Blended LearningSMU course leverages Genexist to create hands-on tool for blended learning

As part of SMU’s Advanced Certificate in Governance, Risks and Data Compliance, trainers of the Third Party Management course wanted to enhance the interactivity and content of the course.

Many of SMU courses incorporate blended learning - a style of education in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.

Pain Points

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all classes were delivered online via Zoom and there was a concern that virtual delivery of the course would be less engaging than face-to-face instruction.

Said Hwee Chin, the course trainer,

We were aware that our course on third-party management may be dry if it is just a classroom lecture. So we wanted a hands-on component where users were broken up into groups to discuss specific case studies that involve third-party due diligence.

The trainers considered the use of spreadsheets but wanted a dashboard to easily assess and discuss the project work of each of the participants.

It would be disruptive and not practical for 5 groups to each share their work on Zoom. And it takes time for the facilitator to first view each project and then decide who will present.


Step 1: First, decide on your framework and workflow

The trainers shared with the Genexist team their third-party management framework and how third-party due diligence is carried out. Their framework was based on 4-Es - Evaluate, Engage, Execute and Exit.


To support the intended learning outcomes of the course, the objective was for all groups to be able to do due diligence on third-parties as hands-on project work based on specific scenarios. The trainers also shared their spreadsheet activities so that these may be incorporated into the application. Another requirement was for the trainer to be able to have a real-time view of all entries, and also make edits and recommendations if necessary.

Step 2: Use Genexist authoring tools to customize the workflow

Based on the framework, the respective Genexist authoring tools were used to create the content, structure and workflow of the proposed online application.

The assessment content widget in the compliance management module was used to create a self-assessment to enforce that the organisation complies with third-party management requirements.

As the suite of Genexist tools already contains the third-party management module, the relevant widgets were used so that the trainer could directly deploy the vendor assessment to participants playing the role of vendors.

Another key functionality was to allow participants to manage risks relating to specific vendors, using the widgets from built-in risks management module.

Step 3: Finally, deploy the workflow and modules

Based on discussions with the Genexist team as well as the framework and workflow processes provided by the trainers, a new third-party management tool was developed from scratch within 3 working days.

The governance structure module allowed the trainers to create a hierarchical structure so that the trainer could see the inputs of all participants.

Said Hwee Chin,

We were able to deploy the online tool in our course and provide a third-party vendor management application to make the course content come alive. In fact, we could actually use the software to run through the steps needed to manage vendors according to our course topics.

Feedback on the SMU course and the Hands-on Work

The SMU course is great and the hands-on, online exercises help us put together concepts we have learnt from the course.
~ Legal Counsel, Education Organisation
I have learnt a lot from this course, especially on the hands-on exercise to procure on an e-commerce platform, what to look out for and all the due diligence to be done on 3rd parties. This is highly relevant to my work and I can now confidently manage 3rd parties.
~ Executive E & E Testing Equipment Industry