Centre’s various publishing platforms.


Admin Support Team

Lim Swee Yen, Elsie
Senior Manager


Kok Mee Hwa, Pansy
Senior Manager

Doreen Thia
Management Assistant Officer


Ma Lin Lin
Management Assistant Officer

Winnie Choy
Management Assistant Officer


Aini Jaafar
Management Assistant Officer

Beh Keng Khim

Beh Keng Khim
Business Analyst


Ng Cheng Cheng
Manager (Teaching Academy)


Vickneswari Savarimuthu
Senior Executive (Teaching Academy)



Previous Directors


Daphne PAN
Director, Jan 1996 – Jul 2008

Daphne PAN obtained her BA (Hons) from the then University of Singapore and subsequently took an MA and Ph D in English Studies at York University. She also obtained an M Sc (Ed) and a Diploma in the Practice of Higher Education from University of Surrey.

Upon completion of her PhD, she joined the Department of English Language and Literature at the then University of Singapore. In 1990, she was tasked to set up the Teaching & Learning Resource Unit within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and subsequently seconded to set up the University’s Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL) where she served as director from January 1996 to July 2008. As CDTL's founding Director, she initiated and developed CDTL’s various activities which include faculty development, educational and institutional research, and publications.

Her interests in educational research include the use of quantitative and qualitative student feedback to enhance teaching and learning, scholarship of teaching, learning approaches and implications for teaching styles, teaching methods and educational objectives and cyber-assisted teaching & learning. She has published on these and related topics and been invited to present on them at numerous international conferences, and has served on various editorial and advisory boards of peer-reviewed journals. She has also conducted workshops at the invitation of various institutions in the region.

She returned to full-time teaching in the Department of English Language and Literature in August 2008 and served as an Advisor at CDTL until her retirement in 2013. She also served in the Teaching Academy to which she was elected as a Fellow.

CHNG Huang Hoon
Director, Aug 2008 – Aug 2012

Chng Huang Hoon is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language & Literature at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Her teaching and research interests lie in discourse, gender and ideology. She has taught several courses on these subjects in her teaching career at NUS, and has published several papers on the subject.

Huang Hoon is the author of the book, Separate and Unequal: Judicial Rhetoric and Women’s Rights (John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2002). Huang Hoon currently serves on the following editorial and advisory boards: Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (AJSOTL);; International Journal for Academic Development (IJAD); International Journal of Students as Partners (IJSaP); Taylor Institute – University of Calgary; Teaching and Learning Inquiry (TLI): The ISSOTL Journal.

Huang Hoon has served in various administrative appointments in the past 14 years, including Assistant Dean (External Relations, 2004-2008) and Director, Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (2008-2012). In 2012, she assumed her current position as Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education), where she oversees matters relating to the undergraduate curriculum, and assists both the Vice Provost (Undergraduate Education) and the Provost in various special university-level initiatives, including initiatives relating to General Education and institutional capacity building in SOTL.

Laksh Samavedham
Director, Sep 2012 – Dec 2014

As a chemical engineering sophomore in 1985, Laksh Samavedham’s conceptions of teaching and learning were heavily influenced by the ideas of Professor Richard Felder (whom he finally met in 2007) after reading his “Random Thoughts” column in the journal Chemical Engineering Education. He has since adapted and implemented various ideas and teaching approaches proposed by Felder (NCSU), Phil Wankat (Purdue), and Donald R. Woods (McMaster).

Laksh is the winner of many teaching awards (including the NUS Outstanding Educator Award in 2006) and research awards (Pan-Canadian Petroleum Award, DuPont/PapriCan Research Excellence Award). He has authored more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed top quality international journals and presented over 125 conference papers, including 10 keynote talks at international conferences. At NUS, Laksh has served in various administrative appointments, including Acting-Chair of its Teaching Academy and Director of Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL). In 2015, he assumed his current position as the Master of Residential College 4, where he oversees all matters relating to the curriculum, and the college.

During his tenure as Deputy Director (2010-2012) and later as Director of CDTL (2012-2014), his thrusts were to:
  1. advance good teaching and learning practices at NUS by sharpening professional development programmes for faculty members, teaching assistants and graduate students.
  2. create personalized mentorship programmes for faculty members who would benefit the most from making adjustments to their teaching practices.
  3. support the endeavour of public universities in the Philippines to transform their pedagogical practices for the new century. This multi-year, capacity building project was supported by NUS, Temasek Foundation (funding organization) and the University of Philippines.
  4. steer the NUS teaching community towards education research and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
  5. implement NUS’s reforms in student feedback of teaching and faculty peer review of teaching.
Besides basing his classroom practices on theories grounded in the learning sciences, Laksh has engaged in SoTL at local, regional and international levels. He talks to various audiences hoping for positive change in how teaching and learning (in STEM fields) happens at Universities. As mentioned above, Laksh designed and coordinated a project funded by the Temasek Foundation (and supported by NUS) to support the University of Philippines in their most recent “change” process. As an alumnus, he played a key role in establishing a Teaching and Learning Centre at one of India’s greatest private universities - BITS Pilani – with a view to get their faculty engage in scholarly teaching practices and SoTL. He has tried to plant the culture of scholarly teaching practice, blended learning, and best assessment practices in many other higher education institutions in India, and hopes to continue doing so for the near future. His other passion involves working with school children from around the world to help them utilize systems thinking and modeling as a way of understanding and solving complex problems.