Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

e-learning Blog    > HKU Online Learning & MOOCs    > CETL    > UG Research Fellowship

 

Higher Education
News Archive 2006-2008

Science Facilities Reconsidered

By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Thursday, 6 March, 2008

As universities in the UK endeavour to create strong undergraduate programmes in the so-called STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) to cater for the growth of undergraduate science enrolments, the Project Kaleidoscope has been formed recently with an overall focus on improving the teaching and learning environment. A discussion called “Roundtable on the Future Undergraduate STEM Learning Environment” has also challenged universities to re-conceive how they approach the literally physical learning environment while planning and renovating the new science facilities on campus.

Full text

Inquiry into impact of Google on HE

By Anthea Lipsett, Education Guardian

Friday, 29 February, 2008

A UK-wide inquiry was launched to consider the impact of the latest technologies on the behaviour and attitudes of learners who are approaching or have just arrived at university, and the issues this poses for universities and colleges. Some questions of concern were discussed: (i) Can universities use the new technologies to help in the process of self-directed learning and enhance the learning experience?; (ii) Would students rely too heavily on sites of dubious accuracy such as Wikipedia that they are not evaluating the information accessed critically and not considering how to use them wisely? As a remedial action, Manchester University developed and launched an internet search engine for academics and students to search for information relating specifically to their subject area.

Full text

Colleges Face Tough Sell to Freshmen, Survey Finds

By Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Friday, 1 February, 2008

According to an annual survey conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California in Los Angeles, freshmen these days are more concerned about academic quality, academic reputation, affordability and employment prospect than they have been in decades when selecting a university. Another area that the survey attempted to capture was habits and traits that ensure academic success. In this regard, the three most frequently mentioned items were: supporting opinions with logical arguments, asking questions in class, and revising papers to improve writing skills. The survey also indicated that relatively fewer freshmen (39%) would frequently evaluate the quality and reliability of information accessed.

Full text

Uni hails move to US-style system

By Richard Kerbaj and Brendan O’Keefe, The Australian

Tuesday, 15 January, 2008

Australia’s weekly national newspaper supplement on higher education (The Australian: Higher Education) reported an increased demand for student places at the University of Melbourne this year, the first time a new, generalist arts degree course has been offered. The newspaper article contrasted the strong demand for this University’s new US-style system with the overall trend experienced by other Victorian universities. Applications for undergraduate courses in Victoria were down by 3.9 per cent from last year and the number who received offers fell by 5.5 percent.

A spokeswoman for the University of Melbourne linked the strong interest and student preference for Melbourne, to the University’s new degrees, and to the University’s communication visits to schools talking to students, teachers and parents about the new degree models.

Full text

Engineering for a Changing World: A Roadmap to the Future of Engineering Practice, Research, and Education

The Millennium Project, The University of Michigan

Wednesday, 12 December, 2007

According to this report written by the President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, engineering education needs major reforms, such as broadening the range of learning experiences, and linking engineering more fully to other academic discpilines. Key recommendations deliberated in the report include, restructuring of undergraduate engineering programmes as a liberal arts discipline, developing a structured approach to lifelong learning for engineering professionals, and integrating the discipline of engineering into 21st century liberal arts canon suitable for undergraduate students.

Full text

Social Life High on Wish List

By Rebecca Attwood, The Time Higher Education Supplement

Friday, 7 December, 2007

Over 22,000 undergraduates from 106 UK institutions participated in a survey on their university experience. Students rated their university in terms of 21 predetermined attributes. and were asked how strongly they would recommend their university to a friend. Results showed many factors that undergraduates value in their university experience are elated to academic study, including a well-equipped library, a good relationship with teaching staff, a fair workload, and high-quality staff / lectures. The researchers also examined which factors correlated with the student’s decision to recommend their university to a friend and found a good social life, extracurricular activities, good community atmosphere, personal requirements catered for, and a good environment on campus, were the factors that also scored highly alongside high quality staff and lectures.

Full text

Taking a Risk with Wiki Work

By Martina Doolan, The Times Higher Education Supplement

Friday, 7 December, 2007

In this article, the author made a case for using wikis to empower students to take more ownership of their learning. In her practice teaching, the software engine had provided a common platform for teachers and students to share mult-media learning resources and work on group-based assessment projects. It was observed that by using this tool in their course students became more activly engaged in their learning, and collaboratively they produced an impressive amount of work. However, the author suggested this approach may pose challenges for teachers and tutors, not least turning them from experts of knowledge, to supporters or facilitators of learning.

Full text

Click to obtain username and password

When E-mail is outsourced

By Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed

Tuesday, 27 November, 2007

Universities are increasingly aware that when they outsource campus e-mail it can be the precursor to the external management of other student services. Concerns about security and privacy immediately arise as data are being migrated offsite, and many are dubious about whether profit-making companies would be interested in developing products that align with the core mission of higher education institutions. Nevertheless, technology opens many roads in catering for the needs of a tech-savvy generation of students. For example, tools and web applications that help peer-editing of term papers and streamlining academic advisory procedure are under development.

Full text

Dissecting the Biology Curriculum

By Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed

Friday, 16 November, 2007

Cornell has set up a task force charged with proposing structural and pedagogical changes to the undergraduate biology curriculum. The task force’s preliminary report makes various recommendations to break up large numbers of students into smaller, more specialized classes, and at the same time respond to changes in the field. Existing courses are to be modified, and new courses designed to allow more in-depth teaching, smaller classes, and discussion groups for not more than 15 students. A one-year laboratory class is also recommended, emphasizing techniques in biological research, with fewer experiments than a typical lab course, but with more time for analysis.

Full text

Don’t Be Shy

By Rachel Aviv, The New York Times

Sunday, 4 November, 2007

About half of the US colleges and universities require a public speaking or communications course. This article reports on strategies adopted by different institutions to help students overcome undesirable reticence. They range from identifying students with verbal difficulties and developing courses that address speech problems, to equipping communication labs with sophisticated tools to facilitate speaking exercises. However, some scholars and professors raised serious doubts about the rationale and effectiveness of such efforts.

Fulltext

The Times Higher World University Rankings 2007

The Times Higher Education Supplement

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Times Higher-QS World University Ranking is a multi-faceted indicator integrating academic opinion and employers’ review with quantitative data. According to the findings, the US and the UK continue to be home of the world’s top universities. Canada, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong are the only other places to appear in the top 20. The UK produces the best graduates in recruiters’ points-of-view, while the University of Melbourne emerges as Asia’s favorite institution for employers. Academic diversity is where the Asia-Pacific region and Europe excel in. Three universities in Hong Kong are on the top 10 league of international staff, while London attracts most international students.

Full Report

Click to obtain username and password

Involved Parents, Satisfied Students

By Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed

Monday, November 5, 2007

4,500 freshmen and 4,600 seniors at 24 North American higher education institutions responded to the 2007 National Survey of Student Engagement. Contrary to what some educators believe, students who frequently contact with their parents are more satisfied with their college experience, and report higher levels of engagement and academic fulfillment than do their counterparts. The survey also found that students receive both academic and personal benefits from participating in “high impact” activities that require close interaction with their peers, faculty and other professionals. According to the report, students who lived with a foreign family during their study abroad experience report more gains than others who lived among English speakers.

Full text

Full Report – Experiences That Matter: Enhancing Student Learning and Success

Training Law Students for Real-Life Careers

By Jonathan D. Glater, The New York Times

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This article walks us through recent curriculum innovations of law schools across the United States. For example, since many lawyers today have to read laws and regulations that have not been explained by a judge, both Harvard Law School and Vanderbilt University Law School have modified their traditional first-year requirements to include a class that teaches students how to interpret statutes and regulations. Stanford Law and other schools are also making it easier for students to take graduate-level courses at their universities, recognizing that lawyers often need specialized knowledge in areas like business, technology, international relations and medicine. Globalization also pushes universities to refashion what they teach to better prepare lawyers to work in the international scene.

Full text

Kentucky Rethinks Gen Ed

By Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A faculty committee of the University of Kentucky has recently released a general education reform proposal. The new programme would mostly consist of “Foundations of Inquiry” courses taught in five-week segments during students’ freshman year. These mini-courses emphasize how scholars approach questions of the humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences. In addition, the new curriculum would likely include a first-year orientation component, some classes in statistical reasoning, a four-credit-hour writing course, and an advanced writing seminar to be completed before graduation. Some faculty considered the proposed changes as complicating the existing curriculum and adding more work for them.

Full text

A levels to get a reprieve while diplomas bed in

By Melanie Newman, the Times Higher Education Supplement

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Schools Secretary of the UK said A levels will stay at least until 2013, and new diplomas for 14 to 19-year-olds could become alternative qualifications. The first five diplomas in construction, media, engineering, IT and society will be introduced next September, while additional diplomas in the traditional “academic” areas of science, languages and humanities will be launched in the next stage. “If diplomas are successfully introduced and are delivering the mix that employers and universities value, they could become the qualification of choice for young people,” the minister said.

Full text

Freshman Year Abroad

By Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More colleges are offering semester- or year-long study abroad programmes for first-year students. Syracuse University announced last week a new “Discovery Florence” first-semester available to freshmen in The College of Arts and Sciences, and the University of Mississippi is giving freshmen high-achievers the option to spend their whole first year at the University of Edinburgh starting in 2008. Florida State University even offers in-state tuition rates so as to attract talented entrants to attend its freshman year abroad programmes in Florence, London, Panama City and Valencia. This article covers more examples of models as such, and reveals the rationale of sending freshmen overseas.

Full text

Satisfied – but students want more feedback

By Rebecca Attwood and Louise Radnofsky, the Times Higher Education Supplement

Friday, September 14, 2007

While 81 per cent of students who took part in the UK National Student Survey 2007 were satisfied with the quality of their courses, only 54 per cent agreed that feedback had been prompt and had helped to clarify things they did not understand. Institutions generally welcomed the findings of this survey, attributing the high satisfaction levels to hard work of staff and student feedback. This article also reveals the latest university rankings based on The Times Higher satisfaction score, which is an overall measure of the ratings provided by respondents in the National Student Survey. University of Buckingham tops the league table; Oxford runs second.

Full text

Full Results – National Student Survey – Higher Education Funding Council for England

Harvard approves biggest curriculum change in 30 years

Reuters.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Harvard University approved its biggest curriculum overhaul in three decades, putting new emphasis on sensitive religious and cultural issues, the sciences and overcoming U.S. “parochialism”. The curriculum change, proposed on Feb. 8 after three years of faculty debate, is intended to counter criticism the oldest U.S. institute of higher learning was focused too narrowly on academic topics instead of real-life issues. The new program requires students to take a semester-long course in each of the following areas: Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding, Culture and Belief, Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning, Ethical Reasoning, Science of Living Systems, Science of the Physical Universe, Societies of the World, and The United States and the World.

Full text

Harvard’s Press Release

Toward Integrative Learning

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Friday, January 19, 2007

For students to have both the rigor of critical thinking and the substance they need for the changing world, the Association of American Colleges and Universities argues in various reports that students need exposure to multidisciplinary approaches to learning – that don’t sacrifice on subject matter, but that promote ‘integrative’ education, combining disciplines, combining academic and non-academic experiences, and so forth. Team teaching is one obvious approach, but there are tough questions that arise from it, including budgeting. A couple of solutions, including ‘course intersection’, creating the Multidisciplinary Team Enhanced Teaching Method, and manipulating the capstone course concept have been tried to deal with these problems.

Full text

More Moral and Practical Law Schools

By Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed

Friday, January 5, 2007

A two-year study conducted by the Carnegie Foundation of the Advancement of Teaching reveals that Law schools in the surveyed institutions in the U.S. and Canada are exceptionally successful at quickly training their students to master ‘a distinctive habit of thinking’. The ‘case-dialogue method’ employed encourages students to focus on abstractions in reaching conclusions’, to consider ‘as “facts” only those details that contribute to someone’s staking a legal claim on the basis of precedent.’ By contrast, social needs and justice are largely ‘treated as addenda’, if not totally ignored. The report lays out a number of recommendations to facilitate the integration of the teaching of legal doctrine with a much stronger focus on helping students develop practical ‘lawyering’ skills and understandings of ethical and moral considerations.

