First Retreat on 4-Year Undergraduate Curriculum Reform

Date: 29-30 June, 2006

Venue: HK Gold Coast Hote

Aims, Objectives and Participant

Aims:
  1. This retreat provides an opportunity for multilateral interaction amongst staff members who are involved in the planning and implementation of undergraduate curriculum and committed to the enhancement of teaching and learning to examine in greater depth the various dimensions of the new 4-year curriculum outlined in the discussion document Transforming Student Learning.
  2. It serves the purpose of gathering a critical mass of academic staff who share the common goal of transforming the undergraduate education at HKU. This critical mass will continue to grow as the reform progresses and will be instrumental in shaping the direction of the reform.
Objectives:

At the end of the retreat, participants will :

  1. have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current undergraduate education at HKU;
  2. have a better understanding of the conceptual framework and the curriculum framework and structure;
  3. be able to collectively formulate the distinctiveness of the new curriculum;
  4. be able to determine whether the curriculum framework is robust;
  5. have an idea of the way forward in the coming academic year.
Participants:
  1. Steering Committee members
  2. Teaching Quality Committee members
  3. Associate Deans (Teaching and Learning)
  4. University Teaching Fellows
  5. Deans’ nominees
  6. Presenters
Programme (29-30 June 2006)

29 June 2006
2:00 p.m. Arrival and check-in
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Setting the scene
The big picture

The Aims and Challenges of Introducing a New 4-Year Undergraduate Curriculum in HKU

– Professor Richard Y.C. Wong

Higher Education Reform: The International Scene

– Professor Amy B.M. Tsui

Feedback from informal discussions with Faculties

– Mr T.G. Edwards

Discussion
Identifying key issues that SC need to address based on the feedback – Mr T.G. Edwards
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tea break
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Presentation of good practices and interaction

– chaired by Dr Peter A. Cunich

Presentation of good practices from Faculties which illustrate the following:

the principles of curriculum design
the educational aims
the distinctive features
how the questions raised under the curriculum components were addressed
the enabling curriculum structure
1.
Professor Amy H.L. Lau, Faculty of Business and Economics

Critical Thinking and Business Judgment (Diverse Learning Experience)

2.
Dr C.W. Lam, Faculty of Social Sciences

Social Exposure Programme (Polycontextual Inquiry)

3.
Dr Yoshiko Nakano, Faculty of Arts

Project in Japanese Business (Polycontextual Inquiry)

4.
Mr Benny Y.T. Tai, Faculty of Law

Love, Marriage, Sex and Family (Multidisciplinary Collaboration)

5.
Professor Derek Hodson, Faculty of Education

Discussant (Video)

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner
30 June 2006
6:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Presentation of good practices and interaction (continued)

– chaired by Dr Peter A. Cunich

1.
Dr Tara L. Whitehill, Faculty of Education

Problem-based Learning (Interdisciplinary Inquiry)

Assessment (Multiple forms of assessment)

2.
Dr Philip S.L. Beh, Faculty of Medicine & Ms Miranda G. Legg, English Centre

English for Problem-based Learning in Medicine (Language Across the Curriculum)

3.
Dr Billy C.H. Hau, Faculty of Science

HK’s Natural Environment (Development of Civic and Moral Values)

Web-based Learning Support (IT in the Curriculum)

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Tea break
11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Presentation of good practices and interaction (continued)

– chaired by Dr Peter A. Cunich

1.
Professor Nivritti G. Patil, Faculty of Medicine

Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education (Staff Engagement and Staff Development)

2.
Dr W.S. Wong, Faculty of Architecture

Interdisciplinary Design Project (Multidisciplinary Collaboration)

3.
Professor Derek Hodson, Faculty of Education

Discussant (Video)

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Parallel discussion
The chairmen of the following sub-committees will outline the major issues in the respective dimensions and propose a preliminary work plan for feedback from participants:

Academic advisory system – Dr Frederick C.C. Leung
Assessment – Dr Tara L. Whitehill (for Dr. Esmonde F. Corbet)
Diverse learning experiences – Dr T.G. Edwards
IT in the curriculum – Dr Robert M.K. Fox
Language across the curriculum – Professor Terry K.F. Au
Staff engagement and staff development – Mr Benny Y.T. Tai
Student learning experience – Dr Albert W.L. Chau
3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Tea break
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Cross-group exchange

Participants will be regrouped for exchange of ideas
4:15 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Reporting by sub-committee chairmen

Sub-committee chairmen will each report on their sub-committees’ work and any other issues raised in regrouping discussion (5 min each)
4:50 p.m. – 5:05 p.m. Plenary session: wrap-up – Professor Amy B.M. Tsui
5:30 p.m. Departure
Retreat Feedback

Questions
MEAN
S.D
1. On the whole, did you find this retreat useful?
4.63
0.85
2. To what extent has the retreat achieved the following objectives?
a) To gain a better understanding of the conceptual framework of the new curriculum and the enabling curriculum structure
b) To gain a better understanding of the educational aims and distinctive features of the new curriculum as illustrated by some curriculum innovation initiatives in the University
c) To deliberate on the way forward for the Steering Committee and its subcommittees
d) To provide ample opportunities for exchange of views
…………… …..

4.03

4.35
4.20

4.84
…………… …..

1.00

0.86
1.07

0.95
3. Which of the presentations would you like to know more about? Please put a tick against the presentations.
Professor Amy H.L. Lau, Critical Thinking and Business Judgment
Dr C.W. Lam, Social Exposure Programme
Dr Yoshiko Nakano, Project in Japanese Business
Mr Benny Y.T. Tai, Love, Marriage, Sex and Family
Dr Tara L. Whitehill, Problem-based Learning & Assessment
Dr Philip S.L. Beh & Ms Miranda G. Legg, English for PBL in Medicine
Dr Billy C.H. Hau, HK’s Natural Environment & Web-based Learning Support
Professor Nivritti G. Patil, Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education
Dr W.S. Wong, Interdisciplinary Design Project
FREQUENCY
4
8
7
7
11
7
13
15
3
4: Which aspect(s) of the retreat did you like best?

Discussion / exchange of views
Exchange of views on important topics
The chance to share views, the difficulties and challenges, they are all good sharing
Group discussion
Group discussion
Discussion
Multidisciplinary input and discourse
Members’ participation!
Interaction, understanding the magnitude of the problems that we face
The opportunity to discuss it with colleagues from other Faculties
Exchange of ideas with colleagues from different Faculties
Cross fertilization discussion
The exchange of views among colleagues
Discussion
The exchange of views among members from different Faculties
I enjoyed talking to colleagues from different Faulties about teaching
Exchange of idea
Small group discussion
The (rare) possibility to work with other Faculties/ exchange ideas/ views
Brainstorming
The discussion
Sharing experiences / presentation of good practices

Sharing experiences with colleagues from other Faculties
Sharing sessions
Learn more about work of colleagues in other Faculties
Opportunities to learn what others are doing
Being made aware of best practices in some areas of HKU – PBL in particular
Sharing of good teaching practices and views on curriculum reform
Presentations and summaries
Good examples of the various innovative work going on
Getting to know good practices
The sharing of good experiences
Presentations
Others

Good mix of Faculties taking part
Having senior management involved and listening
While we all have some fun sharing views, we have yet to figure out how Senior Management can work together witht eh committed professional teachers. Are we serious? Is this a lip-service reform?
The comments of Professor Derek Hodson
Getting to know people
Good setting away from the University
Administration

Overall administration
The retreat has been very well organized
5: Which aspect(s) of the retreat could have been improved?

More discussion
More time for discussion
More discussion
Discussion opportunities
More discussion
Greater opportunity for ideas and creativity
To have more discussion
Too short is discussion time, too many and too long is coffee break
More time for discussion
Maybe more time for interaction
Some free time for breathing and exchange informally
Less presentations, more discussions
More discussion on specific topics / sessions

More discussion on the conceptual framework, its implication on four-year curriculum design and the common learning experiences
Specific discussion of the new curriculum
More time for people to air their views in open session rather than limiting them to reporting back on group discussion
More time for Q&A after presentation
More Q&A to share views with others beyond the small group
Specific suggestions

SMT needs to be more transparent in what they think/plan and provide some guiding principles for deliberation
More action plans
More time is needed for scaffolding of helpful views into workable plans
Case presentation and discussion afterwards
The last part – cross-group exchange is not very meaningful. Too tight for exchange. The sub-committee chairmen’s reports are more informative.
Capturing of discussions in working groups
More creativity – let’s take some risks!
Logistics

No need to come to Gold Coast
Earlier notice of the event
I wish I had known the schedule earlier
First names provided on the list (& maybe their titles)
Time management
Timing
Better design of the whole program
6: Any other comments.

Recognition of teaching and learning
Until there is more acknowledgement & reward for excellence in teaching, I have some concerns about engaging colleagues in the process necessary.
Wish the University really takes action to reward and recognize good teaching which is significant for staff engagement.
We have to find ways forward to address (1) inertia of university’s practice and (2) the reward structure that seem to recognise ‘excellence’ at the cost of teamwork.
SMT

I am sceptical about how much what we have discussed will actually be listened to and taken on board by the senior management.
The colleagues need to have a clear vision of what the SMT has and what is the way to go.
Specific suggestions

Put “Language/Communication’ into the conceptual framework.
The follow-up actions are crucial.
A clear indication of the next step!
Involve some student representatives in future! They can clarify some of our views on students.
Logistics / programme

There is no need to do it off the campus, nor to stay in a hotel. We can use the money elsewhere.
Good facilities and amenities – although please consider holding it in town next time.
Only able to attend 2nd day.
Should have started earlier with lunch and/or finished later with dinner.
Could have an organized, informal event for the evening in Day 1.
General comments

I appreciate the effort and time that the organisers had put into providing such a platform for colleagues to discuss and exchange ideas on curriculum reforms.
A thoroughly well-organised and useful retreat.
A very constructive platform for cross faculty and management discussion.
Interesting experience – look forward to sharing with other Faculties.
More needed.
Let’s be really innovative – that will sell the HKU brand!
It’s important to focus on education, not ‘reform jargons’.
Video Clips
29 June 2006
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Setting the scene
.
The big picture

.
The Aims and Challenges of Introducing a New 4-Year Undergraduate Curriculum in HKU

– Professor Richard Y.C. Wong

(20.MB, Windows Media Player 9 format)

.
Higher Education Reform: The International Scene

– Professor Amy B.M. Tsui

(18MB, Windows Media Player 9 format)

.
Feedback from informal discussions with Faculties

– Mr T.G. Edwards

(11MB, Windows Media Player 9 format)

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Presentation of good practices and interaction

– chaired by Dr Peter A. Cunich

Presentation of good practices from Faculties which illustrate the following:

.
the principles of curriculum design
.
the educational aims
.
the distinctive features
.
how the questions raised under the curriculum components were addressed
.
the enabling curriculum structure
5.
Professor Derek Hodson, Faculty of Education

Discussant

(24MB, Windows Media Player 9 format)

30 June 2006
11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Presentation of good practices and interaction (continued)

– chaired by Dr Peter A. Cunich

3.
Professor Derek Hodson, Faculty of Education

Discussant

(19MB, Windows Media Player 9 format)

4:50 p.m. – 5:05 p.m. Plenary session: wrap-up – Professor Amy B.M. Tsui

(11MB, Windows Media Player 9 format)