“I feel like I never have enough time.”
“I study and study, but it doesn’t show in my exam results.”
“I’m just not feeling motivated to do my work.”

Does this sound familiar? The pace, complexity, and volume of material encountered in the PCIE system challenges students to learn more effectively and efficiently. The good news is, there are lecturers to assist.

Students struggling academically

Students in academic difficulty may feel reluctant to show weakness and conceal their problems until an examination or deadline passes. At MDIS, one way we identify students in need of extra help is through a graded Diagnostic quiz in the second week of class. This is followed by graded progress tests for the next two weeks and a mock exam in the term.

Students who do poorly should not feel they are alone. Lecturers know that students walk into their classrooms with a wide range of abilities. But Lecturers try to find ways to meet the needs of all students, including those with learning and attention issues. As a teacher, providing the best help to children with learning difficulties can be challenging, particularly in ESL education where there are heterogeneous learners.

Sometimes content materials present text which is too dense for ESLs. At MDIS, one of our goals in teaching ESL learners is to help them summarise and interpret text as well as attain fluency. Some students although not academically weak might have no safety net, no parachute, no scaffolding—they’re just left blowing in the wind. With a view to support every student and provide a concrete structure for each one of them Special Consultation Coaching is open to all students of the level.

At MDIS, we conduct Special Classes in our Language Lab for an hour every day for different levels of PCIE. Additionally, we have Special Consultation Coaching for our academically challenged students. However, it is important not to discourage the other students from attending the consultation class, unless there is a good reason to.

Students are given supplemental material or can use the coursework when they meet with their lecturer(s). When meeting with them, time is taken to find out why the student thinks he or she is struggling. Here the lecturer gains insight into their study habits and can appropriately scaffold a lesson, or differentiate teaching methods. The lecturer(s) can ascertain what the students can do by themselves and the next learning steps that they can be helped with to achieve competence.

Students from this stereotyped group may feel an extra burden to disprove the stereotype, resulting in increased anxiety during exams or in other classroom situations. To counter this stereotype vulnerability, our lecturers demonstrate their confidence in students’ abilities through challenge, advising and mentoring.

The learning or mastery-oriented classrooms, have helped our students to focus more on developing their understanding of the materials rather than on how they are being evaluated in comparison to their classmates, and finally achieving success.


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management. These programmes are offered in collaboration with renowned universities in the United Kingdom.

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