Full text

Dramatic Plan for Language Programs

By Scot Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A panel of top professors of foreign languages, organized by Modern Language Association, has pointed out undergraduate majors have overemphasized on literature that students’ broader understanding on cultures and nations has been lost. Departments are suggested to merge study of language and literature while adding more study of history, culture, economics and society – in some respects turning language programmes into area studies programme. A blended programme, rather than simply adding language basics and literature into the content, is sought to give more breadth and relevance for the major programmes. Besides, recruitment of lecturers should be taken seriously and on a broader scale; the hierarchy should be broken down to allow lecturers fully involve in course planning and perform a wider range of roles.

Full text

Combining Medical and Dental Education

By Paul Thacker, Inside Higher Ed

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Case Western Reserve University plans to provide an innovative programme that graduates students with dual medical and dental degrees. Upon graduation, students will be eligible for dental licensure and will also qualify for medical licensure after residency. This programme reflects the changes occurring in Dentistry in recent years, in which strong links between oral and physical health are found to be more apparent. Around five students will be picked each year to join the programme and the value of the professionalis expected to become more accepted as more graduates enter the health care industry.

Full text

Science Boosted

The Times Higher Education Supplement

Thursday, November 9, 2006

High-cost science subjects, which are fundamentally important to a country’s economy, are subject to low student demand in England. With 70 science departments having been closed in the past seven years, including the physics department in Reading recently, the Higher Education Funding Council decided to provide an extra 75 million pounds over three years to sustain capacity and raise student aspirations for science subjects.

Full text

Making Sense of “Bologna Degrees”

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Monday, November 6, 2006

The traditional norms of graduate admissions of refusing three-year degree holders in the United States has been a headache for the American academics since the Bologna Process was pledged among 45 European nations in 1999. If American graduate schools are not prepared to consider three-year degrees as automatically equivalent to the standard four, it is very probable that they would lose the best European talents who intend to move about after their undergraduate study. With the higher compatibility of the European and Australian education systems, American institutions are facing the dilemma of retaining or shifting their policies on foreign degree holders.

Full text

When Knowledge Overtakes a Core

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons released a report on October 13, 2006 proposing that the MIT adopt major changes in its undergraduate education. Some of the changes include updating the traditional core of science subjects, giving students more choices and more hands-on science; changing the requirements in arts, humanities and social sciences so that students would start with “foundational” work in those areas; and encouraging all undergraduates to consider studying abroad and making sure that students feel this is possible both educationally and financially.

Full text

Full Report – Report of The Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons

Harvard Law Alters First-Year Program

By Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed

Monday, October 9, 2006

The faculty of Harvard Law School unanimously approved changes to its first-year curriculum in early October, signaling a rare revision to its markedly consistent program. The updated curriculum is meant to reflect the modern-day legal profession, which legal experts say is increasingly complex and global in scope. Given Harvard’s status as one of the US’s best law schools, its changes have “blazed a path and set a challenge for all other law schools” to modernize their curricula.

Full text

Preliminary Report of the Task Force on General Education, October 2006

Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

The Task Force on General Education at Harvard University has released its preliminary report on a new general education curriculum for Harvard College, for consideration by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The report describes the set of requirements, outside the concentration, that all students must meet before they can receive a Harvard degree. The aspiration of the program is to enable undergraduates to put all the learning they are doing at Harvard, outside as well as inside the classroom, in the context of the people they will be and the lives they will lead after college. The report is highly relevant to HKU’s deliberation on First Year Experience in the new curriculum.

Full text

Caring or Uncaring Assessment

By Larry Braskamp and Steven Schomberg, Inside Higher Ed

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It is claimed by many federal and state education policy makers that assessment will make higher education accountable. This is on the basis that assessment is an effective tool to determine quality, foster improvement and measure competitiveness. It is indicated that assessment should be less about compliance and standardization; and more about sharing, caring, and transparency to bring public accountability. Different kinds of colleges and universities are established to meet the different educational needs of students. Assessment should recognize and ultimately encourage them to pursue their unique missions. Eight recommendations for effective assessment were addressed to enhance the role of assessment in student learning and development.

Full text

Harvard Rethinks Science

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Monday, July 17, 2006

There are a series of revolutions going on in science and technology – and in the way they are taught and conducted in American higher education. Traditional lectures are being replaced with more active learning. Graduate students are being taught to teach, not just do research. And interdisciplinary is prominent. A committee of 24 leading scientists from across Harvard University produced a preliminary set of proposals for “enhancing science and engineering at Harvard” that range from continuing to invest in traditional “core disciplines” to transforming the teaching of science by implementing “hands-on learning as a cornerstone in undergraduate science and engineering education”.

Full text

Full Report – Enhancing Science and Engineering at Harvard: The Preliminary Report from the University Planning Committee for Science and Engineering

How to Educate Young Scientists

Editorial, The New York Times

Monday, July 3, 2006

In order not to fall from its privileged perch in the global economy, the United States tries to find ways to enliven a dry and dispiriting style of science instruction that leads as many as half of the country’s aspiring scientists to quit the field before they leave college. The emerging consensus among educators is that students need early, engaging experiences in the lab – and much more mentoring than most of them receive now – to maintain their interest and inspire them to take up careers in the sciences.

Full text

Why American College Students Hate Science

By Brent Staples, The New York Times

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is highly successful in turning American college students into scientists. Its well-structured science program, the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, has instructional strategy which can keep the students excited and prevent them from drifting off into less challenging disciplines. Students are encouraged to study in groups, are exposed to cutting-edge science in laboratory settings and have access to work that leads to early publication in scientific journals. Students are also pushed to perform at the highest level by various instructional strategies. Nearly 90% of the graduates went on to graduate or professional programs.

Full text

Preliminary Report of the Task Force on General Education, October 2006

Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

The Task Force on General Education at Harvard University has released its preliminary report on a new general education curriculum for Harvard College, for consideration by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The report describes the set of requirements, outside the concentration, that all students must meet before they can receive a Harvard degree. The aspiration of the program is to enable undergraduates to put all the learning they are doing at Harvard, outside as well as inside the classroom, in the context of the people they will be and the lives they will lead after college. The report is highly relevant to HKU’s deliberation on First Year Experience in the new curriculum.

Full text

Caring or Uncaring Assessment

By Larry Braskamp and Steven Schomberg, Inside Higher Ed

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It is claimed by many federal and state education policy makers that assessment will make higher education accountable. This is on the basis that assessment is an effective tool to determine quality, foster improvement and measure competitiveness. It is indicated that assessment should be less about compliance and standardization; and more about sharing, caring, and transparency to bring public accountability. Different kinds of colleges and universities are established to meet the different educational needs of students. Assessment should recognize and ultimately encourage them to pursue their unique missions. Eight recommendations for effective assessment were addressed to enhance the role of assessment in student learning and development.

Full text

Harvard Rethinks Science

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Monday, July 17, 2006

There are a series of revolutions going on in science and technology – and in the way they are taught and conducted in American higher education. Traditional lectures are being replaced with more active learning. Graduate students are being taught to teach, not just do research. And interdisciplinary is prominent. A committee of 24 leading scientists from across Harvard University produced a preliminary set of proposals for “enhancing science and engineering at Harvard” that range from continuing to invest in traditional “core disciplines” to transforming the teaching of science by implementing “hands-on learning as a cornerstone in undergraduate science and engineering education”.

Full text

Full Report – Enhancing Science and Engineering at Harvard: The Preliminary Report from the University Planning Committee for Science and Engineering

How to Educate Young Scientists

Editorial, The New York Times

Monday, July 3, 2006

In order not to fall from its privileged perch in the global economy, the United States tries to find ways to enliven a dry and dispiriting style of science instruction that leads as many as half of the country’s aspiring scientists to quit the field before they leave college. The emerging consensus among educators is that students need early, engaging experiences in the lab – and much more mentoring than most of them receive now – to maintain their interest and inspire them to take up careers in the sciences.

Full text

Why American College Students Hate Science

By Brent Staples, The New York Times

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is highly successful in turning American college students into scientists. Its well-structured science program, the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, has instructional strategy which can keep the students excited and prevent them from drifting off into less challenging disciplines. Students are encouraged to study in groups, are exposed to cutting-edge science in laboratory settings and have access to work that leads to early publication in scientific journals. Students are also pushed to perform at the highest level by various instructional strategies. Nearly 90% of the graduates went on to graduate or professional programs.

Full text

Copyright © 2016 The University of Hong Kong. All Rights Reserved Contact Us