Teaching and Learning at The University of Hong Kong HKU

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Inter-professional team-based learning (IPTBL) is an innovative teaching approach which aims at promoting peer-to-peer learning and collaborations across disciplines. In 2016, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine piloted IPTBL with nearly 600 medical, health and social care students from HKU and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This year, the organizing team scaled it up to serve more than 1,000 students from the following programmes: Chinese medicine, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work from HKU; and medical laboratory science, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, radiography, and social work from PolyU.

The details of implementation are as follows:

Topic of Instructional Unit Date No. of participants
Anticoagulation Therapy January 21, 2017 247
Depression February 11, 2017 310
Fracture February 18, 2017 437
Multiple drugs February 25, 2017 347
Developmental delay March 18, 2017 192
Cancer March 25, 2017 501

What’s new this year?

(1) Venue: To facilitate group discussion and communication between teachers and students, IPTBL was conducted this year in Lecture Hall II at the Centennial Campus, a flat area with mobile chairs and strong WiFi connectivity.

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Before: IPTBL was conducted in a lecture theatre setting in the 2016 pilot round. Students in groups tended to face the stage most of the time.

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After: Groups were arranged in circles this year. This picture features 71 small groups of five to seven students seated in the spacious Lecture Hall II. The IPTBL team would like to thank colleagues from the Examinations Office, Estates Office and Learning Environment Services of ITS who made all the six sessions possible.

(2) Team progress chart: How to pace the 4-hour face-to-face IPTBL session is a big challenge. While the moderators and content experts had to be very conscious of the time, students also played an important role in moving the session forward. The newly added team progress chart displayed on one of the four screens in front of the hall, indicating whether a particular group had finished the assigned task – just like what a leaderboard does in online games. This provided motivation to students to complete their work in a timely manner, and also gave teachers some idea on which groups to interview in the interactive feedback session.

(3) Peer evaluation: Team-based learning creates many opportunities for students to learn with, from and about each other through intensive interaction and collaboration. During each session, they got to know each other’s expertise and communication style. Peer evaluation is a mechanism for them to provide honest feedback to their peer teammates in terms of four competencies: values/ ethics, roles/ responsibilities, communication, and teamwork. At the end of each session of this year’s IPTBL, students would fill in their peer evaluation scores in an online form. They would then be directed to another page which showed them, in real-time, the average scores that he/she received from other teammates.

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Dr. LK Chan explained to students how to fill out the online peer evaluation form. By the way, did you notice the balloons in the picture? They indicate the group numbers so that teachers/ facilitators could quickly locate where the teams are.

Exemplary facilitation skills
Team-based learning incorporates many elements of constructivist learning (Hrynchak & Batty, 2012). The teachers (content experts) spent much time to come up with carefully-crafted application exercises which can reveal common misconceptions and debatable topics from which students build new understandings. During the interactive feedback session, many teachers showed excellent skills in facilitating the discussion of a large group of students, such as:

  • not picking the team leader to present the team’s views;
  • asking open-ended questions with a focus on understanding the students’ rationale in picking a particular answer;
  • encouraging students to articulate their thoughts;
  • addressing uncertainties or disagreements;
  • providing a closure after each discussion; and
  • paying attention to teams or students who are not taking part (e.g., by inviting a range of teams to give their opinions).

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IPTBL is the Bronze Winner for Discipline Award (Life Sciences) in the prestigious QS Stars-Wharton Reimagine Education Awards 2016. The team celebrated the success after a briefing session in January 2017.

Way forward
The IPTBL team is now reviewing the feedback from students and teachers. They are thinking about improving the implementation in the following ways:

  • shortening the readiness tests in order to leave more time for discussion on the clinical scenario;
  • re-voicing students’ opinions when they contribute something that appears to be complex or not too well understood to students from other disciplines.
  • Adding new functions to the online platform for running IPTBL to provide more informative feedback to both the facilitators and students.

For those of you would like to learn more about IPTBL or contribute to it, please contact Dr. Fraide A. Ganotice, Jr., Program Coordinator at Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, via ganotc75@hku.hk. If you want to get to know the technical aspects of running large classes, you may reach out to the Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI) via enquiry@teli.hku.hk.

Look forward to IPTBL 2018!

Reference
Hrynchak, P. & Batty, H. (2012) The educational theory basis of team-based learning. Medical Teacher 34, 796-801.

Further reading

  1. Breaking through the Silos with Technology and Team-Based Learning
  2. Big Success at International Award to Reimagine Education
  3. Learning to Work in Teams: Interprofessional Learning for Health Students

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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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In December last year, we were excited to take over 200 local secondary students on the adventurous trip of our first SPOC – Critical Readings of Popular Culture! In the six-week self-paced course, students planned their learning sequence and schedule by themselves. They watched the required learning units to acquire the knowledge and skills needed, completed knowledge check quizzes to assess their understanding, and submitted their own critical analysis with reference to their own learning experience. More importantly, they were actively sharing their ideas with fellow learners in the discussion forums, supporting each other’s learning experience.

Watching all of these happening, we are proud to say: you are ready for university studies!

The course will launch again in May, with more up to date popular work introduced. Stay tuned with us and establish your critical thinking by viewing day-to-day popular culture works through new perspectives.

In the meantime, don’t miss out on two upcoming SPOCs from HKU: – Journey into Madness and Everyday Computing, launching on Mar 1st and 8th respectively.

Get ready for your future study, starting from HKU SPOCs.
Register today!
Eligibility: Enrollment is only open for Secondary School Students.

Everyday Computing

This course aims to describe and explain various computational algorithms (e.g., Recursion, Google Map route finding, etc.). It will also help you in evaluating the pros and cons of computing services. At the end of the course, you will demonstrate your learning through a series of activities that will be held in a face-to-face session. This course will cover topics such as, divide and conquer, graphs, cryptography, and authentication protocols.

Journey into madness

Mental illness is often portrayed by mass media as a threat. But how much do we really know about mental illness? Mental health is fundamental to our overall well-being and influences us far more than we’d like to admit. This course will guide you through the considerations of defining abnormality and challenging the stigma attached to mental disorders. With the use of case studies and video lectures, you will gain a broadened understanding of those who struggle with mental illnesses.

Like our Facebook page to receive more information on The University of Hong Kong Online Learning: https://www.facebook.com/hkuonlinelearning/

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Everyday Computing aims to teach you how to make informed decisions in this information age. It is expected that everyone needs to have an efficient way to sift through and evaluate the myriads of information that is available through the Internet. The ultimate objective of this course is to help students develop a “computational” state of mind for everyday events. Specifically, the course will enable students to answer the following questions:

  • What daily problems need to be solved by a computational method?
  • Are such problems solvable?
  • By what means can such problems be solved?
  • Is it worthwhile to compute such problems?

We will also discuss intensively the societal impacts of computing technologies on our daily life.

Online lectures would be available for the whole course, making room for more in-depth learning in lecture sessions. Specifically, a face-to-face session will be conducted in collaborative workshop formats, whereby students need to work in teams to complete hands-on tasks corresponding to the topics covered in the course.

Our Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) are here to give you a real taste of university courses. HKU is now providing two SPOCs taught by our very own Professors – Journey into Madness and Everyday Computing.

Registration

Assessment criteria for certificates

A Certificate of Completion will be issued upon completing the first 5 basic badges. Each badge can be earned upon fulfilling these two criteria:

  1. Watch all video lectures and read through all topic materials
  2. Getting a 50% mark in each topic challenge questions

A Certificate of Excellence will be awarded to learners

  1. Collected all 7 badges
  2. Attended the Face-to-Face session

FAQs about HSST9003

Is it open to everyone?
Yes and no. Yes, it is open to public but limited to secondary school students in Hong Kong.

Is this course free?
Yes, It is absolutely free. And the best part is that there is another course “Journey into Madness” that is as good as HSST 9003 and it is also absolutely free.

Can I get a certificate out of it?
Yes, it offers two levels of certificate. Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Excellence.

How do I register for this amazing course?
You can click here to sign up and we will email you your free learning.hku.hk account.

I already signed up but I didn’t get any email, what should I do?
Usually, it takes few hours for us to send a reply. But not to worry. You can also check your SPAM mail just in case.

I’ve waited for hours, check my SPAM, but I still cannot find the email. What should I do?
You can email the course team directly through it CCST9003@teli.hku.hk

What is it like in the original Hong Kong class?

About the face to face session:
There will be two classwork activities for this online course and this will be part of the requirement to earn the certificate of excellence.

  1. Classwork #1 Keep Talking Game

    In this classwork activity, your group will collaborate to solve a series of puzzles and make sure that every bomb will not explode. So you need to keep talking so that nobody will explode.

  2. Classwork #2 Finding Dr. X

    In this classwork activity, your team will travel back in time to help the justice alliance to decrypt the messages left by Dr. X. Your team needs to find his whereabouts and help Prof. Kwok arrest him.

These classwork activities will be held on 8 April 2017, from 10:30 – 12:30, at CPD 3.41, 3/F, Centennial Campus, University of Hong Kong.

The course begins on 8 March, 2017. Registration is open until 22 March, 2017.

Eligibility: Enrollment is open only for Secondary School Students.

Like our Facebook page to receive more information on The University of Hong Kong Online Learning: https://www.facebook.com/hkuonlinelearning/

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Are you a prospective university student? Have you thought of what major you want to study in the future? What do HKU students learn in class?

Our Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) are here to give you a real taste of university courses. HKU is now providing two SPOCs taught by our very own Professors – Journey into Madness and Everyday Computing.

Journey Into Madness: A Free Online Course on Mental Health

Registration

About the course
When you hear the word ‘mental illness’, what kind of image comes to mind? Do you think of a homeless person babbling to a tree or wonder about that emo kid sitting in a dark room?

Mental health is fundamental to our overall well-being and influences us far more than we’d like to admit. Because mental illness is often portrayed as a threat, we immediately fear those who are associated with it. This course will help you unlearn those misconceptions about mental illness by examining the definitions of abnormality and challenging the stigma attached to mental disorders. Together, we will delve deeper into the following topics:

  • Madness: What is considered abnormal?
  • Diagnosis: How is one diagnosed with a mental disorder?
  • Depression: What impact does this growing illness have on youth suicide?
  • Stigmatization: What measures can you take to reduce stigma associated with mental health problems?

Through online lectures, discussion forums and a peer-review assignment, you will have a better understanding of what constitutes an individual’s mental health status.

Assessment criteria for certificates

A Certificate of Completion will be issued upon completing the following tasks:

  1. Attempt all quizzes in the course, and get above 60% correct.

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A Certificate of Excellence will be awarded to learners

  1. Attempt all quizzes in the course, and get above 60% correct.
  2. Submit an Anti-Stigma Campaign proposal to raise awareness of mental illness among Secondary School students (no more than 300 words)
  3. Perform two peer reviews by marking your classmates’ work

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Registration: http://bit.ly/hku_spoc
The course begins on 1 March, 2017. Registration is open until 15 March, 2017.

Eligibility: Enrollment is only open for Secondary School Students.

Like our Facebook page to receive more information on The University of Hong Kong Online Learning: https://www.facebook.com/hkuonlinelearning/

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Pedagogical innovation is one of the major focuses of TELI. By way of technology, we aim to enhance the quality of teaching. We are delighted to learn from our friend Dr. Chng Huanghoon, Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education), that they are doing the same in The National University of Singapore (NUS). In a fruitful sharing session on November 8, 2016, Dr. Chng and HKU members from different faculties exchanged ideas on new pedagogical initiatives and current developments in advancing teaching excellence.

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To kick off, Dr. C.K. Chui from the Department of Computer Science shared about his project with NUS on cross-institutional collaborative learning alliance. In order to enhance students’ collaboration skills and international exposure, the Department of Computer Science is partnering with the School of Computing from NUS to build an online collaborative teaching and learning platform for students to co-write computer programs. The platform also serves as a teacher knowledge hub for assessment resource, learning analytics and learning materials. If the initiation is successful, other universities will be invited into this alliance.

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In terms of recognizing teaching achievements, Dr. Susan Bridges from the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning gave us an update on U21’s progress towards building a Conceptual Framework for Teaching to define, recognize and reward teaching quality so as to guide academic promotion processes across the U21 Network. Having just returned from the U21 Educational Innovation Conference 2016, Dr. Bridges reported that a draft framework was tabled for comments. It is set to be finalized in 2017.

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Shifting the focus to Asia, Dr. Chng is also leading an initiative to build a framework for teaching excellence, beginning with forming a core group of committed teachers who would share their good practice in teaching. Through the establishment of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Asia in NUS, they aim to develop an academy of scholarly teaching and work towards achieving universal recognition. The initiation sparked exciting discussion around the table who generally agreed that teaching excellence is not getting enough recognition as it should. It is hoped that the exemplars could serve as a framework to achieve a top-down effect and motivate teachers to try new approaches in their teaching.

We’d love to collaborate with you in trying out new technology and pedagogy. Contact us now at enquiry@teli.hku.hk!

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Two HKU collaborative projects are being recognized at the prestigious QS Stars-Wharton Reimagine Education Awards. The inter-institutional team, “Interprofessional Team-based Learning (IPTBL) for Health Professional Students”, led by Dr. Lap Ki Chan (Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine) is the Bronze Winner for Discipline Award (Life Sciences). The international team, “Problem-based learning and Educational Technologies in Clinical Education – An Interactional Ethnography”, led by Dr. Susan Bridges (Faculty of Education/ Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning) won the Bronze Regional Award (Asia).

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From Left to Right:
Dr Fraide A. Ganotice, Jr., Mr. Nunzio Quacquarelli (CEO and founder of Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd.), Dr. Susan Bridges, Prof. Judith Green

Shortlisted candidates from around the world gathered in Philadelphia on Dec 5-6, 2016 to showcase their projects in this “Oscars” gathering for innovative higher education pedagogies. From over 500 projects, the panel of judges selected all submissions from HKU to be among the 120 that are shortlisted for the final contest.

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Prof. Ricky Kwok and Dr Fraide A. Ganotice presenting at the Reimagine Education Awards

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Dr. Susan Bridges presenting at the Reimagine Education Awards

Both projects have the vision in realizing how technology should be infused in teaching across multiple scales, including: student numbers, time (e.g., learning cycles) and disciplines. The improvements in outcomes are supported by quantitative and qualitative research data. TELI is proud to have been particularly involved in the IPTBL project on various fronts, including the development of the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) electronic platform, the implementation and connectivity that are all crucial in the development of the IPTBL.

Further reading:

  1. (大公報 Tai Kung Pao) 港大兩個項目獲國際創意教育獎項
  2. (文匯報 Wen Wei Po) 港大奪全球教學創新兩銅

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Are you a prospective university student? Have you thought of what major you want to study in the future? Interest and ability are two key factors to consider in choosing your university major. Yet, how can you really visualize how classes in universities are like just by reading a bunch of colourful prospectus, giving only factual and static information of the courses?

Worry not! Our Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) are here to give you a real taste of university courses which will help you make a better informed choice.

HKU is now providing three SPOCs taught by our very own Professors and lecturers:

Now on Offer: Critical Readings of Popular Culture

Registration
Register for this course at http://bit.ly/hku_spoc and get a taste of your university life to-be!
The course begins on 2 December, 2016. Registration is open until 16 December, 2016.

About the course
This four-module online course is designed to help you take a fresh, critical look at what seems familiar and ordinary. By drawing on various theories and analytical tools, you will become a sharp decoder of hidden messages in entertainment media.

Throughout this course, we will examine the following genres and topics:

  • Commercials: How do producers use film to convey the meaning they want to make?
  • Movies: What is the secret to Hollywood success?
  • TV dramas: Why are Korean TV Dramas so popular?
  • Print advertisements: Did you ever buy something because of an attractive advertisement? Why did you do that?

Assessment criteria for certificates
A Certificate of Completion will be issued upon completing the following tasks:

  1. Attempt all quizzes in the course, and get at least 60% correct.
  2. Participate in discussion forum by posting at least 1 meaningful post.
  3. Submit the final assignment before 2nd Jan, 2017, 23:59.

A Certificate of Excellence will be awarded to learners who get higher than 80% correct of the quizzes, and receive a Grade A for the final assignment. More details about the final assignment will be introduced during the course.

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Stay tuned for these upcoming SPOCs:

Everyday Computing

Are computers outsmarting human beings? This course will help you to develop a “computational” mindset to analyze and formulate solutions for problems encountered in everyday life. We will investigate into how these problems are related to the Internet and the impact of computing technologies to humankind.
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Journey into Mental Ill-Health

Mental illness is often portrayed by mass media as a threat. This is hardly the complete story. With the use of experiential exercises, case studies, and film viewing, this course will guide you to understand more about mental health issues through reflecting on your daily life and learn to co-inhabit with people with mental illness.
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Like our Facebook page to receive more information on The University of Hong Kong Online Learning: https://www.facebook.com/hkuonlinelearning/

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Prologue: Initiating a large scale collaboration is not much different from starting a Mexican wave – grab the people around you, gather a concerted effort to do something exciting and let others pick up the momentum.

The 2nd annual Asian e-Table was held on May 12-13. We joined hands again with e-learning advocates from nine top-notch universities 1 in Asia to spark ideas for a common Asian position so as to create a bigger impact in the region.

photo_2016-07-12_10-08-28[From left to right] Professor Roger CHENG (HKUST), Ms Helie KIM (YU), Professor Joon HEO (YU), Professor Toru IIYOSHI (KU), Professor Ricky KWOK (HKU), Dr. Huang Hoon CHNG (NUS), Professor Xiaoming LI (PKU).

“Crowdsourcing” Contents – Internationalization at Home

Producing high quality contents require tremendous time and resources so why not make the most out of them? The Asian e-Table is looking to establish a common platform to pool the contents developed by all the institutions involved. Once this is achieved, we aim to develop a mechanism for credit transfer. Taking advantage of the Asian time zone, the platform could potentially serve as a synchronized virtual classroom where students can learn, collaborate and co-create with their overseas counterparts, right at home.

Incoming Skype call from Professor Anant AGARWAL, Chief Executive Officer, edX.

Regional (E-)Teaching Excellence Award

For e-learning material producers, one major source of frustration is the lack of awareness, support and acceptance by fellows. Therefore it is of crucial importance that recognition is given to teachers who are willing to adopt this new practice – and excel in doing so. The Asian e-Table is looking to launch a Regional (E-)Teaching Excellence Award to reward and promote excellence in e-teaching. It is also an effective way to celebrate achievements in e-learning, which can potentially evolve into communities of practice headed by the awardees. Making e-learning an “established” practice could be the way to sway more professors in, which means wider and better collaboration.

Incoming Skype call from Professor Benson YEH, Director of MOOC Program, National Taiwan University.

The big shot – Asian Consortium

With these new initiations, the Asian e-Table aims to create some buzz which could generate a more extensive wave of international e-learning collaboration. Our ultimate goal is to connect all the e-advocates in the region into an Asian Consortium. By benchmarking the quality of e-learning and associated parameters, and enhancing professional development and teacher training, we hope to turn e-learning into the new standard of learning.


1 Kyoto University, National Taiwan University, National University of Singapore, Peking University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The University of Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology, with Yonsei University as a new member

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Technology has opened up new opportunities for professional development. Choices are no longer restricted to traditional half-day seminars. With new online platforms such as the Blended & Online Learning & Teaching (BOLT) Project, we can now learn anytime, anywhere. This project aims to support technology-facilitated teaching through developing online resources and forming professional learning communities. Leaders of the project, Professor Lim Cher Ping from The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) and Mr. Darren Harbutt from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU); together with two project teachers, Assistant Professor Veronika Schoeb and Mr. David Watson from PolyU, shared their experiences in developing blended learning in a seminar on 31 May 2016.

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Professor Lim shared EdUHK’s grassroot approach towards promoting professional development of blended learning in Hong Kong. They begin with providing programme/course/department-based support within individual faculties, then sharing the resources with other faculties in the institution, and eventually with other local and international higher education institutions.

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Dr. Schoeb is one of the teachers who took the BOLT Foundation course and applied the knowledge in developing her course “Qualitative research methods and statistics.” A variety of learning activities were tried out in her teaching, including Kahoot, online test, group work, onsite fieldwork and classic face-to-face sessions. This blended learning approach promoted active learning and was evaluated positively by her students.

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Mr. Watson urged the audience to check out the BOLT Foundation course to learn more about blended and online learning. You may also sign up for the CMALT Professional Development Module, a mentor-supported online module in developing a portfolio to showcase your expertise in learning technologies. Be sure to subscribe for the BOLT Newsletter as well!

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More photos of the seminar can be found on our Facebook and Twitter.

Afternote: The HKU team has developed an online module on the basis of e-learning in collaboration with the BOLT team. The course will re-run this summer. Stay tuned for more information.

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