CETL Workshop – MCQ workshop

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

Speaker: Mr Neville Chiavaroli, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Education, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the University of Melbourne, Australia
Chair: Dr Susan Bridges, Associate Professor, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning/ Faculty of Education, HKU
Date : 14th April, 2015 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building


MCQ examinations are often seen as a concession to modern-day realities of universities – a way of assessing large numbers of students, reliably, and without the hassle of hands-on marking. If the result is the reduction of our assessments to isolated fact recall, with a consequent loss of validity for the purpose of the assessment, then this is far too high a price to pay. It also greatly underestimates the potential of the ‘single best answer’ MCQ form to assess higher levels of thinking, reasoning and judgement. MCQs are not easy to write, but this short workshop aims to show that the effort required to write scenario-based, ‘higher order’ MCQs is well worth the benefits of broad sampling and automated marking, without having to sacrifice validity. Participants will also be guided through how to evaluate the quality of MCQs, including the use of relatively simple statistical data.

About the Speaker

Neville is a Senior Lecturer in the Medical Education Unit of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where his responsibilities include the development and review of assessment philosophy and practices. He originally trained and practiced as a physiotherapist for several years, before completing a Masters of Education and subsequently moving into educational research. He worked for many years at the Australian Council for Educational Research, where he was involved in developing various school and university-based assessments, as well as overseeing the development and production of the Humanities and Social Sciences sections of the medical and health professional selection tests, UMAT and GAMSAT. Since joining the university in 2006, he has conducted assessment workshops for various educational and credentialing organisations, including several medical colleges, the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand, the Dietitians Association of Australia, the Australian Dental Council, and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council. He has acted as an educational consultant to the Australian Medical Council’s programme of MCQ writing workshops, and is currently the Health Professions Education Representative on the DAA Dietetics Credentialing Council.

Sandwiches will be served with coffee and tea.

or information on registration, please contact:
Ms Ivy Lai , CETL
Phone: 3917 8996; Email: laichun2@hku.hk.

CETL Seminar – Assessing the stages of scientific inquiry: An assessor’s toolkit


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

Speakers: Dr Vikki Burns, Director of Teaching Quality Enhancement for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Birmingham, UK
Chair: Dr Susan Bridges, Associate Professor, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning/ Faculty of Education, HKU
Date : 17th February, 2015 (Tuesday)
Time : 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building


It is clear that science, health sciences and engineering students need to be able to understand and engage with all stages of the scientific process to become effective graduates. However, many of our traditional assessments still focus on subject specific knowledge, rather than the broader skills and understanding necessary for scientific inquiry.

This seminar will explore how we can construct novel, valid tasks that assess each stage of the scientific process. It will focus on specific, pragmatic examples of assessments that can be adapted for the basic, clinical, and applied sciences and engineering. Through these examples, the seminar will illustrate how the nature of the assessment task can guide student behaviour and promote more effective learning.

The seminar will be relevant to any member of staff involved in assessing students in science, health sciences or engineering, particularly those looking for ideas to move beyond more traditional assessments. Anyone with more experience or expertise in innovative assessments is encouraged to attend and contribute to the general discussions after the presentation.

About the Speakers:

ESP-UoB-7499.jpgDr Vikki Burns is Director of Teaching Quality Enhancement for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is currently visiting The University of Hong Kong on a Universitas 21 fellowship.

Dr Burns has recently rewritten the classic book ’53 Interesting Ways to Assess Your Students’, which will be published by Frontinus Ltd in 2015. This accessible book provides ideas and considerations for different types of assessment. It focuses on tips for practitioners rather than in depth theoretical discussions. As such, it’s the ideal companion for a new member of academic staff, or anyone who wants evidence based ideas but who doesn’t have the time to search them out from the primary literature.

Dr Burns is also on the management group for the University of Birmingham’s new Teaching Academy, and supports other academic staff to develop and evaluate their teaching practices. She has recently established a national network for Sport and Exercise Sciences departments at research-led universities to share good practice and build collaborations, and is looking forward to building more international links during her sabbatical in 2015.

Sandwiches will be served with coffee and tea.

For information on registration, please contact:
Ms Ivy Lai , CETL
Phone: 3917 8996; Email: laichun2@hku.hk.

CETL Seminar: Assuring and Enhancing Student Achievement: Getting the balance right

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


Speaker: Professor Brenda Smith, a Higher Education Consultant in the UK and an Academic Associate of the Higher Education Academy
Date : 28th May, 2014 (Wednesday)
Time : 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building


This seminar will explore how we can obtain direct evidence of student learning. However, we need to ensure that as well as “Assessment of Learning” we are using “Assessment for Learning”. Examples will be drawn from The University of Hong Kong In-house paper as well as examples from overseas. Practical ways of enhancing the student assessment experience will be discussed.

