Learning How to Learn: The Story of SMU-X

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Year Completed



In 2015, Arnoud De Meyer, President of Singapore Management University initiated SMU-X. This unique programme made experiential learning accessible to undergraduate students, allowing them to gain exposure to real life work experience that could help improve their critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills.

The key strength of the SMU-X initiative was that it had been thought through in great detail and was closely linked to the university's existing pedagogy to create a cohesive learning chain within the university. The pilot phase of the initiative was run for a year, and a lot of the hurdles that had initially seemed difficult to resolve were overcome during this phase. The general feedback from the pilot phase was quite positive and it was observed that this form of learning enhanced the learning value for students, faculty and other industry stakeholders.

It was planned to roll out SMU-X across the entire SMU undergraduate cohort in 2016, and De Meyer was considering what would be the most effective mechanism to do so.

This case provides the students with an opportunity to reflect on the elements that support the practice of innovation in an organisation, particularly in a service environment. It also enables students to learn about how an urban city university can create an environment for living and learning without the large campus living facilities of suburban universities. Finally, it allows students to visualise the considerations associated with scaling up a project operationally for an organisation-wide rollout.


ambidextrous organisations, design thinking, experiential learning, SMU-X, innovation management, project management


Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Instructional Media Design | Strategic Management Policy

Data Source

Field Research



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Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate

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