Dear colleagues and students
The changing public health situation in Hong Kong means that we need to update our teaching arrangements for Semester 1 (S1), 2020-21.
We remain committed to a dual mode of teaching for UG and TPG courses in S1:
- Online: all courses, apart from a few exceptions requiring hands-on engagement, will be available online throughout the semester. (Faculties will issue separate guidance to their students about any required hands-on teaching.)
- Face to face: when it is safe to do so, we will also offer students the option of returning to campus for some f2f classes.
This is how S1 will look for UG and TPG courses:
- Sept 1-21: all courses, apart from a few exceptions requiring hands-on engagement, will be delivered online only. (Faculties will issue separate guidance to their students about any required hands-on teaching.)
- By Sept 1: I will issue a bulk email outlining our teaching arrangements for the period from Sept 22.
- Sept 22: we hope to reinstate some f2f teaching for the remainder of S1, though in the event that may not be possible.
- S1 as a whole: all courses will be available online, apart from a few exceptions requiring hands-on engagement. (Faculties will issue separate guidance to their students about any required hands-on teaching.)
- Final exams will take place online, unless there are special requirements or all the students taking a course are in Hong Kong and it is safe for them to attend an in-person exam.
As before, we are offering all UG and TPG students three assessment choices for S1 courses: letter grade, pass/fail, late drop. Assessment choices can be submitted through SIS from 09:00 on Monday September 28 to 23:59 on Saturday October 10. This deadline is final, and no modifications will be permitted once it has passed. I would like to reiterate here what I have said before. We strongly advise all students to think carefully when opting for pass/fail grading. Courses that are simply passed will be recorded as P on the transcript, with no impact on the GPA calculation. For UG students in particular, this could have important knock-on effects. Internally, we rely on SGPA data for elective opportunities, such as academic exchange and other funded programmes. Externally, employers and universities around the world examine transcripts in some detail when taking decisions about jobs and postgraduate study. Students without solid SGPA data from S1, 2020-21 may therefore place themselves at a significant disadvantage. Please consult your teachers, your academic advisers, the Academic Advising Office, your family and your friends before submitting your assessment choices.
I think most teachers already know about the support for online teaching and learning offered by TELI, CETL and ITS. Hundreds of colleagues have attended each of TELI’s online workshops on Virtual Flipped Classroom Design (https://tl.hku.hk/elearningblog/). Many colleagues have also registered for CETL’s Summer Sandbox Series on Creative Online Course Design (https://www.cetl.hku.hk/sandbox2020/). We also have tech experts and resources available to help with online teaching problems (WhatsApp: 6437-8034). Do contact us with any issues that arise.
Finally, and as ever, many thanks to everyone for enabling us to keep teaching and learning at HKU in challenging circumstances. Please consult our website about teaching and learning in S1 (https://tl.hku.hk/teachonline/). Please contact me with queries (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Best wishes, Ian
Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong