Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Faculty of Education

Details of the workshop:

Date : 20 June, 2017 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU CPD 3.29, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus
Speaker : Dr Caroline Steel, Strategic Educational Consultant, APAC, Blackboard International
ASCILITE Life Member Awardee & Past President Adjunct Academic, The University of Queensland
Facilitators : Dr Susan Bridges, Associate Professor, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning / Faculty of Education, HKU

Abstract

Universities of today are fundamentally challenged by the need to educate for both ‘the thinker’ and ‘the worker’ so that current and future students will see value in their university education in a rapidly changing global society. The pressures of a fast-evolving global economy and society mean that we are educating students for highly uncertain work and life futures. Adding significant complexities to this current state-of-play, universities themselves are struggling to transform in the face of digital disruption and globalisation.

In Australia, universities have experienced a decade of increasing massification of higher education that has seen our domestic and international student body grow to 1.4 million, whilst government funding and commitment to higher education have reduced, and the academic workforce has been further casualised. At such a pivotal snapshot in time, we were interested in how Australian university leaders conceived of their key challenges and trends and how they were responding. In 2016, *we conducted a survey and follow up interviews with academic leaders at the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor level to understand how they prioritised their learning and teaching challenges and influential trends and how they were responding institutionally. This presentation outlines the Australian regional context and reports main findings of the study. The presenter will also ask those attending to consider the challenges in the context of the Hong Kong University Sector.

*The research for this paper was conducted as a collaboration between ASCILITE and Blackboard International.

About the Speaker

Dr Caroline Steel is a Strategic Educational Consultant for Blackboard International. Caroline was Associate Professor and Director of Digital Learning at La Trobe University and President of ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education). She brings a wealth of expertise from a range of academic leadership, faculty and central learning and teaching roles. She has developed institutional digital strategies, designed innovative approaches to academics’ technology and learning spaces adoption, and explored the impact students’ digital learning practices on learning (including mobile learning). Caroline has published extensively and retains an adjunct academic position at The University of Queensland.

Registration

For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​

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Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Faculty of Education

Details of the workshop:

Date : 29 June 2017 (Thursday)
Time : 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Facilitators : Dr. Luke Fryer, Associate Professor, CETL, HKU
Mr. Peter Lau, Lecturer, CETL, HKU
Dr. Ada Lee, Lecturer, CETL, HKU
Hot lunch will be provided.

This forum aims to provide a platform to discuss how to provide effective training and development of teaching skills for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). Forum speakers, including teachers, administration staff and postgraduate students, from various local universities will share their experience, good practices and the challenges they have encountered. Discussion will include, but not be limited to the following sub-themes:

  1. Roles and responsibilities of GTAs in academic department
  2. Reflective teaching
  3. Challenges encountered in teaching
  4. Challenges to balance teaching and research duties
  5. Expectations for the training programme
  6. How to engage GTAs in training programme
  7. Feedback on teaching performance
  8. Collaboration with teaching departments
  9. Evidence of how GTAs benefit from training programme

We believe that postgraduates have great potential to achieve both teaching and research. All research supervisors, faculty members, administration staff and students are welcome to join us in co-constructing a way forward through the challenges our students face in seeking to maximise their teaching impact.

Registration

For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​

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By the courtesy of the Teaching Innovation Unit at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Development of the National Taiwan University (NTU), TELI participated in a professional development programme entitled “eProfessor” that was held on April 29-30, 2017 – the Labour Day long weekend. We have heard about the magic of this bootcamp from Professor Benson Yeh (former Director of the MOOC Project in NTU) for a couple of years – but seeing is believing.

Success factors of NTU’s e-learning professional development programmes

  • Blended with a Facebook closed group for pre-event communication and community building
  • Intensive face-to-face sessions focusing on participatory learning
  • Genuine sharing of successful and failing experiences by both invited speakers and participants
  • Real-time support from organizing team: from video production to instructional design – prompt follow-up on the spot

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Some 30 teachers showed up at the training. Before the face-to-face programme began, they were asked to prepare a Facebook post with a short smartphone-quality clip telling their fellow bootcamp members two things about themselves: one that is true, one that is false. The purpose is twofold: to get some experience about video-taking, and to break the ice in the group. As Rick Levin said, watching yourself on a screen could be horrifying for first-timers – so this pre-event assignment seemed to be a good warm-up exercise for everybody.
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The highly participatory bootcamp features hands-on exercises, group work with peer-feedback, workshops and experience sharing. The topics included:

  • Flipped classroom and peer-to-peer learning
  • Practical lessons from pioneers of flipped classroom teaching and learning
  • Instructional design for problem-based learning
  • Pedagogical skills in an e-learning environment
  • Tools to facilitate the visualization of teaching and learning materials (e.g., DIY video making software)

The intensive face-to-face sessions might look demanding, but they equipped members with the necessary skills and supporting network to jumpstart a forward change in technology-enriched pedagogical practices. In his sharing of flipping a civil engineering course, Professor Huang Yin-nan said it is important to have partners in an e-learning journey. Collaboration and interaction facilitate reflective practice, and provides an emotional safety net when teachers are in doubts and encounter frustrations. “We share both successful and failing experiences. In fact, very often we learn more from the latter,” he told the participants.

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(Source: http://ntumoocs.blogspot.hk/)

Throughout the “eProfessor” initiative, challenges are matched by support. The 10-people strong Teaching Innovation Unit at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Development provided comprehensive support on-the-spot: from setting up closed groups on Facebook for your course, to getting filming equipment ready for lecture recording. They have also produced excellent tutorials for teachers’ self-learning. Here is a sample on proper lighting for video-taking:
https://youtu.be/V3pevaUNle0

Thank you NTU, we have so much to learn from you!

What Works? Intercultural Groupwork in the Common Core-banner

Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Faculty of Education

Details of the workshop:

Date : 19 May, 2017 (Friday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:30pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Speaker : Dr. Abelardo Pardo, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney, Australia
Facilitators : Prof. David Carless, Associate Dean, Faculty of Education, HKU
Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, CETL, HKU

Abstract

The increasing presence of technology mediation offers an unprecedented opportunity to use detailed data sets about the interactions that occur while a learning experience is being enacted. Areas such as Learning Analytics or Educational Data Mining have explored numerous algorithms and techniques to process these data sets. Additionally, technology now offers the opportunity to increase the immediacy of interventions. However, not much emphasis has been placed on how to extract truly actionable knowledge and how to bring it effectively as part of a learning experience. In this talk, we will use the concept of feedback as the focus to establish a specific connection between the knowledge derived from data-analysis procedures and the actions that can be immediately deployed in a learning environment. We will discuss how there is a trade-off between low-level automatic feedback and high-level complex feedback and how technology can provide efficient solutions for the case of large or highly diverse cohorts.

Speakers

abelardoAbelardo Pardo is Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at The University of Sydney, Australia. He is the director of the Learning and Affect Technologies Engineering Research Laboratory and deputy director of the Centre for Research in Learning and Innovation. His research interests include the design and deployment of technology to increase the understanding and improve digital learning experiences. More specifically, his work examines the areas of learning analytics, personalized active learning, and technology for student support.

Registration

For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​

What Works? Intercultural Groupwork in the Common Core-banner

Jointly organised by CETL and Common Core

Details of the workshop:

Date : 15 May, 2017 (Monday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm (Light refreshments will be provided.)
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Speaker : Dr. Tracy Zou (CETL) and Prof. Gray Kochhar-Lindgren (Common Core)

Abstract

Rated as both the ‘best and the worst learning experiences’ by both students and lecturers, groupwork is a complex matter. What, then, about intercultural groupwork? Doesn’t this complicate the matter even further? Students could, of course, potentially develop their cultural competence and gain multiple perspectives about each other and the subject matter, but the issue is how can we actually make it work its best for everyone?

During this workshop, we will explore together how we might make intercultural groupwork creative, energetic, and effective. A number of good practices identified from 15 Common Core courses, as well as those from the scholarly literature, will be shared.

Speakers

Dr. Tracy Zou is an assistant professor in the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) at HKU. She has been engaging in the development and promotion of effective university teaching and learning on a number of topics, for example, groupwork, assessment, and internationalisation of teaching and learning. She has also been involved in groupwork research at both course and curriculum levels.

Prof. Gray Kochhar-Lindgren: Director, Common Core

Registration

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Want to join learners from all around the world to learn about how Chinese philosophers view humanity and nature? Register this free online course at edX.
The course was very well received by learners in its previous two runs, and now the third run will begin on June 13 2017!

Highlights of the course

  • In the format of a dialogue, Chad Hansen, Chair Professor of Chinese Philosophy, Emeritus, HKU, analyzes and discusses the essence of Chinese philosophy from his unique perspectives
  • Various animations and visual aids were used in post-production of the lecture videos to further help students learn the course content
  • Knowledge check questions and learning activities designed to relate to student daily lives so learning is applicable

Click here if you cannot access Youtube

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Organised by Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)

Details of the workshop:

Date : 6 April, 2017 (Thursday)
Time : 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus), HKU
Facilitator : Dr. Cecilia Chan, Head of Professional Development, CETL, HKU

Abstract

After the highly successful cross-institutional conference held on March 8 where innovations in higher education teaching and learning were shared and celebrated, CETL is planning a series of gatherings. As we go forward with the conversation on driving excellence in the Teaching and Learning agenda, the new “Chit-Chat, Mix and Match for T and L” series will provide an easygoing and stimulating platform for teachers to continue discussing, disseminating and discovering good pedagogies, assessment and issues.

These gatherings require your participation to be successful, come and join us, I guarantee you fun, challenging and rewarding conversation.

Registration will be on a first come, first served basis.

Registration

For information, please contact:
Ms. Noranda Zhang , CETL
Phone: 3917 4729; Email: noranda@hku.hk​

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There are two things higher education institutions must do when guiding their students in learning. First, we should teach students how to transfer their critical thinking skills from one context to another. Second, we must engage students in active learning and deep processing to develop their capabilities.

Minerva is a non-conventional college startup where students live in seven world cities and interact with teachers and peers via live videos on an online platform in their four-year education. With its growing popularity and low admission rate, it is described by some as a college “tougher to get into than Harvard”. On 17 February 2017, Mr. Ben Nelson, Founder and CEO of the Minerva project shared his secrets of success in Minerva in a seminar titled “How to save higher education in twenty seven easy steps?” at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

What should we teach?
Minerva believes that higher education institutions should teach students how to transfer their critical thinking skills from one context to another. Their teaching philosophy focuses on providing students with a framework of thinking applicable in different situations. Education is not meant to provide rote solutions, but ideas and patterns, so that when students encounter a novel situation, they can come up with a novel solution.

The fundamental problem in higher education is that we spent years learning things in an unstructured environment before we learn how to transfer. The goal of Minerva is to alter students’ way of thinking and interpreting the world. “It’s like doing brain surgery,” said Mr. Nelson. He agrees that studying in Minerva can be challenging, but by the 3rd or 4th year, students will have learnt how to parachute into any location and make the most out of any situation.

How should we teach?
We must engage students in active learning and deep processing instead of simply lecturing them because deep processing leads to better retention of knowledge. Mr. Nelson perceives passive lectures as an ineffective way to disseminate information as it does not encourage deep processing – students’ knowledge retention rate drops to 10% by the end of the 6th month, meaning a 90% failure rate.

Based on his examination of empirical evidence, he came to the conclusion that “when you go through deep processing, you get memory for free.” If you only push students to memorize something without going through deep processing, the retention rate will most likely be very low.

Higher education is “the gatekeeper between citizenry and leadership.” It is necessary for universities to keep up with changes, or else we may be in the peril of not existing.

A big thank you to HKUST for inviting us to join this thought-provoking seminar.

Further reading:

  1. An introductory video about Minerva
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“[The] place where knowledge formation occurs is right at that edge where you do not know what’s going to happen. If you did, it would just be repetition, it wouldn’t be discovery […] students get very excited at that moment,” said Professor Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, Director of Common Core (CC), after Professor Ricky Kwok’s sharing on March 7, 2017 about his experience of flipping the course CCST9003 Everyday Computing and the Internet.

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Last semester, Ricky and his course team began a new teaching and learning experiment. They have developed a series of videos to replace traditional lectures; and delivered 5 game-based workshops for students in their CC class (e.g., solving the Rubik’s cube, defusing bombs in a computer game, and solving encrypted codes). The main driver of the flipped approach was the dissatisfaction with the low energy level observed in lectures. “We (teachers) are just sending out sound waves that nobody cares to receive,” Ricky said.

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Participants of the sharing session had to experience this new way of learning first-hand. Prior to the meet-up, they were asked to watch several video clips on “recursion”, one of the algorithms that Ricky taught in his course. When they came in, they had to “compete” in an online game powered by Kahoot to check their preparedness, followed by a team-based, hands-on activity of solving a recursion problem with lego pieces. While groups of students in the actual CC course need to produce a video on the solution by the end of the two-hour class as a deliverable, our teacher-participants were asked to explain their solution to Teaching Assistants within 10 minutes. Feel the adrenaline? That’s what Ricky meant by “learning begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

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Ricky learnt from his own experience that the 4Cs – credit, collaboration, competition, and co-creation – were important in providing the motivation that students need. Here is his recipe:

Application in CCST9003 Advantage
Credit All classwork activities counted towards students’ final grade. Students had the incentive to participate in the first place.
Collaboration It is one of the criteria in the grading rubrics. Every group member needs to participate and demonstrate collaboration. Creates room for dialogue and peer-to-peer learning; where stronger students are motivated to help weaker students.
Competition Each group competed with the 29 other groups in the class.

Competitive elements, e.g., the fastest and most accurate team wins, students can leave the class once they completed the task.

An essential element to push for and maintain a high energy level, competition is a good motivator for an individual to strive for the better.
Co-creation A video had to be produced on the spot at the end of each class, showing how the solved the problem. Learning by teaching is encouraged; students can have solid take-aways and a sense of satisfaction when leaving the classroom.

“Just enjoy that learning and don’t care about the marks,” one of the CCST9003 students said in the video interview done after the last classwork activity. Perhaps this is great testimony that all the hard work of Ricky and his team paid off at the end.

The Common Core continued to be a sandbox of experimentation of new pedagogies. This semester, Mr. Matthew Pryor is also flipping his CCHU9001 Designs on the Future: Sustainability of the Built Environment.

Last but not least, feel the beat of CCST 9003 through this video.

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Organised by Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI)

Date : March 7, 2017 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2pm
Venue : Room 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building (Main Campus)
Speakers : Professor Ricky Kwok (Course Co-ordinator and Teacher), Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Facilitators: Teaching Assistants – Ms. Yuqian Chai, Mr. Xiangyu Hou, Dr. Tyrone Kwok, Dr. Leon Lei (Chief), Mr. Victor Wong; Course Manager – Mr. Donn Gonda
Respondent: Professor Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, Director of Common Core Curriculum

Registration

About the sharing:

The Common Core Curriculum Committee granted approval for running CCST 9003 – Everyday Computing and the Internet in the Scientific and Technological Literacy Area of Inquiry – as a Small Private Online Course (SPOC) in the first semester of 2016-17. Traditional in-class lecture materials were replaced by video recordings and other online learning materials, leaving more time for interactions in face-to-face sessions. For those of you who would like to know more about what happened, please sign up for this sharing session. The teacher-in-charge and TAs will show you how the course was re-designed, what in-class activities were used, and perhaps most importantly – the pains and pleasures of running this SPOC.

Please note that participants are required to watch a few short videos and send in some questions before coming to the face-to-face sharing. They will also be given hands-on exercises during the 75-minute session (so, we are serving light refreshment). Come prepared.

Sign up via http://bit.ly/2lEKso3 by March 3, 2017.
Enquiries should be directed to enquiry@teli.hku.hk.

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