About the Speakers:

Brenda is a freelance Higher Education Consultant in the UK and an Academic Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Prior to this she was Assistant Director at the Higher Education Academy and former Head of the Generic Centre of the Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN).

Across the UK and at national level, Brenda has been actively involved in assessment and feedback, the Scottish Quality Enhancement agenda, the Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning initiative (CETLs), change management, student engagement and the analysis of the Welsh institutional Learning and Teaching Strategies. She was also one of the first National Accreditors for the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT) and was the originator of the Change Academy programme for the Higher Education Academy.

Brenda has been actively involved with over 70 Universities across the UK. She has run conferences, given keynote presentations and organized 24-hour events for universities that have included both staff and students.

She has been an external examiner for six UK University Post Graduate Certificate Programmes for new academic staff and has been a member of many Validation Degree Panels.

She is an editorial member for the journal “Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education” and a past Executive member of the Professional and Organizational Development Association (POD) in America.

Brenda has acted as a consultant in many different countries including Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Poland, Taiwan, Azerbaijan, America, Lithuania, Colombia, the West Indies, Ethiopia and Malaysia.

Brenda has written widely on learning, teaching and assessment.

For information on registration, please contact:
Ms Ivy Lai , CETL
Phone: 3917 8996; Email: laichun2@hku.hk.

Assessing Assessment by Professor Paul Engel

Message from Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education

You are cordially invited to attend the following joint seminar organized by the Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education (IMHSE) and Department of Biochemistry:

Title: Assessing Assessment
Date: Monday, April 7, 2014
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: Seminar Room 3, G/F, Laboratory Block,
Faculty of Medicine Building

Speaker: Professor Paul Engel

About the speaker

Professor Engel has played an instrumental role in the university effort to build a good teaching quality assurance system in UCD for about 10 years. As a teacher, he is well recognized for his excellent teaching delivery in various universities including Sheffield, Oxford, Hong Kong and UCD to students of Biochemistry, Medicine, Engineering, Nursing and other Science subjects through lectures, tutorial sessions, and practical classes. He has served as External Examiner for numerous top universities in the world and in the UK, besides publishing two textbooks in Biochemistry.


CETL Workshop: Workshop on interactive lecture and assessment with iClass

Facilitator: Dr Wilton Fok, Assistant Dean (External Relations and Knowledge Exchange), Faculty of Engineering, HKU
Organizer: Dr Cecilia Chan, Associate Professor, CETL, HKU
Date : 27th March, 2014 (Thursday)
Time : 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue : Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building

feature-1About the workshop
iClass is an interactive mobile learning platform developed at HKU with the support of Teaching Development Grant. Some colleagues from the faculties of dentistry, engineering, science, social sciences and medicine are using iClass in their lectures to conduct interactive discussions and assessments. In this workshop, you will learn:

1. How to log on and create courses in iClass?
2. How to set up interactive activities with keywords and drawing?
3. How to use Latex in iClass for maths and science equation display?
4. How to draw graphical feedback on students’ assessment?

Some examples of how iClass was used in HKU will be shared. Please bring your own devices for more hands-on experience.

About the facilitator
Dr Wilton Fok: http://www.eee.hku.hk/people/wtfok.html

For information on registration, please contact:
Ms Ivy Lai , CETL
Phone: 3917 8996; Email: laichun2@hku.hk.


Simulated Clients – Authenticity, Skills and the Ethics of the Encounter

Message from Faculty of Law

Professor Paul Maharg
Australian National University College of Law

The use of simulated clients (SCs) is a relatively new form of learning and assessment in law. As with many forms of simulation, the learning zone is also the assessment zone, and this contributes to the authenticity of the encounter. An essential element of the authenticity of the client /lawyer meeting is the relational ethics between the two. This is based not just on rules of professional conduct as these apply to the business and legal practice dimensions of the interview, but a more profound ethics of relational understanding. In this sense the encounter is at once a proxy for legal work and a genuine meeting between individuals with more than just overlapping commercial interests. In this session, the speaker will present on work undertaken to date on the SC initiative and the current state of play. He will explore (1) the tensions inherent in the concept of authenticity, and the implications of that for SC training in interviewing, skills assessment and giving feedback and (2) how SCs can be used in the future of legal education and training.

Paul Maharg is Professor of Law at the Australian National University College of Law, and part-time Professor of Law, Nottingham Law School. Prior to this he was Professor of Legal Education at Northumbria Law School, and Professor of Law in the Glasgow Graduate School (GGSL), University of Strathclyde where he was Co- Director of Legal Practice Courses, and Director of the innovative Learning Technologies Development Unit at the GGSL, as well as Director of the two-year, JISC/UKCLE-funded project, SIMPLE (SIMulated Professional Learning Environment). He is the author of Transforming Legal Education: Learning and Teaching the Law in the Early Twenty-first Century (2007, Ashgate Publishing), co-editor of and contributor to Digital Games and Learning (2011, Continuum Publishers), co-editor of and contributor to Affect and Legal Education: Emotion in Learning and Teaching the Law (2011, Ashgate Publishing). He is the co-editor of two book series, Emerging Legal Education and Digital Games and Learning, and has published widely in the fields of legal education and professional learning design (http://ssrn.com/author=272987). His specialisms include interdisciplinary educational design, and the use of ICT at all levels of legal education. He was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, HEA National Teaching Fellow (2011), a Fellow of the RSA (www.thersa.org).

Date: Friday, 14 February 2014
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Room 824, 8/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

RSVP: Please register at

For enquiry please contact Mr Wilson Chow (email: wschow@hku.hk)


CETL Seminar: Standards-based assessment of performance-based tasks

Dr Susan Bridges, Associate Professor, CETL/ Faculty of Education, HKU
Dr Michael Botelho, Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, HKU
Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith, Executive Dean, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University (virtually via skype)
Date: 14th February (Friday)
Time: 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Venue: Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building

Assessment of performance-based tasks such as live presentations or clinical skills-based activities require sophisticated assessment practices. Skills-based activities require assessment and feedback processes for summative progress determination and/or formative advice for ongoing student learning. While these have traditionally been impression based or utilizing a rubrics approach to assessment/feedback, these may have been based on unclear, implicit or ill-defined characteristics that make understanding and implementation of the process incomplete and possibly lacking rigor. A key factor in determining student achievement in such tasks is examiner judgment.

In this seminar, we elaborate the process undertaken to induct performance-based examiners into standards-based assessment practices through a process of eliciting latent expertise and task performance criteria and their justifications. The overarching goal is to make these judgment practices explicit to students and peer evaluators for rigorous and transparent processes and feedback. Funding support from the HKU Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme for this work is acknowledged.

About the Speakers
Michael Botelho is the Faculty of Dentistry 5th year Course Director, a member of the Curriculum Development Committee and has coordinated the design and implementation of the competency based, Key Skills exercises.

Susan Bridges is with the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the Faculty of Education. She works on innovation in learning and teaching. Her work with the Faculty of Dentistry supported implementation of OBASL focusing on curriculum alignment with standards-based assessment.

Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith is Dean (Academic) for Arts, Education and Law at Griffith University. She has worked on a number of projects, primarily in literacy and assessment, with particular focus on teacher judgment, evaluative frameworks and the literacy-curriculum-assessment interface.


For information on registration, please contact:
Ms Ivy Lai , CETL
Phone: 3917 8996; Email: laichun2@hku.hk.

T&L and Assessment Development Seminar on “Eportfolios: Opportunities and challenges as program‐level assessments”

Message from Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education

jpegYou are cordially invited to attend the
following seminar organized by the Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education (IMHSE):

Title: Teaching & Learning and Assessment Development Seminar on “Eportfolios: Opportunities and challenges as program‐level assessments”
Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm (Sandwiched will be provided)
Venue: Mrs Chen Yang Foo Oi Telemedicine Centre, 2/F, William M.W. Mong Block, Faculty of Medicine Building

About the speakers
Dr Deneen, Christopher Charles
Research Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor (Honorary)
Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong

Dr Deneen is a research assistant professor with the Faculty of Education at The University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on relationships of assessment and curricula in higher and teacher education. He is especially interested in learner-oriented assessment, technology-enhanced assessment, and managing curriculum change.

After earning his doctorate from Columbia University’s Teachers College, Chris served as a university teacher and administrator in New York City. Inspired by the often-unanswered questions raised by his experiences as a teacher and administrator, Chris chose to develop research into higher and teacher education as a core element of his professional identity and practice. After working two years with the Hong Kong Institute of Education, he joined the HKU Faculty of Education in 2011. As principal investigator on a General Research Fund (GRF) grant, Chris is currently exploring digital portfolios as assessment in higher and teacher education.

Eportfolios are a popular means of both promoting and evaluating student learning. They are widely recognized as enhancing self‐regulation, promoting reflection, and determining achievement of professional outcomes.

Eportfolios have significant potential for medical education programs as they may integrate assessment and learning innovations currently favored in medical education, such as problem‐based learning scenarios and simulations.

There are, however challenges in implementing eportfolios as assessments. These challenges range from maintaining student engagement to establishing rater reliability. In this talk, Chris Deneen will address both the challenges and opportunities presented by using eportfolios. Drawing on his own research and the field of literature, Dr. Deneen will discuss key issues such as feasibility, implementation guidelines, and how existing assessments in courses, modules or blocks could be capitalized on to support program‐level eportfolios.


For inquiries, please contact us at imhse@hku.hk. To register, please visit


Marks of Excellence: Gathering, Analysing and Reporting Direct Evidence of Students’ Learning and Achievements

Due to the large number of participants anticipated, the venue will be changed to T5, Meng Wah Complex.

Professor Dai Hounsell, Vice-Principal for Assessment and Feedback, University of Edinburgh

Against a background of curriculum transformation in higher education and calls for greater accountability for quality, there is a growing interest, nationally and internationally, in evidence of excellence in students’ learning. Two closely interwoven questions are raised. How can university teachers best use assessment and evaluation to capture the breadth and depth of learning outcomes being demonstrated by students? And how can the students’ distinctive achievements be communicated more widely, within and beyond the campus? The seminar will explore these twin questions, with particular reference to recent curriculum change at HKU.


Seminar 2: Evidence of Experiential Learning

Date: 6 December, 2013 (Friday)
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Venue: T5, Meng Wah Complex

The second seminar focuses more closely on the enhanced opportunities for experiential learning which is one of the hallmarks of the quality of undergraduate education at HKU. It considers how excellence in experiential learning can be captured and communicated, focusing particularly on strategies that are complementary to traditional forms of assessment and feedback, including those that capitalise on advances in communication technologies.

For details and online registration of seminar 2, please go to:


Seminar 1: The Evidence Challenge

Date: 3 December, 2013 (Tuesday)
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Venue: T5, Meng Wah Complex

In reviewing the challenges of capturing and communicating evidence of excellence in learning, the seminar will:

  • invite participants to explore what kinds of learning-and-assessment opportunities would seem to align well with what types of learning outcomes
  • provide illustrations of such opportunities drawn from real-life course and subject settings in established universities
  • highlight key steps that need to be followed in designing and implementing valid and robust assessment-for-learning initiatives

For details and online registration of seminar 1, please go to:


About the Speaker
Professor Dai Hounsell is currently Vice-Principal for Assessment and Feedback (part-time) at the University of Edinburgh. From 2009 to 2012 he was the University’s Vice-Principal for Academic Enhancement, and Professor of Higher Education from 2000-2012.

He has published widely on assessment and feedback and many other aspects of university learning and teaching, served in various editorial and refereeing roles, and led several multi-institutional higher education research and development projects with external funding. In 2007 he was awarded a Fellowship by the Society for Research into Higher Education.

Throughout his career, a key concern has been with evidence-informed approaches to the advancement of excellence in university teaching and learning, within and beyond his own institution. He has coordinated initiatives for the Quality Assurance Agency and Universities Scotland (Integrative Assessment 2005-07), the Higher Education Academy (Innovative Assessment Across the Disciplines 2006-07) and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (Leading Change in Assessment and Feedback, 2012-13). Internationally, he has advised the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, the South African Academic Development Association, and the Netherlands & Flemish Universities Quality Assurance Agency. Since he and his wife Jenny created the Enhancing Feedback website three years ago, it has attracted 27,000 visitors from across the world.

CETL Workshop: Improving assessment to enhance the quality and productivity of higher education

This workshop helps participants explore how to improve assessment and the quality and productivity of higher education.

Date: Sept 23, 2013 (Mon)
Time: 12:45pm – 2pm
Venue: Room 321, Run Run Shaw Building
Facilitator: Dr Hamish Coates

To begin, I review underpinning contexts and concepts, then analyse two case studies that expose key methods and opportunities. To conclude this first portion of the workshop I present a model that institutions and academics can use to implement structured assessment partnerships.

Next, participants are invited to reflect broadly on how they would use the model to improve assessment, to identify the best single change they could make, and to detail what would be required to make this change work.

The workshop concludes by drawing together participants’ proposals, evaluating the value and feasibility of each, and drawing broader conclusions about how such effort can improve higher education.

Concluding remarks focus on work underway to impel change in this area, such as international transparency initiatives, the development of assessment resources and services, and building professional capacity and community.

For details and online registration, please go to http://www.cetl.hku.hk/workshop130923.