The communication channel for distance learning has been evolved from physical mail, teleconferencing, and email. However, the current trend of the most common communication channel has shifted to online chat. It has replaced the email for most of the communication, and it is almost real-time as well as easily accessible. The work introduces a new chat-based learning management assistant (LMA) which has been implemented to support the online learning since early 2019. The chat-based LMA opens up a new teaching and learning approach that is suitable not only for online learning but also to enhance physical face-to-face learning. It is more interactive, real-time and efficient than email, conventional learning management system (LMS), as well as online lesson such as Zoom. The current work is to setup the relevant policy, management and also the administration of the LMA for accreditation and review in general. A study over three years show more than 70% of the participants prefer chat-based course communication. The written consultation through chat was also increased more than 10 times in comparison to email. At the same time, the online real-time consultation was also increased by 5 times in comparison to face-to-face consultation.
Tee Hui Teo, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore